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Deb Murdoch your Trusted Saskatoon Mortgage Broker shares a trusted tip on How to effectively use your home equity

posted by Trusted Saskatoon    |   April 16, 2014 12:53

Are you purchasing a new home? Renovating? Debt Consolidating? Let Deb help you get the best interest rate. Her services to you are free. Give her a call today..she gets the job done! . DEB MURDOCH is a Trusted SASKATOON MORTGAGE BROKER ..and an expert in the mortgage industry!

Here Deb shares a tip on How to effectively use your home equity:

Is it time to renovate that kitchen or put an addition on your home? Or maybe you're tired of paying those high-interest credit cards. Or you're considering purchasing an investment property. If you're self-employed, you might need a cash infusion. So where do you get the money? Well, if you have enough equity in your home you might be able to borrow against it.

Your home's equity is an asset you can use either by:

  • borrowing against it with a second mortgage
  • or a home equity line of credit (HELOC)
  • or by refinancing.

There are pros and cons to all three options. Let's take a closer look at the options!


This is an entirely new loan on the property and pays out the existing mortgage. You can choose to refinance to take advantage of a lower interest rate or take out cash to pay off debts or to renovate. There has to be sufficient equity since you can only refinance up to 80% loan-to-value (LTV) through conforming lenders. However, if you're in the first year or two of a fixed-rate mortgage, the penalty to refinance may be onerous.

Second Mortgage

A second mortgage is a separate loan on the property, but is still secured by the property. This is a popular way to get much-needed cash quickly -- the application process is fast, as is the turnaround time. Second mortgage lenders focus on the property and the equity available. The interest rate will likely be higher because a second mortgage is riskier than a first. For example, in case of default, the first mortgage lender has the first right to proceeds from a sale or power of sale. However, there are situations when a second mortgage can be advantageous, especially if you already have a great mortgage rate on your existing first mortgage.

Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit (HELOC)

A HELOC can be a stand alone first mortgage or an all inclusive collateral mortgage. The loan is approved using the same basic criteria as a mortgage loan. The full amount of the money is made available up front, and you can access as much or as little as you want. It's an installment loan that acts as a revolving line of credit. You access the credit line online, by using a cheque, credit card or by using your debit card. The "credit limit" is determined by the equity, but you'll only pay interest on the funds you use.

Whether you choose any of these options depends on your financial needs and situation. For example, if current interest rates are lower than the rate on your existing first mortgage, refinancing may be the best choice. However, if rates are up, taking out a second mortgage might make more sense. Or, depending on what your needs are, selecting a HELOC may be the way to go.

Stay Connected

Together, we can determine the best option that fits your needs. I will work closely with you to ensure you're achieving your financial goals. To find out which of the three options suits you, call me today.


Find Deb on Facebook here! 



Tammy Wandzura Trusted Saskatoon Mortgage Expert Tip for Bad Credit

posted by Trusted Saskatoon    |   April 15, 2014 17:42

Purchasing your home is one of the biggest and most important decisions that you can make. Tammy Wandzura your Trusted Saskatoon Mortgage broker and the team at Elite Mortgage Choice  believe that buying a home should also be an exciting experience with little to NO stress. By trusting your Mortgage Broker, you are ensuring that any stress you may have had in previous encounters can be eliminated!

Tammy truly believes that all you should have to worry about is opening the door to your new home for the very first time.

Bad Credit? Want to qualify for a mortgage as soon as possible? Tammy Wandzura Trusted Saskatoon Mortgage Expert has all the tips you need to make the process progress smoothly! Tammy Wandzura AMP with TMG The Mortgage Group


Call Tammy Wandzura today at 306 933.3386 for all of your Saskatoon mortgage needs OR visit

Make an appointment with Tammy Wandzura at TMG, #1-511 1st Ave N or check out her listing on the SASKATOON DIRECTORY in the SASKATOON MORTGAGES Category..she is a Trusted SASKATOON MORTGAGE BROKER Expert!

Listen to Tammys current Radio ad here! 


SMP a Trusted Saskatoon Auto Dealer expert share a tip on what to do in a Fender-Bender

posted by Trusted Saskatoon    |   April 11, 2014 11:37

It is so important to all of us to be able to trust the people we deal with... especially when you are looking at buying a vehicle! Saskatoon Motor Products has a long history of helping people find and purchase the vehicles they need, so you know you are in good hands. SMP's professional staff is here to help you purchase, finance or fix that vehicle!

