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Market Report Summary – October 2015

Tue, 10 Nov by RE/MAX Excellence

The October 2015 Residential Market Summary is out! Courtesy of the REALTORS Association of Edmonton. Download the PDF version here: Market Summary – REMAX Excellence – October 2015

Market Summary - REMAX Excellence - October 2015

Your Home’s Fall Checklist

Thu, 15 Oct by RE/MAX Excellence

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Fall is the perfect time to take care of the little things that can make a big difference for you and your home. Most of the tasks listed below are well with-in the average person’s ability. But even if you choose to have a professional handle them, it’s worth the expense. You’ll save money — and maybe even your life. Here’s the checklist at a glance. Courtesy of www.bhg.com
 

  • Get your mind in the gutters. Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Button up your overcoat. Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping and caulk.
  • Get on top of roof problems. Inspect your roof for damaged or curled shingles, corroded flashing, or leaky vents.
  • Walks the walks (and drives). Take steps to repair damaged sidewalks, driveways, and steps.
  • Chill out. Drain and winterize outdoor faucets and irrigation systems.
  • Freshen your filter. Clean or replace dirty furnace filters.
  • Give your furnace a physical. Have a professional inspect your heating system.
  • Gather round the hearth. Check fireplaces for soot or creosote build-up. Better yet, schedule a visit from a reputable chimney sweep.
  • Keep the humidifier humming. Clean the plates or pads to ensure efficient operation.
  • Head-off gas problems. If you have a gas-fired room heater, have it inspected by a pro. Also, perform any routine maintenance recommended by the maker.
  • Keep the wood fires burning brightly. Wood stoves are making a comeback. To avoid a deadly situation, be sure to inspect yours before firing it up.
  • Keep your family safe at home. A home safety check should be an annual ritual in every household. Test smoke and CO monitors, inspect (or install) fire extinguishers, review fire escape plans, and rid your home of old newspapers and other fire hazards.
 
Get your mind in the gutters. Your roof’s drainage system annually diverts thousands of gallons of water from your house’s exterior and foundation walls. That’s why it is so important to keep this system flowing smoothly. Clogged gutters can lead to damaged exterior surfaces and to water in your basement. They are also more prone to rust and corrosion. Before the leaves fly this fall, have your gutters cleaned, then covered with mesh guards to keep debris from returning.Step-by-step instructions for inspecting and cleaning gutters
 
 
Button up your overcoat. A home with air leaks around windows and doors is like a coat left unbuttoned. Gaps in caulk and weather-stripping can account for a 10% of your heating bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.Weather-stripping is easily the most cost-effective way to rein in heating and cooling costs. This humble material also reduces drafts and keeps your home more comfortable year-round. Because weather stripping can deteriorate over time, it is important to inspect it periodically.

If you suspect a problem with weather stripping, you have several options for checking. Close a door or window on a strip of paper; if the paper slides easily, your weatherstripping isn’t doing its job. Or, close the door or window and hold a lighted candle near the frame. (Don’t let the flame get near anything flammable!) If the flame flickers at any spot along the frame, you have an air leak.

While you’re at it, also check for missing or damaged caulk around windows, doors, and entry points for electrical, cable, phone, gas, and so. Seal any gaps with a suitable caulk.

Easy instructions for weatherizing your home

 
Get on top of roof problems. Few homeowner problems are more vexing than a leaky roof. Once the dripping starts, finding the source of the problem can be time-consuming. Stop problems this fall before ice and winter winds turn them from annoyances into disasters.Here’s how: Inspect your roof from top to bottom, using binoculars if necessary. Check ridge shingles for cracks and wind damage. Look for damage to metal flashing in valleys and around vents and chimneys. Scan the entire roof for missing, curled, or damaged shingles. Look in your gutters for large accumulations of granules, a sign that your roof is losing its coating; expect problems soon. Finally, make sure your gutters are flowing freely.

Note: Roof-mounted television antennas, even if they aren’t in use, may have guy wires holding them in place. Look for loose or missing guy wires. If you see some, and your antenna is no longer being used, consider having it removed altogether.

Learn how to perform minor roof repairs

 
Walk the walks (and drives). Damaged walkways, drives, and steps are a hazard year round, but their dangers are compounded when the weather turns icy. Fixing problems in the fall is also critical to preventing little problems from becoming expensive headaches.Look for cracks more than 1/8-inch wide, uneven sections, and loose railings on steps. Check for disintegration of asphalt, or washed-out materials on loose-fill paths.

