Alberta delivers on Edmonton LRT funding – Mill Woods to Lewis Farms

Tue, 20 Sep by Rob Smashnuk

The Valley Line LRT is a 27 km low-floor, urban line that will run from Mill Woods to Lewis Farms, crossing through Downtown. The Valley Line will be built in multiple stages, with the 13 km southeast portion being built first.

Phase one of the Valley Line will run from Downtown to Mill Woods, and will feature:

  • 11 street-level stops.
  • An elevated station with a 1,400-spot Park and Ride facility and a full transit centre located in the Wagner industrial area.
  • The new Tawatinâ Bridge across North Saskatchewan River.
  • A short tunnel from the north face of the River Valley through to the Quarters redevelopment.
  • An interchange point at Churchill Square to access the existing Metro and Capital LRT lines.

The southeast portion of the Valley Line has a capital cost of $1.8 billion, and will be delivered as a public-private partnership. Construction will begin this year, with the line scheduled to open to the public by the end of 2020.

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EDMONTON’S REAL ESTATE MARKET ON PAR WITH LAST YEAR

Wed, 14 Sep by Rob Smashnuk

Marginal dips in prices and unit sales signal a stable market!

Edmonton, September 2, 2016: August’s all residential average sale price in the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) remains consistent with last August at $369,956, down 4% from July of this year. The price of single family homes in August dropped 4% relative to July from $450,366 to $434,362. Year-over year prices remained stable decreasing by less than 1%. The average condo sale price for August 2016 of $251,526 is down 2% month-over-month (m/m) and 1% year-over-year (y/y). The average duplex/rowhouse sold for $344,377; down 2% y/y and down 1% (m/m).

“Alberta’s economy has been under enormous pressure for some time, but the residential real estate market in the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area continues to hold. Prices and unit sales for all residential homes are consistent with last year, down less than 1% and 2% respectively,” said Steve Sedgwick, Chair of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.

At 1,433 units reported sold, all residential sales in the Edmonton CMA were down 5% m/m and down 2% y/y. 861 single family homes were reported sold in August 2016, down 3% from the previous year. Reported condo sales at 406 were down 6% over August 2015. Duplex/rowhouse sales at 136 were up 11% over last year. New residential listings were down 5% m/m and over 6% y/y.

While this is one of the most active times of the year, we are seeing both listings and sales tapering off as we move into the fall months. This is standard in our local real estate cycle. While unit sales for condos have been impacted the most, prices remain stable. This is thanks in part to the continuing trend of unit sales of over $750,000 that are keeping average sales price of condos elevated by almost 3%.

The number of days the average home in the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) took to sell in the month of August was 55. This is consistent with August 2015 and down one day from July 2016. On average, single family detached homes sold in 49 days in August 2016, while condominiums sold in an average of 62 days and duplex/rowhouses sold in 56 days.

There were 7,908 residential properties available in the Edmonton CMA at the end of August, down 2% from 8,048 in July 2016, but up 9.4% from the 7227 properties available on the MLS® System at the end of August 2015.

TOP 10 HOUSE HUNTING TIPS

Tue, 13 Sep by Rob Smashnuk

When looking for a place to call home, it’s easy to get sidetracked by thinking with your heart rather than your head. Although it takes less than seven seconds to make a first impression, a quick decision could lead to an unavoidable case of buyer’s remorse. In order to avoid this, I’ve listed a checklist for the top ten house hunting tips you need to know before you attend a viewing.

Location: There are many things that can be changed, upgraded, or improved after you have purchased a home, but the location isn’t one of them. You need to think about the proximity to work, schools, and other attractions you frequently visit and also research any new developments or upcoming changes to the area in the future.

Smells: While air fresheners and open windows can clear out certain scents, it’s important to pay attention in order to sniff out other potential issues. For example, if you notice a damp smell, it could mean the home has poor ventilation or issues with mold.

