Should you take the plunge on a rental property? Experts offer a qualified yes! Investing in a rental property can be profitable, but it’s not without risks. Here are some valued tips we’ve compiled for first time landlords:


Determine if buying an investment rental property is right for you:

Before you leap in, you’ll want to consider whether you have the time, willingness and skill to put into managing a rental. While rental property is considered a passive investment, that doesn’t mean you’re fully passive in managing it. Over the long-term, real estate investments may compare favorably to other long-term investments such as stocks, but the results can vary significantly depending on the circumstances of the region and specific property. You’ll want to consider whether you think you can increase rent payments over time and why the economy surrounding the property would support that, among other issues.


Budget for the unexpected:

As a landlord, you want to save about 20-30% of your rental income for upkeep, maintenance and emergencies. You always underestimate all the different expenses that have a way of coming up and always overestimate just how positive the cash flow is going to be.


Understand how rental law works:

Provincial and local landlord-tenant laws can act like an open manhole cover for rental owners who ignore them. Case in point is tenant security deposits. It’s not as simple as collecting and holding the money. Security deposit laws govern how much time you have to return a security deposit when tenancy ends, less any expenses for cleaning and repair, all of which have to be itemized. Of course, this is only one aspect of the laws surrounding rental property, and there are many others that landlords must know in order to avoid running afoul of them. You’ll want to be familiar with rules around eviction, fair housing and other regulatory requirements.

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If you're looking to spruce up your home, the Property Brothers have some advice for you on what you definitely don’t want to do.


"One thing that I do see a lot — and it looks terrible when you're trying to sell the house, too — is when people paint their cabinets in their kitchen," Drew shared. "If you just come in with a latex paint and paint it — think of how much use a door gets and then it just starts to get scratched and starts to slough off, and it looks terrible.”


"If you're getting inspiration online, make sure you're following somebody who is a professional who knows what they're doing," Johnathan said. He also added that you shouldn't reach out to him on social media asking whether or not it's ok to take out a wall in your home. "Like, if you are tweeting me that question, you should not do any structural work at all," he said.


The Scott brothers recommend getting professional help when it comes to the big stuff. "Anytime it involves something that requires a skilled professional or permits, whether that's electrical plumbing structure, those are things you really want to have done by a professional," said Jonathan.


- Never Make These Awful Reno Fails courtsey of Narcity.com

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If you’re thinking of selling your house, or just want to update your space, making improvements to your home’s curb appeal is a great place to start! Unlike a pricier bathroom renovation or kitchen redesign, there are lots of easy ways you can boost your home’s curb appeal on a budget. Here are some helpful tips to get you started:


- One of the most impactful ways to boost curb appeal is to add some fresh greenery and flowers. Use plants to accentuate and frame key visual points, like windows and entryways, and if you don’t have room for a standing planter, hook up a hanging one.


- Your front door is the most visible, eye-catching feature on the exterior of your home. Fixing it up and repainting it is a project that can easily be done in an afternoon.


- If you already have a sconce or hanging pendant by your front door, replace it with something a bit more fun and fresh. Clean off all cobwebs and debris around outdoor light fixtures, which will instantly make the space appear more bright and clean.


- Make a point of clearing out your gutters regularly. While you’re up there, scrub or pressure-wash the exterior of your gutters so they look bright, clean, and refreshed.

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As well as property size and location, when valuing a property, estate agents will take into consideration:

- Market reports

- Local knowledge, including micro markets

- Knowledge of previous sales and current demand in the housing market

- The quality of decoration and workmanship around the property

- Development opportunities or unique features


A selling agent should always be able to explain how they’ve come up with their valuation and give examples of what comparable properties have sold for.


It can be tempting to blindly choose the estate agent who’s given you the highest valuation. After all, you want the best price for your home! But if a property is priced too high for the market, it won’t sell. The longer a home is on the market, the more likely buyers are to think there’s something wrong with it, and the more likely you are to have to drop the price. An agent should also take into account their knowledge of active buyers in the market; at the end of the day they are the ones who have to be persuaded to pay up! An over-ambitious valuation, although tempting, deters buyers from coming to view, prolongs a sale process and almost always results in a lower selling price.