Most small jobs are well within the ability of a do-it-yourselver, but save major repairs for experienced hands.

How to repair concrete steps

Patching concrete

 
Chill out. If you live in an area with freezing weather, take steps to ensure that outside faucets (also called sill cocks) and inground irrigation systems don’t freeze and burst.Here’s how: Close any shut-off valves serving outside faucets, then open the outside faucet to drain the line. (There may be a small cap on the faucet you can loosen to facilitate this draining.) If you don’t have shut-off valves, and your faucets are not “freezeproof ” types, you may benefit from styrofoam faucet covers sold at home centers.

To freezeproof an inground irrigation system, follow the manufacturer’s procedure for draining it and protecting it from winter damage.

 
Freshen your filter. Furnace filters trap dust that would otherwise be deposited on your furniture, woodwork, and so on. Clogged filters make it harded to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, and can serious increase your utility bills. A simple monthly cleaning is all it takes to keep these filters breathing free and clear.Here’s how: Disposable filters can be vaccumed once before replacement. Foam filters can also be vaccumed, but they don’t need to be replaced unless they are damaged. Use a soft brush on a vacuum cleaner. If the filter is metal or electrostatic, remove and wash it with a firm water spray.

Finding your furnace’s filter

 
Give your furnace a physical. Once a year, it’s a good idea to have your heating system inspected by a professional. To avoid the last-minute rush, consider scheduling this task in early fall, before the heating season begins.Here are signs that you should have an inspection performed sooner:

Noisy belts. Unusual screeches or whines may be a signal that belts connected to the blower motor are worn or damaged.

Poor performance. A heating system that doesn’t seem to work as well as it once did could be a sign of various problems. Your heating ducts might be blocked, the burners might be misadjusted, or the blower motor could be on its last legs. One check you should be sure to conduct: Make sure your furnace filter is clean.

Erratic behavior. This could be caused by a faulty thermostat or a misadjusted furnace.

 
Gather round the hearth. Even if you use your fireplace only occasionally, you should check it annually for damage and hazards.Inspect your flue for creosote. Creosote is a flammable by-product of burning wood. If it accumulates in a flue or chimney, the result can be a devastating fire. Have your chimney inspected annually for creosote buildup. If you use a fireplace or wood stove frequently, have the flue inspected after each cord of wood burned.

For most people, the best option is to have your entire chimney system inspected by a chimney sweep. Once you know what to look for, you can perform the inspection by shining a bright flashlight up the flue, looking for any deposits approaching 1/8 inch thick. These deposits should be cleaned by an experienced chimney sweep.

Look for flue blockages. Birds love to nest at the top of an unprotected flue. A chimney cap can prevent this from happening. If you don’t have a cap, look up the flu to ensure that there are no obstructions.

Exercise the damper. The damper is the metal plate that opens and closes the flu just above the firebox. Move it to the open and closed positions to ensure that it is working properly.

Check your chimney for damage. Make certain that the flue cap (the screen or baffle covering the top of the chimney) is in place. Inspect brick chimneys for loose or broken joints. If access is a problem, use binoculars.

 
Keep the humidifier humming. You may know that bone dry winter air is bad for your health, but did you also know it can make fine wood more prone to cracking? You and your home will feel more comfortable if you keep your central humidifier in tip-top shape during the months it is running.Here’s how: First, inspect the plates or pads, and if necessary, clean them in a strong laundry detergent solution. Rinse and scrape off mineral deposits with a wire brush or steel wool.

 
Head-off gas problems. Keeping a gas heater in good shape is both a safety and a cost issue. An improperly maintained heater can spew poisons into the air of your home, or it may simply be costing you more to operate. Have a professional check these devices annually. There are also some maintenance items you should address.Here’s how: First, shut off the heater. Then check the air-shutter openings and exhaust vents for dirt and dust. If they are dirty, vacuum the air passages to the burner and clean the burner of lint and dirt. Follow the manufacturer’s advice for any other needed maintenance.

 
Keep the wood fires burning brightly. Woodburning stoves are a great way to add atmosphere and warmth to your home. But regular inspections are needed to ensure that these devices don’t become a safety hazard. Here’s how to check them.Inspect stovepipes. Cracks in stovepipes attached to wood stoves can release toxic fumes into your home. Throughout the heating season, you should check for corrosion, holes, or loose joints. Clean the stovepipe, and then look for signs of deterioration or looseness. Replace stovepipe if necessary.

Look for corrosion and cracks. Check for signs of rust or cracking in the stove’s body or legs.

