4 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Winter Bills

Sun, 20 Nov by jimstrobl

Warming-up-house-winter

As most of us already know, the hydro prices have continued to soar in Canada. While we’re all feeling the pinch, the winter season adds even more strain with heating bills to worry about as well.

To help ease the burden a bit, check out these 4 tips on reducing your winter bills. We’ve given you some relatively easy steps you can take. But, adding all these little steps together could turn into major savings for you throughout the winter.

 

1. Equip and Use a Programmable Thermostat

This one should go without saying – but many people still don’t use the programming features of their thermostats! Every 1 degree you adjust your thermostat saves you 2% on your energy costs. That means a smart program that lowers your home’s temperature when you’re not there could save you hundreds – or even thousands – on your winter heating.

If you have an old fashioned thermostat, you can get a programmable one equipped for usually less than $100. And trust us when we say it’s money well spent.

2. Find and Cover Drafty Doors and Windows

Heat loss is one of the largest sources of added energy expenses during the winter. And the two biggest places you lose heat are through your windows and your doors. If you can’t replace older windows, use plastic wrap insulation during the cold months. You can also use thermal curtains to help keep the cold away. Even an under door draft stopper can make a big difference in terms of your overall heat savings.

3. Let the Sun in When You Can

While thermal curtains are great when it’s cold and dark, take advantage of Mother Nature when the sun is shining. Sunshine – particularly from the south – can bring some significant heat into your home through your windows. Open up those curtains on warm and sunny winter days to take advantage of the heat transfer.

4. Change Your Furnace Filters

Seriously – when was the last time you had your filters changed in your heating system? Dirty filters aren’t just bad for your allergies – they can seriously affect your heater’s efficiency. Replace them with clean filters to keep your system running smoothly.

Helping with All Your Real Estate Needs

Whether you’re buying or selling, Jim Strobl is here to help. He’ll show you properties that feature more energy efficient windows and heating systems. That way, you can rest easier knowing you’re ready for whatever energy costs we all may experience.

To learn more or to see what’s available in Edmonton, visit  jimstrobl.ca or feel free to call at 780-906-0009.

November in YEG: Remembrance Day

Thu, 10 Nov by jimstrobl

poppys-remembrance-dayHonour Our Veterans with Edmonton’s Remembrance Day Events

When you live in Edmonton, you know you’re among people who appreciate the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for their country. No time does this community spirit show more than the wide range of activities the city and local businesses provide to commemorate Remembrance Day. Here are some of the activities to help you honour those who made your freedom a reality:

Edmonton City Hall: Remembrance Day Service – November 11, 2016

To honour the sacrifices and achievements of the nation’s veterans, Edmonton City Hall will hold a Remembrance Day Service, beginning at 10:15 a.m. in the City Room on Friday, November 11, 2016. In order for the service to start on time, however, you must find a seat by 10: 10 a.m. Seating begins at 9:45 a.m.

Plan to arrive early, since traffic on 100 Street will be down to one lane in each direction. Use 97 Street to bypass the traffic on 100 Street. City Hall will provide free parking for those who attend.

The commanding officer of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment will lead the service, joined by His Worship, Edmonton’s mayor, Don Iveson. Attendees can view Private Cecil John Kinross’s Victoria Cross Medal, which he earned for his conspicuous bravery during the First World War, in October 1917.

After the service, attendees can join an outdoor procession to the City Hall’s cenotaph. Dignitaries will lay wreaths in remembrance of Edmonton’s veterans.

The University of Alberta Remembrance Day Ceremony – November 11, 2016

Arrive early to the Butterdome at the Van Vliet Centre at 89 Avenue and 112 Street to honour Canada’s veterans. Attendees must be in their seats by 10:00 a.m. The ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will last two hours.

