James Hambling | (780) 460-8558


According to Statistics Canada, new home prices rose 0.1 per cent nationally in July, after a 0.2 per cent increase in June, representing a year-over-year increase of 2.3 per cent. Of all Canadian cities, Regina has increased the most on an annual basis, up 4.7 per cent. But it has been gains in Toronto that really pushed up the national index, which increased 4.6 per cent over July 2011.

Home prices in Calgary and Edmonton didn’t move much on a monthly basis in July, up 0.1 per cent in Calgary, down 0.1 per cent in Edmonton. Annually, prices were up 2.3 per cent in Calgary and 0.8 per cent in Edmonton.

New home and resale prices have been relatively flat in Alberta over the past couple of years, even as wages and employment increased at a healthy clip. The federal government has returned mortgage insurance standards to where they stood in 2004, which will force households to be more prudent. That, in turn, will force some delays, but, clearly, the Alberta market, after an initial drop and four years of flat growth, is close to burning off most of the excess.

Let me know if I can be of any help - James

Daily Economic Comment - ATB


BOOST YOUR PAYDOWN: Tips to save thousands

Early and often: that's the best way to pay down your mortgage, save thousands and cut years off your debt. There are a few ways to boost your mortgage paydown:

Make your house pay. Put a dent in your debt by adding revenue. Consider renting out part of your home, or taking in a roommate to help off-set expenses. Rent out an extra parking space if you have one. Or talk to your accountant about whether you can write off a room in your home as an office for your home business – then throw your tax savings against your mortgage each year!

That brings us to the best tip: Accelerate your payments.  A mortgage is probably the largest debt you will ever take on. Every payment decreases the amount of interest you owe – so make a plan to pay down faster. Get in the habit of making lump sum payments whenever possible; put work bonuses or cash gifts directly against your mortgage principal. Every payment after that will be worth more. And if you're paid twice-monthly, divide your monthly payment into two and make them every time your paycheque comes in. Believe it or not, frequency makes a huge difference over the life of your mortgage.

Let me know if I can be of any help – James – 780-967-0079

Information complements of Rick Tober @invis


Once Again, No Rate Change!
It's great news for variable rate holders as the Bank of Canada announced earlier today that it is keeping the overnight rate unchanged, which means the prime rate for most lenders should stay at 3%. 

The Bank's statement noted that there is "widespread slowing of activity across advanced and emerging economies" and that in Canada "global headwinds continue to restrain economic activity."

As with recent releases, there was the hint that future rate hikes may be necessary through the cautionary statement that "some modest withdrawal of the present considerable monetary policy stimulus may become appropriate" in order to control inflation.
The Bank's next rate decision is scheduled for October 23.
As we head into the fall season, Canadians continue to benefit from historically low 5 and 10-year fixed rates.  And we're starting to see the new OSFI guidelines being implemented at the major Canadian banks. Scotiabank just announced that their Free Down Payment mortgage will be discontinued September 15, 2012.  Contact your mortgage broker if you would like a review of your situation in light of the new mortgage rules and guidelines and today's great rates


Let me know if I can be of any help - James


Information complements of Rick Tober @invis



CREATE AN EMERGENCY FUND:  Someday, something will go wrong.

Somewhere in that first-time homebuyer's budget you need a line item that says "Emergency Fund". You may think that you don't need it; if something happens, you could take out a Line of Credit, right?

Every homeowner should have an Emergency Fund set aside.  That's because someday, something will go wrong.  Imagine the roof suddenly starts to leak. Or you discover mould in the basement. Or maybe you get hurt and need to take a month or two off work. What happens to your carefully designed budget then?

Having an emergency fund in place before you buy a home will give you peace of mind – knowing you have some financial buffer to tackle an unexpected financial obstacle.

So what about that Homeowner Line of Credit? Well your mortgage broker can provide some guidance; it's often a good idea to have a low-interest financial safeguard – before you need it. Just keep in mind that it is also borrowed money. If you use your Line, you'll need to budget carefully to pay it back.

Complements of R Tober@invis

Let me know if I can be of any help - James



When your mailbox is full, it's an indication the house or apartment is vacant. Consider replacing a small mailbox with a larger one to keep your mail out of sight. If you are going to be away for more than two days, ask Canada Post to hold your mail and call the newspaper office to stop delivery until you return. Have a neighbour hold any free newspapers and junk mail for you. A pile of papers and mail is a clear sign your home is vacant.

Burglars can pick up on all sorts of signs that you're away. The "lived-in" look can fool them. Arrange to have someone mow the lawn or shovel the walk, clear your car off if it snows, or park a car in your driveway if you're taking yours. You can even ask a neighbour to put a bag of garbage at your curb on garbage day.

