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New property listed in Rosewood, Saskatoon

I have listed a new property at 602 Hamm PL in Saskatoon. See details here

Brand new construction, Corner lot good for more parking. 1330 Sqft Bi level house fully finished with Drive way. 2 Bed room Legal basement Suite finished with All appliances. Laundry washer and dryers included with main House and basement suite. Main house: Large entry with winter clothing closet. Living room with dining area All installed with Hardwood. Large Kitchen with All stainless steel upgraded appliances. Master Bed room with upgraded carpet and on-suite full washroom. Two large bed room with Full size bed room on the main floor. Main house side basement is finished. one large Family room with full wash room . Laundry in mechanical room Washer dryer included. Legal Basement Suite: Large entry with tiles flooring. Large windows in the basement. Open style Living Dining kitchen with Laundry closet. Separate Water heater. Baseboard electric heating. 2 Large size bed room over sized closets. Ready for renting. Can be a big help for mortgage. Please visit.

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Managing Humidity in your home

HUMIDITY TOO HIGH IN THE WINTER?
• When the air is too humid in your home, increased moisture can result in stained ceilings and walls, excess
attic frost, frost/condensations on the windows, doors and doorknobs, as well as swollen hardwood floors,
doors and cabinets.
• While many homeowners don't realize it, newer, energy-efficient homes tend to fall victim to problems of
high humidity more often. Because these homes are sealed up tight to prevent energy loss from heating
and cooling, the home also seals in a lot of moisture.
• The homeowner is responsible to monitor and manage the humidity in their home regularly, especially
during winter months
The following are some basic steps to controlling the humidity in your home:


CONTROLLING THE ENVIRONMENT
HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator)
• Proper settings and operation are critical in preventing unintended damage to
ceilings, window trims, and other parts of your home.
• An HRV is designed to expel stale moist air and draw in drier, fresh
air. It also provides a vital balance in air pressure.
• If your home is equipped with an HRV make sure the filters are cleaned
regularly and the unit is running properly, with settings fit for winter operation
(check the “winter setting” chart).
• In winter months (October-March), an HRV may be required to run all the time to assist in maintaining
appropriate relative humidity levels.
• Make sure your HRV is properly programmed to draw in air from outside and operate automatically in
response to the conditions in your home. It may enter a “defrost cycle” occasionally but will return to
drawing fresh air once complete.
• The colder the weather, the more important it is to maintain appropriate relative humidity levels.
• Ensure HRV Filter is clean and clear of debris.
Ventilation Fans (Homes equipped with ventilation fans instead of an HRV)
• While there are many different configurations, the concept is the same. If your home has a primary
ventilation fan instead of an HRV it is vital the unit be in operation especially during the winter months.
• As with the HRV, the ventilation fan provides a necessary service in the exchange of stale moist air with dry
fresh air. It also provides a balance of air pressure reducing the chance that moist air is pushed into cold
spaces (attic) in turn condensing and turning to frost.

