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The Cam Family
I would like to recommend Audrey and Mike to any prospective buyers and sellers. As a team, they were always on hand to guide us through the sale of our home. We had a short time line, before our big move to Germany and therefore, we were extremely motivated as the house had to sell before we left the country. They insured that we were always kept informed on the progress of our sell, even during our...
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Kari R.
A huge thank you to Mike and Audrey for all their hard work in the selling of my home.  Their great advice on what I needed to do prior to listing my property and the excellent communication day to day with me, really made what I thought was going to be a total nightmare, end up being a total breeze!  I found both Mike and Audrey very easy to get along with, extremely knowledgeable and very...
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The Edmonton Real Estate Blog, Market Information, Advise & Opinion

 

Yahoo! I just sold a property at 7407 187 ST NW in EDMONTON.
Excellent potential in this 2+4 bedroom, 3 full bath family bungalow. Main floor has large front entry, good size living room & dining area, both with bay windows. Master bedroom is oversized and likely could be made back into 2 separate rooms which COULD increase total bedroom size to 7. Relax in your ensuite bathroom which features a soothing jacuzzi tub. Second bedroom is also a good size. Fully finished downstairs has family room, full 4 piece bathroom and 4 more bedrooms, all with large windows. Entertain family and friends on the large south facing deck. With great curb appeal on a quiet crescent close to Lymburn Park, there is plenty of potential as a bit of elbow grease & sweat equity could bring this home back to it's former glory. Call Mike at 780-242-5229 or email me to schedule a private showing.
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CMHC to Increase Mortgage Insurance Premiums

Edmonton CMHC Rate Increase ImageWell, it seems CMHC is raising it's premiums for new mortgages by approximately 15% starting 1 May 2014. What this will do is increase the cost of buying a new home, estimated to be $5 per month to the average Edmonton home buyer. Not a lot of cash but still, will be your cash. The trick is to have a firm sale on your new home before the deadline. This will beat the premium increase. Here is a quick breakdown:



Loan-to-Value RatioStandard Premium (Current)Standard Premium (Effective May 1st, 2014)
Up to and including 65% 0.50% 0.60%
Up to and including 75% 0.65% 0.75%
Up to and including 80% 1.00% 1.25%
Up to and including 85% 1.75% 1.80%
Up to and including 90% 2.00% 2.40%
Up to and including 95% 2.75% 3.15%
90.01% to 95% – Non-Traditional Down Payment 2.90% 3.35%

 

Apparently, the other two private mortgage insurance companies Genworth and Canada Guaranty have already matched this increase, too. You can read the full information on CMHC's website. How do YOU think this will affect home buying within Canada? Please comment below or privately thru my contact page.

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Thoughtful Design in Everyday Edmonton Spaces

Have you ever stopped to consider how much thought and effort went into the design of the spaces you visit every day? You may not realize it, but your favorite restaurants, Edmonton neighborhood grocery store and go-to movie theater follow some very specific design principles in order to create a unique space that is both visually appealing and user-friendly.

Much like home designers, commercial architects and interior designers think of spaces in their totality. To a commercial designer, every area - from the entryway to the public bathrooms to the behind-the-scenes storage areas - must be considered when working on a new project. One way commercial designers help create a unique look and feel throughout public spaces is through the use of repetition. Repeating a pattern, color or texture in more than one area of a space lends a feeling of continuity. 

According to Judd Lord, director of industrial design at Delta Faucet Company, this attention to detail makes commercial environments a great place to look for design inspiration.

'Highly-designed commercial spaces allow people to get a sense of what their own home may feel like in terms of color palette, textures, combination of materials and accents prior to actually committing to a design,' Lord says. 'For example, visiting high-end hotels can provide a great way to 'live' in a particular design aesthetic to see if it suits you.'

The next time you stay at a hotel, look for hints of repetition. You may find that the orange sofas in the lobby, for instance, carry through to your guest room pillows or decorative accents. Or, perhaps the wrought iron door handles match the window hardware perfectly. The small touches that regularly go unnoticed help to create a distinct sense of place in commercial spaces. When deciding what design elements to incorporate into a commercial building, designers consider not only how certain aspects can enhance overall design aesthetic, but also how they can be used to promote functionality in the space. For example, when designing an entryway, commercial designers must think about who will be using the space and for what purpose. While a banquet hall designer may prefer curving staircases to help create the feeling of grand luxury suitable for weddings and debutante balls, it is likely that they will also incorporate an elevator to ensure the space is accessible to all guests.