The staff at Saskatoon Motor Products treats the needs of each individual customer with paramount concern. They know that you have high expectations, and as a car dealer they enjoy the challenge of meeting and exceeding those standards each and every time. Allow SMP the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to excellence!
Here they share a tip on what to do in a Fender-Bender: 


If you've never been in a fender-bender or a small car crash, then you probably don't know proper post-crash responsibilities. Many young drivers have never been in a small car accident or fender-bender. Once in a crash, it can be difficult to think straight, making it even more difficult to exchange the relevant information and other necessities.

If you've been in a crash, we're here to help, just follow these steps:


Stop your car at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible. Take all possible precautions to prevent further accidents and ensure the safety of all individuals involved.


If someone appears to be hurt, call 911. Do not move the injured person unless you are qualified to do so.


If you are injured in any way, go to the emergency room. Seeing a doctor immediately after is very important in getting fair compensation if you have a claim.


All crashes involving injuries, death, hit and run, an impaired driver, an out-of-province vehicle or where a vehicle must be towed from the scene must be immediately reported to police. In an emergency call 911, for minor emergencies call (306)975-8300. Be prepared to give an accurate description of the crash location, the number of injured persons, and the severity of the injuries. Stay on the phone long enough to ensure that all the information has been recorded.


Record the names of any witnesses to assist the police with their investigation. Keep a copy of the names for your records - your insurance company and/or lawyer may need them if legal action follows.


DO: Provide your name and address to the other persons involved in the crash, regardless of the severity of the crash.

DO: Record the license plate number of all vehicles involved in the crash.

DO: If a non-Saskatchewan vehicle is involved, or if you are involved in a collision outside Saskatchewan, provide information on the company that insures your vehicle.

DON'T: Do not admit fault or any other liability before discussing the details of the crash with your insurance adjuster.

DON'T: Do not offer to pay for any repairs or accept payment for repairs unless you are prepared to handle the matter without the help of your insurance company.


You can report your claim online using the SGI Auto eClaim registration service, or call Dial-A-Claim (306) 683-2100. If your vehicle is not drivable, call Dial-A-Claim to make arrangements with an adjuster. Your vehicle will be towed to a location where the damage can be appraised.

When you report your claim, have the following information on hand:

  • Your driver's license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Your extension policy number (if you have one)

At the claims center, an appraiser will assess the damage to your vehicle and the cost of repairs. Once the appraisal is done, you will receive a printout outlining the cost of repairs.



Bring your SGI appraised estimate to Saskatoon Motor Products and we will book an immediate appointment to begin the repair process. If you have any further questions, please contact us at (306) 242-8498. 


Let the professionals help you find your next vehicle. 


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D&D Travel a Trusted Saskatoon Travel Expert share great tips for packing

posted by Trusted Saskatoon    |   April 10, 2014 15:37

How does D&D Travel provide such great service and expertise? They GO so that they KNOW! Deedee travels extensively around the world, specializing mainly in hot spots and beach vacations! She just recently completed extensive training on the booking of groups, namely DESINTATION WEDDING GROUPS, family reunion groups, business incentive groups, and adventure travel groups. Group travel is now her speciality and with her extensive industry connections, she can get you the best value at the best destination hands down!

D&D Travel are your Trusted Saskatoon travel experts

Here they share great tips for packing:

• start by putting your name, address and phone number on each piece of luggage
• before packing, lay out the items you plan to take, and re-evaluate, to eliminate any unnecessary items. Pack items tightly - to avoid them moving around. To save room, pack smaller items in shoes
• to save room on clothing - choose a base color for pants, skirts and shorts, then match with a few hig...hlight colors. And don't forget to accessorise, with scarves, hats and wraps, as they can easily add color to any outfit
• pack toiletries in plastic bags to avoid spillages. Pack all liquids or gels / sprays over 100ml in your checked bags - or else you will have to throw them out at customs!
• do not pack travel documents, medication, jewelry, money or travellers checks in your checked bag. Only take the absolute minimum, regarding jewelry or money. Keep all items securely in your money belt - or somewhere safe that is always at your side
• remember - only pack your bag two-thirds full, to leave room for shopping and souvenirs!



