Survey Says…

Property surveys aren’t just for when disputes between neighbours arise. Below are a few other occasions when having a survey performed is well worth the (modest) expense.

surveysaysYou’re seriously considering buying that house. How big is the lot? Where does it begin and end? Are there any registered easements on the property? Or any encroachments? All these questions are crucial for buyers, and the answers are provided in a property survey. Surveys lend buyers peace of mind by illustrating exactly what buyers would – and wouldn’t – be getting for their money.

You’ve decided to sell your house. By getting a property survey done before going on market, you and your representative will know exactly what you are – and aren’t – selling, and be able to address any issues raised prior to listing. That means a smoother, shorter path to closing (especially for a buyer whose offer is contingent on a survey), making property surveys a helpful marketing tool.

You’re thinking of making improvements to your property. In addition to boundary lines, property surveys show the location of utility equipment like power cables and gas pipes. Knowing where these things are before you begin a project can save you a lot of heartache and expense; you don’t want to put up that fence or shed only to find out that it’s actually on your neighbour’s property.

///…CP

Come Home To: 41 Lorraine Crescent

Welcome home to this 4-bedroom fully finished bungalow on a quiet crescent in Lacombe Park. This 1,120 sqft home is equipped with a 24’x22’ oversized double detached garage.

The main floor has a spacious family room and formal dining room, a gas fireplace, and large front windows; perfect for capturing the morning sun. The eat-in kitchen has plenty of cupboard and counter space and window overlooking the large rear yard. The master bedroom includes a 2-piece ensuite bath and large closet. Two additional bedrooms and 4-piece bath complete the main floor.

The basement is fully finished with a laundry area, rec room and bar area as well as a 4th bedroom, 4-piece bath and an area that could be used for an office if needed! Newer shingles, furnace, water heater, carpet, lino and new washer and dryer. Very well maintained and decorated in neutral colors this home is waiting for you!

Come home!

Address: 41 Lorraine Crescent, St. Albert, AB, T8N 2R4
Style: Bungalow
Built: 1975
Size: 1,120 sqft
Bedrooms: 3 + 1
Bathrooms: 2.5
Municipality: City of St. Albert
Public School: St. Albert Public Schools
Catholic School: Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools
Recreational Facility: Servus Place
Transit: StAT

Contact us today for more information about this property or to schedule a viewing.

///…CP

If I’d Only Known

Here’s another post from my “News You Can Use” Client newsletter…


Buying a home can seem a complex and often confusing business. These are four aspects of the process buyers wish they had better understood before they purchased their homes.

Home-financing options. Unfortunately for many buyers, it’s not until after they’ve purchased that they realize how little they knew about financing; from conventional fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages, to government programs, to alternatives like seller financing, there are more options than you might think. Before you commit to anything, work with your mortgage representative to discuss the options that fit best with your financial situation and long-term plans.ifidknown

Applying for a mortgage loan. A lack of knowledge about the difference between pre-approval and pre-qualification, what information and documentation they needed to provide for their lender, what conditions they needed to satisfy, and what they shouldn’t have done when applying for a loan (e.g. change jobs) has unnecessarily slowed down the home-buying process for many an inadequately informed buyer.

Closing costs. There’s a lot to pay for in addition to a property’s purchase price, including legal fees, inspection fees, appraisal fees, survey fees, property taxes, title insurance, and homeowner’s insurance. Buyers often find themselves caught by surprise at the last minute, scrambling to come up with the required funds or even unable to complete the transaction.

How long it can take. A lot of buyers believed it would take them less time to navigate their way through the home-buying process than it actually did. Finding just the right home takes time; once the hunt is over, buyers still need to be patient as they go from having their offer accepted to sealing the deal by signing those closing documents.

///…CP

Paint and Paper Prep

Here’s another post from my “News You Can Use” Client newsletter…


You’ve finally found the perfect print or paint colour and are itching to give that room a facelift! Not so fast though – surface preparation is key to being happy with your results; as such, problems like the following need to be addressed before you go applying that wallpaper or fresh coat of paint.

paintandpaperPopped nails, holes, and cracks. Wallpaper might disguise these problems, but painting over them can actually make them more noticeable. Small imperfections like popped nails can be hard to see, though; to make them more apparent, hold a bright light up to your walls and mark them with painter’s tape or pencil so you can find and fix them later. How you make the repairs will depend on the size and nature of the hole or crack, as well as the material from which the wall is made.

Textured walls. A technique often used to hide imperfections like those mentioned above, texturing is achieved by manipulating joint compound with patterning tools like sponges or brushes, or by applying textured paint (like that used for popcorn ceilings). Smoothing textured walls is a laborious process, but it can be done. Either you remove the texturing by softening and loosening it with water then scraping or sanding it off, or you fill in the surface by applying thin layers of joint compound in a process known as skim coating.

Stuck-on wallpaper. Today’s wallpapers are much easier to remove, but if you’re up against the old stuff, you have messy work ahead. What can’t be scraped off may need to be steamed off or chemically removed. You’ll want to score the problem paper so the steam or chemical remover can better penetrate the paper and break down its adhesive. You can use a utility knife, but there is also a tool made just for this purpose, called a wallpaper perforator, that can help move the job along.

Boldly coloured walls. Bright or dark colours can show through lighter paint layers and even some wallpapers. The good news is you won’t need to limit your choices to what will effectively mask what’s underneath or apply multiple coats of new paint – if you apply primer first. A coat of high-hiding primer goes a long way toward achieving results that are more true to colour with fewer coats. You can even have your primer tinted to match your new colour, making it even easier to cover up the old colour.

Dirt. Even if they aren’t newly covered in drywall dust as a result of your hole-repairing or texture-removing, your walls still hold dirt from everyday wear-and-tear-grease, cigarette smoke, pet dander, and particulate are some examples. If you skip cleaning, you’ll seal the dirt in, making for walls that aren’t as smooth and that have a harder time holding onto paint or wallpaper. Available at your local home improvement store, trisodium phosphate (TSP) is a powerful cleaner that also etches your walls so your paint or wallpaper will better adhere to them. Just mix with water, scrub onto walls, and rinse.

///…CP

Positive Predictions for the New Year

Here’s another post from my “News You Can Use” Client newsletter…


The annual Emerging Real Estate Trends report from the Urban Land Institute and Price Waterhouse Coopers forecasts that the overall real estate market in Canada will continue to be steady well into 2015, while Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver will take it up a notch as ‘best bets’ based on investment, housing and development.

positivepredictionsThe study predicts, “Economic growth in western Canada will continue to drive significant opportunity in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Saskatoon in the residential, commercial, and office sectors. Despite continuing and ongoing concerns about overvaluation, Toronto’s housing market continues as a solid performer, while office and industrial sectors remain strong. Montreal looks to revitalize its treasured retail district to boost an increasingly condo-driven core. In Atlantic Canada, Halifax will build up commercial and office space while hoping for the residential market’s sluggishness to end. And everywhere, industry players will search for opportunities in and around the city cores — capitalizing on the trends of urbanization and reverse migration that show little sign of abating.”

If this is the year you plan on making a move, please call today to discuss your buying and selling goals. We’ll sit down and review your current housing situation and the latest market activity in your current location, and the area you’re interested in moving to.

Taking the time to do your research now, before the market gears up for the busy spring season, makes sense for both buyers and sellers.

Please call today for your no obligation real estate review!

///…CP