Staying in Town This Weekend? Don’t worry, there is plenty to do in #Yeg

In & Outs of What Is Happening Around #Yeg This Weekend. Never a boring weekend in Edmonton.

 

K-DAYS July 22-31 – This year we’re doubling the excitement with 20 concerts on two stages, new rides, new food, amazing indoor attractions and the K-Days Pow Wow in partnership with Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation!

ECM Picnic In The Park July 24  – Join Edmontons Children Magazine & The Italian Shop Ltd for Family Fun in the Park

Fair Spectacular Weekend July 22-24 – From freak shows, to fortune telling to amazing midway activities – join us this weekend for a fair amount of fun!

A Fair Spectacle Weekend | Fort Edmonton Park Events

Slide the City July 23 – Come dressed to impress because it’s not every day you can strut through town with your hot bod, cool dance moves and slick slides for this all day party. Did we mention 1000 feet?

Taste of Edmonton July 21-30 – Brought to you by volunteerism and community involvement, Taste of Edmonton has become a summer tradition within our city that celebrates all the culinary delights our community has to offer. Pleasing the forever-loyal downtown crowd and other food-enthusiasts who head into the heart of the city to sample these scrumptious dishes, Taste of Edmonton has been able to grow into the largest food festival in Canada.

Edmonton Eskimos Game Day July 22 – vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats – Use your Ticket to get into #KDAYS afterward.

Chalk it up July 23 – Arts on the Ave, Chalk & 3D Art

7 Things To Have On Your Checklist When Choosing A Real Estate Pro

A woman writes in a journal
Picture courtesy of PicJumbo.com

As a homebuyer you’re about to embark on one of the biggest, most stressful and exciting journeys in your life. You need to be certain that you can trust your real estate professional to deliver the goods.

However, choosing the right realtor can be difficult. There is a lot to consider, and with fierce competition between agents, all of the information can be a little bit overwhelming. Here are some key steps to help you pinpoint the real estate agent that will be the best fit for you.

1. Speak With Former Clients

When you meet the agent in person, they obviously will be putting their best foot forward. So, for a more unbiased view of their work habits, try to speak with people who have worked with them in the past. Online testimonials are a great place to start. But for more in-depth insight into the agent’s area expertise, check out their Facebook page. If you have friends in common, ask them about their experience with the agent in question.

2. State Board Records

Check with your local REALTOR® board for license information, employment history and disciplinary actions.

3. Industry Designations

Real estate agents often go above and beyond minimum education requirements to specialize in specific areas of the business. Depending on what you’re looking for, you might want to look for an agent with specific credentials and designations.

  • CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) – Looking for a residential home? These professionals have been specially trained in residential sales.
  • ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative) – Qualified ABR agents specialize in helping their clients buy their new home. To become an ABR, agents first need to have the required experience before they are able to undergo specialized training. Once qualified, agents are able to assist you through the entire process, from locating suitable properties based on your wants and needs to closing the deal. These agents are top of their field.
  • SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist) – These agents have specialized knowledge and experience working with people in the 50+ age range.

Also, don’t disregard peer-given awards; these can be a sign of an accomplished agent.

4. How Long They Have Been In Business

This is obviously a great measuring stick for an agent’s experience. You can find out how long they’ve been in business through the licensing association. However, newer agents with the right work and community experience often offer a fresh perspective and enthusiasm to get the job done. Who you choose depends on your personal preference and real estate goals.

5. Current Listing Inventory

You can find an agent’s listings online through their social media pages, personal website and sites like realtor.com. Take a look at how their past and current listings compare to the type of house you are looking for and explore their marketing strategy. Also, take note of the number of listings they have and ask them what their typical inventory looks like.

Be prepared with listing inventory questions, should you take the next step and interview the agent.  Do they specialize in select neighborhoods?  What is their niche area?  How long do homes typically stay on the market?

6. Knowing The Neighborhood

A good agent should know about other available properties in their area of expertise  “off the top of his head,” says Robert Irwin, author of Tips & Traps When Buying a Home. “You want someone like that who’s on top of the market.”