Give a trusted neighbour a spare set of keys and tell him or her:

◦when you're leaving and returning, ◦where you're going, ◦how you can be reached in case of emergency (a phone number), ◦when you expect to return, and ◦if anybody will be at your home (gardener, repairperson).

Ask the neighbour to keep an eye out for anything suspicious and simply to check your house once in a while. A house that is dark 24 hours a day is a telltale sign. Set lights on timers in various rooms. Timers are inexpensive and effective, especially the multiple-program type.

Have the lights go on and off at different times each day, so a burglar can't pick up on a pattern. Using timers on lights or certain appliances gives your home a "lived-in" look that thwarts robbers. Motion sensor lights outside can also startle a burglar and make him flee. Consider installing them at the front and back of your house.

Don't advertise that your home is empty by leaving notes on your door saying you're away. People sometimes do this when they're expecting deliveries, but if a burglar reads it you may just as well leave the front door open. Ensure your doors and windows are securely locked. Don't forget about the garage; unplug the overhead opener....


Bank of Canada Key Policy Rate

No Key Rate Change, Again!

The Bank of Canada announced earlier today that it is keeping its key policy rate steady, which means no changes for variable rate mortgage holders; the prime rate for most lenders should stay at 3%. 

The Bank's statement noted that "global financial conditions have deteriorated since April, with periods of considerable volatility" and that "global headwinds are restraining Canadian economic activity."

They continue to mention that future rate hikes may be necessary by cautioning that "some modest withdrawal of the present considerable monetary policy stimulus may become appropriate, consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target."

The Bank's next rate decision is scheduled for September 5.

If you are considering a fixed-rate mortgage, the great Canadian mortgage sale continues this summer, with historically low 5 and 10-year fixed rates.  Take advantage.


If I can be of any help - please don't hesitate to call me - 780-967-0079.  Take care - James


Information complements of Ric Tober @invis


Gates open at 10:00 am rodeo starts at 1:00 pm.

Sadle Bronc Riding, Tie-down roping, bull riding, bare back riding, wild cow miling and many other events - admission is $5.00

Come and spend the day - enjoying local talent and northern rodeo talent as they compete for the title today.


First-Time Hombuyers

DREAMING OF HOME: First-time homebuyers shouldn't worry

Talk about mixed messages. There's concern that the new mortgage rules might push first-time homebuyers out of the market. But mortgages are still a pretty amazing bargain – historically speaking. In fact, some are calling it the great Canadian mortgage sale. So what's a first-time homebuyer to do? Is buying a home right now a reckless risk... or a great, time-limited opportunity?

Home ownership can make great financial sense. Over the long term, residential real estate has been a very strong asset – showing excellent appreciation. Renters who add up what they've shelled out during their renting years are often shocked to see how much mortgage help they've given their landlord. Most would prefer to have that money build their own home equity. 

If you're dreaming of a home of your own, then there's good news. Getting into today's housing marketing isn't out of the question if you do some good common-sense planning.

Over the next few weeks we'll offer some tips for first-time homebuyers – to ensure that you get off on the right foot in your home buying journey!

Information complements of Rich Tober @invis

Let me know if I can be of any help – James – 780-967-0079


Visit the Otto Reiher Cottage; one of the many historic properties being celebrated during the Historic Festival & Doors Open Edmonton 2012 sponsored by the REALTORS Association of Edmonton.  The event runs July 3 to 8 and allows visitors to take free guided tours of architecturally significant buildings and places.  These could be heritage homes, new homes, commercial buildings or behind the scenes tours at museums, archives, theatres, commercial buildings and more.  


Otto Reiher's Cottage is representative of how a working-class family lived in the 1930s.  The cottage which was restroed in 2006, once belonged to a coal-miner has been updated for  the modern family, but maintains its historic charm.  The cottage is currently under consideration for provincial historic designation.  For a full list of activities, visit the Doors Open web site at www. historicedmonton.ca


The Rich Valley Fair will be held on July 21 and 22 this year.  It starts off with a pancake breakfast sponsored by James, Debby and Joan.  It starts at 8:00 am Saturday Morning.  Breakfast is finished at 9:00 a.m.  So start your day off with a good breakfast.  There is lots to do today.  Great for the whole family.  We will be at the trade fair as well - we hand out balloons to the kids.  Hope to see you there.




Welcome to November.  It is hard to believe that there is no snow on the ground yet.  Snow or not we've noticed that the retail stores have already setup their Christmas displays.
Please take time on November 11th to remember all those who fought and gave their lives for us.
Have a wonderful November, and if there is anyway we can help you with your real estate needs, please call us.

