Active Listings Real Estate: Should You Buy an Older or Newer Home?

To buy or not to buy, that is not ever the only question. The inevitable decision every house hunter has to make is whether or not to go with the old or buy new. Close by evaluating and area, the age of a house is an imperative factor to consider when taking a gander at property. With new home development, there might be less redesigns upon move in that should be finished. In the event that you are      up for the test, an antique home may fulfill that one of a kind form tingle you are hoping to scratch. As some lean toward history and character, others are attracted to the solace of current comforts. It is critical to measure the advantages and disadvantages of the two choices previously choosing what is appropriate for you.

Buying an Older Home


  • Unique character: Think stained glass, molding, fireplace and woodwork. Older houses often have one-of-a-kind elements and details that are tough to come across in modern makes.
  • Vegetation: Older homes tend to have well developed yards and gardens. The vegetation is mature so you don’t need to wait years before having those lush trees you’ve pined for.
  • Availability: There is no waiting for builders to finish. Schedule delays due to construction will not keep you from moving into your new home on time.
  • History: Not only does the property have its own history, you will have an index of how much it has appreciated over the years. A track record gives you a place to start in measuring the community’s marketplace appeal.


  • More maintenance: Owning an old home is not for everyone. Because of its age, a more established home may require consistent TLC, so intend to comprehend what sort of upkeep duty you are making before purchasing.
  • Remodeling and Updates: Whether it’s a matter of updating your home for comfort, like installing an AC, or making repairs so your new space is up to city standards, work may need to be done if you want your home to be efficient and safe.
  • Expensive repairs: You should ask when major components were last replaced so you can factor the cost into your final decision. As frameworks age, they normally require supplanting which might be something you wish to reflect in your new home’s price tag.

Should You Buy an Older or Newer Home

Buying a New or Almost New Home


  • Customizable: If you buy early into your new home’s building phase, you may get a say in what you would like based on your personal taste and needs.
  • Low maintenance and builder’s warranty: New constructions are built to last years before home owners have to replace major components. So relax and enjoy!
  • Built to code: Code regulations change often to make sure houses are built as safe as possible. You have the comfort of knowing that your house systems are up-to-date.
  • Energy efficient: You may save on energy costs because your house is built based on recent studies and environmental recommendations.


  • Immature vegetation: The house is new and so is the yard! You will need to invest in your backyard and be patient before having mature trees.
  • House settling: New houses settle and it isn’t really an issue of area or of kind of soil. Quite possibly splits in the establishment and dividers can happen as it sets.
  • Modern cookie-cutter design: New people group are regularly created with a brought together style. Contractual workers tend to assemble a couple of models of houses where the floor designs are particularly similar.

Both purchases have their benefits. Whichever you decide, be sure you know what to expect with your new home for sale in Edmonton and you understand the type of commitment you are signing up for.


To Buy or Sell First? That is the Question

It may be the ultimate catch 22 – do you buy a new home first then sell your current property or sell first then search for a new one? Each approach has its pros and cons so what’s best for you?

Traditionally, homeowners prefer to sell first but in hot markets where bidding wars and multiple offers are more common, some are willing to buy their dream home first, anticipating their current one will sell quickly.


Here’s a rundown of your options:

Pros to selling first

  • You know exactly what your budget for a new property is and can hone in on homes priced right in your neighbourhood.
  • You’re able to make a firm offer on a new home with a closing date that works for you.

 Cons to selling first

  • The clock begins ticking and you need to find and close on a new home before the closing date for your sold home – forcing you to potentially compromise on the kind of home you buy or the neighbourhood you and your family want to live in.
  • If you don’t find a new home in time, you’re faced with the unlikely scenario of negotiating to extend the closing date on your sold property, or finding a short-term rental to live in while you continue your search.

 Pros to buying first

  • You only buy the house you love if and when you find it – you’re under no pressure to settle because time is running out on a sold property’s closing.

 Cons to buying first

  • You may have to finance two homes if selling your current one takes longer than expected.
  • You could have to sell your current home for less to avoid losing a sale – that might require a larger down payment or an increase on your new property’s mortgage.