What to Pack
• start by making a list. Be sure to check the weather forecast of the destination you are heading to, and take into consideration any activities and outings you will be doing
• always pack sunscreen, bug spray, after bite and aloe Vera. Don't forget the other important things like, Tylenol or Advil, or Pepto Bismol. Items like these can be found at destination, but often aren't cheap! For example, almost $25 for a small bottle of Sunscreen at a resort in Cancun
• always be sure to take at least one long sleeve shirt, rain / wind coat, and closed toed shoes
• electronics - be sure to bring extra batteries, chargers, or memory cards. Also check electrical outlets and adapters needed for the places you are visiting


What not to Pack
• valuable, and expensive - looking jewelry

• irreplaceable objects
• all unnecessary credit cards
• your identity card, library card or any similar items you may routinely carry in your wallet


 Before you Go
• make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after you plan to return
• alert all credit card providers of places you will be visiting, and how long you will be travelling, to reduce the risk of having your cards "frozen"
• check currencies that are used at your destination, find out what currencies are accepted, and what aren't. Be sure to research if ATM's are available, and what credit cards are accepted. Also find out if it is best to exchange currency before you go, or at destination
• make sure your family and close friends have copies of your travel itinerary and hotels you will be staying at
• avoid "bill shock" - check all international and text rates with your provider, and disable data roaming to avoid an extremely large bill upon return
• make copies of your passport details, insurance policy, visas and credit card number. Carry one in a separate place from the original, and leave a copy with someone at home
• find out if you need any new vaccinations. Some countries require foreign travellers to carry an International Certificate of Vaccination. Before you travel, check the Country Specific Information of the country you are visiting


Call today to start planning your visit to this beautiful destination! 


You can also find them on Facebook, or follow on Pinterest!




Al Hattie Insurance your Trusted Saskatoon Insurance experts tip on the new Prestige Home Insurance Policy

posted by Trusted Saskatoon    |   April 10, 2014 14:06

Choosing to work with Al Hattie Insurance means that you are working with a family owned and operated company, founded by Al and Lois Hattie in 1982 with the basic principle of personalized professional service for everyone. After over 30 years, Brent Hattie and Collen Hattie-Nahorniak are dedicated to continuing to provide all of their customers with a friendly, pleasant atmosphere in which to do business.

Al Hattie Insurance are your Trusted Saskatoon Insurance experts! 

Here they share a tip on the new Prestige Home Insurance Policy:

SGI has just introduced their new Prestige Home Insurance policy for your higher-valued home that provides tailored coverage to suit your needs. Whether you are a home business owner, a specialty items collector, a savvy investor or have an impressive collection of recreational toys, Prestige has the right coverage for you.


All Prestige policies include:

Lifestyle Coverage Options - allowing you to tailor your insurance protection to your specific lifestyle needs.

Priority Claims Service - access to dedicated Prestige adjusters to provide you with faster service, including a 30-minute guaranteed response time.

Roof/Siding/Flooring - if matching materials are no longer available, your entire roof, siding, flooring or sets of vehicle entry doors will be replaced in the event of a claim.

Home Systems Protection - coverage for the sudden and accidental mechanical breakdown of home equipment such as furnaces, central air conditioners, deep well pumps, pool pumps and heating equipment, electrical power panels, and more.

Homeowners' Guarantee Coverage - coverage to repair or replace your home or outbuildings with materials of similar kind and quality, even if the cost to do so is more than what you have insured them for.

Higher Limits on Property with Specific Amounts of Protection - increased coverage for items such as tools, spare auto parts, business instruments and computer software protection, lawnmowers, tractors, snow blowers, jewelry and furs, and much more.

Personal Liability Coverage - $3 million in coverage to protect you if you are sued by someone who is hurt or whose property is unintentionally damaged because of your actions

Roof Snow Removal - access to $1000 to have snow removed from your house following a claim caused by an ice dam.

Single Amount of Protection - provides 150% of the coverage of your home, allowing you to allocate coverage as you wish towards your personal belongings, increased living expenses, lost rental income or expenses to cover the cost of being evacuated from your home.

Prestige Lifestyle Options

Prestige home insurance policies allow the addition of any or all Prestige Lifestyle Options tailored to your needs.

Lifestyle Option A: Home Business Owner

Additional protection provided for:

- books, tools and instruments for your business

- business computers

- enhanced coverage for credit card/cheques or damages from counterfeit money

-increased limits on voluntary medical and property damages and lost wages


Lifestyle Option B: Collectables & Treasures Protection

Make sure your lifetime of memories is not lost in an emergency by selecting this option that covers:

- per-item protection for priceless comic books and trading cards

- enhanced protection for jewelry, watches or gems

- extra coverage for furs, manuscripts, stamps or coin collections


Lifestyle Option C: Family & Security

Get additional protection for the security that matters with Option C:

- enhanced limits on identity theft protection

- additional coverage for securities and bonds

- protection on bullion, money and gift cards

- additional coverage for childcare costs or loss of income to attend to a home insurance claim

- enhanced coverage for cemetery property such as burial plots


Lifestyle Option D: Recreational Protection

You take care of your quality of life and the value of your home, and you need protection to match:

- increased limits on shrubs and outdoor trees

- enhanced boat and motor coverage

- increased protection for pets

- enhanced protection for bicycles, tricycles or similar, including accessories

- enhanced coverage for yard machines

- increased lock replacement coverage


The new Prestige home insurance policy also provides you with an enhanced Customer Claims Service, which includes a 24/7 dedicated claims line, 30 minute response time, faster payment process and a dedicated adjuster from start to finish. Stop by our office or call 306-955-2700 if you think Prestige is the right policy for your home or if you require any further information.


