April Showers Bring May Flowers

Gardening in Edmonton can be a challenge with the weather variations! Although we are considered a zone 3A, some gardeners are trying out zone 4A plants because of our warmer than average summers. If you are like me, 3A means nothing, so we are going to break it down simply into what grows best!

Prep! Aerate your garden, mix it up! This will spread the nutrient rich top soil throughout, and this is also a good time to add in any compost to the soil. The best time to start planting is hard to pinpoint, since it can be 25+ degrees or snow May long weekend. The best time to start planting is when there is consistently above freezing weather at night (mid-May, usually). Survey your yard to spot the most sunny/shady spots, and plant accordingly for the best results.

Here’s a few zone approved plants to consider

  • Kale
  • Radishes
  • Swiss Chard
  • Potatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Peas
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Chives
  • Horseradish
  • Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Pumpkin
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Blueberries
  • Saskatoon’s
  • Asparagus

And if you just want things that are nice to look at here’s a few flowers that are zone approved!

  • Poppy
  • Violet
  • Iris
  • Asters
  • Coneflower
  • Sunflowers
  • Ferns
  • Hostas
  • Lilies
  • Lupins
  • Primrose
  • Dogwood
  • Lupine
  • Sedum
  • Wildflowers
  • Baptisia
  • Peony
  • Liatris
  • Moss Phlox
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Monkshood

There is nothing better than eating a dinner full of garden veggies! Feel free to share the love with your friendly neighbourhood realtor! Anyone who has seen my SnapChat knows my love of mini carrots.

 

Easy Home Updates For Spring

Spring Fling Updates

Now that the weather’s warming up and the snow is melting, this is the perfect time to start preparing for upcoming spring projects.

  1. Schedule your roof replacement! Roofers will book up quickly, and with the short spring/summer here in Edmonton it’s best to get on these things at the start of the season. Your roof protects your home from the elements, and even a very small leak can cause major damage. When selling a home, a new roof is a great selling feature for potential buyers!
  2. Clean out those gutters! With the melting and thawing cycle, leaking or clogged gutters can cause water to accumulate in all the wrong places, which can pool around your foundation. Eventually this can lead to water in your basement. Gutters are inexpensive to replace/maintain.
  3. Inspect your garden hoses and faucets. Hopefully you were on the ball and got your hose unhooked, drained, and properly stored for the winter. If you didn’t manage to remember, you will need to check for freeze damage. Having someone in the basement or close to the water shut off is advisable in case of a leak.
  4. Schedule maintenance/repairs on your A/C unit. With hot summer days just around the corner, you do not want it to stop working on a 30+ day! Regularly check the filters, and keep it cleaned as part of your routine. Make sure you schedule annual technician service checks to ensure proper long-term maintenance of your A/C system.
  5. Check all your doors and windows. Wear and tear from structural shifting is very common in the winter season. Check the weather stripping and caulking for gaps or air leaks. These can be easy DIY repairs if a full replacement is not required. Keeping the house cooler in the summer months will be easier and more efficient with a better weatherproofed home.
  6. Schedule your spring yard maintenance early! Having your yard aerated, raked, mowed, seeded, and fertilized can help get you that healthy green, weed-free lawn. Ask a local professional for DIY help, or hire a professional company to help maintain your yard for you.

Spring is a short but sweet season, so you better get hustling!

Tips for your dog in spring!

As we all know spring is upon us. Many of us will be thinking about spring cleaning the house, what to plant in the garden, and which patio we will hit up first; but we shouldn’t forget our furry friends and their needs during this season!

  1. When thinking of your garden, look out for fertilizers – including organic fertilizers (meals) –and make sure they are stored properly away from your dogs. Applying these to your gardens will normally cause no harm to animals, but its best to keep them away until everything has been fully absorbed by the soil. Ingesting these products in large quantities can be life threatening for animals, so safe storage is key! Some signs of poisoning include:
    • Drooling
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting (acute or delayed onset)
    • Diarrhea
    • Abnormal posture due to abdominal pain
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Muddy” coloured gums
    • Lethargy
    • Tremors
  2. Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. Dog to dog contact increases with the nice weather, as it is such a great time to get out to the local dog parks and scenic walking trails.
  3. If you are in an area where there are ticks, be sure to do frequent checks on your dog’s coat. It is much easier to do this by feel, depending on your dog’s coat length. The most common places for ticks are around the head, neck, ears, chest, and forelegs, but they can be anywhere.
  4. There is nothing better than sticking your head out the window and feeling the wind on your face when you’re a dog, but consider that with the salt/rocks still on the road, debris can be a hazard. Abrupt stops or tight turns can also injure your pet, so we recommend a seatbelt harness or secure crate to keep your furry friends safe.
  5. Thinking about doing a little home improvement or major spring deep clean? Be sure to keep all harsh chemicals out of your pet’s reach. If it’s not good for you to breathe it probably isn’t goof for them either. Physical hazards such as nails, wood, tools (especially sharp ones), insulation, etc. should be kept away from your pets.
  6. With the nicer weather and more opportunity to get out and about, this is the time to get your pet microchipped if you have not already done so. Also, an up-to-date tag with your current address, phone number, and any other contact information that someone may need to reach you is important.