The important role functionality plays in commercial buildings is perhaps demonstrated most readily when taking the public bathroom into consideration. For instance, a single-room bathroom with a plush sitting area and vanity mirror may enhance the shopping experience for customers at a high-end boutique, while busy shoppers at large malls may prefer multiple stalls to help avoid long bathroom lines. For both of these spaces, innovative products can help enhance the bathroom experience through increased functionality. For instance, on Delta faucets that feature Proximity Sensing Technology, the entire faucet acts as a sensor, activating the flow of water instantly and effortlessly when it detects the presence of your hands. Faucets that employ this type of technology are more dependable than traditional infrared sensors - which can be unreliable in low-light or when wearing dark clothing and are more susceptible to vandalism that can impair the functionality of the faucet and make the bathroom experience a little easier for consumers in public spaces.

Building materials must also support the overall purpose of a space. Residential building materials are often chosen solely to help portray a specific design aesthetic, while materials used in commercial developments must be chosen with both durability and esthetics in mind. Everything, from the floorboards to the light switches, must be able to withstand the wear and tear of repeated use as these spaces may be visited by thousands of people per day. While a small amount of wear in a private home may make the environment feel more welcoming and warm, the public tends to regard the same amount of wear in a commercial space as being aged and out of date.

The next time you are out shopping at the grocery store, try to appreciate the smallest design details, such as the layout of shopping aisles that make it easier for you to navigate the store and return home more quickly. Attention to these details not only helps a business operate efficiently, but also creates a better experience for you, the consumer.

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Raising the Bar on Edmonton Bath Safety

The bathroom is your daily sanctuary to retreat to and enjoy a few moments alone. For that reason, it should be serene, stylish and of course, safe. -Think that words "safety" and "style" can never go together? Think again. Fortunately, it's easy to incorporate essential bath safety elements that will leave your room feeling more like a resort instead of rehab.

A twist on towel bars When entering or exiting the bath, many homeowners reach for a towel located on a towel bar just outside the bathtub or shower. While this is a convenient location, unfortunately bathers instinctively grab onto the towel bar to ease in and out of the shower or tub. This can be a serious fall risk, since towel bars are not designed to support a person's weight. Fortunately, Moen has combined the functionality and beauty of a decorative towel bar with the safety benefits of a grab bar with the Moen Home Care Grab Bar with Towel Bar. Available in the most popular finishes to seamlessly integrate with the style of your bath, this unique product is easy to install to ensure a safe - and stylish - addition to the bath.

Safety with shelves From shampoo to shaving cream, razors to rubber duckies, the bathtub or shower is an area where we store a multitude of items. With this in mind, homeowners are always looking for ways to conquer the clutter. Shelves are an excellent answer - especially when you can combine them with safety and peace of mind. Look for shelves that combine the functionality and style of a shelf with the safety of a grab bar. Some are featured in both corner and straight designs and will help solve your storage woes, while providing extra stability in the shower or bath.

"Grab bars are an important safety element for all ages - in fact, we could all use a little extra assistance in the shower," says Adam Ference, Moen Home Care brand manager. "By incorporating grab bars into common bathroom accessories, we hope to encourage homeowners to make every bath a safe - and stylish - bath."

Serenity with showerheads When you think of resorts, you may recall the spectacular spa showers. You can dramatically enhance your daily shower experience by simply updating your current showerhead. There are many types, but a combination showerhead, such as the Moen Caldwell Brushed Nickel Slide Bar showerhead, can offer a relaxing retreat while also adding safety features. Combination showerheads feature both a standard showerhead and a handheld showerhead attached to a slide bar, providing users multiple spray options. And, with the added benefit of a handheld shower, users who choose to bathe in a seated position can also easily and safely enjoy the sensational experience.

Luxurious illumination For the final step to your safety-upgraded bathroom, increase the amount of lighting. Add higher-wattage bulbs in your current lights, nightlights or additional lamps to the room for improved illumination. Another option is adding skylights. Not only will it help reduce bumps and falls, but a well-lit bathroom will also make the space feel more open and spa-like.

Increasing your safety does not mean decreasing the style in your bath. In fact, with these easy, inexpensive and attractive updates, you can quickly raise your level of bath safety, while creating a more enjoyable and stylish bathroom retreat.

 

If you can think of any other bathroom safety ideas, please comment below or thru my contact page.

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Committing to a Mortgage with Your Honey? Consider These Edmonton House Hunting Essentials

Edmonton House-hunting couples have many important decisions to make together – from deciding on a new-build condo or century-old bungalow to agreeing on the ideal neighbourhood and the type of mortgage that will work best for them.

According to research from TD Canada Trust, 73% of Canadians bought or expect to buy their first home with their significant other. Since a home is the biggest purchase most couples will make, Farhaneh Haque, director of mortgage advice at TD Canada Trust, provides her top three tips to ensure couples are on the same page before hitting any open houses.

