Best Halloween Movies and How to Say Happy Halloween in 15 Languages

The spookiest day of the year is upon us as the walls between our world and the next become thin, the spirits of the dead can pass through, and you fear both the living and the dead.

Just in case you happen to be confronted with a ghost who doesn’t speak your language here are some handy phrases from across the world to let them know you are truly in the festive spirit. Maybe instead of tricking you, they will treat you with a ghoulish reply.

1. French - Joyeux Halloween
2. German - Fröchliches Halloween
3. Spanish - Feliz Halloween
4. Italian - Felice Vigilia d’Ognissanti
5. Norwegian - Lykkelig Allehelgens Dag
6. Swedish - Lycklig Alla Helgons Dag
7. Dutch - Finje Halloween
8. Japanese -  ハッピーハロウィン (Happīharou~in)
9. Portuguese - Feliz Dia das Bruxas
10. Polish  - Szczęśliwego Halloween
11. Korean -  해피 할로윈 (Heang / Bok / Han Hal / Lo / Wein)
12. Serbian -  Срећна Ноћ Вештица
13. Albanian -  Gëzuar Hallouinin
14. Catalan -  Feliç Halloween
15. Irish -  Oíche Shamhna Shona Duit (to one person) Daoibh (to more than one person)

Between door knocks and giving out Treats to those little Tricksters watch one of these best of all time Halloween Movies.

Best Halloween Movies of 2017

  • Get Out 
  • Happy Death Day - In Cinemas Now
  • It Comes at Night 
  • Mother - In Cinemas

Disney Halloween Movies

  •  Halloweentown 
  • Hocus Pocus 
  • Nightmare Before Christmas 
  • Twitches 

Best Horror Movies

  • Psycho 
  • The Shining 
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 
  • Shawn of the Dead 
  • The Babadook

Classic Halloween Movies

  • The Rocky Horro Picture Show
  • Halloween (1978)
  • edward Scissorhands
  • The Addams Family
  • Scream

The Scariest Halloween Movies

  • The Sixth Sense
  • The Blair Witch Project
  • The Dscent
  • Let the Right One In
  • Raw

Where to watch: Amazon, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Channel, Google Play, itunes, YouTube.

Decorate for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner.  If you have not decorated yet and are planning on doing so this weekend, here are some great ideas.

For more photos and full instructions and how to's visit HouseBeautiful

History of Halloween

Halloween is fast approaching.  Here is some interesting History on one of the scariest days of the year.

Halloween is an annual holiday, celebrated each year on October 31, that has roots in age-old European traditions. It originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints; soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating and carving jack-o-lanterns. Around the world, as days grow shorter and nights get colder, people continue to usher in the season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.

This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes.

When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By 43 A.D., the Roman Empire had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple, and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

On May 13, 609 A.D., Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome in honor of all Christian martyrs, and the Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day was established in the Western church. Pope Gregory III later expanded the festival to include all saints as well as all martyrs, and moved the observance from May 13 to November 1.

By the 9th century the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with and supplanted the older Celtic rites. In 1000 A.D., the church would make November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. It’s widely believed today that the church was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related church-sanctioned holiday.

All Souls Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils. The All Saints Day celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-Hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.

Celebration of Halloween was extremely limited in colonial New England because of the rigid Protestant belief systems there. Halloween was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies.

As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups as well as the American Indians meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included “play parties,” public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, dance and sing.

Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. By the middle of the nineteenth century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing the Irish Potato Famine, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally.

Borrowing from Irish and English traditions, North Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition. Young women believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors.

In the late 1800s, there was a move in North America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers than about ghosts, pranks and witchcraft. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season and festive costumes.

Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything “frightening” or “grotesque” out of Halloween celebrations. Because of these efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century.

By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular, but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide Halloween parties as the featured entertainment. Despite the best efforts of many schools and communities, vandalism began to plague some celebrations in many communities during this time.

By the 1950s, town leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young. Due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties baby boom, parties moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home, where they could be more easily accommodated.

Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. In theory, families could also prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats.

Thus, a new tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, people spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday after Christmas.

The  Halloween tradition of “trick-or-treating” probably dates back to the early All Souls’ Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called “soul cakes” in return for their promise to pray for the family’s dead relatives.

The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as “going a-souling” was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food and money.

The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry.

On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits.

On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.

Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. It began as a Celtic end-of-summer festival during which people felt especially close to deceased relatives and friends. For these friendly spirits, they set places at the dinner table, left treats on doorsteps and along the side of the road and lit candles to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world.

Today’s Halloween ghosts are often depicted as more fearsome and malevolent, and our customs and superstitions are scarier too. We avoid crossing paths with black cats, afraid that they might bring us bad luck. This idea has its roots in the Middle Ages, when many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into black cats.

We try not to walk under ladders for the same reason. This superstition may have come from the ancient Egyptians, who believed that triangles were sacred (it also may have something to do with the fact that walking under a leaning ladder tends to be fairly unsafe). And around Halloween, especially, we try to avoid breaking mirrors, stepping on cracks in the road or spilling salt.

But what about the Halloween traditions and beliefs that today’s trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about? Many of these obsolete rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead.

In particular, many had to do with helping young women identify their future husbands and reassuring them that they would someday—with luck, by next Halloween—be married. In 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it.

In Scotland, fortune-tellers recommended that an eligible young woman name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes rather than popping or exploding, the story went, represented the girl’s future husband. (In some versions of this legend, the opposite was true: The nut that burned away symbolized a love that would not last.)

Another tale had it that if a young woman ate a sugary concoction made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on Halloween night she would dream about her future husband.

Young women tossed apple-peels over their shoulders, hoping that the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands’ initials; tried to learn about their futures by peering at egg yolks floating in a bowl of water; and stood in front of mirrors in darkened rooms, holding candles and looking over their shoulders for their husbands’ faces.

Other rituals were more competitive. At some Halloween parties, the first guest to find a burr on a chestnut-hunt would be the first to marry; at others, the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle.

Of course, whether we’re asking for romantic advice or trying to avoid seven years of bad luck, each one of these Halloween superstitions relies on the goodwill of the very same “spirits” whose presence the early Celts felt so keenly.

Source Article

Mortgage industry sees amortization loophole in OSFI's new stress test rules

Mortgage industry experts are pointing out that OSFI didn't regulate the length of the amortization used in the qualifying calculation

New rules designed to ensure that homebuyers in the uninsured mortgage market can withstand rising interest rates contain a loophole that lenders could exploit to qualify more mortgages, according to industry sources.

In guidelines published Tuesday, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions pushed ahead with plans to force low-ratio borrowers — consumers with down payments of 20 per cent or more — to qualify based on the higher of the Bank of Canada five-year posted rate or two percentage points above their contract. All else being equal, both measures mean that consumers ultimately should qualify for smaller loans.

But mortgage industry experts are now pointing out that OSFI did not regulate the length of the amortization used in the qualifying calculation, which involves ensuring that only a certain percentage of your monthly household income be dedicated to housing costs.

A longer amortization period reduces the monthly payment at a given interest rate, meaning loan providers could extend amortizations from 25 to 35 years, potentially create a smaller monthly payment that would qualify more buyers.

“You can increase the amortization and clearly you can go longer,” said a source, adding he didn’t expect the major banks to take advantage of the loophole. “This was done to release some of the pressure (from increased stress testing).”

The real estate industry had been lobbying heavily for some last minute changes and OSFI said it received more than 200 submissions from federally regulated financial institutions, financial industry associations, other organizations active in the mortgage market, as well as the general public.

A report from Toronto-Dominion Bank said the stress test will likely further slow housing activity, depressing demand by five per cent to 10 per cent once implemented on Jan. 1, 2018.

The amortization change could mitigate the impact. Rob McLister, founder of says the crackdown is close to a wash if lenders use the loophole.

Assuming you’re making $60,000 a year, have no debt and 20 per cent down, based on a stress test of the contract rate plus 200 basis points, consumers now qualify for 18 per cent less loan, said McLister. But increasing amortization from 25 years to 30 qualifies you can buy roughly 10 per cent more house. Jumping from 25 to 35 amortization gets you to 18 per cent more house, he says.

“There would be higher interest rates for those products,” McLister noted. “We already see more risk-based pricing.”

In an emailed response, OSFI officials noted banks can’t qualify borrowers using any amortization, but rather the contractual amortization of the mortgage. “While OSFI has not included specific references to a qualification amortization rate in its final guideline, we will be monitoring FRFIs’ (federally regulated financial institutions’) practices as the guideline is implemented,” said the official, referring to the measures known as B-20.

