Archive for March, 2013

Spring Time Roof Check

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

The cold and storms of the winter season can wreak havoc on the exterior of a home and the surrounding property. Now is the time to do a winter-end check to make sure everything is in order and ready to withstand those spring time showers and the pending heat of summer. Sometimes it isn’t that there is significant damage to worry about, but simply the fact that it may have been several months since you last paid any attention to outdoor maintenance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While all exterior areas should be checked periodically, areas that typically require extra attention at the end of the winter season include the roofing and roof drainage system (gutters and downspouts). To identify possible roof component concerns, look for:

Ceiling spots – A possible warning sign that your roof system needs leak repair or replacement. If stains are on a lower level ceiling, a plumbing leak could be the cause, put don’t rule out a roof source for the water. Ceiling stains can also be associated with condensation due to excessive attic moisture and/or ice dam conditions, which may require air sealing, additional attic ventilation and/or insulation to prevent a recurrence.

Missing shingles – Any missing shingles should be replaced quickly to avoid additional leakage and damage to the roof deck and interior of your home.

Lifted or curled shingles – This may be an indication the roof is worn and near or at the end of its service life. If found just in an isolated areas, spot replacement may be possible, but if widespread, get a professional opinion on the roofs condition.

Heavy granules buildup in gutter or at base of downspouts – The granule on roof shingles gradually wear away to the point where the underlying material is exposed over large areas. Once this happens the rate of shingle deterioration accelerates. If excessive, it may indicate aging shingles that need replacement.

Loose, lifted or cracked flashing – This is the metal or other type membrane found at the base of chimneys, vents and other roof penetrations. Damaged flashing should be repaired to prevent leakage.

If you have issues with your roof system, we recommend utilizing the services of a professional home inspector or qualified roofer contractor to determine conditions and repair needs. Most homeowners should not attempt to climb on or walk a roof due to the risk of a fall. Many conditions can be safely observed from the grounds with a good pair of binoculars.

GAF Materials Corporation, one of North America’s largest roofing manufacturer maintains a directory to help homeowners find qualified roofing contractors . Simply go to GAF’s website at www.gaf.com to find the directory. This site also contains a great deal of information about roofing products, common problems and solutions.

Source: House Master

http://www.housemaster.com/articles/read/SPRING%20TIME%20ROOF%20CHECK

PRICE REDUCTION! 1917 26 Av SW, Calgary AB

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

PRICE DROP at 1917 26 Av SW. Our stunning 4 bed, 4 bath inner-city home featuring a back yard hot tub is now $699,000.

Please contact us today to book a private viewing or for more details!

403-874-9021

 

Home Inspection FAQS

Monday, March 25th, 2013

After a recent segment on Anderson Cooper aired about the relationship between home inspectors and Realtors, I thought it would be good to address this misconception. On the program, Anderson had on “Shark Tank’s” Barbara Corcoran who insinuated that home inspectors were “bought” by Realtors to give the home buyer a good report. I was appalled by this segment and the generalization that all Realtors were this crooked. This is THE lowest form of Realtors and Inspectors. As a Realtor (as well as Home Inspectors), we have to abide by a set of rules and to do as she states, we would lose our license. Buyers are not naive and eventually will go with their own instincts and make their own decisions.

Here are some FAQ’s from some local home inspection sites to answer some queries you may have:

Q: What is involved in a home inspection?
Your inspector will perform a thorough visual inspection of the major systems and components of the home including the structure, roof, interior/exterior surfaces, and the plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical system. Also, an examination of the lot grading and any evidence for the likelihood of basement dampness. Insulation and ventilation will also be evaluated. An inspector will show you and explain to you the various parts of the home and point out areas of concerns and offer suggestions of improvement.

Q:We’re buying a new home. Do we need an inspection?
In the last decade residential homes have been built in record numbers and quality has suffered as a result. The speed which homes have been built in combination with shortage of skill workers has negatively affected quality and workmanship. It is for this reason that we strongly recommend a home inspection regardless of the year in which the home was constructed.

Q:How much does an inspection cost?
We are competitively priced and will tailor the inspection to meet your needs. Prices start at $250.00

Q. How long does it take for a home inspection?
A typical inspection should take 2.5 to 3.5 hours. This can vary given the current condition of the home, size, accessibility of mechanical system and so on.

Q: Can I follow the inspector and ask questions?
Absolutely! By attending the inspection you are able to see firsthand the conditions that will be describe in the report. It also allows the inspector to show you how to perform basic maintenance on your furnace, water heather, etc. We strongly encourage you to attend and ask any and all questions and in return I will take the time to explain things for you to feel more comfortable with your decision to purchase a home.

Q: Does Fortunate Home Inspections have insurance?
Fortunate Home Inspections customers can rest at ease knowing we’re fully insured with Errors and Omissions/General Liability Insurance. Policy is available on request.

Q: How can we 100% Guarantee our inspection?
The owner of Fortunate Home Inspection Ltd is fully responsible to performing the home inspections. Customer Satisfaction is our #1 priority. If you are not completely satisfied with the inspection, you don’t pay.