Kitchens & Bathrooms
• In the winter especially, it is very important you run the provided fans, not only during cooking and
showering but for at least 60 minutes after to help manage your homes humidity.
• Moisture in the fan vent pipe requires time to evaporate or it may freeze as it enters attic space, or drip
back down into the home.
Heat Ducts & Airflow
• Air must be allowed to flow freely around the home.
• Replace furnace filters as required by the manufacturer.
• Raise blinds in the morning, open the curtains.
• Make sure heat vents are not covered by curtains, furniture, rugs, beds etc.
• Remove any ice build up from exhaust fans.
* If you are unsure as to the operation and maintenance of your mechanical equipment, please reach out to your builder or our team for
further information or assistance.
GETTING READY FOR WINTER CHECKLIST
 Set HRV humidity %. Start at 25% and adjust accordingly.
 Set cycle time to 20 minutes/60 and adjust accordingly. May be required to adjust to full/max cycle setting.
 Monitor humidity levels throughout winter months and adjust accordingly.
 If you have a Primary Ventilation Fan (PVF) switch (generally in your mechanical room), ensure it is turned
on for the winter months.
 Run bathroom fans and hood fan during and for 60+ minutes after using the shower or cooking facilities.
 Humidifier (if applicable) set to winter mode or turned off (if necessary).
 Replace your furnace filter as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
 Wash your HRV filters (if applicable) to ensure they are clean and clear of any debris.
 Keep snow clear from around your roof vents if possible.
 Keep your garage floor and driveway as clear as possible of snow and ice. Note: application of salts and/or
de-icers may damage concrete.
 Run water through plumbing fixtures that are not used regularly to ensure there is water in the p-trap.
 Balance air flow at heating ducts.
 Clean range hood filter.
 Review granite countertops and tile backsplash, apply sealer to counters and grout.
 Pour bucket of water into floor drains to avoid a dry p-trap.
 Review your roof often for ice dams and snow build-up to ensure attic vents are not obstructed.
 Keep snow away from gas meters, gas appliance vents, exhaust vents, and basement windows.
 Monitor outdoor vents, gas meters, and chimneys for ice and snow build-up.
 Test fire and smoke detectors and change back-up batteries.
 Check electrical cords, plugs, and outlets for all indoor and outdoor seasonal lights for fire safety.

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There are many reasons why homeowners choose to get into the rental market. Many choose to rent out their homes while waiting for the market to improve. Some homeowners want to generate rental income from a second home or vacation property. Still others find themselves with multiple properties in hand after large life events, such as marriage, relocation, or inheritance.

Regardless of the reasons for getting into the business of renting properties, it’s important to get started on the right foot. That involves asking yourself some hard questions, doing your research, calling in the experts, and even putting in some elbow grease to get your property ready for the rental market. Here’s a quick guide to what’s involved.

Mull it over
Owning a rental property is much more than just collecting payments every month. As a landlord, you are legally responsible for providing a safe, livable home for your tenants, as well as maintaining the property with timely repairs. Consider that owning and maintaining rental properties is running a business. Ensure that you have the time, resources, skills, and patience for the often-unpredictable nature of the industry.

Do your research
Take a long, hard look at your rental unit and write a list of its attributes, including square footage, neighborhood, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, amenities, and yard size. Then, search for comparable units online to get a good idea for how much you’ll be able to charge.

Number crunching
Once you know how much you’ll be able to charge for your rental property, consider additional costs, such as the increased price of homeowners’ insurance, the cost of maintenance and repairs, unanticipated damage by occupants, carrying costs between tenants, and advertising, to name a few.

To outsource, or not to outsource?
If you are interested in renting your property, but don’t want to fulfill the role of landlord, consider hiring a property management company. In exchange for a monthly fee, property managers will find and screen tenants, serve as the main point of contact for occupants, manage repairs, collect rent payments, and tackle other duties.

Consult a lawyer and accountant
Rental income must be reported on your taxes, but some expenses may be tax deductible. Consult a qualified accountant to explore the potential financial gains and losses that come with renting property.

Additionally, consult a real estate attorney in your local area. While you may be able to find sample rental contracts online, a lawyer who is familiar with laws and regulations in your local area will make sure that the lease agreement your tenants will sign is legal, appropriate, and protects you in case of unexpected events.

Prepare the property
Lastly, get the property itself ready for listing. This can mean tasks as minor as removing your personal belongings, or more substantial improvements like upgrading appliances and painting. If you’re utilizing a property management company, ask them for tips on how to get your property rental ready.

With good preparation, consultations from experts, and an honest look at the finances involved, homeowners can find renting property to be a beneficial way to increase income, delay selling a home until the market improves, or cover costs associated with owning multiple properties.

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Before you start looking at homes, you should figure out what you can afford by getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Doing some calculations of your own may give you a rough number but with so many factors involved it’s always best to get in touch with a Mortgage Specialist like myself.

Keep in mind that being “pre-qualified” and “pre-approved” are two very different things despite the terms becoming interchangeable over time. Pre-qualifying for a mortgage involves a quick review of your finances to estimate an approximate amount of a mortgage that you may be able to qualify for. On the other hand being pre-approved means actually applying for a mortgage with the approval subject to the home qualifying as well.