Vince Gaetano, a principal at Monster Mortgage, said lenders will have to change their policy and procedures to take advantage of the 35-year amortization. “It will be interesting to see if lenders do this,” said Gaetano. “I wonder if they do that it might attract OSFI to audit them. It’s a dare. Do you want to be staged like Home Trust and be in the limelight with all the lights on you?”

Another question that remains unanswered following the changes from OSFI is whether credit unions, not regulated federally, will simply ignore the OSFI guidelines or whether provincial bodies will match them.

“Meridian is carefully reviewing the recently announced amendments to the federal banking regulator’s B-20 guideline to assess how they may impact our lending policies moving into 2018,” said Bill Whyte, senior vice-president and chief member experience officer with Meridian, which is the largest credit union in Ontario. “The B-20 guideline does not technically apply to our business. However, Meridian will consider that guideline as we are a prudent and responsible lender with a strong balance sheet. Our primary goal is to have our members’ backs by ensuring they are well-informed about all the financial aspects of homeownership and home affordability.”

OSFI sets new mortgage rules, including stress test for uninsured borrowers

Previously only those with less than 20% down were tested, but now all borrowers will be.

Canada's top banking regulator has published the final version of its new mortgage rules, which include a requirement to "stress test" borrowers with uninsured loans to ensure they could withstand higher interest rates.

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) released new guidelines for the mortgage industry on Tuesday. The regulator floated a similar version of these rules earlier this summer in draft form, but Tuesday's release makes them official as of Jan. 1.

Among the major new rules is a requirement to stress test uninsured borrowers. Previously, only insured borrowers had to undergo such a test.

By law, borrowers with a down payment of under 20 per cent for a home must purchase mortgage insurance. Borrowers pay an insurance premium, but the beneficiary is actually the lender, because the insurance protects the loan giver in the event the borrower defaults on the loan.

And the insurance premiums can easily be into the thousands of dollars, on top of the cost of a home, ranging from 0.6 to 4.5 per cent of the mortgage, depending on the size of the down payment and the price of the property.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is far and away the biggest mortgage insurer in Canada, although it competes with private rivals Genworth Financial, Canada Guaranty and a few others.

On a $500,000 home with a $50,000 down payment, the CMHC says a borrower would be charged an extra $13,950 to insure the $450,000 mortgage.

The vast majority of first-time borrowers have to purchase mortgage insurance, and they have been obligated to undergo a stress test of their finances since last year.
Anyone who puts down more than 20 per cent of the value of a home doesn't have to pay such insurance, and is known as an "uninsured" borrower — the people affected by the new rules revealed Tuesday.

The stress test itself consists of ensuring the borrower would be able to pay the loan if interest rates become higher than they are today.

According to the Bank of Canada, the big banks currently have an average five-year posted mortgage rate of 4.89 per cent. But it's not difficult to find a lower rate by shopping around. (Rate comparison website calculates that many lenders are offering five-year mortgages below three per cent, as does rival and many others.)

The stress test is designed to simulate a borrower's financial situation by assuming they would have to pay back the loan at the posted average — not whatever deal they were able to negotiate. So under OSFI's new rules, borrowers would be stress tested at either the five-year average posted rate, or two per cent higher than their actual mortgage rate — whichever one is higher.

Notably, the new stress test rules won't apply to mortgage renewals as long as they are with the borrower's existing lender.

The regulator published a draft of its new rules over the summer, before consulting with stakeholders about any changes that need to be made. The regulator said it received more than 200 submissions from people in the industry and members of the public about the rules as they were proposed in July.

The idea's critics, including many in the real estate industry, said imposing a stress test on all buyers would put a chill on the housing market at a time that it can ill afford it.

But OSFI is pressing ahead anyway with changes it describes as "vigilant."
"These revisions reinforce a strong and prudent regulatory regime for residential mortgage underwriting in Canada," said Jeremy Rudin, OSFI's superintendent.

TD Bank economist Brian DePratto agrees with that assessment, noting "on balance, these changes should help enhance the resilience of the Canadian banking system in a rising interest rate environment."

But that's not to suggest there won't be pain to be had because of them. DePratto estimates that expanding the stress test to all buyers will depress demand for housing by about five or 10 per cent, and there may be a mini-rush to get in before the new rules come in in January.