Loyal Edmonton Regiment Military Museum Remembrance Day Ceremony – November 11, 2016

Come to the Prince of Wales Armouries Heritage Centre, 10440 – 108 Avenue, at 10:00 a.m. to commemorate Remembrance Day at the Loyal Edmonton Regiment Military Museum. Attendees will honour veterans with a short ceremony, followed by a minute of silence.

Afterward, tour the museum to see mementos of local veterans whose sacrifice made the nation’s freedom possible. Admission and parking are free. The museum’s Remembrance Day hours are 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

ETS Offers Free Transit for Veterans and Active Members – November 11, 2016

The city of Edmonton honours its veterans and active members by offering them free transit on Remembrance Day. Routes will begin early and run every 30 minutes. To take advantage of the program, veterans must either dress in their military or legion uniform, show their Canadian Forces identification card, their national defence record of service card, or their veteran’s card.

When you come to Edmonton, you’ll know you’re home. Not only does the city have a great community spirit, but it also honours those who made the ultimate sacrifice to make the city a secure, peaceful place to live. To discover more advantages of living life to its fullest here in Edmonton, contact Edmonton real estate professional Jim Strobl today.

(Suggested Meta Description: Join us in Edmonton to commemorate Remembrance Day on November 11 this year. Attend one of the city’s Edmonton-area Remembrance Day activities.)

Spooktacular Things to Do in Edmonton

Sat, 29 Oct by jimstrobl

YEG Halloween Activities

spooky-halloweenHalloween is the time for all things spooky and scary. Here in Edmonton, there are a variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy. When you are looking for some fun things to do around here this Halloween, you have so many options to choose from. Here are some of the best:

Deadmonton Haunted House

This haunted house is not suitable for children under the age of 12. It is the scariest option you have in the Edmonton area. Visitors are advised that they are entering at their own risk and that the event may be dangerous for those suffering from heart conditions, epilepsy, respiratory issues or claustrophobia. Despite the cautions, those that are up for the challenge are in for a scary good time.

Boo @ the Zoo

This event lets guests get up close and personal with some of the scariest creatures in the animal kingdom. It all happens while everyone is dressed in costume to add to the fun. In addition to the Halloween festivities, the event also incorporates hands-on science exhibits, as well as arts and crafts for the whole family to enjoy.

Penny Deadful

This event takes visitors back in time to the Gothic era, allowing them to step into another world. It is suitable for all ages, offering aspects at different scare levels to accommodate the wishes of each guest. For the little ones, there will be trick-or-treat stops, and older visitors will enjoy several haunted mazes. This annual event is a delight for the whole family.

Potted Potter

This delightful show crams all seven Harry Potter books into one cohesive show. Even those who are not fans of the books will enjoy the fantastical fun. The show has generated rave reviews worldwide and features all of the characters that fans have come to know and love. Be sure to buy tickets early, because the show is only exhibiting at the Myer Horowitz Theatre for two nights.

For More Fun and Excitement in Edmonton

The events listed here show just a small sampling of what goes on in Edmonton throughout the year. When you decide that it is time to make the move to make Edmonton your home, get in touch with Jim Strobl. With expertise in the local area, an experienced real estate agent can help you find the perfect home to suit your and your family’s needs. Call us today to get the process started.

CMHC Raises Red Warning About Housing Market in Canada

Fri, 28 Oct by jimstrobl

Canadian Street - Real Estate

For the first time, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) is raising the level of risk in the country’s real estate market from moderate (yellow) to strong (red). This is the result of rapidly rising prices in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada’s two most expensive cities. The high prices in these areas are spilling out into the surrounding regions as well, raising concern among many experts in the industry.

Why Has This Happened?

Canada is experiencing a unique combination right now of high levels of consumer debt coupled with rising home prices throughout the country. It has gotten to the point that home prices are rising significantly faster than household income levels. The rise in home prices has been spurred on by consistently low interest rates, making it more affordable for buyers to get home loans. Unfortunately, these real estate market conditions are not sustainable, so it is likely that interest rates will rise to help quell the rise in prices.