Check safety features. Make sure that any required wall protection is installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications and that the unit sits on an approved floor material. If you have young children, be sure to fence off the stove when it is in operation.

 
At least once a year, do a top-to-bottom review of your home’s safety features. This is also a good time to get the family together for a review of your fire evacuation plan. Here’s how to do this:Smoke and CO detectors. Replace the batteries in each smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detector, then vacuum them with a soft brush attachment. Test the detectors by pressing the test button or holding a smoke source (like a blown-out candle) near the unit. If you haven’t already, install a smoke detector on every floor of your home, including the basement.

Fire extinguishers. Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher rated for all fire types (look for an A-B-C rating on the label). At a minimum, keep one near the kitchen; having one per floor isn’t a bad idea. Annually, check the indicator on the pressure gauge to make sure the extinguisher is charged. Make certain that the lock pin is intact and firmly in place, and check that the discharge nozzle is not clogged. Clean the extinguisher and check it for dents, scratches, and corrosion. Replace if the damage seems severe. Note: Fire extinguishers that are more than six years old should be replaced. Mark the date of purchase on the new unit with a permanent marker.

Fire escape plans. Every bedroom, including basement bedrooms, should have two exit paths. Make sure windows aren’t blocked by furniture or other items. Ideally, each upper-floor bedroom should have a rope ladder near the window for emergency exits. Review what to do in case of fire, and arrange a safe meeting place for everyone away from the house.

General cleanup. Rid your home of accumulations of old newspapers and leftover hazardous household chemicals. (Check with your state or local Environmental Protection Agency about the proper way to discard dangerous chemicals.) Store flammable materials and poisons in approved, clearly labeled containers. Keep a clear space around heaters, furnaces, and other heat-producing appliances.

 

Residential Market Summary – September 2015

Wed, 30 Sep by RE/MAX Excellence

The September 2015 Residential Market Summary is out! Courtesy of the REALTORS Association of Edmonton. Download the PDF version here: Market Summary – REMAX Excellence – September 2015

Market Summary - REMAX Excellence - September 2015

Residential Market Summary – July 2015

Tue, 04 Aug by RE/MAX Excellence

The July 2015 Residential Market Summary is out! Courtesy of the REALTORS Association of Edmonton. Download the PDF version here: Market Summary – REMAX Excellence – July 2015

Market Summary - REMAX Excellence - July 2015

Edmonton Heritage Festival This Weekend!

Thu, 30 Jul by RE/MAX Excellence

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2015 will mark the 40th annual of the Servus Heritage Festival – a three-day showcase of Canada’s vibrant multicultural heritage. 62 pavilions representing over eighty-five cultures will be part of this exciting celebration. Enjoy delicious cultural food, wonderful creative performances, lots of crafts, artwork, clothing, and plenty of opportunities to chat with people eager to talk about their cultural roots and their communities in Canada. Come for the Fun! Hawrelak Park is the place to be August 1st, 2nd, and 3rd 2015!!

HOURS:

Noon to 9 pm Saturday, August 1st
10 am to 9 pm Sunday, August 2nd
10 am to 7 pm Monday August 3rd
 

Servus Heritage Festival 2015 is pleased to feature 61 pavilions representing over 85 cultures from all over the world.
 
Sample from over 500 culinary delicacies, see creative performances, shop for crafts, artwork, and clothing, or chat with people eager to tell you a little about their cultural roots and their present-day communities in Canada.
 
Various pavilions will also be showcasing cultural displays with photos, paraphernalia, and stories about their culture or ethnic background in Edmonton.
 
Admission is FREE, but a donation for Edmonton’s Food Bank would be appreciated.
 
Note that there is no public parking in Hawrelak Park during the Festival. Bikes welcome or take ETS Park & Ride.
 

Please leave your dog at home. No dogs allowed.

 
More information can be found at: http://www.heritage-festival.com/

Family Friendly BBQ – And You’re Invited! July 23, 2015

Wed, 15 Jul by RE/MAX Excellence

Excellence Professional Centre, Your Community FULL REAL ESTATE SERVICE building invites you to join in on a family friendly BBQ! Partners of the event are: RE/MAX Excellence, RE/MAX Commercial, Rental Advisors, Stadnyk Law, RBC Royal Bank, Dominion Lending, TD Canada Trust and Edward Jones. * Donations are gratefully accepted for the family of Constable Woodall *

 

Excellence Professional Centre BBQ!