Check out their newly re-designed website for a variety of online services, as well as information on all of the services offered at Al Hattie Insurance. Need some specific information? Fill out their online form for a quote! They are Trusted Saskatoon insurance experts .



Stone Temple Decorative Concrete your Trusted Saskatoon Concrete experts tip on Common Questions About Concrete Driveways

posted by Trusted Saskatoon    |   April 9, 2014 15:48

Serving Saskatoon and Area with quality concrete services, Stone Temple Decorative Concrete evolved from K & B Concrete Ltd, which started in 2002 as a small two man operation. Since day one, their main objective has been a high standard of professionalism, quality workmanship, and customer satisfaction. Stone Temple's enthusiastic and open minded approach to projects has spurred on many creative and unique designs.

Trusted Saskatoon landscape & Yard experts Stone Temple Decorative Concrete continue to expand their knowledge by attending seminars and courses instructed by nationally renowned leaders in the decorative concrete industry. Whether stamped or standard grey broomed concrete "OUR QUALITY IS IN THE FINISH". Trust the "Concrete Artisans" for unique hand-carved vertical concrete, hand-built decorative landscape boulders or stained interior floors. Stone Temple Decorative Concrete installers take pride in their creative designs. Stone Temple is Saskatoon's Trusted Residential & Commercial Concrete Experts!

Here they share a tip on Common Questions About Concrete Driveways:

                            Ozark Patterned Concrete, Inc. in Lowell, AR.


How do I find the right contractor to install my driveway?

Start your search right here by using the Concrete Network's Find a Concrete Contractor locator. You can search by zip code or state for contractors in your area that install new concrete driveways or resurface existing driveways.

Other ways to hunt down a contractor:

  • Look at decorative concrete driveways in your neighborhood and get the names of the contractors who installed the driveways that appeal to you most. Be sure to ask the homeowners about their experience with the contractor and the quality of the workmanship.
  • Get references from friends, homebuilders or local ready-mix suppliers.
  • Get names through your local directories.


Once you come up with a list of contractors, be sure to ask for references and get a list of projects in your area that you can check out. Also ask how long the contractor has been in business, if they're insured, whether they have any professional certifications, and if they offer a warranty for their work. Read our 8 Tips for Hiring a Concrete Contractor for Exterior Work.

Do I need to seal my new concrete driveway?You should apply a high-quality sealer to all exterior concrete slabs exposed to freeze-thaw conditions. The sealer helps protect the concrete from moisture absorption, exposure to chemicals, and grease and oil stains. On decorative colored concrete, a sealer will also help enhance the color (see Why Seal Decorative Concrete).

Generally, there are two categories of sealers for exterior concrete: film-formers and penetrants. Penetrating sealers tend to offer the best protection from moisture absorption. Regardless of the sealer you use, be sure it's applied according to the manufacturer's instructions.

What if the driveway cracks?

If your concrete was jointed properly, cracks are unlikely to be a problem. Think of joints as "planned" cracks that allow the concrete to expand and contract, minimizing any chance for random cracking.

Although joints will control cracking in most cases, even properly jointed concrete can crack in places other than the joints. Most of these random cracks are simply unplanned joints and won't impact the long-term service and durability of your driveway. But they can detract from the appearance. If you're concerned about random cracking, ask your contractor what measures he will take to prevent it and what his policy is about fixing any random cracking that does occur.

What if the color isn't what I expected?

It's unrealistic to expect your contractor to precisely match the color of your concrete driveway to a showroom sample, a neighbor's decorative concrete driveway, or a photo from a brochure. Even plain concrete can exhibit color variations, especially if the project requires more than one load of concrete or if the concrete placements are made on different days. Most of these variations are minor and will fade over time.

For more information, read Concrete Driveways -- What a Homeowner Should Expect from the Tennessee Concrete Association.

What is the cost of a stamped concrete driveway?