In addition, many foreign buyers are snapping up homes all across the country to use as investment properties, leaving fewer options available for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. To help slow this down, B.C. issued a 15 percent tax on foreign purchases in Vancouver and the surrounding areas, effective August 2, 2016. Since the inception of the tax, foreign purchases in the area have dropped dramatically, leaving more options for local residents.

What Does It Mean for Home Buyers?

Going forward, a “stress test” will be instituted for all new mortgages. This test is designed to determine whether or not buyers will still be able to make their monthly mortgage payments even if interest rates are to rise or the buyer experiences a change of financial situation. Although this will make it more difficult for many buyers, particularly first-time home buyers, to obtain mortgages, the ultimate goal of the test is to protect Canadians from getting stuck in a debt that they cannot afford. Some buyers may need to delay their purchases until a later date, but experts believe that the change will ultimately help the real estate market to stabilize.

A Realtor Can Help

Despite the somewhat bleak outlook that this change seems to raise, prospective home buyers still have options available to them. An experienced Realtor, like Jim Strobl, can help you evaluate your options. With careful planning and preparation, it is still possible to purchase a new home in this market.

Real Estate Tips: Infills

Thu, 22 Sep by jimstrobl

Making the Most Out of Infill Spaces

Infill Housing has continued to gain remarkable traction across the Canadian real estate market. As neighborhoods are revitalized and demand continues to rise, the need for ongoing infill housing construction and renovations is only surging higher.

With this much demand, the challenge many builders and renovators face comes down to space. Infill housing needs to maximize space and utilize every square foot of a property. But in practice, the concept of maximizing space is often easier said than done.

Below are several tips to best maximize infill space to get the best ‘bang for your buck’ for these properties:

Think Creatively

Part of the challenge with any urban infill relates to the non-traditional lot sizes, shapes, and related space issues. In days past, builders and property buyers would simply dismiss a small lot as not worth the investment.

However, those days are now gone. With the immense demand for residential property, the challenge now comes to getting creative and working with the space that’s available.

Small space often brings out the creativity in all aspects of a home – from its architecture to its floor plan designs. This also helps to create unique and distinct properties that will remain in-demand.

Complement Existing Properties

Another important component to any revitalization or construction project is bringing a neighborhood together into an attractive, unified space. When properties are built or renovated, those renovations should reflect the space that surrounds them.

This type of unity enhances the property values for all homes. And it’s a consideration that designers need to maintain in their projects.

Embrace the Minimalist Movement

Many infill spaces have shown remarkable promise in converting very small spaces into highly functional, minimalist-style homes. Rather than exist unused, spaces in between current developments can be transformed into smaller square footage space. And many buyers are very much interested in living in these minimalist-style homes.

See the End Through Transformation

Something as simple as an old garage or a barn can enjoy a new life with a creative, objective-focused property. Many urban spaces are razed and rebuilt within an urban area. But in many cases, maintaining as much of a former property as possible can yield dynamic, interesting and one-of-a-kind real estate results.

For example, old factories or warehouses can be transformed into efficient living spaces. Brick foundations can be retained and built around with contemporary construction. A transformative approach to infill space can produce some truly amazing properties that buyers will be excited about.

If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Edmonton area, look no further than Realtor® Jim Strobl.

Dog Days of Summer

Mon, 22 Aug by jimstrobl

Edmonton’s Off-Leash Dog Parks: Where to go and what to do

 

Active seniors getting ready for a run with their dog outside in green nature

Perhaps you’re looking to buy a property in the Edmonton area and you need to find a great spot for dog walks. Maybe you live in Edmonton already and are interested in buying a dog, or it could be that you and your dog are simply looking for a change of scenery. Whatever your motives, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to dog-friendly parks in Edmonton.

Below you will find details on some of the best off-leash locations in the city, where both you and your furry companion can put yourselves through your paces. Enjoy!