Real estate agents and sellers alike often prefer to work with buyers who have already been pre-approved for a mortgage because it saves everyone a lot of time knowing that you can afford the asking price. In multiple offer situations most sellers will also accept an offer from a pre-approved buyer before considering anyone else.

In order to get pre-approved we will need to:

  1. Gather Financial Information

Provide as much financial information as you can including recent pay stubs, previous tax returns, proof of assets and liabilities along with any debts you may have. The more information I have the easier it will be to get you pre-approved.

  1. Calculate Your Total Debt Service (TDS)

Your Total Debt Service is an accurate measure of your ability to pay your mortgage by taking into account monthly obligations like car or credit card payments and housing costs. A TDS of 40% or below would be ideal. If you happen to be higher debt consolidation might give you some relief.

  1. Perform a Credit Check

To perform a credit check I’ll need your social insurance number along with your spouse’s or any co-signer.

It’s always a good idea to request a credit report beforehand in case there are discrepancies. That way you have time to address problems before the process even begins. You are entitled to a free credit report more than once a year so long as it’s requested in writing and you choose to receive the printed copy by mail.

Once we’ve gone over your financial information, marital status etc. you will need to sign some disclosures. At that point your mortgage application will be reviewed, signed and submitted through the underwriting process. When approved Affinity Credit Union will issue a pre-approval letter which outlines the terms of the mortgage approval.

Congratulations! Now that you’re pre-approved for your mortgage you can begin looking for your new home!

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March is filled with sweet candy, chocolate treats, beautiful bouquets of flowers, and hearts…lots of hearts…everywhere! But, don’t forget to share some of the love with your home! This month’s Home Maintenance Checklist features our annual safety check, which ensures your home’s safety features are preforming properly and that any potential hazards are avoided. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to a safer home environment:

  • Doors – check hinges are working properly and secure and seal tightly

  • Test smoke detector & carbon monoxide (CO) detector – change batteries every six months (when you change your clocks is a good practice)

  • Test window locks are working properly

  • Test security system (if applicable)

  • Potential fire hazards – electrical, natural gas and flammable liquids

  • Ensure adequate clearance around furnace, hot water tank, and electrical panel

In addition to our annual safety check, be sure cross off the below items to keep your home in tip-top shape this month:

  •  Clean or replace furnace filter, HRV or humidifier filter (if applicable)

  •  Clean range hood/OTR filter

  • Check exhaust fans for snow build-up around hot water tank and furnace vents. If you live within a condominium, please notify your property manager regarding any build up.

  • Perform annual safety check
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Many people mistakenly believe that home ownership isn’t an option for them but the fact is that there are multiple ways to acquire a down payment. Pair that with record low interest rates and it would be foolish not to buy in 2012.

Right now the minimum down payment required in Canada is just 5% of the homes purchase price. However, as a general rule, you should put as much money down as possible. That amount will determine which home you purchase, the size of your mortgage payments along with just how much insurance you have to pay.

Here are some ways in which you can obtain a down payment:

Purchaser’s Savings
January 1st, 2012 introduced the First-Time Homebuyers’ Tax Credit. It will provide a provincial non-refundable income tax credit of up to $1,100 for eligible taxpayers. While the details of the program are still being developed it is known that the personal income tax credit applies to qualifying homes purchased after December 31st, 2011.

Interim Financing
Interim financing (bridge financing) is used when a buyer needs to sell their current home in order to purchase another but the sale of the first home can’t be completed before the purchase of the second. Even though this situation would have the buyer paying more interest, it’s usually nominal and only for a short time.

Rent-to-Own
When you rent-to-own a portion of the rent you’re paying actually becomes your equity once you purchase that property. In order for this to work though the purchase agreement:

  • Must acknowledge that a portion of the rent includes a pre-payment of equity on a monthly basis.
  • Must show that the monthly rent payment is an amount in excess of the current market rent for the property.
  • Must contain at least a partial refund in the event that the purchaser doesn’t exercise their right to buy the property.