Even Floors: Noticing a slanted floor is one of the major hints that there could be a large structural issue with the home. If you do notice something, you can ask your Agent to inquire with the owners or make note of it for the home inspection if you decide to go that far in the purchase process.

Lighting: Natural lighting is something that is often overlooked in your house hunt, especially if you are viewing a home at night, or in the middle of winter. Think about how important natural lighting is to you, and plan your viewing times around when the lighting will be optimal.

Shape & Size of Rooms: It is important to take a good look at the layout to make sure not only you but also your furniture can fit comfortably in the space.

Parking: Is there enough space for everyone in your household to park or will this become an added expense? Additionally, if there is parking available, will your vehicle fit?

Laundry: If there is laundry in the home, you need to make sure it is in an accessible location. If there is no laundry, is it in a convenient location you can easily get to with or without a car?

Storage Space: Depending on how creative you can get with your storage, you will want to make sure that there is enough room to store your belongings without things becoming cluttered or unliveable.

It looks perfect, but are you missing something? Professional staging can sometimes fool buyers into thinking a property is perfect while diverting their eyes away from potential issues. Don’t let the professional décor and scent of fresh baked cookies take your attention away from the things that matter.

Assess the Kitchen and Bathrooms: The kitchen and bathroom are two of the most costly rooms in a home. Make sure you pay special attention to these rooms to avoid getting stuck with unwanted repairs or updates after purchasing the home.

While a home inspection will help advise you of any potential issues, it is still a good idea to pay attention to these things in the initial stages of your home search. This will also help ensure you don’t waste money on unnecessary home inspections.

WHY USE A REALTOR?

Fri, 09 Sep by Rob Smashnuk

A REALTOR’s Commitment to High Standards of Professional Conduct Works to the Advantage of Buyers and Sellers Alike.
The internet has ushered in an age of readily accessible information and with dozens of discount self-serve brokerages popping up each day, you can easily be swayed into thinking handling the sale of real estate is a simple affair. BUT, remember its been proved that up to 80% of all For Sale By Owners eventually turn to the services of a real estate professional. And with good reason.

Licensed REALTOR’s are professionally educated, and fully trained to guide you through the sales process with the least amount of risk possible. They are monitored and guided by their brokers and governed by real estate law. They are sworn to uphold to a strict code of ethics and have access to vast array of resources, including their strong network of real-estate-related professionals with whom they have worked with personally, often for decades. Successful transactions and happy clients are key to their livelihood and reputation. It is their business to know exactly what’s going on in their market, as well as in their community.

I have been in the business long enough to have been involved in the sales process of the same home more than once – I can anticipate issues with underground oil tanks, previously problematic roofing, zoning issues, flood zones and other un-disclosed situations which may affect the true value of your property. I have a database of experienced professionals to offer solutions that I have personally worked with in the past and have networks of affiliates to facilitate the sales process.
When Buying Your Property, I Will Help You With the Following:

Maximizing your Purchasing Power:
I will help you get the best possible property for your budget, notifying you of the newest well-priced properties on the market so that you don’t miss out on a great opportunity. I can put you in contact with the best lenders, who are up-to-date with the latest financing options and programs. I will also help you understand and be aware of the hidden costs associated with purchasing.

Home Search Resources:
REALTOR’s are the first to hear about properties as they come onto the market. Additionally, sometimes the perfect property for you is available but not actively advertised in the market. REALTOR’s have extensive networks of resources and knowledge that will assist you in finding the best property on the market. A real estate agent’s business is to know what’s going on in the market, have the network, resources and insider knowledge to assist you in finding the best property for you.

Objective Information:
I will provide you with valuable community information on utilities, zoning, schools, etc. They will help you determine whether the property will provide the right environment you want as a home or investment and will advise you on its resale value when you are ready to sell in the future. I understand the history of the property and the neighbourhood and can give you an honest assessment of what’s going on in the market and how this will affect your property as an investment. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for pests, mould, structural deficiencies, roof condition, septic or oil tanks and well tests, just to name a few. I can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. They will also assist you regarding the title of the property, which is the document indicates ownership of property, financial liens, legal issues, and details rights of access/easements. This knowledge can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.