Aside from inventory expertise, ask the agent about the aspects of the community that are most important to you, including school ratings, restaurants, the community, shopping and other local amenities.  In addition to knowing what most attracts homebuyers to the area, a good agent also will understand the challenges homeowners in the area face.

7. Do They Have a Strong Online Presence

Social media is the new word-of-mouth, so an agent’s online presence can be a good gauge of how up-to-date they are on the market and their industry connections. Do they have an active Facebook, Twitter or Linkedln page? Are they updating their social media pages regularly with knowledgeable content? If they are, this is a good sign that they have their finger on the pulse. Smart agents often utilize online tools to streamline their social media systems and processes.

Choose Wisely

There is a lot to consider when you start looking for an agent. Don’t just pick the first one you find. Do your research online, interview at least 3 different agents and choose someone who you connect with and has your best interests at heart.

Want to get your home search started today? Search for properties in Canada or the United States at Realty Executives.

This guest post was written by Sara Luckman of CityBlast. The team at CityBlast helps over 10,000 agents and brokers with their social media marketing, keeping their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn up-to-date and professional.

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Exterior Improvement to Boot Your Home’s Value

We’re often told we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. Unfortunately, people rarely apply this rule to the home buying process and that is why exterior and yard improvements are so important. Luckily, these investments can be inexpensive and can provide great returns. Here’s our list of a few items to consider:

1) Walls – Just like you maintain interior walls, exterior walls should be maintained as well. Replace anything that needs to be replaced, fill in any gaps or cracks, or rinse down anything that’s dirty. These are quick and easy fixes that can be done without a huge investment.

2) Front Door – Just as it is often important for you to make the right first impression, your home needs to make the right impression when buyers look at it for the first time. This first look often includes a peek at the front door, and knowing that buyers can make decisions in as little as a few seconds, you shouldn’t overlook this feature.

3) Landscaping – Landscaping can be inexpensive and can even increase your home’s value by up to 7% according to the National Post. It can help make your home stand out in a run down neighbourhood, or make sure that your house does not look out of place in an upscale one. Keep in mind that people enjoy low maintenance so focus on designs that are both aesthetically pleasing and easy to maintain.

4) Decks – Decks are one of the renovations that are most likely to hold their value according to HGTV. Depending on the type and size of deck you install, it can really help increase the living space of the home.

5) Roof – Roofs are expensive and although a new roof may not justify a huge increase in the asking price, it can definitely be added to a buyer’s list of pros when comparing properties. If your roof is intact there is no need to replace it just yet, however if it needs repairs, do not put them off because if can be just as costly to mend the damage caused by a faulty roof.

FINALLY! A BEAUTIFUL Weekend Edmonton.. Now Go OUTSIDE & Enjoy!

Family Time:

About the Festival

  • International Children’s Festival – From interaction with artists and performers from around the world, to the ability to learn about far away places and time periods, to the hands-on creation of one-of-a-kind artistic masterpieces, this festival is a truly unique family experience.

 

 

  • Sprouts New Play Festival – Introduce your children to live theatre through this engaging and gentle first theatre experience. The plays can be enjoyed by children as young as 18 months to 12 years old. Babes in arms are also warmly welcomed

 

Black Gold Rodeo

 

  • Farmer’s Day Rodeo – The biggest event of the year, the Stony Plain-Kinsmen Farmers’ Days Rodeo and Exhibition is a three-day festival jointly planned by the Town of Stony Plain and the Stony Plain Kinsmen Club. The weekend event features a rodeo, midway with carnival games and the Kids’ Korral, which includes a petting zoo, bounce room and activities area. Other activities include the General Store with more than 50 vendors; a pancake breakfast; the Rotary Parade; live entertainment; beer gardens; and a non-denominational church service on Sunday morning.

 

  • Legacy Park Family Festival – The Legacy Park Family Festival offers residents and visitors an exciting, hands-on day to celebrate Family and Community. Everyone can participate in fun family activities and enjoy fabulous entertainment. Local community bands, vocalists, and dancers will entertain you at the Legacy Park Band Shell. Throughout the day you can restore your energy at food and treat booths run by local youth organizations. The Legacy Park Family Festival is also the time when we officially welcome back our “Best Loved City SHEEP!” Come say hello to our sheep at 11:30 am as they parade up from the river valley to their summer home in the Peter T. Ream Historic Park.