In the chance that the property’s value decreases the surplus rent may not be accepted as equity when eventually applying for a mortgage.

Gift from an Immediate Relative
In the instance where a home buyer is unable to come up with a down payment they can seek assistance from an immediate family member if the funds are clear of any repayment obligation. You simply need a mortgage gift letter from them stating that this is the case. Also note that gift money must be in the buyer’s possession at least 15 days prior to closing.

Borrowed Against a Proven Asset
The Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) permits down payments that have been borrowed against proven assets so long as those assets are “financial in nature, unencumbered by debt, and readily convertible to cash.”

Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)
First-time home buyers are able to withdraw up to $25,000 from Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) like the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) to be used toward a home purchase, tax-free. Just be sure that your RRSP contributions sit for at least 90 days prior to being withdrawn in order to be deductible. They also need to be repaid within 15 years.

Affinity Equity Building Program
The Affinity Equity Building Program is a partnership between the city of Saskatoon and Affinity Credit Union. In order to be eligible for the program the applicant must:

  • Purchase property that they will reside in within the corporate boundaries of Saskatoon therefore causing a rental unit within the city to become available.
  • Have a household income that ranges between $44,500 to $70,000.
  • Repay the funds over a five year period.

Now that we have reviewed down payment options you can contact me to get pre-approved for your mortgage and begin looking for your new home right away!

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There are many good reasons to purchase a new home, including exceptional features that you just can’t find in the majority of resale homes. Check out this list of “it” features that are available in most new homes:

Open concept: Think space, not rooms. Today’s living requires multi-functionality and new homes reflect this. While older homes have rooms designated for a single purpose (think traditional dining room), newly built homes feature blended/flexible areas and open space.

Large kitchen with island: Kitchens in older homes are often cramped and lacking in functionality. Contrast that with kitchens in new homes, which include enough cabinets to hold all of your dishes  – plus the option of a large island that will allow plenty of room for cooking and socializing.

Efficient storage: Newly built homes often include walk-in closets, pantries and overall bigger closets than older homes. Plus, the storage spaces in newly built homes are both stylish and functional.

Green from the ground up: New homes are built using materials that are much more environmentally friendly than those used to build older homes.  What’s more, energy efficiency is a foremost consideration with most new homes, with energy efficient windows, doors and appliances being standard features. It’s pricey to make these upgrades to resale homes.

Dare to personalize

Since it’s much easier (and often more affordable) to customize a newly built home than renovate an older one, why not think about the features you’d include on your personal “It List”? Here’s a little inspiration:

Wine cellar: If you’re a wine lover, why not create a space in your home to enjoy your passion? Picture a room in your newly finished basement with wine cabinets and racks and a wine fridge or cooling unit.

Outdoor room: The latest trend in home design involves extending living space into the outdoors. With comfortable, functional and attractive furniture, special lighting, space heaters, a built in barbecue or an outdoor fireplace, you can transform your backyard into a space you’ll be comfortable in year round. Explore the many available options for walls and screening.

Home spa: Bathrooms are always a main focal point in a home. Make yours the ultimate in luxury and tranquility with a home spa. Consider a soaker tub and stand-alone shower with rainfall showerhead. Use upscale materials like granite, marble and slate and include spa lighting and maybe even music. What better place to relax after a long day?

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When it comes to moving, most of us think of the daunting task of packing up everything we own and lugging it to another place. But have you considered moving as an opportunity to better organize your home?

When you’re packing, the last thing on your mind may be de-cluttering, but streamlining your possessions before you move can save a lot of time when you arrive at your new home. The less you have, the less you have to move, and the less you’ll have to unpack!

To get organized as you pack, follow these 5 simple tips:

Take stock of what you have – Are you buried under a pile of Tupperware containers each time you open your kitchen cupboard? Is there a VHS player gathering dust in your storage closet? Before you pack up, take time to go through each room in your home and weed out anything that you’re not using anymore. A good general rule is to get rid of anything you haven’t used in the past year (as long as the item doesn’t hold sentimental value).

