Tips for a great move

Ready for your next big adventure? 4 tips for a stress-free summer move

The majority of Canadians prefer to make their big move during the summer season. There are a variety of reasons for choosing this time of year: it is easier to transport boxes in non-icy conditions, no need to worry about your belongings freezing during transport, and children’s lives are not disrupted by the transition since they are on summer holidays.
Minimize potential moving chaos by asking yourself the following questions:

• Do you need to keep everything? Moving offers a good opportunity to reorganize your life by giving away, donating or recycling items that you no longer need. You’ll thank yourself later when there is less to pack and transport.

• How well do you know your moving company? The Office of Consumer Affairs drafted a Consumer Checklist for choosing a moving company and it reminds Canadians to request their moving estimate in advance and be mindful of seasonal rates (a summer move can be pricier). Will your items be held in the transport vehicle overnight or a secure facility? Consider purchasing Replacement Value Protection, which will ensure the company is liable if your possessions are damaged.

• Do you have enough boxes and packing materials? Start collecting boxes and newspapers in advance; ideally you should begin packing non-essential items a month in advance. Pack and clearly label a couple boxes with important first day arrival items, such as toothbrushes, remote controls, medication, and pet food, which could otherwise become lost in the shuffle.

• Once you step in the door, what are your top priorities? After the bed is set up, most people are eager to get connected by hooking up their TV, internet and home phone. Rogers introduced a free concierge service which makes this process easier by setting you up with a personal concierge agent. The agent proactively connects with customers throughout the transition, reviews order details, answers billing questions, and can assist with any changes to your order if your moving date needs to shift.

Entering the next chapter of your life can be a thrilling time, but like any significant life change, the process can be quite overwhelming. Control potential moving chaos by jotting down questions and tracking their completion on your personal checklist.

Source: News Canada

Home Renovations Blog Week 3

Ready to start week 3 with some great progress from the first 2 weeks.  The electical work has taken some time but when you add 15 pot lights, sound system control boxes, speakers to the ceiling, garbeurator wiring, undercabinet lighting wiring, etc, this takes some time espeically when the attic is so hot in the heat.  After the cabinet install, we had Flo Form out to measure the counter tops.  Now is the time we can start painting and add the flooring, it will be a busy week of activity to make some significant changes.


Home Renovations Blog Post Week 2

After a week off another weekend of activity brings some more progress. New kitchen cabinets from Norcraft were delivered on Friday, July 6th.  We went with Norcraft based on the cabinet and kitchen design that Argel Tolentino provided to us.  He was able to match the symentry of new cabinets on both sides of the window while showcasing an antique glass corner window.  He also had a great plan to deal with cabinets above the raised counter.  The angled edge transitions the new cabinets to the open dining room space nicely.  We also had friends who had used Norcraft.  We had an opportunity to see their cabinets and also managed to get the same installer, Bernie, who’s work is tremendous.

The saving grace of a summer renovation is a barbeque and great weather.  The weather has been extremely hot, not good for electrical work in the attic but good for being outdoors to eat.  Next week’s video will have the installed cabinets.

Home Renovations Blog Post 1

For over a year we have been planing a major renovation to our home, like 44% of Winnipeger’s polled this year,  which was built in 1988.  It has a very poor layout and with our children getting older we wanted a home which would allow us to open the home for entertaining.  We have spent a lot of time talking to people, visiting show homes and of course the we have been closely watching home renovation shows like House of Bryan, Property Brothers, and Love it or List it.  We also spent countless hours on home improvement websites like Houzz, Cultivate and many others.  We also stumbled across a great Sherwin Williams paint website which lets you chip the colors to any picture on any web page.  We went with a Cambria Quartz countertop which would be the showcase of the kitchen and we were able to chip colors to match the countertop.  During the process we also had several meetings with Susan Purcell an interior designer who helped with so many ideas and decisions in the home.

With a budget in hand we began the process of getting quotes and shopping for cupboards, countertops, flooring, sinks, taps, lighting, patio doors and the list goes on and on.  The next step was to find someone that we could work with and enjoy the project at the same time.  Cranium the Contractor was the easy choice.