 5 few more tips to help you decide

  1. If you can carry two properties temporarily with little or no bridge financing, buy the home you love first.
  2. Closing dates can be a sticking point for buyers and sellers, but if finding a new home or selling your old one is a concern, try negotiating a long closing date – like three months or more.
  3. Do your homework and connect with a real estate agent you trust well in advance of making any move so you fully understand the buying and selling realities in your area.
  4. Before you’re pressured to do so, ask yourself what you’re willing to compromise on and what’s non-negotiable.
  5. Get your home properly appraised free by an experienced agent with superior knowledge of your area.

Selling Your Home? Do it the Right Way

There are many reasons to sell a home. Perhaps you need more space for a growing family – or less space because your kids have built their own nests. You may have to relocate for work, or simply feel like a change of environment. Whatever your reason for deciding to sell your home, there are some simple strategies that can help you get the most from your sale. Click through the links below to find out more.

selling your home

Marketing your home

Now that you are ready to sell your home or condo, you’ll need to start thinking of your property as a product to bring to market.

Do major work in advance. Ask yourself if there are areas in your home that need substantial work to make it sell more quickly and at the best possible price. According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada’s Home Renovation Survey, bathroom and kitchen renovations provide the highest possible payback potential (75% to 100% of the renovation costs) when selling a house, while interior and exterior painting can help you recoup between 50% to 100% of the costs.

You might consider getting a home inspection done as part of your selling strategy. It might set you back about $500, but the inspection can help you spot problems before a potential buyer’s inspector does.

Make your home appealing. First impressions have a huge impact. When potential buyers are coming to look at your home, you’ll want to make it as attractive as possible from the outside and from within. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Mow your lawn; trim your hedges; keep the yard free of clutter
  • Clean your windows; paint the doors; replace any outside light bulbs
  • Fix leaky faucets; replace light bulbs; do any minor painting or other touch-ups around the home.
  • Make your bathroom and kitchen sparkle
  • Pull back blinds and drapes in the day; turn on all the lights in the evening.
  • Don’t cook fish; avoid cooking with garlic and onions

You get the idea. The trick is to make your home as clean, inviting, and attractive as possible. Did you know? Professional “home staging” services can take care of all the presentation and decorating details for you – a good idea if all this cleaning and organizing sounds like too much work.

Take advantage of an agent’s expertise

A real estate agent can be an invaluable aid in your marketing strategy. An agent will be familiar with the real estate values in your area, and can help ensure your home is seen by the greatest number of potential buyers – using the Web, street signs, word of mouth, and multiple listing services. Agents are also trained and obliged to help you get the best price for your home, and will know the best way to structure negotiations to your advantage. Agents will also know what documents you need to have available to show prospective buyers. For example, condo buyers are likely to request information about taxes, maintenance fees, and condo reserve funds.

Revisit your mortgage needs

Many of us sell one home to move into another, so before you put your house up for sale, take some time to review your mortgage options. You’ve probably gained some knowledge of the kind of mortgage you’re comfortable with, but you’ll also need to consider the cost of the new home, how long you plan on staying there, and the outlook for interest rates. Here are a few options to consider:  

Bringing your mortgage with you. Subject to certain conditions (such as the amount of your mortgage), most mortgages are portable – which means that you can take your existing interest rate and mortgage contract to your new home.

Assumable mortgages. With this option, the buyer of your home assumes its mortgage, subject to meeting the financial requirements of your mortgage lender. If you have an attractive mortgage rate, offering an assumable mortgage to prospective buyers can help increase your home’s marketability.  

Refinancing. You might want to consider renegotiating your mortgage but before you do, consider any potential costs. If your mortgage is “closed” (that is, you can’t pay it off ahead of schedule), you may face a penalty when you renegotiate. The key is to determine whether the potential interest-rate savings outweigh the penalty. The rough guideline is that refinancing makes sense if the new rate is at least two percentage points below your current rate. Your mortgage specialist can help you crunch the numbers.  

Blending your rate. Some mortgage lenders also allow you to “blend” your mortgage rate by taking the average of your existing rate and combining it with the mortgage rate on the additional funds you need.

5 Things A Buyer Should Have Before Making An Offer

You’ve been flirting with upgrading for a while now. You keep driving around the neighborhood and it’s perfect. You’ve spotted a few properties with ‘For Sale’ signs and you may even have called ‘just to see’ what their asking price is. You go home…crunch a few numbers and you say to yourself “You know what, I think we can afford it!”

