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Trusted Tips & Resources

Marla Janzen Trusted Saskatoon Real estate tip on what you need to earn to buy a house in Canada

Marla Janzen is an award winning SASKATOON REAL Estate expert she takes action to sell her client's homes and find them the perfect new place to live while negotiating the best terms and price possible. She loves what she does and takes great pride in providing excellence in customer service to all of her clients.

She is one of our wonderful  TRUSTED SASKATOON REAL ESTATE EXPERTS listed on the SASKATOON DIRECTORY and loves to provide Trusted Tips that help the public!

Marla Janzen from century 21 Fusion is the realtor for BC Based home builders Westbow Construction's Radius at The Legends condo project in Warman SK, and she invited the Trusted team up for a tour around the show condos and to meet the owner of Westbow Construction Dick Westeringh. We figured we would take along our video camera so you could see for yourself why living in Warman should be a consideration for anyone thinking about moving!  

Here Marla shares a tip on buying a house in every major Canadian city:

How much you need to earn to buy a house in every major city

Many say property is the best investment you can make. Bursting housing bubbles and mortgage scandals aside, they’re usually right.

The price of making that investment varies widely in Canada, depending on where you live. We looked at how much you need to earn to buy an average-priced house in every major Canadian city.

To get these numbers, we consulted Adrian Williams, a Toronto mortgage broker, and used his calculator found here. He explained that to calculate the income required you need to know the purchase price, down payment, rate, utilities – mortgage qualifying must include a minimum of $100 a month for heating costs – and taxes.

We got the average purchase price per city from the Canadian Real Estate Association (they fluctuate. These prices were effective at the end of December. To see the absolute latest click here and input your city), and Williams provided the property tax rates. At his suggestion we used a 2.99% interest rate, which is the average qualifying rate for a 5-year fixed term. We used a down payment of 10% of the purchase price and calculated $100 a month for utilities.

According to Williams, “Other factors that will be included with mortgage qualification are the total monthly payment obligations from credit card, LOC’s, personal & car loans, car lease and other types of credit that require a monthly payment.”

Here is what you need to earn to buy a house in every major Canadian market. (Numbers are rounded to the nearest dollar.)

Vancouver

Average price: $819,336

Monthly mortgage payment: $3,570

Property tax: $251

Income required: $147,023

Jobs in Vancouver

Calgary

Average price: $465,047

Mortgage mortgage payment: $2,026

Property taxes: $236

Income required: $88,578

Jobs in Calgary

Edmonton

Average price: $365,520

Mortgage payment: $1,592

Property tax: $244

Salary required: $72,617

Jobs in Edmonton

Regina

Average price: $331,161

Monthly mortgage payment: $1,443

Property tax: $378

Income required: $72,028

Jobs in Regina

Saskatoon

Average price: $349,322

Monthly mortgage payment: $1,522

Property tax: $366

Income required: $74,546

Jobs in Saskatoon

Winnipeg

Average price: $270,605

Monthly mortgage payment: $1,179

Property tax: $274

Income required: $58,235

Jobs in Winnipeg

Ottawa

Average price: $357,887

Monthly mortgage payment: $1,559

Property tax: $336

Income required: $74,820.28

Jobs in Ottawa

Toronto

Average price: $587,505

Monthly mortgage payment: $2,560

Property tax: $354

Income required: $113,009

Jobs in Toronto

Montreal

Average price: $344,273

Monthly mortgage payment: $1,500

Property tax: $237

Income required: $68,884

Jobs in Montreal

Halifax

Average price: $264,447

Monthly mortgage payment: $1,152

Property tax: $266

Income required: $56,929

Jobs in Halifax

 

Find Marla Online at http://www.century21.ca/marla.janzen   she is a Century 21 Fusion Realtor Sakatoon based at 703 Circle Drive, Saskatoon..or checkout her listing in REAL ESTATE SASKATOON here on www.trustedsaskatoon.com, Marla Janzen is TRUSTED SASKATOON REAL ESTATE EXPERT.

Fresh Living a Trusted Saskatoon Home Staging Expert shares a tip on Cleaning Granite Countertops

You know those spotless, clutter-free, amazing looking rooms you see in magazines? That can be your home. Seriously! Fresh Living’s founder, Chantal Hounjet, created the company out of her combined love and talent for interior decorating and home improvement which paved the way to a career in Home Staging and Interior Redesign. Chantal is an International Staging and Redesign Professional, bringing her talents directly to your door..and she is your Trusted Saskatoon Interior Decorator and Home staging expert!

