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CMHC’s latest survey

Mon, 20 Jan by Pauline Relkey

The 2019 findings are in.

Canadians across the country were asked about their thoughts, attitudes and behaviours about and the process of buying a home in the annual Mortgage Consumer Survey and this is what they said.

Affordability continues to be the most important factor when it comes to buying a home.

One of the biggest stories of 2019 was the dramatic decrease in the number of home buyers who spent the maximum amount they could afford. The cost of becoming a homeowner is at the top of Canadians’ “must-haves”:

Price/affordability (80%)
Number of rooms (73%)
Proximity to public transit (67%)

The majority of Canadians are aware of the mortgage qualification rules (“stress test”). In fact, 65% of buyers said they believe the new mortgage qualification “stress test” will keep more Canadians from taking on a mortgage they can’t afford.

Despite debt levels, consumer optimism is on the rise.
Nearly one third of home buyers don’t expect interest rates to rise in the next year – up from just 20% in 2018. More than 8 out of 10 home buyers also feel confident that buying a home is a sound long-term investment.

The majority of home buyers have a positive attitude towards the idea of buying a home. Close to 9 out of 10 buyers were “happy” or “excited” about buying a home. However, more than one third also said that buying a home made them feel “stressed.”

Most home buyers are satisfied with their experience with their lender or mortgage broker.

The top reason for selecting a lender or broker is the interest rate offered. Despite high satisfaction levels, only less than half of home buyers received a follow-up call from their mortgage professional.  Hmmm a lesson to be learned. Always stay in touch with clients!

First Time Home Buyer Incentive Program

Mon, 20 Jan by Pauline Relkey

Have you heard about this program that just started in September 2019?

First time home buyers who have 5% down payment can apply for this program and get another 5 or 10% as a shared equity mortgage. Existing homes = 5% and newly constructed home = 5 or 10%.

This helps first time home buyers to reduce their monthly mortgage payment without increasing the amount that they must save for a down payment. No on-going repayments are required, this incentive is not interest bearing and you can repay the incentive any time without a penalty. This shared equity mortgage means that the federal government shares in both the upside and downside of the property value.

Your total income must be $120,000 per year or less. The property must be located in Canada and suitable and available for full time year round occupancy.

The homeowner repays the incentive amount after 25 years or when the property is sold, whichever is earlier. The property value determines what you get and what you pay back. Example if you are buying a $300,000 resale property and have your 5% down payment of $15,000 and you qualify for this incentive, you can get another $15,000 from the federal government to put towards your purchase. When you go to repay this amount, it will be based on the value of your property at that time, either in 25 years or earlier if you are selling the property. If the property is then worth $350,000 you will pay back 5% of the amount ($17,500). If the value is down and the property is worth $250,000 you will pay back 5% ($12,500).

There are qualifying factors to this program. Give me a call if you or someone you know could take advantage of this program.

Millennials

Thu, 28 Nov by Pauline Relkey

I found this article very interesting about the changing lifestyles of millennials. Some surprising info like napkin usage and less home buyers and drivers.

Take a read through this informative article in this site https://www.icepop.com/millennials-spending-habits-refusing-purchase/

 

Buy a House on Amazon

Tue, 27 Aug by Pauline Relkey

Amazon dives into home sales with new $105K property

With 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, the new home dwarfs the tiny homes Amazon began selling earlier this year

The latest offering is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home. Titled “The Cliff” and manufactured by Estonian wooden structure distributor Q-haus, the property, which boasts an open kitchen, dining room and sauna, dwarfs the guest houses and backyard pool cabanas that previously sold on Amazon.

The home weighs 44,000 pounds and arrives in two modules that can be assembled by “two skilled workers,” according to the listing.

Furniture and appliances are also included.

While the home is currently unavailable on Amazon (without a timeline on when it will be), the notion is that interested buyers will be able to add it to their cart and get it delivered. According to Q-haus, buyers sign a contract of purchase, after which it will take approximately 3 months to produce and ship. The house has been designed by architect Kertti Soots and went up on Amazon last week.