Welcome to fall.  We had our share of great weather this summer, but the chill is finally settling in.  We want to take this time to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy Halloween.
October/November Events
Community Pumpkin Walk
October 31st - 6:00pm-8:00pm
Paddle River Golf Course
Christmas Craft & Used Book Sale
November 7th - 10:00am-3:00pm
Dunstable School
Spooktacular - Costumes and fun
October 23rd & 24th - 6:00pm-11:00pm  
Fort Edmonton Park
If you have any events that you would like the community to be aware of, please let us know.
If you go trick or treating this Halloween and decide you would like a new home as a treat, give us a call and we will help you out.

September is here which means the kids are back to school.  We hope all of you had a great summer with lots of fun and sun.  Now you can relax and get back to a familiar schedule.
There are a couple of September events in our area that we would like to let you know about.  If you are out in the Barrhead area these are a couple great events to participate in.
The Terry Fox Run will be held on Sept 13th at 1:00pm.  The event takes place at Cecile Martin Park.
The Barrhead Wildrose Rodeo Finals happen Sept 17-20th at the Barrhead Agrena.
As always we appreciate you past business and your interest in ourselves and our website.  If you are looking to buy or sell or know someone who is, please let us know.

Welcome To Summer!
June arrived so quickly that our blog post is a little later than normal.  Hopefully you have enjoyed the first week of June. 
This is such a great time of year.  With the flowers and trees beginning to bloom, the weather warming up, and all the different birds out, what more could you ask for?
The kids will be finishing school soon and one big challenge is trying to keep them busy.  Click the following link for some fun summer activities.  Click_Here
You may be thinking about lakes and cabins at this time of year.  If you are looking to buy your first recreational property or looking to upgrade to a new one, please give us a call.

Welcome To Spring...    Finally!
The snow has melted, the sun is up early, and the world is getting green.  What a wonderful time of year.  We have noticed that with this change of season there has been more activity in the market.  If your looking to buy or sell, now is the time to talk to us.  We would be happy to help you with all your needs.
It is also a great time to start looking for that lake lot or cabin.  Check out our listings as we specialize in rural properties.
Mother's Day is Sunday May 10, 2009.  If you are stuck for an idea on how to show your mom you care, check out the link before for some ideas.
Enjoy the month of May

It feels like Spring is finally here.
The weather is warming up and the snow is melting.  It is always great to see after a cold winter.
We hope all of you have a great March, and if you have kids, a great Spring Break.  We have attached a link with Spring Break ideas to keep you and the kids busy and having fun.
Many people think of buying a new house when Spring arrives.  If you are one of these people, please give us a call and we will help you find the perfect new home.
Here is a link to our popular feature - The Informed Home Buyer.  This month we hear about getting our "Ducks In A Row" when starting to search for a new home.
Have a great March.

We would like to start with a reminder for all of the gentlemen visiting our website...  Valentine's Day is on February 14th.  Remember to do something to show your sweetheart how much you care about her.  Chocolates, flowers, and dinner dates are just a few suggestions.  If you are looking for a more unique idea check out the following link. http://www.theromantic.com/stories/valentines/main.htm  If you are single, Valentine's Day is a great way to let your mom, sister, or any other women in your life know that you appreciate all they do for you. 
February 28th is our annual Spring Fest event.  This event has been a great success every year, and we want this year to be the best one yet.  Bring your family and friends and spend a day in the country.  There will be tobogganing, horse drawn sleigh rides, a free chili lunch, and lots of room to cross country ski.  This is a free event that allows us to enjoy the outdoors with clients, friends, and family.  For more information contact debby at 780-967-2907 or click on this link _media/Documents/Spring Festival - Poster.doc

Happy New Year!
We hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas.  We enjoyed spending our holidays with our family and friends.
It was great to see many of you during our Christmas Customer Appreciation Deliveries. 
Looking back on 2008, we want to take a moment to thank all of you for your business and for your friendship.  We look forward to a properous 2009, and ask that you please keep us in mind for any of your real estate needs.
Below is a link to our latest New Home Buyer Newsletter.
All the best,
James, Joan, and Debby

Hello to all of our friends, clients, and visitors.
We have been enjoying the uncommonly nice weather that fall has brought to us this year.  If you haven't done it already, it would probably be a good time to think about hanging your Christmas lights.
November 11th is Rememberance Day.  We hope that everyone takes a moment to remember all the soldier's who risked and gave their lives for us. 
Each month we will have a link to a report called the Informed Home Buyer.  This one page report has useful information for everyone.  Please click the link to view.
James Hambling
Office:(780) 460-8558
Fax:(780) 967-5134
James Hambling Century 21 Masters
110 – 5 Giroux Rd
St. Albert, Alberta
T8N 6J8 Canada

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