Sell what you can – You can help off-set some of your moving costs by selling any items you don’t plan to use in your new home. If you have decided to purchase new electronics, furniture, or appliances, consider selling the ones you have now on sites like Kijiji, by placing an ad in the local newspaper, or by hosting a yard sale. Every little bit adds up, and before you know it Aunt Betsy’s old toaster will be helping to pay for the moving truck.

Pass on what can’t sell – You can feel good about letting go of items that you no longer use by passing them on to family and friends who are just starting out, or giving them to charity. Donate clothes, books, toys and other reusable items to non-profit organizations such as your local thrift store, church or favourite local charity.

Label, label, label – When you’re ready to start packing, make sure you have lots of labels and markers available. Most people find it easiest to organize boxes by room, adding labels like “Kitchen,” “Master bedroom,” and “Basement.” Adding a few notes to the label that describe the contents of each box can be helpful too. Also consider labeling boxes by how soon you’ll need them (e.g. “Immediate Use,” “Mid-Range,” and “No Rush”). This may seem like overkill, but you’ll be thankful for your foresight when you’re looking for the coffee pot on the first morning in your new home.

Choose your containers wisely – For items you’re going to store long-term (but can’t bear to part with) consider large, plastic containers with lids – they’re stackable and keep out moisture and vermin much better than cardboard boxes do. Be sure to label these well, especially if you plan on stacking them, so you will be able to find the things you’re looking for quickly when they’re needed.

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Moving is typically not an eco-friendly endeavour. From packing up your belongings, to cleaning both your old and new homes and having everything transported from one location to another, there’s plenty of potential to harm the environment. But it doesn’t have to be this way – follow these simple tips and make your relocation a responsible one.

If you don’t need it, don’t take it

One of the simplest ways to reduce your carbon footprint when moving is to reduce the amount of stuff you have to move. Go through you belongings and sort out things you no longer need. Clothing, furniture and books can be donated to charities, thrift stores or sold in a garage sale. If you have items that need to be thrown out, do so responsibly by recycling wherever possible. Always dispose of electronics properly. Check out the Alberta Recycling Management Authority website for tips on how to safely recycle used electronics and to find the collection site nearest you.

It’s also a good idea to consider donation when you’re going through your fridge prior to moving. If you have canned goods that you don’t want to move with you, donate them to your local food bank.

Go green to get clean

Whether it’s the home you’re leaving or the one you’re moving into, you’re likely to be doing a great deal of cleaning during your move. Cleaning products are typically very bad for the environment, as well as your health, so choose green cleaning products whenever possible. Look for products that are non-toxic and biodegradable and read through the ingredient list to make sure they’re all natural. You can also consider making your own cleaner using vinegar and water.

Pack responsibly

It used to be that in preparing for a move you had to gather up cardboard boxes and packing tape – not exactly environmentally friendly. Not anymore – thanks to green moving companies like FrogBox and EcoBox that rent reusable plastic moving boxes. These companies allow you to order boxes online, drop the boxes off at your home on a date that you’ve requested and then pick them up after you’ve completed your move. The boxes are stackable, making them easy to transport. They’re also waterproof and sturdy, so you can be sure that even your most delicate possessions will make it to your new home in one piece. By going this route, you’ll not only save yourself from having to fold and tape boxes, but you’ll also save some trees!

When it comes to packing your breakable items, avoid using bubble and plastic wrap and packing peanuts. Instead, wrap delicates in blankets, towels and linens.

Green transportation

If you’ve decided to hire a moving company to help you with your relocation, look for one that follows eco-friendly practices. Before booking a company, inquire about their environmental policies. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Do they use only recycled packing materials?
  • Do they have a no idling policy?
  • Do they make an effort to reduce fuel consumption through a shortest route possible policy or speed monitoring?

If you’d rather handle your move on your own, be sure to rent a moving van that’s the right size for what you have to move – the smaller the van, the lower the fuel consumption. And to reduce your carbon footprint even further, load your belongings in such a way that allows you to make the fewest trips back and forth.

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