Currently, Amazon offers an array tiny homes on its site, including a build-it-yourself garden house and a 12-foot transparent igloo dome. Due to the uniqueness of these designs, the homes are typically ordered on demand rather than kept in stock.

Keep Your Kids Safe

Wed, 05 Jun by Pauline Relkey

I think that this information is very important for everyone to think about.

For Immediate Release
June 5, 2019
Hudson Bay, SK – Cade Sprackman Safety Day in Hudson Bay

Today, the Saskatchewan Safety Council is hosting the second annual ‘Cade Sprackman Safety Day’ at Hudson Bay Community School.
Students participating in this one-day event have previously completed online safety education through the Career Safety Education program and will further expand their knowledge by learning about Fall Protection and Fire Safety from the Saskatchewan Safety Council, Lockout and Control of Hazardous Energy with Weyerhaeuser, and Eye Protection, Ladder Safety, Hazard Recognition and Head Protection from Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA). As an additional sponsorship, Weyerhaeuser will also provide a BBQ lunch for the entire Hudson Bay Community School.

On January 27th, 2015, Cade Sprackman was killed at his workplace. Michelle, Cade’s mom, said, “I remember him and I talking about what sort of work he would be doing. I asked him about safety and he assured me it was safe. I will never forget the night the RCMP came to the door with news that Cade had died. All they could tell me was that it was an industrial accident that had happened at work. They knew no details.”

Michelle has advocated for youth safety in the workplace and supports Career Safety Education for youth. “Career safety education is so vitally important. Cade naively saw his workplace as safe as he had nothing to compare it to. His employer told him it was safe and so he believed it. We all think that someone has our back; that systems are in place to keep us safe. Systems are only as good as the people behind them and people are fallible. Just like we have to be defensive drivers today, we have to be defensive on the worksite as well.”

Cade, who was raised and educated in Hudson Bay, was creative and imaginative and loved the arts as well as gaming and cinema. He aspired one day to work in the arts as a cinema director.

A video on Cade’s story can be viewed on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDP-Ca7-LWI&feature=youtu.be

Career Safety Education encourages the development of awareness, attitudes and habits which result in a culture of safety affecting both workplace and home life. Career Safety Education is the first program of its kind in North America, providing universal access to safety training to all youth in Saskatchewan. Thanks to generous partners, the training is completely FREE for youth between 14 and 21 years of age.

Career Safety Education is comprised of Young Worker’s Readiness Certificate Course (YWRCC), Mental Health – Wellness Strategies, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), and an elective from the following: Agriculture: Online Agriculture Training System (OATS), Heavy Construction Roadbuilders: Roadbuilders Safety Training System (RSTS), Trades and Building Construction: Safety Construction Orientation Training (SCOT), and Healthcare: Workplace Assessment and Violence Education (WAVE).

Amanda LePine, Community Relations Coordinator, at the Saskatchewan Safety Council is grateful that the Sprackman Family is sharing their story. She comments that “Cade Sprackman had a vision and dreams to do what he loved. Parents, youth and employers need to hear his story and work to promote safety for youth while at work. We are honoured to be a part of the Cade Sprackman Safety Day and thankful for the support of partners and sponsors. Hopefully hearing Cade’s story will help to prevent youth injuries and fatalities in the workplace.”

The Cade Sprackman Safety Day is an annual event. To be involved, contact Amanda LePine at 306-757-3197.