Speaking of outdoor events, the Dave Sells family is proud to be a part of Humane Animal Rescue Team (hart) 5th annual Eggstravaganza April 9th, 2:30pm in Spruce Grove’s Jim Galloway Dog Park (on leash). With a $10 donation, your dog can take part in this great charity Easter egg hunt!! Dogs and owners make their way through the park, and when the dog’s nose touches an egg, the owner picks it up and adds it to their basket. There are a few Golden Eggs, for which the dog will receive a gift basket at the end of the hunt! Check out https://www.facebook.com/hartedmonton/ for more information.

Warning! Pet Safety!

After our scary experience this month with our dog Argus swallowing a squeaker, we wanted to put the word out and touch as many pet owners as possible. Please be careful when buying toys for your pets; many things can be hazards to your animals!

Stuffed Toys

If your dog is a “chewer” these toys are not for them. Although they love them, that love will be short-lived if they swallow stuffing, buttons, zippers, or worst of all: SQUEAKERS! If your dog likes a “comfort” toy, and they are NOT a chewer, make sure all the small parts are removed and the stuffing is fiber or fabric, not pellets. The majority of dogs will feel the need to “kill” the squeaker, which will lead to the thought that destroying these toys is ok. It can also lead to aggressive behaviors. Let’s just stay away from toys with squeakers entirely.

Long lasting toys

If your dog is the “chewing” type, then look at getting toys that are more durable. Kong toys can be a good choice, as well as Nylabones or Durachews. Do make sure to get a bone of the appropriate size: one too small can get stuck in your dog’s throat or digestive tract. When in doubt, size up!

Rawhide

While rawhide can be good for your dog’s dental hygiene, it is not good for their digestive tract. The concern is that small chewed pieces can get stuck in your dog’s throat, and larger pieces can cause unforeseen blockages. Although these chews can be given and monitored closely, it would be better to choose a different option.

Rope toys

These toys are meant for playing, but should not be left with your dogs unattended as they are not meant for chewing. It does not take a lot of pieces or time to create blockages in the digestive system.

Due to these possibly harmful situations, pet insurance is a great benefit to have when you get a pet. Dogs and cats are prone to swallowing objects, and removal is both scary and costly. Consider the benefits of getting pet insurance right off the bat; this will also keep “pre-existing” conditions to a minimum, as they will not cover these issues. Although premiums can be high (premiums vary from breed to breed, age, etc.), one expensive treatment can still have you coming out on top. There are many companies to choose from, so do your research!

Please go through your pet’s toys and keep them safe!

Look Out 2017!

A new year, a new feature wall? What can give you a fresh start better than a little home makeover.

We can help! Here are a few upcoming trends for 2017.

Green

The “in” color this year is green, from vibrant limes to rich emeralds. Adding a little pop by mixing it in with your current dinnerware or a full feature wall will get you this up-to-the-minute look. Greenery represents refreshment and revitalization.

Bronze

Bronze is a great metallic that can actually warm up a space, unlike most other metals. You can see this trend in tap wear, lighting, and decorative pieces.

Upholstered Headboards

Out with the timber and in with the upholstery. Ranging from neutral to ultra-luxurious with plush velvet, it’s a simple way to update and bring that bit of pizazz to the bedroom.

Jewel Tones

Keep your eye out for the pastels to take a back seat to their “richer” counterparts. Add in some metallic, raw stone, sheer fabrics, or flowing silks to create an air of romanticism.

Artisinal Goods

Supporting local and high-level craftsmanship will come into play with the revitalization of glass blowing, woodworking, and local artists. Check out local craft shows throughout Edmonton to get your hands on some amazing local wears!

Texture

Velvet, faux fur, and other soft materials are continuing to keep us warm and cozy this year. Furry chairs and velvet couches are just begging to be touched.

If you need that perfect space to “redo”, you can reach out to the Dave Sells team anytime and we will help keep your home on trend this season.

Now get out there and use this as an excuse to shop!