Negotiating Skills:
Every deal requires patient and precise negotiating on such important factors as price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. As your agent I can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

Contract Knowledge:
It is crucial to have a full understanding of the contract that you are entering into! I will explain the details, wording and meaning of these legal documents, and keep you aware of the deadlines, deposits, paperwork, etc. involved in the Contract of Purchase and Sale. I will make sure that your needs are protected, both now and in the future, and ensure that you get what you are paying for. Above all, I will guide you through the entire purchasing and closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.

When Selling Your Property, a I Will Help You With the Following:

Market Evaluation:
My business is to know what’s going on in the real estate market in your neighbourhood, and will provide you with accurate and up-to-date information on pricing and market activity, including details on the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.

Advertising:
I have the right tools and know-how to get the word out to other real estate agents and to qualified buyers. I will help you with staging your property so that it shows in the best possible light. I can also recommend repairs or cosmetic work that may increase your property’s selling price and saleability. I can take advantage of the Multiple Listing Service, as well as their own websites and buyer networks. I can host open houses for other REALTOR’s and homebuyers, and will assist in coordinating appointments to show your home to pre-screened, qualified buyers and accompany prospects through your home to point out the properties strengths, answer questions and to ensure the security of your home.

Contract Negotiation:
I will objectively evaluate every buyer’s offer without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing –a lot of possible pitfalls. I can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process and protect you in the long run.

Closing Process:
Between the initial offer and the final closing (or settlement), questions and issues may arise. For example, unexpected repairs, financing snags or an issue in the title is discovered. The necessary paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. I’m the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to completion.

Don’t Be Fooled By Low Fees:
REALTOR’s and their related Brokers charge various fees for services. Some Companies will claim to offer the same services as their competitor for a lower fee. Make sure before you list with any company that you get a written marketing plan that details all of the services provided. The more exposure your property receives the more likely you are to achieve a higher selling price.
Can You Do It by Yourself?

Although it is true that a few people have been able to stick a For Sale sign on their lawn and sell it themselves in a reasonable amount of time, the level of effort, expense and hassle often isn’t broadcast. For both buyers and sellers, stop and think about how much you trust the honesty, abilities and legal knowledge of the layperson with whom you are about to enter into one of the most important transactions of your life. As with any profession if you decide to take on the role yourself, you must fully comprehend the potential legal and financial risks, as well as weigh up the potential savings against the extra work and time.

IS IT TIME TO REFRESH YOUR TILE AND GROUT?

Thu, 08 Sep by Rob Smashnuk

If your current kitchen or bathroom tile is grimy and tired-looking, don’t jump to the conclusion that it’s beyond saving, and in need of an expensive renovation. Instead, look into the many products and services that can salvage the tile surface and clean up the darkened grout. Take a picture to help identify the problem, and consult the experts at your local home improvement store for industrial-strength remedies. In many cases, you can restore your existing tile to it’s lustre with a strong cleaner that can remove built-up soap residue and a professional-grade polish to bring back the shine. Grout lines often collect unhealthy mould spores due to lingering moisture, but fortunately there are specialized products for cleaning and refreshing them as well. If these solutions seem like too much work, look into the many companies that specialize in refurbishing and repolishing all types of synthetic and natural tiles and stones.

I hope to provide valuable information and helpful services to those in need. If there’s anything else I can do to help you with your real estate investment – such as offering additional advice, information or recommendations, please give me a call!

Rob Smashnuk

SECORD’S EPIC SUMMER BLOCK PARTY – 5-11PM, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10TH, 2016

Wed, 07 Sep by Rob Smashnuk

Food, games, Beer Gardens, Music & More.

Secord Community League Memberships available for purchase at the event.

We want to thank Hopewell Residential Edmonton for their continual support of our community and their generous donation towards food for our Epic Block Party! ** Upon arrival please check in at our welcome/membership table to receive your food ticket. Fat Franks will be on location.