Cade Sprackman Safety Day Schedule

9:00 AM: Weyerhaeuser – Presentation to Hudson Bay Community School
9:25 AM: Opening Remarks – Saskatchewan Safety Council
9:45 AM: Fall Protection – with demonstration – Saskatchewan Safety Council
10:20 AM: Lockout and Control of Hazardous Energy – Weyerhaeuser
11:10 AM: Break
11:15 AM: Eye Protection / Ladder Safety / Hazard Recognition – SCS
12:16 PM: Lunch Break – BBQ Sponsored by Weyerhaeuser
1:10 PM: Fire Safety with short Intro to Fire Extinguishers – Saskatchewan Safety Council
2:10 PM: Break
2:20 PM: Head Protection Presentation – SCSA
3:05 PM: Thank You and Closing Remarks

ABOUT THE SASKATCHEWAN SAFETY COUNCIL
Since 1955, the Saskatchewan Safety Council, a non-profit registered charity, has been dedicated to the prevention of injury in Saskatchewan . . . at home, at play, and at work.
Funded through donations, membership contributions, sponsorships, grants, and the distribution of its safety programs and materials, the revenues generated by the Safety Council are invested within the province of Saskatchewan to further promote safety.
MEDIA CONTACT:
Amanda LePine
Community Relations Coordinator
Saskatchewan Safety Council
445 Hoffer Drive, Regina SK
alepine@sasksafety.org
306-757-3197
The Saskatchewan Safety Council is a registered charity.
Charitable Registration #11914-0382-RR
www.sasksafety.org | 1.855.280.7115

Why Put Money into a House You are Leaving?

Mon, 08 Apr by Pauline Relkey

I received some great info from a home stager that I work with, Dianne Thompson with Simply Stunning Designs.

“I am selling! Why would I put money into a house I am leaving?” I would say this is the most common question professional stagers field every day! On the surface, you can certainly understand why the question is being asked. There are many reasons to support the process of staging a property before showing it to the public.

Who Is Buying?
Whether you know it or believe it, it is true; the buyer will determine if, when, and for what price your house will sell. You can have your hopes, wants and dreams but ultimately the power lies with the buyer. A great staging professional is knowledgeable about which demographic is most likely to purchase your property and will make recommendations to improve condition and presentation. The largest property buying demographic today is the millennials. The younger members of this generation may still favour renting; however, once they hit their thirties and begin to settle down, they want their version of a great house.

What they want is move-in ready. Why? Pressing student debt is already a worry, so they scrape together as much as possible for the down payment and simply don’t have extra cash to invest in fixing up the things you couldn’t get to do. The other factor to consider is this group of people do not want to be DIY Weekend Warriors; they want to have fun on the weekends! Also, they don’t have the skills to do the work and they aren’t interested in learning how to do it.

You many have finished with this property, but to them it is their new home. They want it to look and feel fresh and new. In fact, research shows they want the feel of new so much; most of them are willing to pay more money to get it. What that means to you is this: If you choose to bring your property onto the market “as-is,” you risk:
a) being on the market longer than you want or
b) having offers for less than you expect.

Why Stage?
Staging is a service for selling property that has measurable value. Whether the market is a buyers market, sellers market or a balanced market, staging is a powerful marketing tool that should never be discounted because of the outlay of money. If you were selling your vehicle, wouldn’t you clean, fix and polish it to make it feel new? Why would your house be any different? Especially when the return of investment comes at a much greater margin.

The largest investment most people ever make is in real estate. Sellers want the most money possible in the shortest time for no effort and no money. But, that’s a pipe dream. 97% of prospective buyers look on the internet first, which means you need lots of great photos to capture interest and get on the must-see list. Don’t play with your investment! When you are competing with new houses, your house must look and feel new too. Failure to meet this expectation will just have millenials favouring other properties.

   

WD40 – the answer to so much

Thu, 02 Aug by Pauline Relkey

Here Are 20 Little-Known Ways That WD-40 Can Change A Person’s Life

1. Polishing silver: If you have a collection of silver that always seems to be tarnishing over time, WD-40 can definitely help you out with that. Spray down your silver and wipe it clean. It’s just that easy to keep it looking sparkly and new! 

2. Cleaning shoes: When it comes to sneakers, WD-40 is a person’s absolute best friend. In the winter, you can remove stubborn rock salt spots that build up by spraying them and wiping them down. If you want to make your whole shoe waterproof, spray the entire surface with the stuff. 