So now what? Well I’m hoping by now you know to give your Realtor a call! Remembering that the Listing Realtor’s first interest is the Seller….you needs someone investigating and negotiating on your behalf, and protecting YOUR interests

There are a few things you need to have ready to go before you fall in love with the house of your dreams.

Top 5 Things You ShouldLove About Your Home (1)

  1. Deposit

Whenever you make an offer on a property, there is always a ‘cash upfront’ deposit required (usually 5% of the agreed price) written directly into the contract and held in trust with the listing brokerage. It will be released upon completion and be put toward the purchase, but you must have access to this money upfront. Don’t count on it being a part of your mortgage. (One thing to remember – if you have more than 20% you can avoid paying CMHC insurance!)

  1. Pre-Approval from a Mortgage Broker

Visiting a Mortgage Broker before you start shopping is the smartest thing you can do. You may think you can afford the house, but the lender may not. They will weigh your income against all of your other monthly debt (debt service ratio). They will also look at your Beacon Score which measures how well you stay on top of your debt…do you pay your bills on time? Etc. The better your score ~ the more you may qualify for. Your Mortgage Broker can help position you to be in the right place when you’re ready to qualify.


When you visit your Mortgage bring:

* A letter from your employer confirming your employment and current wage

* If you’re self employed – 2 years of tax assessments indicating income

* Social Insurance Number


  1. Have A Lawyer

Often times, in the middle of negotiations, your Realtor will advise that you show the offer to your Lawyer. It really is prudent to have one ready to go and to follow your Realtor’s advice.

  1. Remember additional costs

In British Columbia we have a few fun ones: We have PTT is the big one! (Property Transfer Tax – 1% on the first $200,000 and additional 2% on the balance) as well as HST (Harmonized Sales Tax =12%) on new development only, however, there is a partial rebate on new homes up to $425,000.00. Please discuss all costs with your Mortgage Broker.

  1. Property Inspector

Remember ~ when we’ve written an offer and we have 5 business days to remove subjects, you don’t want to put off making an appointment early with your Property Inspector. I appreciate that a Property Inspector can be an additional $500 (appx) cost and what if you discover something and decide not to proceed with the purchase? It does happen. However, just think of what the costs MIGHT have been. Also please consider that most homes have some wear and tear. The Property Inspection is to discover any MAJOR immediate problems with the property. It is not meant to be a negotiating tool after you’ve agreed on a price. If there is a substantial problem, then yes we may want to open up the contract and re-negotiate, but that’s only after a discovery of something REALLY wrong.

Stress Free Buying

Having all ‘Your Ducks In a Row’ will allow for less stress and a smoother transition during the Buying Process. Check with your Realtor, he/she will likely have referrals for you and save you the search

Why You Should Buy a New Home in Edmonton Instead of Renting

So you stay in Edmonton and want to change your home, but you are not sure about whether to rent or to buy homes for sale in Edmonton? Now, that’s a tricky situation. Of course, homes for sale in Edmonton have a number of advantages over homes for rent. Here are discussed some of the advantages so that you can clear your confusion and search for Edmonton homes for sale MLS

home for sale in edmonton

  • Preference

If you look for Edmonton homes for sale, you will be spoilt for choice! You get to choose your favorite location, your builder, number of rooms, facing of the rooms and even the color of the rooms. This is great indeed. However, the same is not the case if you want to rent a home in Edmonton. In that case, you will have to compromise with your choices. You may get the rooms in colors that you love but not at your favorite location.

  • Community

There are a number of new developments that are well-designed and have all the latest amenities available. New Edmonton homes for sale foster great communities as well as neighborhood and have carefully thought out public and private areas. This is, no doubt great, if you have a family with you. On the other hand, if you go for renting a home in Edmonton, you will not be able to avail these.

  • Personalization

Among the many homes for sale Edmonton, if you buy one, you get to personalize your new home just as you wish. The floor plans, the finishes and the decoration everything will be just as you have always wanted. You can work with your builder and contribute to the making of your dream home even more beautiful. Also, you can check Edmonton homes for sale MLS to find the perfect home. On the contrary, if you opt for homes for rent in Edmonton, you will only get what is available.