Your initial cost to install a stamped concrete driveway can range anywhere from $6 per square foot for basic stamped concrete (using just one pattern and color) to $15 or more per square foot for elaborate multi-pattern designs with special coloring effects (see Stamped Concrete Driveway Cost). While stamped concrete is pricier than asphalt, you'll get a much better return on your investment. Not only does a concrete driveway last longer and require less maintenance than most other paving materials, it can help boost the resale value of your home by adding curb appeal.

Read more about concrete driveway cost.

Can I get a warranty for my concrete driveway?

Yes! Many contractors will warrant their work, and you may be able to obtain an extended warranty (three years or longer) through your state concrete association, such as the Six Star Driveway Program available from the Michigan Concrete Association. Contractors and concrete producers who participate in the program agree to follow certain installation criteria and quality-control standards and will correct-for the duration of the warranty-any problems that occur due to their negligence.

As a TRUSTED Saskatoon business can be sure you have made the right choice 

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Milton Taylor your Trusted Saskatoon Photographer from Imagery Photography is featured in the Starphoenix

posted by Trusted Saskatoon    |   April 8, 2014 17:10

Photographs....memories and precious moments in our lives captured in time with a click of a camera shutter. These are the occasions and days of our lives that only happen once. Trust the professionals at Imagery Photography Saskatoon with your special moments because they understand the importance these memories hold, and work with you to ensure that they stay with you for a lifetime.

Imagery Photography are your Trusted Saskatoon Photographer!

Here Milton is featured in the Starphoenix:


The power of "all in"


Professional photographer Milton Taylor's longstanding involvement in the Saskatoon business community has served as a natural channel for his many volunteer pursuits. He spearheaded this vegetable garden project which is managed by the Food Bank.

Photograph by: Photo Courtesy Of Imagery Photography , The Starphoenix


Maybe he won't hang from a tree to get a photo (he'll do the next best thing) but professional photographer Milton Taylor is willing to get 'down and dirty' to spearhead a vegetable garden project for the Food Bank. It's part of his longstanding volunteer philosophy, otherwise known as a lifestyle.

"I've done a lot of volunteering in the past, Kinsmen, K40, that kind of thing. But I've gotten into volunteering moreso in the last few years because the community has been good to me, they come to my door and have their pictures taken, so I like to give back," he says. Imagery, Taylor's photography business, was established 37 years ago, and these days, focuses primarily on commercial style work, as well as a range of portraiture, including large family groups.

Being in business in Saskatoon over many years has led to numerous volunteering opportunities. "If you've been steeped in the business culture and you're observant, you do those things, it just comes natural to you," he says.

Taylor was the instigator of "100 People 100 Reasons" when Saskatoon turned a hundred. He's in his third year on the board of the Saskatoon Golf & Country Club where he oversees two committees. He's been a Jazz Festival volunteer for 15 years, serves on the board of the NSBA (North Saskatoon Business Association) and with the Club Connect committee. He just completed a couple of two-year stints with the Tourism Board. 

Taylor's general approach seems to be "all-in" no matter what he does. But some opportunities tug at the heart strings in a special way. Like Care and Share, an organization that seeks to ensure all children have the same opportunities. It serves 17 inner-city community schools, addressing their wish lists of goods, services and programs that would best fulfill the students' needs.

Taylor has been on the board of Care and Share Saskatoon for about 12 years. "We have a dignity fund and each school is allotted so much money and the coordinator can take it and buy underwear or rubber boots or a swim suit if they go to swimming classes," he says. In many cases the children don't have these kinds of necessities.

"Many things in life will catch your eye, few catch your heart - pursue those," quotes Taylor, who is so committed to Care and Share he says they'll have to throw him off the board, because he's not leaving anytime soon. Everybody deserves a chance and Milton believes education is the key to the answer. "If we can have a generation of kids who stay in school, learn to be productive, and have positive role models, then we may have to close down a jail or two. That's wishful thinking but you've got to shoot for something," says Taylor.

The Food Bank vegetable garden on Third Avenue is another project that Taylor spearheaded. "I saw the toboggan at the top of the hill and I gave it a shove and got her rolling." The plot is in view from his current business location on the corner of 3rd Ave and Duchess Street. After getting permission from the mayor, some aging housing was removed, the plot was levelled and potatoes were grown the first year. When blight set in, the crop changed. "Last year they planted a lot of corn and squash and root vegetables and things like that, and harvested 19,500 pounds of produce from the three acre plot," says Taylor, who volunteers by going and picking things when they need it.