Great Off-the-Leash Spots

North: Lago Lindo Pipeline

A great little spot of green just north of 167 Avenue where your dog can enjoy exercise off the leash.

West: Callingwood

This park is found at 172 Street from 70 Avenue and contains an area of scrubland ideal for a round of fetch or frisbee with your pooch. The shale walkway in the park is not an off-leash area.

East: Millwoods Pipeline

In the Whitemud Drive and Hillview Crescent region of the city, this area includes a ravine crossing which is not off-leash.

South: Keheewin

Another pipeline corridor, this time at the south end of 109 Street. Blackmud Creek and the ravine here are not included in the off-leash area.

Central: Riverside Hiking Trail

A charming little hiking trail located right off Jasper Avenue in the heart of the city. The perfect place to exercise your dog and yourself at the same time.

Doggy-Owner Etiquette

It is important to remember to be considerate and responsible when enjoying Edmonton with your dog. The City of Edmonton has some rules for you to follow to ensure a safe and enjoyable time for dogs and owners alike.

  • Keep at least ten metres from schools, playing fields or picnic sites.
  • Only walk your dog off its leash within the designated areas.
  • NEVER walk a restricted dog off its leash, EVEN in a designated area.
  • Act quickly to prevent aggressive behaviour from your dog.
  • Train your dog to respond quickly when called.
  • Clean up any mess that your dog may make.
  • Make sure that your dog is up to date with its vaccinations.
  • Do not allow your dog to chase wildlife or other animals.
  • Take your dog’s leash with you, even if walking your dog in an off-leash area.
  • Remember that even dog parks are multi-use, and you must share the space with other users.
  • The City of Edmonton Government is serious about protecting its spaces, residents, and their pets, and will administer a range of fines if these rules are broken. However, staying within the regulations isn’t hard to achieve, and leads to a safe, responsible and enjoyable time in the open with the fluffiest member of the family.

For information on property and real estate in Edmonton, browse our information pages or get in touch with our local expert and dog lover, Jim Strobl!

YEG Happenings: August Festivals

Wed, 10 Aug by jimstrobl
Edmonton Fringe Festival 2006 - photograph by Bill Wren https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Edmonton Fringe Festival – photographed by Bill Wren https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Summer is in full swing; the kids are off from school and the sun is doing its thing. It’s time to look forward to the month that lies ahead of us and to make a plan for how best to enjoy this time of year before it gives way to autumn once again.

Fortunately, there are a range of festivals catering to a variety of tastes in Edmonton this summer. Here are the details for a couple of the city’s highlights…

Edmonton Folk Music Festival – Gallagher Hill, August 4 – 7

Edmonton Folk Music Festival – or EFMF – is Alberta’s premiere celebration of all things folk. The lineup for this year’s festival provides a “who’s who” of the biggest names on the global folk scene including Tallest Man on Earth from Sweden, and Seattle’s The Head and the Heart.

Of course, there is room on the bill for some of the leading lights of the Canadian folk scene too, including the likes of Rose Cousins, the multi-awarding winning artist currently based in Nova Scotia.

The festival’s venue is almost as much of an attraction as the musicians who will be gracing its stage. Concertgoers find themselves positioned on the slopes of a hill in Gallagher Park, bathed (hopefully) in glorious sunshine and looking out towards the stage and the iconic Edmonton skyline beyond it. It promises to be a truly magical experience for all in attendance.

35th Edmonton International Fringe Festival – 84 Avenue, August 11 – 21

Taking over Edmonton from mid-August onwards, the International Fringe Festival brings an array of both free and ticketed theatrical events to the city. As many as 40 venues will be hosting events across the 11 days, as 1,600 live performances are held before a variety of crowds.

Now celebrating 35 years in the business, the Edmonton International Fringe Festival is the longest running celebration of its type in North America, as well as the largest. The event’s organizers are also holding KidsFringe; a family-friendly event aimed at connecting kids and parents with the fun and vibrancy of the fringe. KidsFringe is a free event.