 

 

General - Super Climbing Wall

  • Family Fun Day Birch Bay Ranch – Family Fun Day is an exciting, activity-packed day with something for everyone to enjoy. Come out to enjoy ziplining, rock climbing, rappelling and more on our state-of-the-art high ropes course (for kids — and adults — aged eight or older). Kids under eight can have a blast having pony rides and playing in bouncy castles! There will be hayrides all day for everyone of all ages, and a delicious barbecue.

 

 

Festivals (Not Just For The Kids)

  • Edmonton Pride Festival – 36th Anniversary for the Edmonton Pride Festival Pride. It will begin on 108th Street & Whyte.

 

  • Edmonton Craft Beer Festival – You can meet new people, sample delicious foods, enjoy the atmosphere and entertainment, and have a great time! Upon entry, each guest will receive an official Edmonton Craft Beer Festival sample mug to use throughout the event and take home with them afterwards!

Mother’s Day Weekend in Edmonton

We’re in for a BEAUTIFUL weekend full Sunshine! Here are a couple of activities & events happening in and around the city for Mothers day.
 
Saturday May 7th, 2016
 
Mother’s Day Market
Free event at City Hall from 9am-12pm. First 150 moms will get a special present at the door.
 
Get Ready in the Park
Not totally Mothers Day related, but free family event in Hawrelak Park from 10am-4am. You and your kids can learn about and explore all sorts of first responder personell and vehicles.
 
Mother’s Day Rose Sale
Friday 4-7, Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 10-4 at St. Albert Botanic Park. Great for the mom with a green thumb (unlike myself).
 
Spring Craft Sale
Located at Millwoods United Church from 10am-4pm. Admission is by donation.
 
Mother’s Day at Thiel’s Greenhouses
9am-5pm. Facials, DIY planting and crafts, glitter tattoos and other activities for free while quantities last.
 
Safety Fair
Another event not totally Mothers Day related, but a good way to keep the kids busy nonetheless. Free from 1-4pm at Elmwood Park, free food and events for children!
 
Tulips and Tabletops
Brunch and silent auction from 9:30am-1pm at Agora Community Centre in Sherwood Park. Tickets are $60.
 
Celebrate Mom at Pampa
Weekend brunch, Saturday 11am-1pm and Sunday 11am-2pm located at Pampa Brazillian Steakhouse.
 
 
Sunday May 8th, 2016
 
A Most Memorable Mother’s Day
From 10:30am-2pm at LaRonde Restaraunt and Ballroom. Prices are $42 per adult and $18 per child.
 
Westin Mother’s Day Brunch
At the Edmonton Westin Hotel from 10:30am-2pm. Prices are $48 per adult and $24 per child.
 
Empire Ballroom Sunday Brunch
From 10am-2pm at the Fairmont Hotel. Prices are $79 per adult and $39.50 for children ages 5-12.
Mother’s Day at Highlevel Diner
Brunch from 8:30am-1pm and Dinner from 3pm-9pm.
Brunch at Von’s Steakhouse
Call for reservations, prices are $39 per adult and $15 per child.
 
Mother’s Day at Union Bank Inn
Inside Madison’s grill, call for reservations for brunch. Prices are $39.95 for adults and $19.95 for kids 5-12. Brunch buffet is inside the Giverny Ballroom, call for reservations. Prices are $43.95 for adults or $19.95 for kids 5-12.
 
Mother’s Day at the Creperie 
Brunch from 10am-2:30pm. Price is $29.95 per person.
 
Mother’s Day at the Zoo
From 12-9pm. Prices are $14 per adult and $8.75 for child. There will be magic shows, music and mini-massages for moms!
Mother’s Day Walk, Run & Ride
At Hawrelak Park 8:45-11am. Click here for more information and the course map!
 