Residential Market Summary – June 2015

Tue, 07 Jul by RE/MAX Excellence

The June 2015 Residential Market Summary is out! Courtesy of the REALTORS Association of Edmonton. Download the PDF version here: Market Summary – REMAX Excellence – June 2015

 

Market Summary - REMAX Excellence - June 2015

Edmonton and Area Canada Day Events!

Wed, 01 Jul by RE/MAX Excellence

canada day
Looking for a way to celebrate on Canada Day in Edmonton? Visit the Edmonton Celebrate Canada Committee website for a full list of Edmonton & Area Canada Day celebrations!

www.EdmontonCelebrateCanada.ca

Staying Safe Online – Passwords & Securing Your Accounts

Thu, 11 Jun by RE/MAX Excellence

staying safe

 

Passwords are like keys to your personal home online. You should do everything you can prevent people from gaining access to your password. You can also further secure your accounts by using additional authentication methods.
 
Passwords:
When creating a password, make sure it is long and strong, with a minimum of eight characters and a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
You should also remember to:

  • Not to share your password with others.
  • Make your password unique to your life and not something that is easily guessed.
  • Have a different password for each online account.
  • Write down your password and store it in a safe place away from your computer.
  • Change your password several times a year.

 
Other Ways to Secure an Account:
Typing a username and password into a website isn’t the only way to identify yourself on the web services you use.

  • Multi-factor authentication uses more than one form of authentication to verify an identity. Some examples are voice ID, facial recognition, iris recognition and finger scanning.
  • Two-factor authentication uses a username and password and another form of identification, often times a security code.

Over time, more websites will be adopting multi-factor authentication. In some cases, the services may be available, but are not required.

 

Many email services offer two-step verification on an opt-in basis. Ask your financial institution and other online services if they offer multi-factor authentication or additional ways to verify your identity.

 

Additional Resources:

 

STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Tips:

  • Secure your accounts: Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for you verify who you are before you conduct business on that site.
  • Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
  • Unique account, unique password: Separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cyber criminals.
  • Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer.

 

For more information on how to protect yourself online – visit https://www.staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/protect-your-personal-information/passwords-and-securing-your-accounts

Energy Saving Tips For Canadian Homeowners!

Thu, 14 May by RE/MAX Excellence

Energy saving light bulb

 

Saving energy is a top priority for many Canadian residents, businesses and government officials. As Canada spends billions on new energy-generating endeavors, a burgeoning emphasis has been placed on saving the energy we currently have and more efficiently using the energy we generate. The following energy saving tips are designed to help you become a conscious consumer during the warmer months of spring and summer.


SPRING

When spring strikes, we become almost stupefied by a lack of snow and ice, chattering teeth and frozen extremities. In the midst of our relief, we sometimes forget the important steps we should take to save energy.

 

Give your home cooling equipment a tune-up
Ideally, you should be performing regular maintenance on your home cooling system twice a year: once in the spring before the summer heat sets in and once in autumn before you retire the equipment. If you only perform air conditioner maintenance once a year, make sure it’s in the spring to ensure that your system works properly when you need it most. A poorly working system causes huge spikes in your energy bills.

 

Perform an energy audit
Before the weather starts to really warm up, consider performing an energy audit on your house. This allows you to identify areas in your home that are costing you money and helps you adjust accordingly. Even the best home cooling system in the world is rendered ineffective by poorly insulated walls, leaky window seals and drafty doors.

 

SUMMER

It’s important to save energy, but it’s also important to stay cool when the weather becomes oppressively hot. During the summer months, cranking down the thermostat is almost a knee-jerk reaction. Unfortunately, it’s also a quick way to waste energy and see skyrocketing home cooling costs. Use these energy saving tips to survive the summer without breaking your budget:


Clean your air conditioning filter
If your air filters are dirty, they’re costing you money. Change your air purifier monthly during the summer to prevent dust, dirt and debris from building up and burning out your air conditioner motor. This tip is especially important for families with allergy sufferers and respiratory infections. An unclean air purifier affects your indoor air quality, exacerbating the symptoms of asthma, allergies and other breathing problems.


Supplement with fans and open windows when possible
On cooler days and nights, don’t waste money running your air conditioner on full blast. Pop open some windows or turn on a few fans to make your home more comfortable. Circulating air feels much cooler than stagnant air, so you should be able to keep your air conditioner on for less time – or off altogether.


Block light from heating your home

This is especially important depending on your thermostat placement: If your thermostat is located in a spot that gets a lot of daytime sun, it may inaccurately reflect your home’s internal temperature and keep your home cooling equipment running when it shouldn’t be. Keep your blinds and curtains closed to prevent the sun from heating your home.

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