3. Protecting bird feeders: While having a bird feeder in your yard is a great way to keep beautiful birds in plain view, squirrels are notorious for stealing seeds from them. To keep these critters away, spray down the center pole with WD-40 and the squirrels will slide right off. (Is this how they make those funny videos of squirrels twirling and slipping and sliding around like crazy?)

4. Cleaning toilets: Depending on the type of water in your house, cleaning your toilet can feel like a pointless task. If you use WD-40 the same way you would use your regular toilet bowl cleaner, you’ll notice that it gets clean quickly and stays clean longer.  Remember this blue color??? 

5. Unsticking gum: Chewing gum is delicious and a great way to keep hunger at bay—but when it doesn’t make it to the actual trash can, it can get stuck on shoes and other surfaces and never come off. If you need to banish hard, chewed-up gum, go ahead and spray it down with WD-40. That will help it come right off!
6. Removing crayon marks: Do you have kids or grandchildren who love to take their crayons and scribble on walls and even on furniture? Don’t break your back trying to remove the marks! Instead, lightly spray them with WD-40 and they should rub right off.
7. Defrosting ice: Whether you live in a cold climate year-round or you’re gearing up for the winter season, spray your windows down with WD-40 and then wipe the excess away. Believe it or not, this will keep the ice from sticking to your windows and save you time getting out of the driveway in the morning. 
8. Removing water stains: It’s so frustrating that the same shower you step into to get clean tends to collect a crazy amount of water stains. If you want to get rid of them fast, follow up your usual cleaning routine with a spritz of WD-40 and watch the water stains disappear.
9. Polishing scissors: If you use scissors in the kitchen or crafting regularly, then you know just how sticky they can get over time. If you want to keep that stickiness at bay, polish them regularly with a healthy dose of WD-40 and they’ll be just perfect. Use this on tools also. 
10. Removing stickers and price tags: If you have ever tried to peel off a sticker on a window or a bumper sticker on your car, you know what a hassle it can be. Using WD-40 makes it a breeze. Just coat the sticker and gently peel it away! 
11. Unsticking zippers: Is there anything more frustrating than having a zipper on your backpack or your favorite coat get totally and absolutely stuck in place? Here’s good news: if you spray WD-40 on the zippers and gently work them back and forth, they’ll slide right back into place! 
12. Removing tea and coffee stains: If you or a house guest have ever spilled a little coffee or tea on a table in your home, you know how hard it can be to ever get it out again. Thankfully, combining your regular cleaning routine with a squirt of WD-40 will banish it in no time. 
13. Banishing tar stains: If your car gets covered in tar, then it’s definitely time to break out the WD-40. Just spray down the surfaces and even the most stubborn patches should melt away like hot butter! How great is that? 
14. Taking off rings: If you wear a ring regularly then you probably know what it’s like when it gets stuck on your finger. It happens to everyone at some time or another. Don’t panic! The easiest way to remove it is to cover your finger with WD-40 and then slide it off. It works like magic! 
15. Remove lipstick: Lipstick is always a fun way to make your look for the day pop. Unfortunately, it’s less fun when it transfers onto other items of clothing and settles in to stain. Luckily for you, WD-40 as a pre-wash stain treatment will help remove that lipstick in no time flat. 
16. Helps Open Rusty Locks: If you’ve got a rusty key or a keyhole that won’t cooperate, apply some WD-40 and you should be able to gain easy entry. 
17. Extends the Life of Shower Heads: This is another little-known household use for WD-40. Shower heads have a tendency to break down over time, but applying WD-40 can extend their life span by years.
18. Removes Mildew From Refrigerator Gasket: We’ve all seen it before: Disgusting gunk builds up on your refrigerator gasket. Well, WD-40 will remove this. Simply apply, let it sit for a few minutes, wipe off, and you’re done.
19. Filters Dust When Sprayed on Air Conditioning Filter: Spray a light coating of WD-40 on your AC filter before installing, and your filter becomes exponentially more effective. I tried this method, and it did seem like I was breathing cleaner air in my home. Later, when I went to change out a filter that I had sprayed with WD-40, it seemed to have filtered a great deal more dust than normal.
20. Quiets Squeaky doors: whether it’s your front door or kitchen cupboard door, spraying a little WD-40 on the hinges will quiet things down. 