- Courtsey of struttandparker.com

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After the hard work of finding and moving into the perfect home, you’re finally ready for the best part: getting adjusted into your new neighborhood! Here are a few insightful tips for getting you settled in after moving day:


- Get you bills in order: You probably had the essentials switched over to your name so you wouldn’t be without them on move-in day. But you’ll need to make appointments for other services, like cable or home security, right after you move in. Other essentials may also have slipped off your radar, like neighborhood trash pickup dates.


- Find your community online: Nextdoor and neighborhood or community groups on Facebook are an easy way to start following what’s happening in your new neighborhood.


- Study the rules: Before you jump into those home improvement projects, make sure they’re not against any bylaws.


- Get to know the neighborhood: You should make an effort to explore that new neighborhood in order to get to know it better. Whenever you feel like you need a break from unpacking, go for an exploratory trip around your new neighborhood to get a feel of the environment around you.

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Choosing a realtor is a personal decision. You may interview several realtors before finding the perfect fit for your personality and specific needs. When interviewing a realtor, there are several questions you may want to ask before entering into an agreement to buy or sell through that realtor. You may consider asking the following:


- How long have you been in real estate?
You may feel more comfortable with the zest and enthusiasm of a newly-licensed realtor or the sage advice of an experienced realtor.


-  What is your average list-to-sales price ratio?
A realtor should have a track record of negotiating sales prices that are very close to list prices.


-  How will your marketing plan meet my needs?

Ask specifically about advertising, online marketing, sample flyers, staging and general approach.


- How will you ensure I find a place I love?
Ask specifically about what steps a realtor will take to meet your criteria.


- Do you have any references?
A realtor should be able and willing to provide you contact information for past client references.


-  What separates you from your competition?
Listen for the traits you value in a trusted advisor and ensure the realtor is comfortable with the channels and

frequency of communication you will want.


-  May I review documents I will be asked to sign?
Good realtors will share important forms with you in advance of signing and will answer your questions about them. Ask to see Agency Disclosure, Listing Agreement and Seller Disclosure forms. 


- What sort of referrals will you make?
Realtors can be a great source for references to related professionals, such as property inspectors, general contractors, or decorators. realtors may be compensated for their referrals.


- What sort of guarantee do you offer?
If you plan to sign a listing or buying agreement with a realtor and are unhappy with the service you receive, will the realtor let you cancel?


- What haven't I asked you that I need to know?
Keep asking questions. The more you ask, the better prepared you'll be to determine if it's the right fit.


- Article from albertarealtor.ca
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  1. Site it right. Starting a garden is just like real estate, it's all about location. Place your garden in a part of your yard where you'll see it regularly, that way, you'll be much more likely to spend time in it.
  2. Follow the sun. Pay attention to how sunlight plays through your yard before choosing a spot for your garden. Most edible plants, including many vegetables, herbs, and fruits, need at least 6 hours of sun in order to thrive.
  3. Stay close to water. Make sure you can run a hose to your garden site, so you don't have to lug water to it each time your plants get thirsty. The best way to tell if plants need watering is to push a finger an inch down into the soil, if it's dry, it's time to water.
  4. Choose the right plants. It's important to select plants that match your growing conditions. This means putting sun-loving plants into a sunny spot, and giving ground-gobbling vines like pumpkins and melons ample elbow room (or a trellis to climb).
  5. Learn your frost dates. Planting too early (or late) in the season can spell disaster for your garden. You need to know the last average spring frost date for your area so you don't accidentally kill plants by putting them out prematurely. It's also good to know your first average fall frost date so that you get your plants harvested or moved indoors before late-season cold damages them.
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To make this year's spring cleaning your most productive yet, here are some of our top spring cleaning tips of all time. Whether your spring cleaning routine is an all-weekend marathon or multiple after-work cleaning sessions, these tips will help get the job done faster and more efficiently!


- Before you begin, declutter your space. An organized home is generally more attractive than an overcrowded one. Decluttering also gives you a better idea of what you already own. Decluttering can help make your home feel cleaner and less chaotic.

- Clean in order. Always clean from the top down, this keeps everything you’ve already cleaned from getting dirty again.