The Project Details:

1)  Create open concept
2)  Improve functionality of kitchen while adding a few appliances
3)  Update look for a more contemporary and modern look
4)  Create a funtional dining and living room area designed for family and entertainment

Please feel free to post any comments or questions on this blog and we will do our best to answer your questions.  The project started June 30 and we planned for a functional kitchen by July 27 and most almost all renovations completed by August 17.

Here is the first video outlining the layout before we started the demo.

Here is the view after the demo.

Here is the segment on Demo Day we called Batter Up, nothing like having a bit of fun during demolition!






Happy Thanksgiving Winnipeg


I know what I’m thankful for…
The child who is not cleaning his room but is busy playing or practicing hockey, football, golf or baseball and therefore off the streeets.
For the taxes that I pay because it means I’m working.
For the mess to clean up after my party because it means I’m surrounded by loved ones.
For the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means that I have enough to eat.
For the lawn that needs to be mowed, the windows that need to be repaired and the gutters that need to be cleaned because it means that I have a home.
For all the complaints that I hear about the government because it means that I have freedom of speech.
For the parking spot that I find at the far end of the lot because it means that I’m capable of walking and I have transportation.
For the steady economy we enjoy in Manitoba and jobs which help us provide for our families.
For the return of the Winnipeg Jets because we all live with passion for hockey and community.
For my Manitoba Hydro gas bill because it means that I’m warm.
For the huge pile of laundry because it means that I have clothes to wear.
For the weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means that I’m capable of working hard.
For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I’m alive.
And finally, for a profession that allows me to make a difference in people’s lives.
Happy Thanksgiving Winnipeger’s, it will be a Thanksgiving to remember!

Manitoba Mortgage Broker Regulation

Great news for the mortgage broker industry when it was announced that Mortgage Broker Regulation would be introduced as soon as May 1, 2011.  For consumers this is good news, protection one of the biggest purchases in your life is important. 

These proposed regulations would require:

1.)  Mandatory licensing,

2.)  Minimum education requirements,

3.)  Errors & Omissions insurance. 

All of these are an excellent step in the right direction for the mortgage broker community and consumers in Manitoba.  Once regulations are finalized they will be issued by the Manitoba Securities Commission.

Falling in love

Have you fallen in love with a house?

Have you ever fallen in love only to be disappointed? This week a family was looking to purchase a home.  They were pre-approved by a mobile mortgage specialist at a major bank for up to $235,000.  The real estate agent and family continually stayed in touch with the mobile mortgage specialist to make sure everything was okay as they had made 7 offers on homes. They finally had an offer accepted on the 8th home they offered. It was accepted by the seller and they had 48 hours to arrange their financing, but they were pre-approved – so what could go wrong?

In actual fact they weren’t pre-approved, based on credit history and obtaining proper employment information up front. They could have been steered in a path to strengthen their position or look for a smaller home.  Imagine the realtor’s disappointment when they found they couldn’t get an approval.  They had just spent hours upon hours with this family, not only wasting their time and the family’s time but also the time of other realtors and sellers of homes.

My advice to realtors is this:

1 Be confident in asking the purchasers if the bank, mortgage professional, or mortgage broker actually reviewed their credit score and credit history with them.

2 Did they also ask for their employment letters, pay stubs?

3 Did they verify the down payment? (some down payments don’t qualify)

If they didn’t ask for this information, your purchasers may fall in love only to have their heart broken.  Don’t let it happen, make sure they are really pre-approved.

Bank of Canada Rate Announcement: Mar 2, 2010

Bank of Canada holds rates steady today, howevever, This is an article that might be of interest to everyone. We now have experts making predictions when rates will increase in the wake of positive economic announcements for Canada ( + GDP growth). This article states we could start seeing rates increase as soon as June 1. More positive economic news will put pressure on the Bank of Canada to increase rates in coming months. The next Bank of Canada announcement is Apr 20/10.