Sponsor a Wheelchair Today!

As many of you saw the heart-warming video we did with Zoe’s animal rescues society on their special needs dog Habib (see below), we wanted to do a bit of a follow up! Habib is doing amazing! He has since had his tail removed after battling an infection, but that hasn’t slowed him down. With many more surgeries coming his way, including the complete removal of his hind legs, Habib will need continued support from the community in his medical endeavors. He is not up for adoption yet since he has a long road of recovery ahead, so sponsorship is a fabulous way to be involved in his story. Check out the sponsorship page to find out how you can be involved with this great story.

As well as helping Habib, Zoe’s has partnered with ESMA (Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals), which helps rescue dogs in Egypt. Currently they have 10 dogs in need of wheelchairs which cost $200 each. With over 200 dogs in their care, they do not have the funds to help these dogs. Sponsoring these animals will change their lives drastically. Zoe’s provides a sponsorship card as well as a tax receipt with your donation. Reach out to them by emailing info@zoesanimalrescuse.org using the keyword rescue, noting you would like to sponsor one of the ESMA dogs.

Here is a video of another sponsored dog (Gidget!) whom we had the pleasure of helping get the wheelchair she needed. This shows you the pure joy and life-changing happiness your help can bring these animals.

Hold your furry friends tight!

Love the Dave Sells Family

Edmonton Real Estate Market Snapshot

December 2016 & 2017 Forecast

Edmonton is the festival city with a beautiful backdrop of the river valley. How are the Edmonton home prices doing this Fall/Winter as compared to 2016? Here’s a glimpse….

EDMONTON:

  • Monthly Sales are up 0.42% year-over-year
  • New Inventory is down 16.51% year-over-year
  • Total Inventory is up 2.40% year-over-year
  • Supply of Inventory is roughly 7.27 months, meaning it’s still a buyers market. Sellers will need to ensure their properties are staged well and priced more attractively then their competition in order to SELL.
  • Average days on market is up to 69 days over 2015 with 62 days
  • Single Family average sale prices are down 0.86% year-over-year at $420,962
  • Condominium average sale prices are down 0.53% year-over-year at $247,647
  • Duplex & Rowhouse average sale prices are down 5.22% year-over-year at $228,000

According to the Realtors Association of Edmonton’s annual housing forecast, Chairman James Mabey predicts that the sales of residential homes will continue to remain relatively stable for 2017.

Single family homes performed well in 2016 and are only expected to have a small decline until the middle of 2017 ending approximately 1.7% under the 2016 numbers. Prices of single family homes will also see a slight decrease of around 2.2%. With inventory remaining higher than years before, $350,000-$450,000 single family homes will have the most continued strength in this category.

Condominium sales saw both a drop in unit sales and in prices in 2016. A slight increase and stabilization are expected by only a small margin – approximately 0.2%. Inventory will continue to increase 1.1%, with average sale price dropping by 3.8%

Alternatives to single family homes such as duplex’s and rowhouses continue to gain popularity, especially for first-time home buyers. Higher quality selection should keep average prices stable, with a modest increase in unit sales of 0.5%, matched by a modest drop in inventory by 0.5%. Overall unit sales are projected to decrease by1%.

“Edmonton had a positive 2016 despite ongoing economic uncertainty,” said Mabey. “Buyers are continuing to remain cautious, and sellers are having to set appropriate expectations and evaluate their motivation and urgency.”

If you would like to know the specific averages ($) of the houses in your neighborhood, you have 2 options:

  1. Contact Dave Ozubko directly at 780-966-8227, and he will provide you with additional information
    OR
  2. Visit Dave Ozubko’s website for the FULL HOUSING REPORT, which will provide you with all the details at: www.DaveSells.ca

If you would like any additional information on the real estate market, or if you’re thinking of buying or selling, please contact Dave directly as he would be glad to answer your questions.

Full Housing Report

2016 Residential Prices Resilient Through Economic Downturn

Winter season sales and inventory decrease

Edmonton, January 4, 2017: The Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) real estate market marked a year of overall stability in 2016. Prices were also consistently stable with only modest decreases throughout 2016. Condominiums and single family home prices decreased, with condominiums declining 0.53% and single family homes declining only 0.86%, relative to 2015. Duplexes and rowhouses, which account for approximately 10% of all unit sales, experienced the most decline in prices, decreasing 5.22% compared to 2015.

In total, 16,170 residential unit were reported sold in 2016 as compared to 17,325 in 2015. Average days on market for 2016 for all sold units was 57, up 6 days from the average of 51 days on market in 2015. The reported all-year sales to listing ratio was 52%, indicating a fairly balanced market.