  • Air out financial closets – Couples should be open and honest about their current financial situation and financial history. If anything could affect the ability to secure a loan together, afford monthly mortgage payments, or interest rate increases, be upfront about it.
  • Start on the same foot – From a home office to a kitchen made for entertaining, couples should set a budget and discuss the key characteristics they want in a home, and what they are and are not willing to compromise on.
  • Saying 'I do' to a mortgage – Couples need to give as much thought to their mortgage as they do to their Edmonton dream home. This includes discussing the size of the down payment, amortization period, type of mortgage and payment schedule.

"The last thing couples want is an unwelcome surprise when they're about to sign on the dotted line," Haque said. "By speaking with a mortgage specialist well before you've entered the pressure-cooker of the house hunt, couples can make informed decisions that can save money and stress in the long run."

 

Check out my mortage calculator page where I also have contacts for excellent mortgage specials to help you find that great mortage deal.

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Explore the Great Outdoors this Edmonton Winter

As temperatures drop, many Edmontonians are tempted to enter a sort of hibernation, abandoning the outdoor activities they love in favour of nights spent in the warmth of home. While the days may be shorter, you can still take advantage of the sunlight and enjoy the many parks, trails and conservation areas that are found across Canada.

"The Canadian landscape is breath-taking all year round, and Canadians should get outside and enjoy the beautiful natural environment no matter what the season," says Mary Desjardins, the executive director of TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF). "However, it is important to be mindful of the natural environment when enjoying the great outdoors, especially if we want to protect it for generations to come."

TD FEF recommends these tips to Canadians looking to explore the great outdoors this winter:

• Maintain a zero footprint while outdoors to help keep the environment pristine. Take all garbage with you, and don't disturb the natural environment any more than is necessary.

• Watch your step, and be sure to stay on marked trails. Many nature areas maintain marked trails – complete with guide signs and posts. Staying on marked trails will keep you from getting lost, and ensure you're not venturing onto marshes, protected habitats and other dangers that may be hidden beneath the snow fall.

• Stay hydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of water, especially if you're jogging outdoors during the winter. While you may not sweat as much as you do in the summer, it is important to keep hydrated when you plan to be outdoors for long periods of time.

• Bring a map, guidebook or mobile phone with you. If you are exploring an area for the first time, if the weather worsens, or you become disoriented you can find your way to safety.

TD FEF supports numerous trails and natural areas, helping to ensure that Edmontonians can enjoy the natural beauty of the environment year-round.

 

If you have anymoe tips to enjoying our beautiful Edmonton winters, please share below or thru my contact page.

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Yahoo! I just sold a property at 13531 121A ST in EDMONTON.
Wonderful 3+1 bedroom, 2 bath bungalow perfect for young family. As you enter the home, huge living room welcomes you with plentiful natural light thru the oversized windows. Beautifully maintained, original hardwood flooring flows throughout main level including all bedrooms. Kitchen offers oak cabinetry featuring pantry & pot drawers along with plenty of counter space. Off the dining area is sliding doors to south facing 18'x10' deck, perfect for entertaining family & friends. Master bedroom is large enough for your bedroom set while other rooms are big enough for the kids. Downstairs is fourth bedroom, 3 piece bath, utility room, laundry area & large family room with cozy wood stove. Extra storage is available with multiple closets on this level. Out behind garage is fenced dog run, ready for Fido. Quiet location, just across the street from Kensington community hall, playground, 2 outside skating rinks & sports field. With quick possession, this family home shows great and is priced perfect. Check out the virtual tour here. Call Mike at 780-242-5229 or email me to set up a private showing.
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Find the Right Insulation for Your Edmonton Home

A growing number of Edmonton homeowners and builders are investing in spray foam insulation since it offers an array of benefits that traditional insulation materials cannot provide. With longevity and eco-friendly qualities, spray foam insulation is an energy-efficient material that minimizes heating and cooling costs. Here are a few more details:
 

It stays in place – Expanding up to 100 times its volume when applied, spray foam insulation fills in gaps that might otherwise cause air leakage. Traditional insulation types such as cellulose and fiberglass are usually loosely packed, which could lead to drafty spots throughout the home. Such spots can lead to higher than expected heating and cooling bills.

The material is greener – Spray foam insulation is an eco-friendly product and helps keep allergens and pollutants outside for a healthier and cleaner indoor environment, making it a smart choice for those who suffer from allergies.

It protects against moisture and mold – Traditional insulation materials absorb water, which can lead to structural damage and mold build-up over the long-term. Spray foam insulation allows water to pass through, allowing homeowners to address any structural issues and preventing the formation of mildew, moisture and mold.

 

If you can add to home insulation ideas, please comment below or fill out my contact page.

 




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