He believes the housing market's reaction to the last stress test rules in 2016 are a good example of why the regulator felt compelled to act again: As of August, insured mortgages were down 4.5 per cent in the 12 months since they were subject to a stress test.

Uninsured mortgages, meanwhile, grew 17.3 per cent — which suggests homeowners were doing anything they could to get their down payments above the 20 per cent threshold, and away from being locked out of an insured mortgage from failing a stress test.

"Estimates peg the uninsured market at roughly 80 per cent of activity recently, so this measure will bite, arguably more than past changes in the priciest markets," Bank of Montreal economist Doug Porter said.

In practical terms, the stress test would mean that a potential buyer of a $1 million home with 20 per cent down would see their purchasing power knocked down by about 15 per cent, he estimated.

"These changes in mortgage rules represent a further tightening of the screws for the housing market."

Mortgage broker Kim Gibbons with Mortgage Intelligence said she thinks the new rules are a little too strict.

"In the mortgage world, a lot of people are talking about how it's too stringent and the government is tightening up far too much, considering what the delinquencies are in this country for mortgages," she said in an interview.

"And I know that they want to cool the market, but this might put a halt on it."
"I think it's going to be a busy November and December. And I think after that, it's going to cool the market a bit," she said.

Other changes too

In addition to the stress test, the new rules would require lenders to have more scrutiny around the loan-to-value ratio of the loans they give out, to ensure they are not giving out mortgages that are too large compared to the underlying value of the home.

There's also new limitations on so-called co-lending or bundled mortgages that aim to ensure lenders don't flout rules designed to limit how much they can lend.

By Pete Evans - CBC News

The 2016 Census Results are in!

Canmore sees population, cost of living increases

Thursday, Oct 12, 2017 06:00 am
By: Tanya Foubert RMOutlook

There are more permanent residents living in Canmore than ever before and the community has taken the dubious honour of being the most expensive place to live in all of Alberta. It is also home to some of the more well-above-average income earners in the country.

According to the results of Statistics Canada’s 2016 census, the permanent population of Canmore has reached 13,992 individuals – a seven per cent increase from the 2011 census that found 12,288 permanent residents in the community.
For Biosphere Institute program associate Bruce Gleig, the population count represents modest growth in the local population.

“In a lot of ways, this was a bit of a positive thing,” Gleig said. “One thing there were concerns about over a decade ago, from 2003-2005, was a recorded negative population and stagnation of growth.

“When your population was shifting as radically as it was in the mid 2000s, there are concerns and this time there is a slight increase in the permanent population. It is not the runaway growth of the ‘90s either. It is much more modest manageable growth and, as part of that, we think there is a trend toward more permanent residents.”

From 2006-2011, the federal census found zero increase in the permanent population of the community, whereas in 1986 the population recorded was 4,182.

Gleig said the feds do not calculate non-permanent resident numbers, but the 2014 municipal census focused on better understanding that number and established a number of 3,884, significantly lower than the 5,982 counted in 2011.

Municipal clerk Cheryl Hyde, who manages the municipal census, said methodology used in the past to calculate Canmore’s second homeowner numbers was revised for the 2014 analysis. While previously non-permanent residents were considered to make up 30 per cent of the Town, the most recent analysis puts that number closer to 20 per cent.

Gleig said it is possible that some of those non-permanent residents have since moved to the valley permanently.

“We do have population growth overall and shifts in these categories,” he said.
Other interesting trends in the local population include that people over the age of 55 have increased in numbers by 37 per cent from 2011-16 and the number of people 14 years old or younger also grew from 1,850 to 2,050 – an increase of 10.8 per cent. However, as an overall percentage of the population, the number of children and families has declined.

“That really to me showcases the demographic changes in Canmore, because as the population has grown bigger, the overall number of families with small children has not really increased substantially,” Gleig said.

Gleig spoke about the population numbers as part of an eighth iteration of the Community Monitoring Report, which he presented to council at its committee of the whole meeting in October. The report is a $30,000 project completed every other year that tasks Gleig with the job of in-depth data collection and analysis of a variety of factors at play in the community.

The consistent format followed since it began has allowed the work to provide a thorough and data-rich understanding of trends affecting the community.
“Every time we modify it to reflect the strategic plan of the day,” Gleig said. “This year’s report has seven categories from the strategic vision: people, place, service, safety, economy, affordability and environment.”

Affordability trends saw some changes Gleig highlighted for council, except Councillor Ed Russell, who was absent from the meeting.