A Happier Home

Thu, 28 Jun by Pauline Relkey

1. Make your bed.
The book The Happiness Project, explains that this 3 minute task is one of the simplest habits you can adopt to positively impact your happiness.

2. Bring every room back to “ready.”
It’s a known fact: Clutter causes stress; order creates a haven from it. This mood-boosting routine is simple: Take about 3 minutes to bring each room back to “ready” before you depart it. (Unless you have a toddler, or a partner who likes to simulate earthquakes, three minutes should be sufficient.)

3. Display sentimental items around your home.
One reason that experiences (and memories of those experiences) make us happier than material things is due to the entire cycle of enjoyment that experiences provide: planning the experience, looking forward to the experience, enjoying the experience, and then remembering the experience. Make your home a gallery of positive memories.

4. Start a one-line-a-day gratitude journal.
Before bed, simply jot down one happy memory from that day. (If you have kids, you can ask them, “What was the best part of today?”) Reflection is an important part of happiness, and pausing to reflect on a positive event from each day cultivates gratitude. (An added bonus: Later, when your memory is defunct, you will already have all of your meaningful adventures recorded!)

5. If you can’t get out of it, get into it.
The dishes are not going to clean themselves, so you will do it, and you will like it! (Unless, of course, you can outsource this job, in which case I say: Nice work!) Otherwise, get into doing the dishes. Feel the soothing warm water on your hands. Enjoy the tickle of the tiny bubbles. Crank your favorite album at an unusually loud volume, do a couple fist-pumps while shouting “Can I get a hell yeah for the dishes? Hell! Yeah!” and pretend you love it.

6. Before you get up each morning, set an intent for the day.
Every day, think as you wake up: today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I tend to wake up with a strong visceral reaction that says, “Attention human beings: Be afraid of me before coffee. Be very afraid!” Setting a daily intent makes a huge difference. Your daily intent could be something like “be productive” or “enjoy today’s delicious moments” or it could be something more specific like “say thank you to my loved ones today.” But it should not be another “to do” item on your list.

7. Do small favors for your housemates, expecting nothing in return (not even a thank you!).
(That’s right, I said it: nothing!) Mow the lawn for your husband, but don’t expect him to pat you on the back. Make the bed for your wife, but don’t try to get bonus points for it. Take the trash out for your roommate, just because. The ability to cultivate strong, healthy relationships is one of the biggest contributors to health and happiness, but when you start to keep score, the benefit is lost. (No! It’s YOUR turn to clean up the dog poop!) It’s a well-known fact: When you do good, you feel good.

8. Call at least one friend or family member a day.
You can do this while you clean, while you make the bed or while you walk the dog. Texts and emails do not count! Make an actual phone call to a loved one, just to chat and catch up. We humans are social beings and studies show that even when we don’t feel like it, even if we are naturally introverted, socializing with our loved ones makes us feel better.

9. Spend money on things that cultivate experiences at home.
Save money for a new grill for parties or a new DVD for family movie night — something that will encourage you to have people over and entertain. Plan a summer barbeque, invite your closest friends, kick back and relax. (And don’t forget to print out the pictures to remember the good times.)

10. Spend a few minutes each day connecting with something greater than yourself.
Whatever your spiritual beliefs — or non-beliefs — may be, studies show that connecting to a high power is correlated with happiness. Just stepping back to realize that we are part of an enormous universe can put some perspective on your annoyance with the those-are-definitely-not-mine-and-they-are-abso-fricking-lutely-repulsive socks under the coffee table. Before bed, spend just a few minutes contemplating something larger than yourself. Take a walk in nature. Write in a journal. Create a sacred space in your home. (Or if spirituality is really not your thing, create a home spa: light some candles, soak in a hot bath, delve into a good book… are you feeling better yet?)

Sask Power Outages

Mon, 30 Apr by Pauline Relkey

Are you wondering if your area will have a planned outage soon? Check Sask Power’s website to plan ahead. Click here.