Want to experience everything that makes Edmonton and Alberta great? Grab yourself a ticket to one of the festivals above and have yourself a summer that you won’t forget in a hurry. Want to learn more about the hottest properties in local real estate? Browse our blog or get in touch with a member of our team today. Jim Strobl has had years of experience helping sellers and buyers succeed in Edmonton’s real estate market.

Landscaping Tips for Summer

Tue, 26 Jul by jimstrobl

7 Never-Fail Outdoor Landscaping Tips for Summer

Outdoor landscaping showcases your home, especially during the summer. Read these summer landscaping tips from Jim Strobl.

Your home’s landscaping is often the first thing potential buyers—and guests, for that matter—see when they pull up to your home. Summertime gives you a natural stage to show off your property with well-placed outdoor landscaping. Here are seven summer landscaping tips that will boost your home’s curb appeal and attract guests to enjoy summer fun:

1. Consider Your Home’s Overall Design

Plan summer landscaping that fits in well with your home’s architecture. If yours is a Colonial Revival, urns overflowing with fragrant flowers and formal hedges can emphasize your home’s classic lines. On the other hand, you can play up your mid-century modern home’s design with free-flowing flower beds, curved pools, and redwood fencing set in sharp geometric lines. Choose landscape colors that complement those of your home to frame your home in its best light.

2. Create an Inviting Path to Your Door

If your home has a driveway, make sure that it’s in tiptop shape. If you have weeds poking through cracks or gaps in the gravel, repair the damage. Line your drive with eye-catching landscaping elements along the way to your garage door. Footpaths, too, should create a sense of wonder as they lead to your door. Textured tufts of ground cover between stepping stones, fragrant flowers and herbs that release their fragrance as you brush against them on your way to the door create an inviting entryway that beckons guests to come inside. Include evergreens that grow well in Alberta for a show-stopping pathway, no matter what the season.

3. Don’t Forget the Entryway Itself

Whether it’s your front door or sliders leading to your patio, make sure to accent your entry with strategically placed plants. In the winter, be sure to include some potted evergreens at your home’s entry. Your door, too, may need a fresh look. A new coat of paint or stain can do wonders. Choose a door colour that complements your home’s exterior as well as your landscape elements.

4. Create Anticipation with Curves

A curved pathway that winds its way through inviting gateways, attractive plantings, and other features creates an insatiable desire to see what’s around the bend. Once your guests arrive, don’t disappoint. Make it worth their while with an attractive feature at the end of the pathway.

5. Create Added Dimension with Textural Plantings

Soften the edges of a fence with feathery ornamental grasses or wildflowers that poke through the gaps. Contrast stone ornaments with soft, carpet-like ground covers that cascade over the stone. Underplant potted flowers and trees with ivy or a mix of flowers and evergreens that make taller elements look as if they have lived there for centuries.

6. Accent with Lighting

Add landscape lighting to accent key areas in your exterior design scheme. Line footpaths and driveways with low-voltage lighting for high visual impact. Highlight entryways with attractive sconces and focal points, such as trees and ponds, with dramatic lighting for 24/7 curb appeal.

7. Let Form Follow Function

Create low-maintenance, high-interest spaces that will appeal to both guests and potential buyers. Here’s where your realtor’s opinion will come in handy. Ask an Edmonton real estate professional, like Realtor Jim Strobl, for ideas that will increase the value of your property. Whether it’s a designated garden spot or a patio with a fireplace to relax on chilly evenings, add function to your focal points. A table and chairs set by a fish pond offers guests a cosy spot to relax and watch nature. Put an attractive potting shed by your vegetable garden to maximize both practicality and visual appeal for both potential buyers and guests.

To discover more ideas to make your home’s exterior an invitation to explore within, contact Jim Strobl for more landscaping tips. Looking to buy or sell? Jim’s the Realtor to contact!

 

Edmonton Events for Seniors: Canada Day

Fri, 01 Jul by Redman Team

The word Canada in sparklers in time lapse photography as part of Canada Day (July 1) celebration.