For legal reasons we will also need to check for ID and community membership before entrance to the beer tent, so please remember to bring with you. (Kids are not permitted inside the tent.)

We will have many activities including bouncy castle, inflatable soccer TBC, games hosted by CIty of Edmonton, glitter tattoos and activity tables hosted by the EPL and Allstate Grange.
Beer available for purchase in the beer gardens.

Thank you to our many sponsors of the event including: All Weather Shelters Inc., Rob Smashnuk Realty, Relife, All State Grange, AdaptAbilities, RBC Webber Green, EPL, City of Edmonton. Big thanks to Hopewell Residential Edmonton for being our food sponsors of the event!

FIRST TIME HOME BUYER GUIDE: THE HOME BUYING PROCESS EXPLAINED

Tue, 06 Sep by Rob Smashnuk

The internet is covered in high quality information aimed at helping first time home buyers understand the process of getting a house. However, there is one small problem. There are a LOT of steps involved in buying a home. Most of the articles and videos that are available deal with one, two or may be three parts of the process. While this article could not possibly contain every scenario about getting a mortgage and finding a home, it will touch on the main points that are common to nearly every home purchase.

FIRST: GET PRE-APPROVED

Buying a home is a wonderful investment, but it should be approached with the right strategy. BEFORE finding a home, and falling madly in love with a neighborhood, people should first talk to a mortgage loan officer to get pre-approved vs pre-qualified.

It’s Best for the Buyer

Getting pre-approved gives the buyer a chance to find out how much home they can afford. A competent loan officer will tell the buyer not only the principal and interest payments per month, but also the estimated taxes, insurance and mortgage insurance monthly amounts. This gives the borrower a true number to work with in order to decide their comfort zone when looking at potential properties.

It’s Best for the Realtor

Once the buyer is pre-approved they can contact a real estate agent and start looking for a home. Agents have the ability to search for a home based on a number of criteria. Some of the items can be number of bedrooms, number of baths, square footage, location and total price. Incorporating the maximum price along with the other criteria can eliminate homes outside of the buyer’s criteria.

Many people think that getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan is just as simple as a car loan. However, nothing could be further from the truth. A mortgage is a very detailed loan that requires a number of documents and the correct procedures in order to complete the entire process. It all starts with the loan application.

LOAN APPLICATION

The first step in getting a home, and possibly the most important step, is the application.

The application is a lengthy form completed by the loan officer on behalf of the borrower. This form actually covers the potential homeowner’s entire financial situation in amazing detail.

For starters, people are asked for their name, social security number, date of birth, current address and current place of employment. If the application is for the purchase of a home an address of the new home will be requested. However, it is not crucial if a new home has not been picked out yet. The loan officer can continue with the application with an assumed address and change it later if necessary.

It is important to note that all borrowers need to show at least two year’s history for their residence and employment.

Next, the borrower will be asked about their assets. The term assets is a very broad term and can include a whole host of items such as

  • any available money in checking accounts
  • most recent savings account balances
  • stock and bond investments
  • land ownership
  • any rental properties
  • retirement accounts such as 401-k or IRA accounts
  • income from ownership in businesses

Finally, the application will provide an estimate of the amount financed, the estimated closing costs, prepaid items and any money that the borrower will need to pay at the closing.

It cannot be stressed enough that the borrower needs to provide as much accurate detail about their income, assets and employment history. Making sure this information is up to date and correct will make the approval and underwriting process much easier.

PROCESSING THE APPLICATION

Processing is a broad term that covers a lot of ground. Once the loan officer has completed the loan application with the borrower and determined a price range for the home purchase, the borrower (or borrowers) have work to do. It is at this time that the borrowers will gather all the necessary documentation to qualify for the loan. People who receive a paycheck and a W-2 will likely need the following list of items:

  • Pay stubs covering the past 60 days
  • Bank statements (checking and savings) covering the past 60 days
  • Past two year’s W-2 forms from all jobs
  • Most recent statement from retirement and/or investment accounts.