Q: When do I receive my Report?
Your detailed, full narrative report is tailored specifically for your home and is produced in combination

with site notes, photographs and office research. The report creation process is never rushed and we do not publish the report until we are completely satisfied with its quality. Your professional, computerized report with full description of all defects including pictures of all major concerns will be e-mailed to you the day after the inspection. We also provide services that if you’re unable to attend the inspection that we meet you at your convenience to go over the report in person.

Q: Do you provide additional Help to First-Time buyers?
I’m always happy to spend whatever extra time is needed professionally with my clients in order to better suit their needs. It is important that you feel comfortable with your decision. In the end, we are committed to giving you peace of mind that your home has been inspected by a certified home inspector.

Q: After all is said and done, then what?
Our relationship doesn’t end with the report. We provide free lifetime technical support if ever you have any questions regarding your home improvement/repair. We’re just a phone call away.

Q: How much is the house worth?
Home inspectors are not qualified to comment on the value of the house. For house values consult with a Professional Home Appraiser .

Q: Do you make repairs.?
Home inspectors are not permited to perform any repairs to the house.

Q: Can you refer someone to make repairs?
No, home inspectors generally do not refer contractors.

Q: I would like to renovate when I move in. Can I remove this wall?
Home Inspection is not an engineering evaluation. For structural modifications consult with a Structural Engineer.

Q: How much are the repairs going to cost.?
Under Alberta Government Regulations home inspectors are not allowed to give cost estimates of repair. A minimum of 3 quotes should be acquired from reputable contractors.

Q: Will the inspector perform inspections at night?
No, home inspectors will not perform inspections in the dark. Natural light is imperative to see defects.

Sources: http://www.albertapropertyinspection.com/, http://www.fortunatehomeinspections.com/faq.asp

Home Sweet Home OPEN HOUSE – 1917 26 Av SW

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Looking to move inner-city?

We have the perfect home for you! Come check out our open house this Sunday, March 24th from 2-4pm. This 4 bed, 4 bath home is just walking distance from trendy Marda Loop and downtown. It even has a hot tub in the backyard…What more could you want!

Calgary Ranks As Canada’s Best City To Live In

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Canadians looking for the best place to live, work and raise a family should set their sights on Alberta, where high income and low unemployment helped a number of cities come out on top of an annual ranking of communities across the country.

Calgary was ranked the top city to live in in Canada, taking MoneySense Magazine’s number one spot on three of its rankings: best overall city, best large city and best place to raise children.

Cowtown jumped from the 14th spot in 2012 to dethrone Ottawa as top Canadian city in 2013.

(Jeff McIntosh / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The national capital had held onto the title for three consecutive years, but has now slipped to the number six spot in the latest overall ranking.

Released Wednesday, MoneySense’s yearly lists show that Alberta’s thriving energy sector has fuelled the development of healthy communities.

“A lot of these other cities, the underlying numbers have not really changed. But Alberta is so strong, it’s pushing those cities (in Alberta) up above everyone else,” MoneySense Magazine’s managing editor Mark Brown told Canada AM Wednesday.

“It’s a young, vibrant community,” Brown continued. “Calgary is really coming into its own and there’s a lot of evidence in all of the numbers this year.”
Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/canada-s-best-city-calgary-overtakes-ottawa-in-annual-ranking-1.1203108#ixzz2O62BkVdJ

Canada, One of the Best Countries In the World For Home Ownership

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Canada is one of the best countries in the world for home ownership. We are now clearly the fastest growing nation in the G8 regarding immigration as recently reported in the Globe and Mail. Canada is setting its sights on an annual immigration of 400,000 people by 2016 up from the current 320,000.

The demand for home ownership across all provinces will be significant for decades. As Canadians we can feel confident that our home will continue to be a place where we raise our families, have our dreams come true and remain a cornerstone of our life long financial well being, despite what the media would like us to believe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The U.S. economy is showing signs of consistent growth with housing starts and new jobs leading the charge. This of course bodes well for us and is particularly welcome news for our manufacturing and resource sectors.

So the economy on both sides of the border looks promising, immigration will continue to add to the growth of Canada and interest rates are historically low. Regardless of what some might want us to think Canada is Still the Best Place to Own a Home!

Spring Cleaning Checklist From The HSH Team

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

As March brings around the warm weather and longer days, it is also time for the usual festivities to welcome the season, SPRING CLEANING time!!!! Yep, we grunt, whine and procrastinate, but we all have to do it. By using this “Must Do” checklist as a guideline, you will be able to mark this “mission impossible” as “mission COMPLETE”!!!