Mother’s Day at the Muttart
Plants, crafts and mini-massages from 12-4pm at the Muttart Conservatory. Regular admission prices apply.
 
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Thinking about Buying a Foreclosure?

The 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Buying a Foreclosure

 

After listing a foreclosure today (1731 Lakewood Rd S) this seemed like a fitting topic for this weeks blog post. 

Buying a foreclosed home can be a tricky process, so we’ve put together a list of Dos and Don’ts to help you navigate this meandering road. The foreclosure buying process is different than the traditional home-buying process, from choosing a loan to the length of escrow. Therefore, a healthy dose of research and patience will go a long way on your foreclosure-buying journey. Here’s how to buy foreclosures.

The 10 Dos and Don’ts:

Do get pre-approved for a home loan before starting the buying process. Getting pre-approved for a loan makes you a more attractive buyer, giving you more negotiating power when it comes time to make an offer.

Don’t pick just any lender. The lender you choose should have experience working with foreclosures. If specific foreclosure guidelines aren’t followed, the process could be delayed, resulting in fines or your accepted offer falling out of escrow.

Do hire a real estate agent that specializes in purchasing foreclosed homes. There are a lot more idiosyncrasies to the foreclosure-buying process than that of a traditional home-for-sale. .

Don’t rely solely on your agent for legal advice. Get in touch with a local real estate attorney for some sound advice.

Do narrow down your search. After choosing your ideal neighbourhood, determine the bare-bone basics your home must have. This will help guide your search and keep you from becoming overwhelmed with listings that don’t meet your needs.

Don’t think short-term. Foreclosures are investments, and should be approached from a long-term perspective. Foreclosed homes aren’t ideal for flipping, as the home may have depreciated after time spent vacant or because the previous owner was unable to pay for necessary repairs.

Do expect to spend money on repairs. The home may be in disrepair for the reasons mentioned above, but you have to prepare yourself to purchase the property as-is. Furthermore, keep the amount you plan to invest in repairs (about 10 percent of the home price) in mind when making your offer. Remember, the less contingencies with your offer, the better. Most banks won’t correct problems prior to selling a foreclosure, so the offer with the least amount of contingencies will likely win out.

Don’t do repairs yourself. Hire a professional home inspector to find out what repairs need to be done, then receive estimates on repair costs and use certified, licensed professionals to have them carried out.

Do have a maximum spending price in mind. Banks want the best possible price, and there may be several buyers vying for the same property. Therefore, expect a counter offer from the bank and then make your best possible offer—keeping your price ceiling in mind.

Don’t get antsy. The escrow process on foreclosed homes will most likely take longer than if you were buying a new or owner-listed home. Banks may use non-local escrow companies, leading to more obstacles and longer timelines. In short, be patient!

 

Buying a foreclosed home may be a bit more of a headache than the traditional home-buying process, but if you approach your foreclosure purchase with a long-term investment mindset, you’ll be able to take any setbacks in stride. Do your due diligence, don’t take any shortcuts, and remember: patience is a virtue, especially when buying a foreclosed home.

This article was originally posted on HouseHunt.com.

 

 

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At last, Patio Season. Top 10 Summer Patios in Edmonton.

WHAT.. +21 in Edmonton in APRIL? The Winter City is headed for an unusually early Spring. I know most of you are going to try and sneak off work a bit early to hit those outdoor patios today for a cold cerveza or margarita. Bring Mexico to you, right?

Here are ten restaurants with great patios in Edmonton to get some sun and good food:

1. Craft Beer Market — One of the newest patios in the city, and one of very few rooftop patios, this spot comes with an incredible view of downtown and more than 100 beers on tap to enjoy in the sun.

2. Leva — Located on the corner of a sleepy, historic street just a few steps off the U of A campus, this shady spot is a great place to relax with a cappuccino or while away a warm afternoon with homemade gelato.

3. Earls Downtown — The perfect spot to see and be seen, you can snuggle in a booth, perch at high tables, or lounge on a couch in this sleek, always-busy outdoor space.

4. MKT — Comfortable picnic-table-like seating and a massive outdoor bar makes this space a local favorite during the warmer months.