  • Confidence

If you buy homes for sale Edmonton with a third-party warranty program, you can stay in peace. As your home is new, you don’t have to spend money on maintenance or repair for many years to come. On the contrary, renting a home can make you spend a lot of money apart from the rent. Then there is maintenance fee.

In the conclusion, it can be said that buying a new home in Edmonton is always a better idea than renting.

How strategy can help your business

Strategy is about figuring out where you are, determining where you want to be and making an effective plan for how you are going to get there. It address what resources you have, which resources you need to acquire and how you should apply those resources to rach your goals. It answers and clarifies four key questions.

  1. What do you do that makes you successful and how can you enhance that?
  2. What do you do that prohibits you from reaching your goals and puts your business at risk and how can we fix that?
  3. What outside trends, technology, forces, ideas and events can your company take advantage of to reach goals?
  4. What and how should outside forces (competitors etc.) that put your future and goals at risk be addressed?


Why should I hire a consultant for this? I know my business better than anyone else, can’t I do it myself? You can do this yourself. However there are several key factors which might make Active Listings Strategies a good choice for you.

1. We know strategy and we have to tools to do it right. In addition to having a thorough understanding of strategic best practices we have developed our own strategy development framework which specifically fits small and medium sized businesses. Many of the cookie-cutter approaches you will find in books were developed by large consulting firms tailoring their services to multi-million dollar and billion dollar companies. We have taken these tools and tailored the approach for your situation in addition to developing our own proprietary framework for understanding and crafting effective strategy for our clients.

2. The consultants of Active Listings Strategies are dedicated strategists’. In an ideal world owners, managers and CEO’s would take 4-6 weeks a year to research and gather relevant data about themselves and their competitive environment, find out what customers want, dig deep into their company to identify problems and seek out ways to raise profits and grow business. In reality it is extremely difficult to set aside the amount of time and energy required to do strategy right.

3. We collaborate with you. We realize you know the ins and outs of your business better than anyone. We engage you in the process to take advantage of this. We make sure you have a hand in the process and that together we have crafted a strategy that we can all believe in and that you feel enthusiastic about carrying out.

4. We are objective. Sometimes the truth is hard to see, or accept. Having an objective outside set of eyes is invaluable when evaluating problems and seeking out opportunities. We’re not afraid to state the ugly truth while always following it up with effective, realistic and actionable solutions. We’re passionate about making sure you are enthusiastic about your goals and the ideas, tools and plans you have to reach them.


Top 3 Do’s And Don’ts of Buying Your First Home in Edmonton

So, you are buying your home for the first time and you are considering Edmonton? Well, that’s great. There are many homes for sale in Edmonton, but as you are a first time home buyer, here are some do’s and don’ts that you may follow.


  1. Get pre-approved

If you don’t have been pre-approved for a mortgage for Edmonton homes for sale, then chances are that the majority of real estate agents will not work with you. Of course, you don’t want to fall for Edmonton homes for sale and then get to know that you can’t afford it.

  1. Be clear about your budget

Always have a clear idea about how much you can afford while buying Edmonton homes for sale and start your search according to that. This way, you don’t have to feel disheartened afterward if you can’t buy a home because you can’t afford it.

  1. Find a real estate agent

For homes for sale Edmonton, you really need to have a good real estate agent. Also, you can check Edmonton homes for sale MLS. These listings websites are of great help.

home for sale in edmonton


  1. Try not to be too emotional

Well, first time home buyers tend to get emotional. So you need to keep your emotions in check. Don’t get too overwhelmed. In real estate, it’s all about location. Edmonton is a get place and so are the homes for sale Edmonton. Also, keep the resale value of the home in mind, in case you like a home and want to purchase it.


  1. Don’t forget the closing costs

Yes, closing costs can be much more than the actual price of your Edmonton home. So the best thing that you can do is save from the first.


  1. Before getting an approval for loan, don’t make big purchases

There are many people out there who make big purchases such as buying a new car just before getting approved by the bank for a loan. So they end up not getting approval for the loan, as their bank balance becomes low. Don’t be one of them. Once you have zeroed on one of the many Edmonton homes for sale MLS, make sure to get approved for a loan first.

Follow these and you will be able to get one of the perfect homes for sale in Edmonton with ease.