Here Chantal shares a tip on Cleaning Granite Countertops:

What's the best way to clean granite countertops? We've read a lot of varying views on this — use Windex! No, never use Windex! Use a special granite-only cleaner! No, you don't need a special granite-only cleaner! — but after doing our research, we think we've discovered a consensus among stone experts on how to care for granite. The best part? You really don'tneed any special cleaners to get those countertops shiny and streak-free.

The Dos and Don'ts of Cleaning Granite

 

DO: Make sure your granite countertop is sealed. While granite is a very hard surface and less porous than marble, unsealed or weakly sealed granite will soak up oils, spills, and stains. To check whether your granite is sealed, leave a few drops of water on the surface. If it beads up, you have a secure seal. If after a few minutes the water has soaked into the granite, then it's time to reseal the stone.

DON'T: Use harsh or abrasive cleaners and sponges, Windex, acidic cleaners like vinegar, lemon, lime, or anything with ammonia or bleach. Frequent use of these chemicals will dull and weaken the sealant over time. Basically, the harsher the cleaner, the quicker it will break down the sealant.

DO: Wipe up spills as soon as you notice them.

DO: Use warm water, a mild or gentle dish soap, and a nubby washcloth or microfiber cloth for daily wipedowns.

What About Disinfecting?

 

A well-sealed granite countertop is relatively impervious to bacteria. Hot water and dish soap should be adequate for daily sanitizing. However, if a stronger disinfectant is desired, mix together a 50:50 solution of water and 91% isopropyl alcohol. Spray onto the granite, allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, then rinse with water and dry with a clean microfiber cloth. Avoid bleach or ammonia-based cleaners.

What About Special Granite-Safe Cleaners?

 

There are granite cleaners out there, like this one from Method and this one from Granite Gold. Some all-purpose surface cleaners also specify that they're safe for granite. Use these cleaners if you want — just know that you don't have to buy them if you don't want to. The cleaning tutorial below will work just fine!

How To Clean and Disinfect Granite Countertops

What You Need

 

Materials
Warm water
Mild or gentle dish soap
Dish cloth
Clean microfiber cloth or terrycloth towel
Isopropyl alcohol (optional)

Instructions

 

Wet your dish cloth with warm, soapy water. Fill the sink with warm water and a mild dish soap, then thoroughly wet a clean dish cloth.

Wipe down the granite countertops. You don't need us to tell you how to do this part. Just wipe away any spills or crumbs on your countertop!

Dry with a microfiber cloth to avoid streaking. Dry and buff your granite countertop thoroughly with a microfiber cloth or soft terry cloth towel to avoid streaking.

Shine and disinfect with a water and isopropyl alcohol solution. To periodically disinfect your granite countertops, remove soap residue, and restore shine, mix together a 50:50 solution of water and 91% isopropyl alcohol. Spray onto the granite, allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, then rinse with water and dry with a clean microfiber cloth.

Enjoy your nice, shiny, clean granite countertops!


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Fresh Living a Trusted Saskatoon Home Staging Expert shares a tip on How to Clean Feather Pillows

You know those spotless, clutter-free, amazing looking rooms you see in magazines? That can be your home. Seriously! Fresh Living’s founder, Chantal Hounjet, created the company out of her combined love and talent for interior decorating and home improvement which paved the way to a career in Home Staging and Interior Redesign. Chantal is an International Staging and Redesign Professional, bringing her talents directly to your door..and she is your Trusted Saskatoon Interior Decorator and Home staging expert!

Here Chantal shares a tip on How to Clean Feather Pillows:

I never thought I would say this, but I actually think the more you clean, the more you actually want to clean. It is addicting to look at the immediate results of your hard work. You see the sparkling surfaces, smell the freshly scented air, and your whole life starts to look a little crisper and clearer. So I want to keep that feeling going by adding more cleanliness and purity to my life.

So when I went to sleep the other day and took a deep contented breath, I was more than a little grossed out my a not-so-fresh hitting my nose. You’re welcome for that overshare.

Feeling empowered and invigorating by all the new cleaning products and tips I have been trying this spring, I took that momentum and used it to tackle my pillows. So on an oddly snowy Sunday this past weekend, my feather pillows got a bath in the washer.

How to Clean Feather Pillows

1. Grab your feather pillows – whether sleeping or inserts. We are just talking feather pillows now because cotton and other fills are different to clean.

 

2. Wash two pillows at a time to balance the washer. Make sure to use the hand wash or delicate setting. I also recommend using my no-grate laundry detergent to give a nice fresh scent.