5. Wildflower Grill — This cozy, street-level patio is surrounded by fresh flowers and is the perfect spot to indulge in summer menu items like the incredible Miso Seabass and the Watermelon Salad.

6. Urban Diner on 102 Ave. — Tucked behind the restaurant is a tree-shaded outdoor space that has such a relaxed vibe, you might mistake it for your own deck!

7. Chiantis — Escape the hustle and bustle of Whyte Avenue, on this sunny patio that comes with the scent of beautiful flowers and freshly made pasta.

8. The Confederation Lounge — No one can argue that the view of the river valley from this patio is anything but breathtaking. A summer menu full of items straight off the BBQ makes this spot one that can’t be missed.

9. Sugarbowl — With the garage-door-style windows at the front of this trendy spot rolled open wide throughout the summer, you will feel like you are outside even if you don’t snag a coveted seat on their always-busy patio.

10. Julio’s Barrio — Arguably the best spot in the city to people watch, this patio spills out onto the Whyte Avenue sidewalk in the summer months and is filled with people celebrating the season with margaritas, nachos, and tacos.

Personally, I am going to have to add # 11. O2’s Roof Top Patio on Whyte – Due to the high demand there is usually a long wait for this sought over location, so get there early! Enjoy a Bull dogs (or 2) with a twist on the usual beer topper and switch it out for a Smirnoff ice or Twisted Tea, and definitely don’t forget the pizza.

Via: Where.ca

Thinking about building a Secondary Suite?

Secondary Suites
Secondary Suites
The prices of real estate in Edmonton can make it a challenge for first time home buyers to afford single-family homes, and for owners of investment properties to generate positive cash flow from their investments.

A secondary suite, also known as a basement suite, mother-in-law suite, or granny suite, could be the perfect solution. It is a self-contained living space within a house or on the same property as a house, and it comes with a complete with a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping areas. New homes owners can help balance their costs by collecting rent from this suite and investors can double their return when both units are rented out.

The City of Edmonton is one of progressive municipalities that allows secondary suites citywide for single detached homes. It even has a secondary suite grant program, which you can read more about by following the link that is listed under resource number 1 below. However, it is necessary to keep in mind that some factors such as size and width of the lot, the home layout and neighbourhood may not allow a secondary suite to be approved.

Listed are several other resources down below that will help you determine if the home you own or are planning to buy will allow for a secondary suite. To save you both time and money, make sure to do your homework* before starting any construction!

Secondary Suites

If you are considering investing in Edmonton or if you are looking for a home with the intention to develop a basement suite, then do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We have in-depth knowledge of local zoning rules, developing, owning and managing basement suites. Professional and expert advice will help you avoid expensive mistakes and get you started in the prosperous world of property investing in Edmonton!

Resources
1) City of Edmonton Secondary Suite Grant Program
2) Guide To Developing Secondary Suites PDF Brochure
3) Overview Of Secondary Suite
4) Secondary Suites FAQ

*If you do not have the time to do your own research, you may call 311 for information regarding your property.

You can also chat with a planning and development officer by visiting the Sustainable Development Office. It is located at 10250 – 101 Street and it is open from 8 A.M to 4:30 P.M Monday to Friday. Once you are inside, you need to go to the 5th floor of the building. The officers will be able to provide you with details and printouts that are specific to the address you are inquiring about

Easter Events in Edmonton, Childrens Activities & DIY Decor!

What to do in Edmonton this weekend with the Family:

Hop! Easter Fest @ Paririe Gardens –  17 Eggscellent Activities for 4 Full Days of Family Fun on the Farm

Sweet Treat @ Fort Edmonton Park – Take part in an exciting scavenger hunt, test your tea party etiquette, meet the Easter Bunny and More

– Easter Egg Hunts!