When an Outage Occurs

  • Step 1: Determine if the power failure is limited to your home

    • If your neighbours have power, check your electrical panel to see if the main circuit breaker has tripped. Even if it appears to be on, turn the breaker off and back on again to ensure a good connection.

    Step 2: If your electrical panel or main breaker isn’t the cause of the outage, call 310-2220.

    • Turn off or unplug any appliances, computers or electronics you were using when the power went out. Leave one light on so you’ll know when your power returns.
    • Keep refrigerators and freezers closed. If the power is out for a long time, make sure you check all refrigerated and frozen food before you eat it.
    • Close all doors, windows and drapes to conserve heat (unless the sun is shining in).
    • Never light a fire indoors unless you’re using an approved fire place or wood stove.
    • When faced with multiple outages, Sask Power prioritizes as follows:

      1. Life threatening or hazardous situations like power lines that have fallen on a road or vehicle.
      2. Large outages — Main lines and major equipment that return power to the largest number of customers.
      3. Small, isolated outages — Secondary lines and neighbourhood equipment.

When the Power Is Restored

They restore power when repairs are complete. If your neighbour’s power has returned and yours has not, there could be a problem specific to your home. Recheck your main breaker and reset it even if it appears to be on.

Occasionally, the power goes out again; this is sometimes the sign of another unidentified problem. Make sure to call us every time the power goes out (after you’ve checked your own main breaker). If power is not restored, call us toll-free at 310-2220.

Tips for the First-Time Home Buyer

Wed, 25 Apr by Pauline Relkey

When venturing into the world of home ownership, first-time buyers often find themselves having to make important, fast decisions in what feels like a surreal situation — after all, it might have only been a few weeks since owning a home seemed more like a far-off daydream than an immediate reality. A few common sense tips will help you navigate these unfamiliar landscapes as you move towards one of the biggest financial decisions of your life.

1. Get pre-approved
Though a pre-approval isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get a mortgage when you’re find a property, having one can give you a firm grasp on what you can afford before you start looking. A pre-approval from your bank or lender will save you time by narrowing your search to a more precise selection of homes, and this, in turn, can protect you from the all-too-common disappointment that follows setting your heart on a house you can’t afford.

2. Don’t expect your standards of living to change
It’s bound to happen: you see a house that maxes out your budget, but you imagine you can make it work by cutting out things like morning coffees, cellular data and cable TV. Remember, ‘roughing it’ for the sake of your house quickly loses its charm, and you’ll soon regret the lack of wiggle room for things like new furniture, redecorating, or unexpected repairs. Don’t regret your first home — avoid becoming ‘house poor’ by staying below the upper limit of what your bank is willing to lend you.

3. Make a list and check it as many times as it takes
Each property you consider will have its own unique combination of pros and cons, and going through them can feel a little like comparing apples to oranges. Don’t expect to stay clear-headed when the house with the poor walking score has the kitchen of your dreams; instead, stay on track by building a list of “must haves” and “nice to haves.” Though your list might evolve over time (especially if the “must haves” are rare for your price range), having a set of self-imposed guidelines can keep your search on course when you’re feeling overwhelmed by options.

4. Don’t confuse “first home” with “forever home”
Most first-time buyers start out a little starry-eyed, imagining that new home will be stylish, spacious, efficient … basically, everything they’ve been dreaming of. In reality, being able to afford a house that has everything you want is pretty rare in the first go-round, which can make you feel so discouraged you start closing yourself off to the available options. Remember, your ‘starter home’ doesn’t have to meet all the criteria of your ‘dream home,’ and the equity you’ll build for the next few years will get you closer to your goal.

With so much new information to absorb, steps to take, and decisions to make, buying a first home can feel like a rollercoaster ride. It’s important not to lose your head throughout all of it. Taking a few steps to keep your expectations rooted firmly in reality can help you glide through the process and feel confident in your final decision.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Association of Saskatchewan REALTORS®. 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.