- Mix up your own all-natural cleanser. Here's a simple recipe from Melissa Maker of Clean My Space, which can be used on quartz, granite, and marble counters, plus appliances and sinks.

   - 3/4 cup water

   - 3/4 cup running alcohol 

   - 5 to 10 drops peppermint, lemon, or orange essential oil

   - 1 squirt natural dish soap

           1. Combine all of the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well.

           2. Spray onto the surface and wipe with a clean cloth.

- Dust the efficient way. To cut your dusting time in half, use a universal horse hair vacuum attachment, they suck the dust up instead of moving it around into the air, where it settles and undoes your hard work.

- Make it fun. While cleaning isn’t always the easiest task to do while the sun is shining and the weather is warming up, you can take this time to check out a new podcast, belt out your favorite songs, or re-connect with a loved one virtually.

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A successful moving day takes a lot of planning and strategy. Packing requires the utmost attention to detail, and arranging for help with any aspect of the move can add to the challenge. To keep you from stressing, follow tips and tricks!


Have a designated packing zone. Having all of your packing materials spread all over the house is going to waste your time, and make it super frustrating when you really need the tape. Your packing zone can move as you move between rooms, just make sure your zone is well-stocked with packing supplies like tape, markers, and boxes.


Don’t pack what you don’t need. If you don’t need it, there’s really no sense in packing it. So take a good look at all your belongings, decide whether you’ll keep it, donate it, or toss it.


Go room by room. Check everywhere for things you may have left behind. The backs of closets, under bed frames, in the cabinet above the fridge you never open.


Set a 50 lbs. per box limit. The last thing you want to do on moving day is hurt yourself. Or hurt your friend who graciously volunteered to help.


Play Tetris with your belongings. When you’re packing, you should leave no spaces in your boxes. Space gives your possessions more room to rattle around and potentially break. Make use of every available nook and cranny by using packing materials or soft objects like your clothes to fill spaces between bigger, more rigid items.


- Moving Tips and Tricks from wemovetheworld.com

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A cure for the gloom that’s gripped Edmonton since the oil economy tanked six years ago and was only made worse by more than a full year of COVID lockdown measures? 


Edmonton businessman Rick Peterson has both the perfect message and a solid plan.


“There’s no better place in the world to be than Edmonton in the next 10 years,” Peterson said. “If you have a 25-year-old son or daughter, tell them to stay here because it’s going to cook. There are just so many good things happening.”


Peterson’s optimism flows out of the conventional oil and gas industry, where he sees US$80 per barrel oil on the way, but also because he sees a coming boom in the energy transition economy, in hydrogen production to power big trucks and in lithium extraction to build batteries.


Edmonton’s advantages are low housing costs, a vibrant cultural sector, as well as the University of Alberta’s capacity as an incubator for new technology to drive the energy transition, Peterson said. “There’s no better staging area for all of this stuff than our city, way better than Calgary.”


Edmonton can become a central hub for financing the transitional energy economy, said Peterson, who runs Peterson Capital and has been in the investments sector for 25 years.


When companies call him, he said they’re looking for government connections, which favours Edmonton over Calgary.


One more advantage for Edmonton is that the skills of oil and gas workers and engineers transfer to energy transition projects, such as the waste-to-gas projects being built by companies like Green Impact Partners.


The new company has two projects in Colorado, and two more planned in Alberta and B.C., where high carbon methane manure waste from major dairy and cattle operations is collected, purified and added into natural gas grids.


Albertans have built hundreds of gas plants, said Green Impact chief executive officer Jesse Douglas, and workers can use those skills to manage these methane-conversion plants. “I think they can make us leaders here,” said Douglas of this skilled workforce, “making us leaders on the world scale.”


Right now about 0.6 per cent of North America’s energy is supplied by clean gas, Douglas said, adding that a target of 10 per cent is the goal. If that amount of methane is taken out of emissions and turned into far lower carbon gas, the gas grid will be either carbon neutral or carbon negative, he said.


Alberta investors and government leaders are now moving in the right direction, Douglas said. “There’s an intention to be North America’s leader in how we do this.”