Taylor and Kearny Korchinski were asked by the Chamber to help form a new Junior Chamber of Commerce and we helped form a club which is now known as SYPE (Saskatchewan Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs).

Professionally, Taylor has served on the provincial and national boards of the PPOC (Professional Photographers of Canada) as president and in other capacities. He's also done speaking, competition judging and mentoring for various groups and individuals.

"There's people in our society that are stuck between a rock and a hard place, and dignity is important. Helping them to help themselves or giving them a chance to move forward, helping them get into society a little more and be their own person, don't we want that for people?" asks Taylor.


Read the glowing client testimonials from the clients Trusted spoke to on the IMAGERY PHOTOGRAPHY listing in the SASKATOON PHOTOGRAPHY & FRAMING category on the Saskatoon Directory of Excellence for yourself!!

Stone Temple Decorative Concrete your Trusted Saskatoon Concrete experts tip on Hiring a Contractor

posted by Trusted Saskatoon    |   April 8, 2014 16:28

Serving Saskatoon and Area with quality concrete services, Stone Temple Decorative Concrete evolved from K & B Concrete Ltd, which started in 2002 as a small two man operation. Since day one, their main objective has been a high standard of professionalism, quality workmanship, and customer satisfaction. Stone Temple's enthusiastic and open minded approach to projects has spurred on many creative and unique designs.

Trusted Saskatoon landscape & Yard experts Stone Temple Decorative Concrete continue to expand their knowledge by attending seminars and courses instructed by nationally renowned leaders in the decorative concrete industry. Whether stamped or standard grey broomed concrete "OUR QUALITY IS IN THE FINISH". Trust the "Concrete Artisans" for unique hand-carved vertical concrete, hand-built decorative landscape boulders or stained interior floors. Stone Temple Decorative Concrete installers take pride in their creative designs. Stone Temple is Saskatoon's Trusted Residential & Commercial Concrete Experts!

Here they share a tip on Hiring a Contractor:


As an estimator I am sometimes asked, from potential customers, to provide concrete products that are inferior or unsafe, so that the price will be less expensive. We decline situations like this believing that "the cheap ends up being the expensive". 
The information below provides insight into how reputable contractors think and how you can secure the best organization to complete your project.

Mike Holmes: Trouble hiring a contractor? Take a look in the mirror

Most homeowners think that when they talk to contractors for a potential job that they’re the only ones doing the interviewing. But don’t be fooled — the contractor is interviewing you, too.

Good contractors are booked weeks, sometimes months, in advance. That means they can be picky about the contracts they accept and the homeowners they work with.

If they’re going to reject other offers to work on your project, you better believe they’re going to be smart about how they invest their time. They want to be proud of their work and what they do. But more important, they want to make their clients happy.

Good contractors want to work for people who appreciate their work (I love the hugs I get at the end of a job!). As a contractor, there’s nothing worse than working your butt off for months only to have an unhappy homeowner at the end.

If a contractor can tell within the first five minutes that it is unlikely they can make you happy, they’ll move on. Why get into a bad relationship? Because that’s what it is when you hire a contractor — a relationship. There has to be communication, respect and trust.

If you’re having trouble hiring the right contractor, you might need to rethink your approach. Because sometimes the problem isn’t the contractors, it’s you.

Here are some warning signs:

Contractors don’t call you back. If you’ve asked a dozen contractors for quotes but only two call you back, the others are either too busy or don’t want the job. It could be the way you speak to them. Or you might have unrealistic expectations about the work, the budget, the schedule — or all of the above.

You want stuff done that goes against code. A smart contractor will not accept any contract where the work breaks municipal bylaws or goes against code. If they do, they’re no good and you’re asking for trouble.

I once had a client that wanted their sump pump to drain on the other side of their property by digging and running a pipe across 20 feet. That goes against code because it could freeze and burst in the winter. We have building codes for a reason. Contractors who break them don’t have your best interest in mind.

You don’t budge on your schedule. Good contractors can’t start the next week. In most cases, the contractors that are readily available are usually the ones to avoid. In a good contractor-client relationship, both sides will accommodate each other’s schedules as best they can to facilitate the project.

You’re confrontational from the get-go. A few home renovation shows (and I won’t mention which ones) have made some homeowners edgy and mistrustful of contractors. This is good in moderation, but at the same time you have to be respectful. Remember, respect is a two-way street. You have to give it to get it.

You ask for extras but don’t want to pay. Good work isn’t cheap or free. You’ve heard the saying: “You get what you pay for.” It’s one thing for a contractor to throw in better cabinet handles or not charge for a certain step in a job, such as sanding. But it’s just bad etiquette to ask your contractor to paint your living room and family room for free, when they were hired to do your kitchen.