 

3. After the wash cycle toss them into the dryer on your hottest setting with a tennis ball, clean tennis shoes, or dryer hedge hogs like me! In the beginning I liked to fluff them every 15 minutes and just make sure they were doing okay. 

Tip: These will take a long time to dry. For a more eco-friendly approach give them a short cycle in the dryer to allow them to fluff (it is essential to break up the clumps of wet feathers). Then, put them outside in a porch or covered area on a really hot day to lessen dryer time. These take a long time to dry – start them at the beginning of the day!

I was really curious on how these pillows would turn out. For some reason I was dubious if this would work. I am thrilled with how clean, fresh, and fluffy these came out of the dryer. So fluffy. I actually have a Despicable Me unicorn moment (“It’s so FLUFFY!!”)

Now I can breath deep before I go to bed and not be kind of grossed out by my interesting smelling pillows. Don’t worry guests, your pillows are freshly laundered as well.:)


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Fresh Living a Trusted Saskatoon Home Staging Expert shares 30 Can't Miss Home Staging Tips

You know those spotless, clutter-free, amazing looking rooms you see in magazines? That can be your home. Seriously! Fresh Living’s founder, Chantal Hounjet, created the company out of her combined love and talent for interior decorating and home improvement which paved the way to a career in Home Staging and Interior Redesign. Chantal is an International Staging and Redesign Professional, bringing her talents directly to your door..and she is your Trusted Saskatoon Interior Decorator and Home staging expert!

Here Chantal shares 30 Can't Miss Home Staging Tips:

Grimy bathroom walls are a major red flag to buyers.

Here is an easy way to get rid of surface mold: Mix a spray bottle with one part water and one part bleach. Just spray it on the wall, and watch the mold disappear. Give it a fresh coat of paint, and your grimy bathroom will go from red flag to red-hot.

Pedestal sinks are a big hit with buyers.

They show off square footage in small bathrooms beautifully. First, your old vanity has to go. Next, just hook up your new sink, and your bathroom will have dramatic appeal that brings in big bucks. Plus, buyers will see how much floor space your bathroom has.

Don't replace a yucky shower door: Just scour it.

A grimy glass shower door can really wash out your sale. Instead of replacing it, clean it with a mixture of one part muriatic acid and about 10 parts water. Scrub with steel wool. After wiping it down, reinstall the door and you'll have a shower that'll help you clean up at the open house.

Avoid dated tile by painting.

Bathrooms sell houses, but dated tile in a bathroom doesn't. A low-cost alternative to replacing the tile is to use paint. First coat the tiles with a high-adhesion primer. Next, brush on a special ceramic epoxy covering. For a fraction of the cost of new tile, you will have an up-to-date bathroom that brings in big bucks.

A master bedroom should appeal to both sexes.

When you are selling, your master bedroom should appeal to buyers of both sexes. Get rid of features that seem too gender-specific. Paint the walls a neutral color, and choose bedding that matches. Then accessorize with items that complement the overall color scheme.

Do you have an overpowering brick fireplace that sticks out like a sore thumb?

Here's an easy way to tone it down with paint. Use a rag or brush to rub a light coat of paint on the bricks, one at a time. This will give them a new tone without covering them completely. And, if you use a paint color that matches the walls, your fireplace will go from sticking out to standing out.

Updating an old fireplace screen is a cheap (and quick) fix.

After removing the screen and wiping it down to get rid of the dust, mask off the windows so you won't get paint on them. Then, using a can of heat-resistant spray paint, give the screen a facelift. Hold the can about 18 inches away, and use long, even strokes. For less than $5, you will have a fireplace screen that'll keep your sale from going up in smoke.

Turn an unattractive fireplace into a selling feature.

Need to turn an unattractive fireplace into a selling feature? First, that dated brass screen has got to go. Next, give the fireplace a good cleaning, scrubbing it with soap and water. Then, using a stone color enhancer, polish the bricks to make them shine. In no time you will have a fireplace that will turn your house into the hottest property on the block.

Stain dated kitchen cabinets instead of replacing them.

Dated kitchen cabinets can be a big turnoff to potential buyers. Instead of paying big bucks to replace them, just stain them. First, apply the stain in even strokes, going with the grain of the wood. Add some stylish hardware, and your kitchen will have the up-to-date look that buyers love, for less than $200.

Stainless-steel appliances are definitely in with buyers.