1. The Hunt is On! Saturday March 26 11:00 am @ Morinville Historical and Cultural Society

2. Easter Egg Hunt Saturday March 26 2:00-4:00 @ Harbour Pool Fort Sask

3.  Easter Egg Hunt Saturday March 26 10:30-12:30 @ Multicultural Heritage Centre Stony Plain

Image result for EASTER EGG HUNT

3.  Egg Extravaganza @ Rutherford House – Spring and Easter go hand-in-hand at Rutherford House. Celebrate the season as your explore this magnificent home and discover historically coloured eggs. Enjoy freshly baked cookies and a spring-themed craft.

4. Easter Hoppenings @Muttart Conservatory –   Celebrate Easter Sunday at the Muttart Conservatory! Come get your face painted by the Purple Team, enjoy stage shows in Centre Court, plant a fun Jelly Bean plant to take and come meet some of our furry Easter friends dropping by for a visit from the Edmonton Valley Zoo!

5. Easter @ City Market Downtown – Give away, special appearance & plenty of fun!

Keep the kids entertained: 

PEEPS HOUSES: YESTERFOOD

Easter Treat Recipes - The Idea Room:

BOTTLE PRINT FLOWERS: CRAFTYMORNING

Make Bottle Print Button Flowers! Fun kids craft idea for Spring or Summer | CraftyMorning.com:

TISSUE PAPER EASTER EGG: SCHOOLTIMESNIPPETS

School Time Snippets: Tissue Paper Easter Egg Craft. Pinned by SOS Inc. Resources. Follow all our boards at pinterest.com/sostherapy/ for therapy resources.:

Easter DIY Home Decor (click the picture for the link!)

 

Sweet 15 Decorations | 26 Creative Easter Egg Decorations and Ideas for Spring Table Decor  Watercolor Floral Eggs - Dream a Little Bigger: Beautiful ideas to decorate your home for spring! // cleanandscentsible.com: Easter Floral Arrangement:

WISHING YOU & YOUR FAMILY A HOPPENING EASTER!

 

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Steps to Improve your Indoor Air Quality this Spring

Indoor Air Quality
Poor indoor air quality can lead to serious health problems for you and your family. Your home air quality matches the cleanliness of your house. Keeping your home clean and tidy goes a long way to improving your indoor air quality. Aside from regular dusting, washing, and cleaning, here are some tips that will help improve the air in your home:

Keep Pollutants Out – It’s easier to keep your home air clean by keeping the pollutants out. Remove outdoor shoes at the door, repair air leaks, put walk off mats at entrances, and avoid activities indoors that uses varnish, paint, glue, and other similar substances.

Invest in a Good Vacuum – Choose a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. This traps allergens, airborne pollutants, and smaller particles regular vacuums can miss. Buy one with rotating brushes and strong suction.

Regularly bathe and Groom Pets – Pets are adorable and improve quality of life. Sadly, keeping animals in the house has a downside to the quality of your indoor air. Minimize the smell and air pollutants by regularly bathing and grooming pets and cleaning pet paraphernalia.

Ventilate and Circulate – Ventilation and air circulation is crucial to keeping indoor air fresh. Open windows as much as you can. Use exhaust fans, attic fans, or run window AC with open vent control to remove air contaminants.

Change Filters Often – AC, vacuum, air purifiers and heater filters can easily get clogged with filtered pollutants and particles. The dirty build-up will compromise the performance or your AC or heater, and will eventually contaminate the air you’re trying to clean.

Minimize Moisture – Damp areas encourage mould and mildew growth. Prevent the proliferation of dust mites, mould, mildew, and other harmful microbes in your home with proper ventilation and keeping humidity level below 50%. You might need a dehumidifier to achieve this.

Keep up with the Laundry – Don’t stack dirty clothes for too long. Also, regularly change and launder beddings, towels, curtains, and upholstery.

Watch your Smoke – Smoke releases pollutants into the air. Candles, wood-burning fireplaces, cigars, and cigarettes all contribute to poor indoor air. Minimize the effect by using non-toxic candles, dried wood, and banning indoor smoking.

Bring in Plants – Plants are natural air purifiers and fresheners. The best plant choices to bring in for their air freshening qualities are English Ivy, Peace Lily, Boston Fern, the Spider plant, Dracaena, Ficus or Weeping Fig, and Aloe Vera.

 

Indoor Air Quality