Coun. Sean Krausert also pointed out that for 2015, half the population of Canmore earned $50,000 a year or less. With council undertaking to understand what a living wage is for the community, he said those numbers are concerning.
“It means half of our population potentially is earning less than a living wage,” he said. “That is a concerning trend.”

However, the mean annual individual income in Canmore from 2010-2015 increased by $18,568, or 33 per cent, to $74,429.

The percentage of individuals in the community that earn over $100,000 has reached a point where it has surpassed national and provincial rates.

Gleig said the numbers are showing increases to average incomes, which looks great if everyone was actually making more money, but a closer look shows not all the money is coming from employment locally.

For Canmore, the income profile in 2015 from Statistics Canada shows that 19 per cent of income for residents comes from investments, where as the provincial average is 11 per cent and nationally seven per cent.

“The scale of this is really substantial,” he said. “We know, and this goes back to Coun. Krausert’s point, if you make less than $50,000 or less you are unlikely to have investments to generate three times the national average in income earnings.”

Gleig said there is a growing gap in Canmore between those who have money and those who don’t.

“This tells us more people with money are getting richer and people working for their money are not necessarily keeping up with that,” he said. “This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it says perhaps there are reasons some of the market is the way it is and it is not strictly tied to wages.”

The provincial spatial price index was included in the monitoring report. The survey is prepared by the Alberta of Government and analyzes the cost to live, including food and shelter prices.

The index sets Edmonton as the baseline for prices at 100, and Canmore ranked as the most expensive at 119.4, with Fort McMurray second place at 114.5 on the index. Jasper was 106.9, Calgary 101.4, and Grande Prairie at 103.7. The rest of the communities measured were below 100.

When it comes to shelter, Canmore is 140.6 compared to Edmonton, and for food items it is 111.2. For all other non-food items Canmore had a price index of 120.5.


Is Your House Ready For Winter?

Over the next few days they are calling for snow here in the mountains.  Usually this initial snow lasts for a few days and then melts.  If you have not made your home ready for the winter yet you will still have a chance to enjoy the beautiful fall weather while making sure your home is safe, warm and secure during the cold winter months. 

Fall is THE perfect time to prepare your home and property for winter. Whether you like it or not, winter is on its way and it will be here before you know it. To ensure you’re prepared for it, you need to take action now, not once we get our first snow storm. The temperature outside now is just right to get the garden and lawn ready for winter, put away your summer tools and get out your snow shovel and other cold weather tools.

Winter is a time when many of us hibernate from the cold. We enjoy warm fires, comforters, watch Netflix and generally wait for Spring to arrive. Winter brings with it cold air, snow, and ice – all elements that can damage your house. Do you really want to have to put you Netflix marathon on hold to fix an issue when it’s minus 20 degrees outside? Doubtful!

The following guide provides you with some great tips to prepare your home for winter and ensure its safe and free from damage. You’ll learn about essential tasks you need to do so that your home and property can weather (pun intended) the usual wintry blast.

Exterior Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Let’s start with the outside of your home – the area that has to deal with the brunt of the winter weather. Here are some autumn house maintenance tips :

1. Clean Out, Repair And Secure Loose Eavestroughs And Downspouts

Having your eavestroughs clear of debris is your first line of defense for protecting your roof and your foundation from water and ice damage.  While you can’t eradicate damage from such a vicious storm, you can help to minimize it with some proactive and preventative maintenance.

2. Repair Exterior Caulking Before Winter

Cracked caulking can cause damage to your windows and sills. They also be a source for water to get into your home. Repairing exterior caulking will make your home less drafty and more comfortable while protecting your windows and helping you save on your energy bills!

3. Fix Cracks In Your Weather Stripping

Cracks from summer sun and aging reduce the effectiveness of weather stripping to keep the cold out. Weather stripping should be replaced every few years. A yearly inspection before winter will help you to keep tabs on how well it’s doing its job.

4. Repair Any Loose Roof Shingles

Your roof is critical to the integrity of your home. Damaged shingles can cause water leakage into the attic or the space between the roof and your top floor. The section of the roof that receives the most sun requires your closest attention. These shingles become worn more quickly from heat exposure. Also take notice of missing shingles - an indication you have a potential roof vulnerability. If you notice a roofing issue, have it looked at by a professional.