Instead of buying a new dishwasher, here is a low-cost way to resurface an old one: First, remove the front panels, and clean them. Next, apply a stainless-steel stick-on covering, and cut it to size. For just $20 your dishwasher will go from outdated to ultra-modern.

Fill existing hardware holes instead of making new, unsightly ones.

Removing old kitchen hardware can leave your cabinets with stripped-out holes. Here is a trick to reusing the existing ones.

First, dip a toothpick in glue and place it in the stripped hole. Cut off the excess piece. Once the glue dries, you'll be ready to put in the hardware that buyers love.

Save money on granite countertops.

Granite countertops are a huge selling feature, but they can be expensive. Here are a few ways to save on this investment:

First, do the demo yourself. Also, ask the vendor for remnants from previous projects. Remember, any money you spend will definitely be returned in the value these beautiful counters add to your kitchen.

New kitchen appliances bring high returns from sellers.

Studies show that new kitchen appliances bring high returns from sellers, so get rid of old appliances that make the rest of the kitchen look dated. Once you install the new equipment, it will scream "new kitchen," and you will see that spending a little money will make you even more.

Need to dress up a window but don't want to shell out big bucks for window treatments?

Here's a trick: Use place mats. First, apply a hook-and-loop fastener to the place mats and attach them in a row to a basic curtain rod. Now that the place mats are attached to the curtain rods, pin them together at the bottom, and you'll have a stylish valance that costs about $12.

Adding drama to old hardwood flooring is easier than you might think.

First, isolate damaged boards, cut them out and replace them with new pieces. Rent a sander from a local hardware store, and give the floor a good sanding. The last step is to stain the boards with a rich color, and watch your floor go from drab to dramatic in no time.

Buyers love built-in bookshelves.

There's a fine line between filling them with clutter and staging them to sell. The trick is to arrange neutral items in clusters. Make sure that no single accessory stands out too much. That way, you'll show off your attractive built-ins, and not your personal belongings.

Curb appeal is vital to attracting buyers.

Here is how to stop traffic using color. First, with two tones of paint, add a faux finish to any corner keystones. Next, bring out the color of walkway pavers using a stone sealer. Plant flowers in bloom, and you'll have buyers swarming like bees to your front door.

A nice outdoor deck can be a big selling feature, but an old one is a major liability.

To give your outdoor space new life, first sand the wood. Cover it with a light-colored stain instead of paint to give it a rustic, grainy look. Furnish it for entertaining, and watch your open house turn into a party.

Vinyl tile is an inexpensive way to update your home.

Laying vinyl tile is an inexpensive way to update your home, but there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. You need to avoid laying patterns that look too perfect. Instead, make sure to switch up the direction and placement of the tiles to mix the tones. That way, you end up with a floor that has a natural feel.

Breathe new life into a worn patio.

Do you have a red-brick patio surface that needs to be freshened up? Here is an easy way to give it new life with paint. First, roll a light coat of paint onto the bricks. Next, lightly spray them with water and then dab them before they dry to give them an outdoor look. When you are done, you will have a patio that looks fresh and reels in buyers.

Staging rooms to show off their true potential is essential when selling your home.

Clear out clutter or other personal items that will distract buyers. Paint the walls a neutral tone, and furnish the space to show off how functional it is. When buyers come through and imagine themselves there, you can bet an offer isn't far behind.

A shabby wood-panel wall is not a strong selling point.

Instead of ripping it out, cover it up. Use wood filler to carefully fill in all the cracks between the panels. Then, use a sponge to wipe away the excess filler. Once it's dry, paint the room. You'll see an unattractive wall go from standing out to blending in.

Use tape outlines on the floor instead of actually moving furniture around.

Rearranging a room to stage it for your open house? Here is a tip to save time and effort: Instead of lugging the heavy furniture around the room to see what feels best, put outlines on the floor with painter's tape. Arrange the room according to your outlines, and save your energy for counting offers.

Let the sun shine in.

Buyers love light and airy living rooms, but dark and dingy isn't on their list. Open up your window shades to let some light in. Cheat some sunshine with a light-colored paint and lots of artificial lighting. You can never have too many lamps. Last, arrange the space with lightly colored furniture, and you'll have a living room that brightens your chances of a sale.

Stage rooms with one purpose so buyers will know what it is.

Potential buyers are confused by extra rooms that have a mishmash of uses. To avoid this problem, first clear away clutter and excess furniture. Paint the walls a neutral tone and then furnish the room with a desk to stage it as a home office in which buyers will want to get down to business.

Unpleasant pet odors won't win over buyers.