You don’t let the contractor talk. You’re hiring a contractor because he or she is (or should be) the expert. Your job is to do the research, ask the right questions and listen. But I’ve met homeowners who don’t let me get a word in. That tells me three things: 1. They think they are the experts; 2. They don’t trust my skill; 3. They’ll be questioning me on everything every step of the way. Who would want to work for somebody like that?

Asking a contractor why they do things a certain way is necessary. But telling them how to do their job isn’t. If you don’t trust their work, don’t hire them. Otherwise you risk getting into a bad situation — for you and the contractor.


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Scott Dolan a Trusted Saskatoon Real Estate Expert tip on How to Make Relocating Clients Happy

posted by Trusted Saskatoon    |   April 7, 2014 11:09

Buying or selling your home is the most important financial decision for most ... and it is also one of the most important life decisions. Your home is where the heart is - where children grow, families and friends gather, and many lifetime memories are made. Trust your decisions about real estate to someone who knows the importance of your home....

Scott Dolan with Realty Executives continually strives to provide the highest professional standards in order to exceed all of your real estate expectations. If you would like some up to the minute information on ANY property, just give Scott a quick call......he can help!

Scott Dolan with Realty Executives is a Trusted Saskatoon expert for all your real estate needs.

Here Scott shares a great tip on How to Make Relocating Clients Happy:

It's often the little things that make the greatest impact when working with buyers who are relocating. Here are some tips for easing the stress of the big move. By Kelle Sparta

It gave me the opportunity to meet friends and experience life all over the country—from New Orleans to Boston—but it also made me realize how hard it is to let go of a community you love, and readjust to new surroundings.

Of course, moving is always stressful, even if you’re just moving across town.

But moving new a new state or region is particularly hard. Everything changes. Even simple comforts that you take for granted, such as favorite foods in the grocery store, are often no longer available.

Then there’s the challenge of meeting new friends and learning the new social norms associated with each area of the country (and believe me, they are very different).

Finally, you’ve got to relearn the practical everyday stuff, like where your house is in relation to the schools, what the best pizza place is, and where the movie theaters are. It’s taxing on the mind, body and spirit.

Make Their Lives Easier

But as a real estate practitioner, there are things you can do to make life easier for relocating clients, and in turn create loyal customers that will hopefully recommend you to their pals.

The first thing you need to remember is that no matter how organized and calm your relocating clients appear to be, they are under great stress and they will appreciate your help to get through the transition.

To help, you first need to understand where they are coming from. In some cases, they may have convinced themselves that they are used to this moving thing. They think that they have the process under control. And, in terms of the details, they probably do.

But what they are really saying to us is that they are used to operating in a constant state of chaos. They have become adept at moving forward through the overwhelmed stage.

It does not mean that they are OK. They are still stressed. They are still feeling out of control (although not as much as people who don't move often, since they do know what to expect). They are still disoriented.

Ideas for Going Above and Beyond

Because of their unique needs, your services for relocating clients should be a little more extensive than they are for your usual buyer. Remember, it’s often the little thoughtful things that will matter most.

Before they get to town:

  • Send a complete relocation packet, including: information about the school systems, crime rates for local neighborhoods, and a map that shows the layout of public transportation and location of public services, shopping, schools, and the person’s employer.
  • Help parents get the kids on board by sending a list of fun places to go and things to do in your area: the zoo, amusement parks, lakes and rivers, entertainment complexes, etc.
  • Create a list of Web sites you recommend for learning about local culture, events, and activities. The visitor’s bureau is often a great place to start.
  • Send a copy of the forms and contracts associated with a real estate purchase in your area so they have a chance to read them in advance.
  • Provide a list of short-term rental options or extended-stay hotels. (If you can negotiate a discount for being associated with your company, it’s even better.)

While they’re visiting to search for homes:

  •  Schedule hotel rooms for their stay.
  • Set up interviews at the potential schools.
  • Provide a list of things they’ll need to do before they move from their current residence. Here’s a sample list I created.
  • Compile a list of good restaurants in the area (and perhaps some discount coupons for trying them out).
  • Educate them about how the real estate closing process works in your area. They vary greatly from state to state.
  • Create a home showing guide kit to help them remember the many houses they will see on their whirlwind tour. Provide addresses of each location, photos (when available), and unique home details that will spur their memory. For example: “the house with the blue shutters” and “the one with the great fireplace.” Otherwise you run the risk of getting to the end of the day and all of the showings being mush in their heads.
  • Remember that when you drop them off for the night, they will be sitting in their empty hotel room with nothing to do, consequently they are likely to go over everything you looked at that day. So expect them to have a lot of questions and they may even start asking about looking at other areas too. Expect a few course-corrections along the way.
  • Send a fruit basket to their hotel. It will make them feel welcome and provide them with much-needed healthy snacks during their stay.