The list of items for self-employed individuals is slightly different. They will need these items:

  • the last 2 years’ tax returns for their business
  • the last 2 years’ personal tax returns
  • cash flow statement for the current year
  • Personal bank statements (checking and savings) covering the past 60 days
  • Most recent statement from retirement and/or investment accounts.

The loan officer will have the borrower sign several documents such as the full loan application, the Good Faith estimate, the Truth in Lending and a few more forms. The processor will go over these documents, along with the financial documents mentioned above and make sure everything is in order. Once everything is signed and collected the processor will order the appraisal and the title insurance binder.

The appraisal is used to compare the home under contract with three or more other similar homes that have sold within the last 6 months. All comparable homes will usually be similar in design, square footage, general features and most importantly the location. The appraisal is used to determine the actual value of the home that the borrower wishes to buy.

The title insurance binder is protection for the buyer and the lender that the deed of record is correct before the home is sold. It also ensures that the new deed reflecting the new owners will be properly recorded after the sale.

Once the appraisal is complete and the title insurance binder is accurate all of the previously mentioned documents are combined and sent to the underwriting department.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF MORTGAGES

It is assumed in this country that any reasonably intelligent adult understands the basic points of a mortgage before purchasing a home. However, lots of people don’t know how to change the oil in a car they own. Likewise, millions of people own computers and have no idea how to fix some of the most common problems. For this reason, we want to explain the basics of the common types of mortgages.

Conventional – This is one of the most common types of mortgage loans available. It usually requires excellent credit scores (typically 700 and above) and a down payment of at least 3-5% of the purchase price. The conventional mortgage will usually offer the absolute best interest rate and payment compared to other programs.

FHA Loans – Authorized by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) these loans are common for people buying their first home. The loan only requires a down payment of 3.5%* and the credit score requirements are less stringent compared to a conventional loan. FHA will allow the seller to pay up to 6% of the purchase price in closing costs to aid the buyer.

An added bonus is that the down payment can be a gift from a relative or friend. Another type of FHA loan, called FHA 203k loans, are also available if the house you are looking at needs rehab work done. The 203k loan allows borrowers to get the money needed for necessary repairs plus the price of the home and finance it all with one loan.

VA Loans – The Veterans Administration sanctions lending to veterans of the military. The VA loan does not require any down payment and also has lenient credit qualifications. In order to qualify for a VA mortgage loan a person will need to meet service criteria. The criteria vary based on active duty during war, reserve duty or duty served in the United States.

USDA Rural Housing – A division of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides home lending for properties in rural areas. No down payment is required if the appraised value of the home is high enough. For properties with a sufficiently high enough value, the closing costs can be added to the loan balance as well. The loan does have restrictions on income levels for the borrowers. Your loan office can compare your income to the USDA rules for your area and determine if you are eligible.

These are the primary types of loans available to the first time home buyer. Although the rates will vary from one loan to the next they are usually extremely close to each other. In order to decide which loan is best for your situation, you should consult with your loan officer.

THE MORTGAGE PAYMENT

Understanding a mortgage payment is very important for a first time home buyer. Most loans payments, such as for a car, are fairly simple to understand because it usually involves just two parts, the principal payment and the interest payment. However, that is not the case with the majority of mortgage loans.

Below is an example of what makes up a typical mortgage payment. We’ll assume there are escrows in place and mortgage insurance is required.

Mortgage Insurance

For this example, we will assume that your down payment is less than 20% of the home’s asking price. For conventional loans loans, any time a buyer pays less than 20% as a down payment; the borrower will be charged with mortgage insurance. This is an insurance protection to help the lender against any losses. The amount of the monthly mortgage insurance will depend on the type of loan, the borrower’s credit, the loan to value ratio, and the outstanding loan balance. The mortgage insurance is calculated as a percentage of the outstanding loan balance.

