The decision to purchase your home is one of the most important decisions you will ever make, and will also be one of your largest investments. Done right, it can also be one of the most exciting and fulfilling times in your life! Kari Calder a saskatoon Realtor with Century 21 Fusion is there to help you through the process, and provide you and your family with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have a realtor working with your best interests in mind.
Read some examples of what Kari's clients have to say about working with her as their Trusted Saskatoon Realtor here
TrustedSaskatoon.com Talk to the Experts – Trusted Real Estate show Questions for Kari Calder Century 21 Fusion:
Adele Bandet: My house has been on the market for about 6 weeks now, and get good traffic through just no one writing, ive been told its the weather....what months are sellers months and what months are buyers, if there is one.
A: Every house sells, it all comes down to the price so that may need to be addressed as yes, it was slower in Jan/Feb but things were still selling if they were priced well.
Deb Harbus: what is the average time to sell a house. Any tips on getting your house sold?
A: Average time to sell and averages in general are a dangerous thing to focus on as it is all about supply and demand for the particular type of housing and the market at the moment. For tips visit my website at www.saskatoonrealestate.net.
Rachael Seemann: My fiance and I are wanting to buy a house (first time home buyers, already have a downpayment saved up) But we're not sure what would be best. We're stuck choosing between buying brand new, or buying ~ 5-10 years old. We like the idea of having a brand new house, as most of them come with a new home warranty, but most of the new houses have not levelled out and will have problems that won't be known about until they've already happened and it's too late. Older houses tend to come with a problem here or there, but those problems are known about, and are usually brought up before a deal is made (flooding in the spring and things like that). So my question is, for someone who is looking to buy their first home (or even their second), is newer best, or would one be better off to go with something that's been around for a little while (and if so, what's a good age for a house to be)?
A: You need to be working with an experienced Saskatoon real estate agent who can help you determine what best suits your needs and wants. New can be great but new is also a LOT of work and a lot of cash needed whereas older can mean a more established home that needs a few updates but possibly less initial expense. Yards are expensive and dirty. Does it need a deck? Fence? Driveway? Basement development? Appliances? Window coverings? Air Conditioning? Those all add up and fast. The list for a brand new house can get overwhelming whereas a used home you can tweak when you want.
Annalee Bruce McSharkbite: When selling your home I was told to take down any personal pictures, events or anything that and make it so it looks trendy with a new coat of paint etc but NOT to spend more than $500 on upgrades because the new people will be doing it. IS this the standard advice or is are there better tips?
A: The advice on the pictures is correct but each home requires its own individual advice so without seeing the house I would have a hard time telling you if $500 is good or not.
Rachelle Nieman: Do you give out honest info to your clients such as how many clients you reprensent at a time? References? Drawbacks of their home? and if their area is growing or declining?
A: ABSOLUTELY! I believe in transparency and I am always upfront about the pros AND the cons of their home and the area, but in a tactful way. As a trusted Saskatoon realtor I am where I am because I am honest. It costs me listings sometimes as some agents let the sellers determine the list price so you are being told what you what you want to hear but I would rather be honest and not get the listing than dishonest and then have to disappoint you later as getting hit up for price reductions is frustrating. I am always happy to provide references but being part of trusted Saskatoon means 20 or more of my references were already contacted so you don’t need to!
Justin Bear: Does having student loan debt while im still in school affect my prospects of buying a home?
A: Yes, you will need to talk to a good mortgage specialist. Trusted Saskatoon works with some great individuals. It is not impossible depending on your situation and many of my clients still have student loans they are paying off.
Matthew Murray: Give me the top 3 reasons I shouldn't try and sell my house myself and 'save' money?
A: Availability of your home for showings, exposure, hassle factor, dealing with non-qualified buyers, safety of your family as you don’t know who you are letting into your home but realtors qualify their buyers, time, etc.
Sabina Walston Edwards: How much (%) is expected for a down payment these days?
A: If you are a first time buyer or buying as your primary residence 5% is what you need and there are even circumstances you can borrow your downpayment. If you are investing then you need 20%. Check out my website for more info on mortgages and what the terms mean.
Isaac Saragossi: How many Real Estate Agents does it take to change a light bulb?
A: If you have the right real estate agent in the first place only one! If , as the seller, you let your agent just tell you what you want to hear or you choose based on the price they tell you that your house is worth without doing the required research you will need a few!
Geraldine Mecas: Where is the best province and town to buy a home in the year 2013?
A: If I had that particular crystal ball I wouldn’t need to work ;-) I can’t speculate, that would be unfair.
Ernest Vigonte: I have been living in Saskatoon for 5 years now and considering to purchase a real estate property. Would you advice to purchase a house, a condo, a townhouse or a rent to own property? and why? For a low-income earner like me what are my option for me to be able to get one.how about taxes and legal fees?