One of Alberta’s biggest business plays will be in lithium extraction by companies like E3 Metals Corp, which has found one of the world’s largest deposits around Red Deer.


This reserve has about seven million tonnes of lithium stored deep in the Earth in brine water. This water is already pumped to the surface in Alberta’s massive oil and gas operations. E3 Metals will take that brine water, purify it through nanotech processes developed in part at the University of Alberta, and sell the lithium to battery makers.


In 2015, when E3 CEO Chris Doornbos, a geologist who worked at Suncor oilsands, first tried to raise money for lithium mining, he was laughed out of Calgary boardrooms. But he realized massive demand for lithium was on its way.

 

“This seemed like a no-brainer to me. Why wouldn’t you chase this?”


Investors and the government are now coming around to lithium, he said. “We either jump on board and build part of Alberta’s energy story around the electric trend or we bury our heads in the sand and ignore it. We are adamant that would be silly.”


The plan is to have a pilot project next year, with production rising to 20,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide by 2025, Doornbos said.


Much of the world’s annual lithium production of 82,000 tonnes now comes from ecologically-iffy evaporation ponds in Chile and Argentina. In Alberta, the plan is for lithium production to be a form of water treatment, all of it done in a plant with no evaporation ponds, with all the water used pumped back down into the 400-million-year-old Leduc reef, less its rich lithium bounty.
 

Of course, the Leduc aquifer is the same geological formation that kicked off Alberta’s oil boom in 1947. “That which started the oil rush has now started the lithium rush,” Doornbos said.


The Alberta story in energy and minerals isn’t over, it seems. It’s changing lanes but ready to move as fast as ever.


- Story from David Staples (Edmonton Journal)

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Most of us immediately rush into the kitchen each morning to make a hot cup of coffee, so you may just need a charming coffee bar setup in your life! You deserve to carve out an aesthetically pleasing nook to display all of your coffee-making supplies. DIY coffee bars are a useful way to make your kitchen more cozy and friendly. I am sharing a few of my favorite coffee bar setup tips that may inspire you!


- Clear canisters make it easy to determine when you're running low on coffee-making essentials and also ensure that guests will be able to easily navigate their way around the kitchen.


- Stock up on coffee treats whether they're homemade or store-bought, and display them on a cake stand so guests feel like they're at their favorite cafe.


- Fill oil pourers with your favorite syrups to make custom beverages.


- During the work week, set out a travel mug so you can grab your coffee and go. To help you stay healthy during busy days, set a basket of fruit next to the coffee machine.


- Personalize your coffee station by adding a vase of flowers, coffee-related wall decor, or a small plant!


- Many coffee mugs are decor pieces in their own right and deserve to be displayed. In this case, you might prefer a mug rack. There are freestanding models, as well as wall-mounted units to choose from.



- DIY Coffee Bar Tips from HGTV.com

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Garneau is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city of Edmonton. It is named after one of its first inhabitants, Laurent Garneau, a former Manitoba Métis rebel and Hudson's Bay Company employee who, with his wife and family, settled here around 1874.


It is located west of the Strathcona neighborhood and just east of the University of Alberta campus. The neighborhood overlooks the beautiful North Saskatchewan River valley.


The community currently consists of single-family homes primarily in the southwest; and walk-ups, row-housing, and family oriented residential development to the southeast. Transit and LRT development, low-rise apartments, and high-rises are found mostly in the northeast and along the top of the river valley; while high-density apartments and commercial development rise along 112 Street.


Neighborhood Renewal work will resume in Garneau in May 2022. The work will involve road reconstruction and repaving, as well as replacement of street lights and reconstruction of sidewalks, curb and gutter. It also includes the opportunity for 2 local improvements, sidewalk renewal and decorative street lights.


- Neighborhood spotlight from Wikipedia.

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You might ask why having a home inspection is important when you’ve already spent a good deal of time looking at the property with your realtor or your family and checking to make sure everything is in good shape. The unknowns can end up affecting you deeply financially, so let’s dive in and discuss the main reasons for having a home inspection.


If you don’t already know an inspector, ask for referrals, check reviews, and look at the company’s website and references. Ask if the inspector who will do the work is certified. You should expect an organized report with plenty of detail and photos. It is important to find one who cares!