 

1. Clean the kitchen.
Do a vertical sweep from one end of the kitchen to the other going from top to bottom.
Wipe cabinets
Clean appliances, inside and out, around, behind, on the sides
Clean pantry, throw away all expired and donate non-perishables to your local charity
Remove all items from the counters and cupboards and give them a good wipe with just soap and water
Remove light fixtures if possible to give a good cleaning and replace burnt-out bulbs

2. Windows, windows and more windows.
Wipe the interior of your windows, tracks, frames, sills, and screens. Use glass cleaner and newspaper to clean storm windows inside and out. A can of compressed air is great for cleaning out the crevices between the windows.
Wash and clean window treatments. If you have mini-blinds, the best way is to remove them and clean with water and dish detergent in the bathtub.
Powerwash the exterior of windows – recruit some help if you need to by hiring a window cleaner (ask me for my preferred suppliers)

3. Re-organize Closets.
Store away all the winter clothing and coats and bring out the lighter clothing
Donate all the items you no longer need
Clean boots before storing them away
Purchase vacuum storage bags to create more space

4. Vents and hidden dust.
Clean or replace the furnace filters and vacuum all heating vents
Clean and dust the ceiling fans that have been neglected
Don’t forget bookcases. Clear all items, donate unwanted items, and wipe down the top, shelves and sides, vacuum behind
Dust lampshades, picture frames, remove cushions from sofas and armchairs and beat the dust outdoors, vacuum underneath the cushions

5. Freshen up bedding.
Strip all bedding and launder all washables, including sheets, mattress pads, blankets, pillowcases. Store the heavier winter quilts after a good wash. Pillows can be drycleaned or tossed in the dryer for an air tumble (check label first). Matresses can be vacuumed and turned to promote evenness.

6. Floors, carpets and rugs.
It’s a great time to clean carpets by renting a deep-clean machine at your local hardware store or hire a professional carpet cleaner (again, ask me if you want me to refer you to a good supplier)
Some throw-rugs can be laundered and hung outside, along with area rugs, to soak in some fresh spring air
Clean under the large area rugs
Why not spruce up the living room arrangement while you’re at it?
Give the floors in each room a thorough sweeping and cleaning
Give stairs a good sweeping and use a pencil eraser to remove shoe scuffs

7. The forgotten items we see every day.
Walls – washing walls is one of the most neglected tasks throughout the year. To clean walls, prepare two plastic dish tubs, one containg cleaning solution and the other plain water for rinsing, two large rags again one for cleaning and one for rinsing, towel for drying, scrub brush for tough stains, and a mop for high places. The cleanser I like to use is called TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) but wear gloves and keep out of reach of children because this cleanser is a bit harsh.
Other cleaners will work as well if you can’t find TSP like plain soap and water, water and vinegar or Pinesol.
Baseboards – vacuum, wash with warm water and dish washing soap, and follow up with dry cloth. TIME SAVING TIP: run a dryer sheet over clean baseboards to repel future dirt, pet hair, etc.

Sources: choresandchecklists.com, inspirationformoms.com, howtocleananything.com

5 Questions to Ask Your Mortgage Broker

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Getting financing approval from a mortgage broker can be one of the biggest roadblocks a first-time home buyer has to go through to become a home owner. It’s not always easy to find the right mortgage broker; a mortgage broker that is trustworthy, ethical, and is willing to work towards your best interest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To help you in your search to find your preferred mortgage broker we have 5 questions that you should always ask your mortgage broker.

1. How long have you been in the business? (Ideally, at least two to five years)

2. How many lenders does your team have “top-tier status” with? (Preferably six to seven or more)

3. Is the rate you’re quoting me the lowest rate for that term on that lender’s broker rate sheet? (If not, why not?)

4. How much volume did your team do last year? (Ideally $100-million-plus)

5. Do you do over 50 per cent of your business with one lender? (If so, why?)

 

If you have more questions about mortgage brokers or acquiring financing to purchase a home, please contact us today. We can refer you to one of our preferred, highly experienced mortgage brokers that will help you along with the process.

Home Sweet Home Prize Contest

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Who likes free stuff? Who are we kidding, doesn’t everybody!

Today marks the first ever Home Sweet Home Facebook Prize Give away. Entering is simple. All you have to do is like our page on Facebook and like our prize give away post. Easy huh?

Make sure you keep an eye on our page. We will be doing monthly giveways!

http://www.facebook.com/homesweethometeam

 

Now is the Time to List Your Calgary Home

Monday, March 4th, 2013

It’s a great time to list your home with the current lack of housing inventory in Calgary’s real estate market, good listings are being sold in less than 60 days on the market!

The Calgary Real Estate Board posted an average MLS sale price for single-family homes for February 2013 at $518,452, up 10.3 per cent from last year.

While other Canadian cities are experiencing a slower growth, Calgary is among one of the top markets in Canada.  Fueled by a healthy economy, high migration rate, and higher wages, Calgary remains an economic powerhouse.

Our luxury home sales also rose 50 per cent from last year with an all-time record set in February for the highest priced home sold.  The Aspen Woods home sold for $10.35 million surpassing previous record of $10.3 million in August 2009 Elbow Park/Glencoe home sold by former Calgary Flames goaltender Mike Vernon.

If you would like a Current Market Evaluation of your house in today’s market, please contact us today!

Thank you!

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Calgary Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
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