What are the Key Rooms to a Buyer?

Whether you’re an investor in Sherwood Park or a homeowner looking to sell more quickly, it’s important to understand that there are certain rooms within a home that are considered “key rooms” to a buyer. So, what are the rooms considered “key?”

Entrance: As you may have guessed, the entrance (while not a room in most homes), sets the stage, the tone and the overall first-impression of the home. Here’s a picture of a home we staged in Edmonton, Alberta for one of our favorite investors:


Kitchen: Given the amount of time we spend in our kitchens, it’s important to get it right when it comes to selling. A few upgrades will go a long way with helping to set your home apart from the others on the market. Here’s an example of a kitchen we professionally staged:


Living Room: A buyer needs to envision living within the home. Similar to the kitchen, it’s the room that they’ll spend a great deal of time in. Therefore, it becomes an important room to a buyer. Here’s a living room we staged (see below). This home went under contract in the first week after staging.

living room

Master Bedroom: Whether large or small, buyers, when viewing a home, need to see a warm and inviting bedroom. An empty master with four walls, ceiling, floor and windows just doesn’t have the same effect.

master bedroom

Master Bathrooms: Just like us, buyers work incredibly long hours and become impressed with a master bathroom that looks and smells clean. A well staged bathroom allows the buyer to envision relaxing after that long day.

master bathroom

Dining Room: Last but not least, the dining room. While some may argue that dining rooms are on their way out, and they very well may be, a lot of homes have a dining room that is positioned in the front of the home. As a result, it becomes a key room to a buyer as it will be one of the first rooms they see when they enter the home.

dining room

With the above list being “key” to a buyer, it’s important these rooms stand-out. At Sherwood Park Interior Solutions, we proudly offer key-room staging for all of our clients.

Canadians Borrowed Against Over $313 Billion In Real Estate

Loans secured against residential real estate shattered a few records in June. Over $313.66 billion in real estate was used to secure loans, up 3.43% from the month before. The rise puts annual gains 11.16% higher than the same month last year, an increase of $31.51 billion. The monthly increase is the largest increase since March 2012. The annual gain is unprecedented according to an aggregate of domestic bank filings.

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Over $266 Billion Was For Non-Business Related Reasons Not all borrowing against residential property is all bad, sometimes it’s a calculated risk. For example, someone may need to secure a business loan, and use the loan for operating risks. It doesn’t mean the property is safe, but it’s a risk that could potentially boost the economy.

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This is opposed to non-business loans, which is used as short-term financing. This type of financing is often used for things like renovations, and putting a fancy car in the driveway.

Active Listings Experts have observed that more homeowners are using these to prevent bankruptcy. Bottom line, it’s not typically healthy looking debt. So let’s remove loans obtained for business reasons, and take a peek at higher risk debt.

The majority of these loans are non-business related according to bank filings. The current total is over $266 billion as of June 2017, a 1.01% increase from the month before. This is a 4.9% increase from the same month last year, which works out to $12.49 billion more. Fun fact, that’s around $23,763 per minute. The number is astronomical.

 Are Canadians Borrowing Time?

Active Listings experts have expressed concern with the rate homeowners are borrowing against their homes. Hoyes-Michalos, one of Ontario’s largest debt consultancies, recently said more Canadians have been borrowing against their home to avoid filing for bankruptcy. This is a temporary fix that will become much more complicated in the very near future. As interest rates rise to normal levels, the ability to keep making payments becomes harder. Hoyes-Michalos estimates a mild rise in rates could push bankruptcies above 2009 levels.

Increasing equity extraction remains a sleeper threat for Canadian real estate markets. Borrowing against homes increases the chance that a mild shock could impact real estate. This shock could be a correction, recession, or even just higher interest rates. Normal market mechanics have become a threat to the economy, which is pretty disturbing. Bottom line, try not to buy more home than you can afford.

Home For Sale in Sherwood Park

Home for sale in sherwood park

Sherwood Park is located within Strathcona Country and is officially described as the largest hamlet. Adjacent to Edmonton’s Eastern boundary, Sherwood Park is a place where many people dream of having a home.

If you are one of them, then let me tell you, there are many houses for sale in Sherwood Park, which are sure to catch your fancy.