Courtesy of Ashley Tichkowsky

Ashley's Newsletter

780.940.4582 |

Volume 13 Number 2

TOP3THINGSTOWATCHOUTFORWHEN BUYINGAHOME Buying a house is not only a huge financial investment, it’s also an investment of your time and emotions. Make the process as smooth as possible by keeping an eye out for these three things when visiting a listing. Cracks in the foundation. Almost all foundations have small hairline cracks. It’s the bigger ones you need to worry about. Of course, not all cracks are going to be visible to the naked eye. When viewing a home, watch out for doors that

stick, cracks above or below windows and uneven floors. These can all be signs that a foundation is cracked and unstable. Heating and cooling issues. If a potential home has an outdated furnace, hot water tank or air conditioning system, make sure to factor the cost of

replacing them into your offer price. Window quality. Much like with furnaces and air conditioners, outdated windows signal an additional cost in your not-so- distant future. Not only will they eventually need to be

replaced, you’ll also spend more on your energy bills due to hot or cold air escaping through old windows.


Courtesy of

INGREDIENTS: 3 pounds potatoes 1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced 4 tablespoons butter, melted 1 cup full-fat sour cream 1/3 cup milk or half & half 1 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon salt, separated 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon garlic powder 4 to 6 strips bacon, cooked and chopped 1 1/2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS: 1. Wash the potatoes, then peel and chop into 1 1/2-inch cubes.

2. Put the potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water, making sure all the potatoes are submerged. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, partially covering the pot. Simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes. 3. Preheat the oven to 350° F. 4. In a large bowl, mash the potatoes with a potato masher or ricer. 5. Add the onion, butter, sour cream and milk. Stir well until combined. 6. Mix in 1 cup of cheddar cheese, ground pepper and garlic powder. Stir well. 7. Transfer the potato mixture to a greased 9-inch pan or 2-quart casserole dish. Top with the remaining cheese. Loosely cover the casserole with aluminum foil. 8. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil, add the bacon and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with chives and parsley. Enjoy!

HOWTODECORATEYOURHOMELIKEAMINIMALIST Whether you consider yourself a minimalist, or just like the simple look of a clutter-free home – these tips are for you! First off, use a white, light grey or beige colour palette on your walls, built-ins and large pieces of furniture. The barely there colour scheme will make your home feel brighter, more open and more peaceful. Add in a few pops of colour with accessories such as throw pillows, curtains or vases. Next up, don’t be afraid to leave spaces empty. Not every corner or surface needs to be filled up. Empty spaces create balance in a home and make the items you do choose to display stand out more. Fight the urge to fill up the space. Box up some of your belongings to donate or to store. If in storage, you can swap items out periodically helping your decor feel fresh without creating clutter. You can create minimalist space with artwork, textures and simple objects that tell a story. For example, if you’re only going to hang one piece of art in your bedroom, it should be something you absolutely love. Allow your belongings to tell your personal story by only putting out things that mean something to you. This could include family heirlooms or souvenirs from your travels. Lastly, let the sun shine in by using lightweight curtains and blinds on your windows – or nothing at all. Certainly bedroom windows need something to block early morning and late evening light from disturbing your sleep, but don’t be afraid to leave windows in rooms such as the kitchen and living room bare. Remember – natural light is a minimalist’s friend.


Ever dreamed of downsizing and living in a home that’s easier to maintain? Or perhaps a small home is all your current finances allow for. There are many reasons to purchase a smaller home, which is typically defined as being less than 1,000 square feet. However, depending on where in the country you live, what is considered a “small home” may have a higher or lower footprint. Regardless of size, the most important aspect of buying a small home is that it is only big enough to suit the needs of those living within it – and not a square foot bigger. Aside from saving on maintenance costs and mortgage payments, a smaller house has many other benefits. More money to renovate and decorate. Having a lower mortgage payment often leaves you with some extra income to play with. Buying a smaller home that you can add your personal touch to also makes it seem roomier because everything in it is perfectly you. Close proximity to your family or roommates. This is one of those benefits that some may view as a negative, but in the long run it fosters relationships and creates more of a close-knit living experience. Easier to clean. While this point ties into the reduced maintenance of a smaller home, it’s worth mentioning all on its own. Why? Because less time spent cleaning means more time spent doing what you really want. It also means less money spent on cleaning supplies. Lower environmental impact. Because a smaller home has a smaller physical footprint, it is less of an impact on natural resources. It takes less energy to heat and less electricity to light. And if you live in a small condo in a city centre, you can also reduce the amount of fuel used to drive by walking everywhere.


Fill in the answers to the clues by selecting the correct syllables from the list below. Each syllable can only be used once and the number of syllables to be used is shown in brackets. When the correct words are filled in, the first and last letters reading down will reveal a proverb.




We made it through the brutal cold and here we are in February. I feel like my 2020 goals can start now. January was just a trial run. Believe it or not, the spring market is coming in hot. While our overall sales are not skyrocketing by any means, It is forecasted to be a similar year to last year with a modest growth of 1% ish. But with all time low interest rates (they have not been this low since 1951) and consumers adjusting to our new normal, the market is in spring mode. Sellers always believe that the best time to list their house is spring (April/May) but is this really the best time? My answer is…it depends. For example, do you have a house just like a number of other houses in your neighborhood? Does your neighborhood tend to have a lot of listings in the spring? If that were the case listing before spring would help you stand out and dare I say, get you a better sale price. There are a handful of scenarios where getting ahead of the spring market would be in your favor. Getting in touch with your mortgage broker, Realtor, and Lawyer months before you’re ready to sell will better prepare you. By now you have received your property tax assessment and it’s not exactly news that will warms the hearts of Edmontonians. Assessments are down 0.1% overall while taxes are going up by 2.6% over the next 4 years. But assessed values are not the same as market values. The city says the property tax assessment reflects the estimated market value of your home on July 1st of the previous tax year but remember this number is determined by mass appraisal, to determine each homes share of the taxes owed. This blanket appraisal may take into account many things, such as size, location , whether the home has a garage etc .However, it does not include many things that really make a difference to market value such as upgrades, finishes, curb appeal etc. The city only knows about the upgrades you’ve done to the home that required permits like an electrical upgrade on an older home with a 60 amp electrical panel, or basement or bathroom development etc. They don’t know if you have the 1980s style Euro kitchen or that pea green or burnt orange shag rug in the basement that was once very popular. The city doesn’t know if you have clean baseboards, updated or outdated appliances, fuchsia walls or missing roof shingles, they typically aren’t visiting your home unless you need a permit approved etc. Many factors are involved in determining value so keep that in mind if you’re giving thought to making a move this year. If you’d like to know the market value of your home, please reach out. I’m happy to help. Until next time! Ashley


$413,954 detached

UP 2.52% year-over-year


$204,355 condo

DOWN 5.94% year-to-year





Market values stated are of the average of Edmonton and surrounding region. Individual home market values will vary and are affected by factors such as location, size, interior and exterior condition. Please call to get an up-to-date evaluation of your home. Source: REALTORS ® Association of Edmonton Stats Reflective of January 2020


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