Homeowner’s Insurance

One common practice for new home buyers is the use of an escrow account. This account is a holding place for the homeowner’s yearly homeowner’s insurance premium as well as the property taxes.

When a loan officer calculates the monthly mortgage payment they will usually add an amount to cover 1/12th of the annual homeowner’s insurance policy.

Each time a mortgage payment is made some money is deposited into the escrow account. When the insurance premium comes due, money is removed from this account and directed to the insurance agent.

Property Taxes

Similar to the homeowner’s insurance, taxes are also accrued in the escrow account. When a person first buys the home, the taxes are pro-rated. The seller of the home pays the taxes for the part of the year in which they owned the home. This allows the new buyer to pay taxes only covering the time they actually owned the property.

Just like the homeowner’s insurance, 1/12th of the annual property tax amount is added to the monthly mortgage payment. When the monthly payments are made part of the payment is put in the escrow account to cover the annual property tax bill.

Principal and Interest

This is similar to other loans. The interest amount is determined based on the stated interest rate for the mortgage, the term of the loan and the borrowed amount. Each month the amount of interest being paid goes down as the amount of principal goes up, reducing the outstanding balance a little more every month.

UNDERWRITING

The underwriter reviews the entire loan file. Everything from the income documentation, the asset documents, the appraisal and the title binder are all reviewed. Based on the type of loan that the borrower is seeking, the underwriter will compare the facts contained in the application and other documents against the guidelines and rules for that specific loan, plus any additional mortgage overlays.

The decision to approve the loan is guided by three principles

Credit – the borrower’s past credit history is a good indicator of whether or not the borrower has the intention of repaying the loan. Reviewing various types of loans, their duration and how the borrower handled each type of debt will show the underwriter if the borrower wishes to repay the loan.

Capacity – This is a mathematical computation to show that the borrower has enough income to pay for the loan. The underwriter will look at regular wages, overtime wages if the person has worked on the job for more than two years as well as commissions. All of this factors into determining the borrower’s capacity to pay any existing debt on top of a new mortgage.

Collateral– This is where the appraisal and title insurance come in. The underwriter will go through the appraisal to see that the home is being compared to very similar properties. The pictures of the homes are inspected to determine the pride of ownership of the previous owner and see if there are any problems. The title binder is studied to make sure there are no “unknown” liens preventing the borrower from taking over ownership of the property.

Because each type of mortgage has varying rules the underwriter will compare the borrower’s information to the right guidelines for the loan. Consider the process of underwriting a loan in comparison to high school standardized tests. Standard tests are administered across the country to multiple grades. If a student scores at a certain reading level, then the person is awarded a particular grade level on their test. In other words, if the student’s knowledge meets a particular minimum level, they are deemed to be at or above their grade level. A mortgage underwriter does a similar function comparing a person’s credit, income and work history to the loan guidelines.

Once the underwriter has determined that all rules are being followed according to the lender’s policies the loan will be signed off and sent to the closing department.

CLOSING

Once the underwriting department has approved the loan and sent the file to closing a few more items are necessary. In the case that the homeowner is using an escrow service, an insurance policy and a property tax statement will be needed. The insurance policy is to replace the value of the home in case of fire, weather event or any other liability that may arise. The property tax statement provides the current year’s tax information so that the property taxes can be paid now and yearly going forward. An escrow service takes care of making the yearly insurance payment as well as the property taxes. The homeowner simply pays those amounts along with the monthly mortgage payment.

At the closing there will be either an attorney or the title company’s representative present to make sure of a few things. First and foremost is to properly identify the sellers and the buyers. This is usually done by getting a picture ID from each party. Secondly, many, if not all, of the documents must be notarized at the time of signing. Finally, the attorney or representative is there to explain all of the documents that will be signed by the borrowers and sellers. The outline of the amount being borrowed, the interest rate for the loan, the number of months for the loan and the monthly payment, including escrow, are all laid out in black and white for everyone to see.

There will be many forms to sign. Each form will be explained and you have the right to read over them and ask any questions. The representative or your loan officer will be able to answer any questions you may have.