If you’re a prospective buyer of the home that’s being inspected, it’s recommended that you walk through with the inspector during the process. Make sure to ask any questions that you think of during the inspection in order to be more knowledgeable about the home you’re buying.


After a home inspection is completed, you can ask your real estate agent to negotiate any necessary repairs with the sellers or ask the sellers to lower the price so you can fix the problems yourself. However, a buyer should be aware that a seller is not obligated to fix anything.


In in the long run, you'll be glad you went with a home inspection. If you are a first-time homebuyer, an inspection can give you a crash course in home maintenance and a checklist of items that need attention to make your home as safe as possible.

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There’s plenty to look forward to as a first-time home buyer, buying a home is one of the largest purchases you will ever make and an excellent asset to your future. The experience may be very different based on your location, financial situation and other factors, however, the basic steps, remain the same.


- What can I afford?

This is one of the most important questions to ask. Your mortgage lender will be able to figure out a number based on your income, credit scores, assets, and more. You will also need to take into account costs like property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. All of this will help you determine how much you’re able to pay for your home.


- Which Neighborhoods Are Best for Me?

Finding a neighborhood that suits your lifestyle is an important step of the home buying process. A good walk or a drive through the area can reveal nearby amenities that may be important to you: parks, grocery stores, restaurants, libraries, schools, etc. Commuting to and from work is a part of many people's days, so factoring in access to roads and public transportation may be a good idea. Research whether anything is going to substantially change the area, such as any planned developments or construction. You have to take into consideration all of your needs and wants before making a decision about where to live. 


- Turnkey vs. Fixer-Upper?

A turnkey home is a move-in-ready property. There is no need for any improvements, or major projects. These types of homes let you get right to living your life rather than focusing on renovations. If you want your home to be uniquely your own, you’re still going to have to do some projects as these home generally come with neutral features to attract the broadest clientele. The market value is always higher for these homes, you’re paying a premium for convenience and instant access. Fixer-upper houses tend to need a bit of work. Dependent on how much renovations are needed to be done on the house, the market price will be lower. While doing the renovations, you can add your personal touch and make a house uniquely your own. A home inspection can catch some of the biggest issues, but it’s easy for a small project to uncover more issues. Because these problems have to be addressed, they create a much larger project than you’d planned. Whether you decide to renovate or buy a new home, it’s important to do your research before you proceed.


- Why should I use a real estate agent?

A real estate agent has your back. They have what's known as a "fiduciary" resposibilty to their clients, which means they are legally obligated to put their clients' best interests first and will. A real estate agent will help you find the right home and will offer you advice on what price to offer and any conditions you might want to consider. It’s important to choose an agent who is familiar with the area where you are searching for a home. Your agent will be alert for issues that may not cross your mind, they will recognize the telltale signs of any problems that may arise and know how best to approach them. This experience and knowledge can end up saving you thousands down the road. 


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Welcome to 2022!


The real estate market tends to cool down as soon as the winter temperatures hit. This, however, does not mean you cannot sell real estate during winter! You can start by following these winter home staging tips that will make your property cozy and beautiful, even in our coldest -30℃ days!


- One of the simplest tips for winter is to set your thermostat to a temperature that most people will find comfortable. You don’t want your home to feel too cold or too hot. Additionally, now would be a great time to fix air leaks in your home. Windows and exterior doors can create cold spots that will give your guests a chill.


- Winter means shorter days and longer darkness periods. Make your home inviting by adding more light to rooms. Ideally, you should avoid bright white lights as they can tend to highlight small imperfections in your walls, floors, and ceilings. A few carefully placed candles could also make your rooms look cozy and comfortable!


- Winter can encourage nesting - which means more stuff. In any home, storage space matters. Start by clearing your storage areas out. Don't load up closets, basements or garages with bins. Reduce the personal pictures, memorabilia on surfaces and walls so rooms look more expansive.


- Make sure guests’ first impression of your home is a good one, including an accessible entryway. Have a clear pathway for visitors and potential buyers to and from your home. Your driveway and sidewalk should be clear of ice and snow.

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The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are member’s of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.