Johnny Uhrl
Johnny Uhrl

New Year. Warm Wishes.

What a phenomenal time the holiday season was. I hope you and your family enjoyed the festivities. With the New Year here, and everyone back to their routine, the focus is now on Spring and planning for the warmer months ahead.

Conversations and opinions about the economy and the real estate market will continue to dominate headlines this year. With today's Bank of Canada announcement that the Key Rate is holding at 1.75%, there will likely be ongoing interest rate speculation as our economy looks for firmer footing. But rates did hold steady and that's great news for most.

My focus is on the real estate market. When someone you know has questions, please let them know that I am always available for a market review to see how trends fit into their home buying and selling strategies.

I am the real estate professional to count on for facts, stats and smart negotiating.

Looking forward to being your knowledgeable "real estate resource" in 2019.

Seasonal Reminders 
Don't Let Snow Accumulate Near the Roof's Edge
During a sunny day, snow can melt then re-freeze in the eaves creating an ice-dam. This can damage shingles and potentially create an unwanted "indoor waterfall."

Check the Cover on the Air-Conditioner
Be sure it's still properly in place. A secure cover will prevent damage from water getting into the tight areas of the AC fins and then freezing and expanding.

Replace the Furnace Filter
Proper airflow means more even heat distribution and lower operating cost.

Use Ceiling Fans for Even Warmth
Eliminate hot spots and cold zones in your place by using a ceiling fan to push heat down from the ceiling, redistributing warmth and creating a more "even comfort."  Be sure the blades are rotating in a clockwise direction.

This RRSP Season, Think TFSA Contribution Too! 
We're just a few weeks away from the annual RRSP push. This year the TFSA turns 10! And for 2019, the TFSA contribution limit jumps up to $6,000.

A TFSA can hold much the same investments as an RRSP, and there are advantages to both. Contributions to an RRSP are tax deductible, TFSA contributions are not. A TFSA earns investment growth and interest tax-free - in an RRSP tax is deferred. RRSP withdrawals have tax consequences - TFSA withdrawals don't.

Don’t have a TFSA yet? Check with your financial institution to see if there are any administration fees to know about.

TFSA's are fairly straight forward investment vehicles. Find out more at

Timely Tip – use any tax refund, generated by your RRSP contribution, to open a TFSA. Save, and then save some more!

Home Heating Up the Chimney 
Unless the fireplace has been modified with an insert to help recover heat, a roaring fire primarily warms the room by radiant heat. But, you're actually losing warmth because the fire draws air from the room into the fireplace and up the chimney. A fireplace can remove roughly 14,000 to 20,000 cubic feet of air from your home each hour – warm air that your furnace is working hard to produce. 

Installing glass doors on a fireplace will minimize warm air loss while still sharing warmth, plus giving a wonderful view of the roaring fire.

Wild Weather - Warmth Ahead

The Winter weather has been all the talk these past few months. And now it's shifting to the promise of warmer days on the horizon. Sunnier days may have a friend or colleague warming up to a move. And you know that finding the right property can be an adventure or a chore. 

Looking at homes and getting ideas about neighbourhoods can be great fun - but sorting out the ads, finding the addresses and timing an open house visit can be a hassle. And many home hunters have discovered that aimlessly touring neighbourhoods usually makes for nothing more than a pleasant afternoon drive.

Please let your friends and colleagues know that I help make finding the ideal home a fun and exciting experience. 


March Notes: 
Daylight Saving Time Means Battery Changing Time
The two times a year we change our clocks also serve as a valuable reminder to change the batteries in our fire alarms and CO detectors. Also check the expiry date the manufacturer stamped on the device. Yes, these devices do expire.

Spring Arrives March 20th
With the new season, it’s time for the annual shut off valve check. It just takes a few minutes to be sure that water valves aren't stuck. Don't wait for a burst water pipe to find out!

Plus, check door and window locks. Things shift in cold weather - be sure they operate as expected. Make this an annual habit to ensure your home is safe.

Earth Hour - Saturday March 30th - 8:30pm
Started in 2007 as a global eco-awareness movement, Earth Hour now engages 187 countries and territories and more than 7,000 cities. And close to 18,000 landmarks switched off their lights in celebration of our connection to our planet.... our home.


Title Insurance - Check What It Doesn't Cover 
When looking at Title Insurance options, read the policy and ask questions to be aware of the coverage that is provided. You also need to be aware of possible exclusions, which may include:
- Known title defects (that were revealed to you before you purchased your property);
- Environmental Hazards (e.g. soil contamination);
- Problems that would only be discovered by a new survey or inspection of your property (e.g. the lot size is smaller than originally thought);
- Matters that are not listed in public records (e.g. unrecorded liens and encroachments); and
- Zoning bylaw violations from changes, renovations or additions to
your property. 

Carefully review the Title Insurance Policy, as it may include additional exclusions and exceptions that are specific to the purchased property.

Quick Check for Air Leaks 
While there's still a bit of Winter's chill, check for air leaks. Find them now so you can create a list of "fix-it" areas to tackle when the weather warms.

Get a smoke stick at a home improvement store. On a cold, windy evening, turn off the furnace, and walk around inside the house with the smoke stick and put it up near windows, doors and other spots that may have cracks. If the smoke starts going sideways or blowing back into the room it's an indication of an air leak. Also, do a paper test. If you can close a window or door on a piece of paper and pull it out without tearing - you're losing heat.