A: Check out my website www.saskatoonrealestate.net for the differences in types of ownerships as well as info on closing costs etc. Stay away from rent to owns, consult a lawyer on that one but they can be lacking in security to you and the seller and you may lose money. For low income there are some programs available, I believe you can find info on the City of Saskatoon’s website.
Kyra Plessl: How much do realtors make off of the house you sell?
A: Not as much as the public often thinks. There is a total commission cost that often seems high but the agents don’t get all of that. The total amount gets paid to the listing agent’s brokerage, so in my case Century 21 gets paid first. From there they pay the 2 agents in the transaction but often those agents are only getting a percentage of what they are paid. Realtors then have their expenses to pay each month such as office fees, gas, vehicle payment, advertising, brokerage fees (we have to pay to be part of a real estate company). The government also has to get paid. So that piece of pie gets small quickly and no one pays us until a deal is done so realtors often end up doing a lot of work and not getting paid for it. It can be an expensive business to be in!
Sheri N' Brinn Rudoski: How can a single person get into a house these days without a huge down payment, are there any mortgage programs for singles or just low income families?
A: Yes, there are programs for low income families-check with the City of Saskatoon. If your credit is really good you can also sometimes borrow your downpayment.
Eric Nguyen: How much is sask property tax?
A: It depends on the property, they are all different and you may even pay more than your neighbour even if your house is virtually identical as you may have more land than they do.
Lisa Leavitt- McLeod: What is the number one seller.....bathrooms or kitchens ? And if you had to choose one to put money into, which would it be?
A: In my experience I would say kitchen is the number one, unfortunately it is also the priciest but there are some good companies out there who help with remodels and you don’t have to spend a fortune.
Anne Gent: If you have bad neighbors, how do you ensure it doesn't impact the value of your home when selling?
A: Send them on a little trip ;-) Sorry Anne, that is a tough one as, while you don’t have to disclose any information about your neighbours if their yard or home are in a bad state there is not much that you can do, sorry!
Brooke Danielle: How do I get a rural property tax reassessment?. My taxes have nearly tripled in four years since I bought my acreage. I don't understand property taxes... what am I paying for? I'm not a farmer and I'm not in town. Thanks in advance.
A: Unfortunately Brooke, many of us find ourselves in this situation. Contact your RM and ask for an explanation as each RM and even each area in the city is different. I had to do this with the City of Saskatoon for my own and they talk about mill rates and such but there is a formula that is used so it should be mathematically justifiable, even if it often still doesn’t make sense. That is a tough one.
Amanda Upton: Will house prices be going down in Saskatoon. It is extremely hard for young individuals/couples to afford their first homes with the current house prices.
A: I understand how hard it is for first time home buyers but unfortunately all economic indicators show that house prices will continue to rise so the longer you rent the pricier it will be. Check out my website www.saskatoonrealestate.net for valuable information for first time home buyers and let me connect you with a good mortgage specialist to speak to so that you can put together a plan to stop renting sooner than later.
Marjorie Flavel: Why do we have to pay GST & PST on the realtors commission and not on the full price of the home. Why do we have to pay any taxes.?
A: That’s a good question for the government Marjorie, I know the answer of “because those are the rules” isn’t a good answer but that’s the only answer I have for you! There is also GST on new homes but often that gets included, but not always yet keep in mind, on resale homes there is not tax so compared to cars we are fortunate they aren’t double dipping on that!
Megan Barber: Why should I stay in saskatoon instead of moving somewhere else? What do our housing rates and so on have that sets us apart from other citys and towns?
A: I can’t tell you why or why not you should be in Saskatoon, except that Saskatoon is a fantastic city and I have lived in man! I can tell you that our economy is what sets us apart-it has nothing to do with our housing rates as those are not exactly appealing to buyers as they are high but when you have a situation of supply vs demand and the demand is keeping up to, and in some cases, outweighing the supply this keeps the price of housing high. If you choose to move to a place with a weaker economy you will likely find cheaper housing as the supply is higher than the demand.
Kathleen Creeley: How does a young mother go about looking for a safe affordable house with low income?
A: Speak to a mortgage specialist about what options may be out there for you in terms of affordability and special assistance programs. There is a Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership that you may want to look into.
Garson Hunter: Why don't Realtors stop some of their opposition to the provision of affordable public housing - commissions?
A: I’m sorry Garson but I think you are generalizing 600 real estate agents into one experience you may have had. I personally am not opposed to it, I think it is great! I have friends who are purchasing in some of these affordable housing projects and I fully support them, even if I don’t get paid for helping them, so I am sorry to hear you think all REALTORS (r) think the same, as we don’t! So most realtors do support this however we would love to see the provincial government focus on funding renovations and construction of private homes as much as they focus on constructing new property as ‘affordable housing’.
Kari Calder Saskatoon Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Fusion
Kari Calder is one Saskatoon's top Century 21 Fusion real estate agents. Kari can assist with all of your Saskatoon buying and selling real estate needs and she is a TRUSTED SASKATOON REALTOR