We all love our pets, but unpleasant pet odors can make a negative first impression. Be sure to get rid of old carpet that can trap offensive smells. Replace it with fresh new carpet in a neutral color. Plus, if you paint the walls to match, your living room will look bigger. It'll go from designed to smell to designed to sell.

Pack up unnecessary items and furniture before you show the house.

An overpacked living room is a red flag to buyers that your home lacks storage space. Pack up unneccesary items and furniture, and move items to your garage or a nearby storage facility. Clear the way for a sale by letting buyers see your square footage, not your personal belongings.

Storage space sells!

Potential buyers love homes that have lots of storage space. Since they will open your closets, it's a good idea to clear out unnecessary clutter, and organize your shelves to show off how much storage you really have. Plus, it gives you a chance to start packing, as you will definitely be moving once buyers see all that closet space.

Create a nice flow in your rooms.

Buyers are attracted to homes that have a good flow. You can create circulation by replacing square or rectangular dining tables with round ones. Cutting the corners adds room to this maneuver and creates a spinoff effect that adds flow to your home — cash flow, that is.

Create a better flow in the house by starting with the floor.

Want to create better flow in your house? Start with the floor. Join two rooms together by using the most cost-efficient material in the book: vinyl tile. First, use a snap-line to create a center point between the two rooms. Next, the fun part: Peel and stick the new vinyl tile down, and watch your kitchen and dining room go from old to sold! 

 

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Fresh Living a Trusted Saskatoon Interior Decorator & Home Stager shares 9 Steps to Staging Your Home

You know those spotless, clutter-free, amazing looking rooms you see in magazines? That can be your home. Seriously! Fresh Living’s founder, Chantal Hounjet, created the company out of her combined love and talent for interior decorating and home improvement which paved the way to a career in Home Staging and Interior Redesign. Chantal is an International Staging and Redesign Professional, bringing her talents directly to your door..and she is your Trusted Saskatoon Interior Decorator and Home staging expert!

Here Chantal shares 9 Steps to Staging Your Home:

You don’t have to break the bank to have your house looking as though it was professionally staged. These tips and tricks will have your house sell-ready and gorgeous before you can say “why hasn’t it always looked this way?!”

1) De-Clutter

The first step in getting ready to sell is de-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter so potential buyers aren’t overwhelmed by your stuff, but rather impressed by your home. Counters and other surfaces should be kept clear and any furniture that isn’t needed stored away. The good news about this tedious task is packing and purging will make moving day that much easier.

2) Lights and Mirrors

Warm lighting and well-placed mirrors can make your home feel bright, inviting and even bigger. Mirrors placed over fireplaces, and along hallway walls will make rooms appear larger than they are. Table lamps, and overhead lighting like chandeliers and sconces will brighten rooms and add some flair to your decor.

3) It’s Nothing Personal

Any personal effects should be packed away; family photos and mementoes, framed degrees, anything that’s a link to the current owner. Buyers want to imagine themselves in the house, so the more the house is a blank slate, the easier that is.

4) But Don’t Touch the Nursery!

Although the nursery and childrens’ rooms should be de-cluttered and tidied as well, personal effects can remain as they are. There’s something reassuring and touching about seeing a baby’s room that can mean all the difference to a potential buyer (especially ones that are starting a family).

5) Neutrals

Although you love that fuchsia accent wall, some buyers may not. A fresh coat of bright, neutral paint will not only enlarge the house and make it feel airy and more spacious, but it will also help buyers with their vision (there’s that blank slate again).

6) Accents and Colour

To complement the neutral house, a few well-placed bright pops of colour will bring the decor together. Bright throw pillows, or a canary yellow kettle on the stove will be noticed as soon as you enter the room and will stick in buyers minds once they leave. Fresh flowers are another great idea, and single flower arrangements are most effective.

7) Inviting Scents

Warm inviting scents will help your house be remembered. Taking the time to bake cookies or mull cider on the stove may not be in the cards (and the stove and elements should be off for open houses) but a safely placed candle or air freshener will do the trick.

8) Draw Attention to Selling Features

As a general rule closet doors should be kept closed, but if there’s a walk-in that should be noticed, a small note to alert potential buyers is ok.

9) Freshen Your Linens

Now’s the time to use your spare “good” set on beds, and ensure your towels and hand-towels are in tip top shape. And if it’s perhaps time to replace them, think neutral again.

Following these tips will have your house in tip top selling shape and make it the most appealing to the most potential buyers faster than you can say “SOLD!” 

 

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