“2016 was a steady year for real estate in Edmonton and many of the surrounding communities. The ongoing economic instability certainly affected unit sales and inventory, but sale prices have continued to hold,” said James Mabey, REALTORS® Association of Edmonton Chair.

In December 2016, sales of all residential properties through the Edmonton Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in the Edmonton CMA were up 0.42% from December 2015. This stability was reflected across all property types, which showed little change compared to the same month in 2015. Single family home unit sales were down only 2.53%, condominiums were unchanged and duplexes/rowhouses increased 19.44% from December 2015.

As is typical for the winter, December average days on market increased across all categories relative to the previous month. Single family homes required on average 62 days to sell, compared to 52 days in November 2016. Duplexes/rowhouses took 78 days to sell compared to 74 days in the previous month, and condominiums took 80 days to sell, only one day longer than November 2016. Overall, inventory for December in the Edmonton CMA was 5,208, which is down 19.8% relative to November 2016 and up 2.4% compared to the same month in 2015.

“Now that the 2016 holiday season is behind us and a new year is here, we expect listings and sales to begin to increase again,” said Mabey. “As Edmontonians are making their plans for 2017 and considering selling or buying a home, it is a great time to talk to a local REALTOR® for expert market advice.”

Review these statistics and more at www.ereb.com.

Tips for your holiday season

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The holidays are a very busy time of year for everyone. We at Dave Sells wanted to give you a few friendly reminders of things that can easily slip your mind while tossing back a few too many eggnog’s this season.

  • Don’t neglect those pipes! With the temperatures dropping, you don’t want frozen or burst pipes to ruin your festivities. Keep the water flowing through your pipes by frequently using or running taps. Ensuring there isn’t any stagnant water solidifying in the pipes is key.
  • Outside lines should also be turned off and/or insulated.
  • Inspect those holiday light strings for frays or cracks in the bulb holders. Keep all cords away and out of reach from your pets and children.
  • You don’t need a National Lampoon Christmas fire!
  • When running long sets of lights, make sure to not plug multiple extension cords together. Insert another Griswold Christmas joke here. Better to get a longer cord!
  • Installing lights on your roof? This should be a two-man job! Choose a suitable ladder and have someone spot/hold it while installing the lights. Even falling from one story can cause serious injury. Stay safe and plan -out your decorations!
  • All the holiday baking and cooking will have your stove and oven working overtime. Test out your smoke alarm batteries, and well as your CO2 detector.
  • Hiding all the gifts can be a task all its own, but don’t be tempted to store flammable materials too close to your furnace. All the wrapping and tissue papers do not mix with your gas furnace.

The Dave Sells family wants you to have a safe and happy holiday!

A Review of New Mortgage Rules

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Buying a house has become a little bit more complicated with the implementation of the new mortgage rules last month, as well as the refinance rules coming into play Nov 30th. With concerns that some of the real estate markets in Canada are inflated, these changes are supposed to remove some of the risks in the housing market. This can have a significant impact on the housing markets, especially first-time home buyers. We at Dave Sells, and our friend Evangeline with Evangeline Mortgages, have put together a short article to go over some of these changes, and clarify any questions you might have about the changes.

Mortgage Rates

  • New rules became effective Oct 17th, 2017
  • These rules apply to high ration purchases (less than 20% down) submitted after the effect date.
  • Mortgage applications with less than 20% down must pass a stress test.
  • A stress test qualifies the mortgage at benchmark rate – which is 4.64% – instead of the contract rate.
  • Clients will still receive the lower contract rate of their mortgage commitment – which today is between 2.35% to 2.69% – but they must qualify to carry the mortgage at 4.64%.
  • Fixed rate mortgage terms for 1-4 years and all variable rate mortgages had to qualify at benchmark rate prior to these changes; the new rules only affect the 5-year fixed term.

Refinance rates

  • New rules became effective Nov 30th, 2017
  • Some lenders will allow you to refinance and qualify at contract rate with a maximum term of 30 years amortization.
  • Most lenders must qualify to refinance at benchmark rate with a maximum term of 25 years amortization.

With these new changes, we have seen a 20-22% decrease in the purchasing power of clients after the stress test. Mortgage brokers are now crucial to providing opposition and competition to banks. This will prevent the banks from increasing rates and costs associated with mortgages, while decreasing options for obtaining a mortgage. Using a mortgage broker comes with great benefits, because they can still get you a mortgage with many of the big banks, while also accessing other exceptional lenders, all at no cost to you!

Let us and our friends help you find your forever home!

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