What to Do on Canada Day 2016

Our great country of Canada is celebrating its 148th anniversary this year! Why not celebrate by taking part in some of the wonderful Canada Day festivities here in Edmonton?

You can enjoy an authentic Canada Day parade, participate in a toast to the queen and other royal activities, or even just sing Happy Birthday to get into the spirit. With so much to see and do, you’re bound to find just the right spot to enjoy the festivities.

Have a look below at a few of the events that are great for seniors. You’ll quickly discover just how much there is to do to show your country pride on Canada Day.

Canada Day at the Muttart Conservatory

Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Cost: Regular Admission Price

The Muttart Conservatory provides a wide range of entertainment in the spirit of Canada Day. You can enjoy all sorts of fun including live music, Canada Day arts and crafts, and even face painting for the kids.

There will be lots of activities and treats throughout the day – making this a perfect location for the whole family.

Dominion Day at Fort Edmonton Park

Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Celebrating Canada Day here in Edmonton is all about embracing the traditions that make this country great. And you can see all the best traditions by spending your time at Fort Edmonton Park.

Activities will include a parade, singing, dancing, and a variety of activities related to celebrating the royal family.

You can save some time standing in the lines by ordering your tickets online! Order early to secure your spot – and enjoy the rest of your day.

Lighting of the High Level Bridge & Canada Day Fireworks Finale

With the success of the Light the Bridge campaign, this age-old tradition is brighter than ever before. Let yourself be dazzled with 60,000 LED bulbs shining bright. Even better, enjoy the end-of-the-day fireworks extravaganza. These events are sure to delight, so make sure you get there early to get a good spot.

Get in Touch for Your Real Estate Needs in Edmonton

Edmonton is a wonderful place to enjoy celebrating Canada Day with your fellow citizens. If you need help with your Edmonton real estate the good news is that Jim Strobl is here for you. Contact him today to get started with your listing. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, he’ll help you achieve all your real estate goals.

Real Estate Investment: Student Housing

Mon, 20 Jun by jimstrobl

Rental agreement document with keys and pencil

While it may not be the first thing to come to mind when you think about investing in real estate, student housing can actually be a very profitable investment. As with any real estate investment, there is some financial risk involved, so be sure to research any investment you are considering before making a purchase. Read on for everything you need to know to decide if a student housing investment is right for you.

Benefits of Investing in Student Housing

Each year brings a new class of students to university, so student housing is always in demand. The steady stream of new students coming through makes it easy to find new tenants each year with minimal marketing effort on your part. Typically, students’ parents sign their leases for them or serve as guarantors, making it significantly less likely that your student tenants will be late paying rent – or not pay at all. This can mean greater financial security for your investment.

Empty or Fully Furnished?

With student housing, you have the option of renting units empty or fully-furnished. While providing furniture may have a high initial cost, it will allow you to charge significantly higher rent than you could for an empty unit. Many students greatly appreciate having a furnished rental, as they are unlikely to be able to afford much furniture for themselves.

Drawbacks of Investing in Student Housing

Although student housing is a relatively stable investment, it does have its share of drawbacks. Most students are in their late teens or early twenties and like to have parties and socialise with their friends. This can lead to potential noise complaints or police visits if you do not strictly enforce a noise policy. Because of their lack of maturity, students are more likely than adult tenants to cause damage to their unit or let it fall into disrepair, which can result in additional costs to you when it’s time to prepare the apartment for a new tenant. Lastly, many students go home for the summer, which can leave you with empty units for periods of time. You will be required to go through the inconvenience of finding and accepting new tenants more frequently than with traditional rental apartments.

The Edmonton area is home to several universities, meaning that there is high demand for affordable student housing that is convenient to campus. An experienced Alberta real estate agent, like Strobl, can help you to evaluate your options to determine if this type of investment is right for you. Call him today to learn more.

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.