After the closing:

  • Offer to contact utility companies so the electricity, gas, and other services will be turned on when they move in.
  • Provide lists of services and providers in the area that you know they’ll need.
  • Give them a list of things they’ll need to do to get settled in at their new location. Here’s a sample list I created.
  • Have pizza, salads, and soda delivered to the house on the move-in day. Nothing will be more appreciated, especially if they’ve got hungry kids.

Create Information Packets for Clients

Relocation business isn’t the easiest out there. But it is often the most fast-paced and fun. If you’re in an area with a lot of people who are relocating, then it’s makes sense to create packets with helpful information they can browse before the move.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Make trips to the local Chamber of Commerce and the Information Centers on the highways. Pick up fliers and brochures for all kinds of activities to add to my relocation packages.
  • Purchase a bunch of priority mail envelopes.
  • Back at the office, assemble the packages 10 to 15 at a time. That way, each time a person asks for one, you’ll just be able to drop in a letter, seal it up, and send it out. It’ll make a great impression, and save you time in the long run.

I’ve found (and learned firsthand) that relocating buyers and sellers are motivated and energized to an extreme. They have a goal and they’re not stopping at anything to get there.

Once you’ve mastered the relocation business, you’ll find that your average time from first contact to closing reduces dramatically. And what’s even better is that when you do a great job easing the transition for your clients, repeat business and referrals are practically guaranteed.


Scott Dolan is your Trusted Saskatoon Realtor – working hard to find the right fit for you and your family! Give him a call – you will be glad you did!   

Made In The Shade Blinds your Trusted Saskatoon Blinds & Window Coverings Expert tip on Window Coverings, Budget and Timelines & What to expect

posted by Trusted Saskatoon    |   April 1, 2014 19:17
Made in the Shade Blinds Saskatoon wants to help you get your windows on the Best Dressed list! They offer free in-home consultations, where they bring the showroom to you. Not only is this more convenient for you, it allows you to see a variety of choices for your home, surrounded by your colors and furnishings, in your home’s own natural light. Made In The Shade Saskatoon are your Trusted Saskatoon Blinds and Window Coverings Experts! 
Here Heather shares a tip on Window Coverings – Budget and Timelines – What to expect:
Building or buying a home this year?
There are just so many details and things to think about when you are moving into or building a new home. I can’t tell you how often I have been with a family in their new home, and they have a definite need for window coverings, but have no idea as to what to expect as far as budget, timelines, or even which type of window convering product would suit them the best. We at Made in the Shade Blinds Saskatoon want to make it easy for you!


Looking at timelines – your consultation will take anywhere between 30-75 minutes (give or take). At your consultation, we can decide on your window coverings and also take accurate measurements of the windows in your home. Your quote will be back to you within 24-48 hours of your consultation. For most custom window coverings, plantation shutters being the exception, the ship time from the manufacturer is between 2-3 weeks. Plantation shutters will take between 4-10 weeks, depending on the size and scale of the project. Most other products (wood or faux wood blinds, cellular or honeycomb shades, roller and solar shades, roman shades, sheers and draperies, etc.) are able to be delivered within 3 weeks of placing the order. Give yourself a little bit of extra time so that everything comes together smoothly. Once your product arrives at Made in the Shade, we will schedule an installation date. 


Budget! This is something we all want to know! Made in the Shade Blinds offers a wide variety of choices from a number of manufacturers – Hunter Douglas, Graber, Horizons, Maxxmar, Shade-O-Matic and Norman Shutters – and there is a bit of variance in the price ranges. The size of your windows also plays a factor into your costs…the larger the window, the more pricey the window covering (of course). One of the most cost-effective window covering products would be faux-wood blinds. Fabrics and natural woven woods generally require more of an investment, as do plantation shutters. Pleated, roller and solar shades tend to fall more into the budget-conscious category, and cellulars (depending upon the brand) fall pretty much in the middle of the road. I do think that you would be surprised when you do some comparison shopping! 


Call us at 306-280-0632 for a free in-home consultation and quote – we can work with any budget! From one single window to a whole home or office building, we will work with you to get the window coverings you love! 


To schedule an appointment with Heather - the ' Shady -Lady' click here