Once all items are signed you will get a copy of everything to keep for your records. And then you will get something very precious: your set of keys!

SUMMING UP THE FIRST TIME HOME BUYER LOAN PROCESS

As you can see, there are quite a few details covered in the whole process of buying a home. However, if you are able to get your finances organized, promptly respond to requests from your loan officer, and have realistic expectations then you should experience a rather smooth process for buying a home.

DAVID THOMAS KING (SECORD) K-9

Fri, 02 Sep by Rob Smashnuk

Slated to open in the fall of 2017, the new school in Secord (Lewis Farms) will accommodate:

– Kindergarten to Grade 9
– 900 students

DAVID THOMAS KING ‌
The new school in Secord will be named after David Thomas King, a former politician and outspoken public education advocate who served as MLA, education minister and minister of technology, research and telecommunications. As the first executive director of the Public School Boards Association of Alberta, King lobbied for increased public-education funding and spoke regularly about education policy.

LOCATION
Lewis Farms is a collection of neighbourhoods in west Edmonton. David Thomas King School will be built in the Secord neighbourhood, on the northeast side of the site, on Secord Blvd.

There is a lack of capacity to accommodate students in west Edmonton. Although a junior high is currently being built in the Webber Greens neighbourhood, nearby Winterburn School is currently the only school in the Lewis Farms area. It was built to accommodate 455 students, but as of September 30, 2014, 1007 K-9 students live in the Lewis Farms area. This newly announced school construction project is needed to alleviate these enrolment pressures.

DavidThomasKing_Map

WHAT TO EXPECT AS A FALL BUYER

Thu, 01 Sep by Rob Smashnuk

Location, Location, Location & Weather: We all know it is all about location when it comes to finding your dream home, but before you find the right location, you need to consider the weather. Planning your search too late into the season may mean you are battling Mother Nature so the earlier you begin your search, the better.

Timing is Key: Although your busy summer is winding down, you certainly aren’t working with a clear schedule. Between back to school and the holiday season, finding the perfect time to begin your search is imperative to your overall success and is something you should expect as a buyer this fall.

Decision Time: Although there isn’t as much inventory as you would typically find in the spring, there are still many homes to choose one which is why narrowing down your options can be challenging. Using these tips and a House Hunting Comparison Checklist will help when it comes time to make your decision.

The Price is Right: As we get closer and closer to the holidays, you may begin to worry you are running out of time. With the added pressure, you may be tempted to make a decision by increasing your budget, but that will come back and haunt you in the long run. Make sure you plan your budget early in the buying process with help from my Monthly Home Budget Planner.

Make the Move: If you got a head start on the fall selling season and are ready to make your move, we have just the thing you need. Getting home and organized before the holidays is your main goal, and a moving checklist will help you do just that as quickly and efficiently as possible.

As we begin to see the leaves fall off the trees and the familiar sights and sounds of this beautiful season, these tips will be exactly what you need to find a new house to call home this fall.

Power Adapters for Portable Devices

Tue, 28 Jun by Rob Smashnuk

Over the years that you’ve owned laptops, smartphones, tablets, speakers, and other portable electronic devices, you have probably accumulated a number of electrical adapters, and may even have kept them for potential use on a replacement device. This can be dangerous. Most portable devices have specific types of batteries that require very specific power input. Incompatible pairings can cause severe damage, as well as render a device’s warranty null and void. Each adapter delivers a precise amount of electricity from a standard 120 volt AC wall plug by calibrating the electricity so it is compatible with the lower voltage DC batteries within the specified device it is designed to power. An improper match could cause hazardous overheating or frustrating underperformance, compromising delicate circuitry. For this reason, it’s risky to presume that older adapters with matching fittings are actually safe for your device, especially if you’re travelling to countries with different electrical systems. Fortunately, newer adapters that use USB connections tend to have a broader range of compatibility, although you should always follow manufacturers’ guidelines before usage.

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.