Interior Fall Maintenance Tasks

Once the exterior is taken care of, it’s time to make sure your interior is ready for winter. Do these fall home care tips :

5. Turn Your Furnace On

Best way to make sure that you’ll be comfortable this winter is to test your furnace before the really cold winter weather hits. If you’re not sure how well your furnace is working, you’ll have time to have it inspected. Don’t forget to change your air filters too.

6. Check And If Necessary, Replace Your Carbon Monoxide Detector

Winter is the season when we are indoors almost all the time and your furnace – and other heat sources – generate carbon monoxide as they heat your home. A carbon monoxide detector monitors levels in your home and will alert you if levels ever rise. So make sure you test your detector regularly and change the batteries.

7. Ensure Your Smoke Alarm Is Working

Most home fires occur during the winter, an important reason to check your smoke alarm. Don’t forget to change your batteries on a regular basis too!

8. Protect Pipes In Unheated Areas Around Your Home

Frozen pipes can cause some serious damage. Look around your home, especially areas where it is not heated and where pipes may run through such as crawlspaces, basements or garages. Wrap the pipes with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation. This will reduce the likelihood of your pipes freezing in the winter and bursting.

Winter Home Maintenance Tips For Fall Exterior Property And Garden Maintenance

Getting your entire property, including your garden and lawn also need some TLC before winter. Here are a few tips to prepare your property.

  • Garden Cleanup : Use leaves from your trees and shrubs for mulch to cover your garden, or bag them and put them curbside. Your municipality may do compost giveaways and your leaves will contribute to the spring mulch! Your gardening friends will thank you.
  • Wrap Your Shrubs : Some shrubs can’t survive our cold climate without getting damaged. Wrap those shrubs to prevent tips and branches from being frost-bitten. The benefit - you’ll have a beautiful garden come spring.
  • Store Your Patio Furniture : Protect that outdoor living furniture by storing in a shed or wrapping securely.
  • Seal Your Driveway : You’ll protect your driveway and add years to its life by sealing it from cold winter damage.
  • Turn Off Your Exterior Water & Drain Hoses : This is a must do! If you have water in your lines, hoses or pipes and they freeze, you can have an expensive problem indoors. Burst pipes can mean flooded basements and ruined flooring and furniture.

Winter Home Maintenance Tips For Your Sheds, Garage, And Winter Machinery

Beyond getting your house ready for winter, you’ll want to think about other tools that will help you cope with winter. Here are four considerations:

  • Clear Out Your Garage : Clearing out your garage will make space for your car and help protect it from winter weather.
  • Tune-Up Your Snow Blower : There’s nothing worse than getting hit with a snowstorm only to find that you snow blower isn’t working. Take it for a tune up (or do it yourself) before that first storm. Don’t forget to check you’ve got fuel for it too!
  • Store Your Summer Yard Equipment : Store your leaf blower and your lawn mower in a shed or garage away from the elements. Giving your machinery a good clean before you store it away means that you’ll be ready for Spring.
  • Bring Out Salt and Sand For Your Driveway : Check your supply and stock up before the first snow. Think about using some green alternatives to protect your garden, grass, driveway and the environment.

Winter Home Maintenance – A Valuable Investment

Home Maintenance is time consuming and sometimes uncomfortable. But the time investment is worth it. You’ll protect your home and get more out of what you’ve invested in it. More importantly, you’ll avoid potential problems that winter weather can create – freeing up more time for you to do the things you enjoy – like spend time with your family, or binge watch the latest series on Netflix.

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Jim and Jordy in the News

Done Deal 

Builder’s Canmore home draws two quick Bids

Lions Park – Canmore  838 – 14th Street.

The Action: Some luxury residences in Canmore took a good deal of time to sell earlier this year.  But this builder’s own home had two offers within two days in June despite hosting only a handful of visitors – including curious neighbours.  “It depends on the property, the buyer, the marketplace and pricing at the time, but we’re seeing maybe 20 per cent of the time, multiple offers on properties, agent Jordy Shepherd said.  “[Plus] it’s fairly low inventory, especially in that type of property.”

What they Got:  Mountain Homes crafted this 2, 840-square-foot residence with a rundle rock, stucco and cedar-clad façade reminiscent of the trees and mountains rising around the 50-by-132 -foot lot.

The rustic aesthetic continues inside with exposed beams, a custom rock fireplace and cherry floors in the living room on the upper level.  Nearby is an open kitchen with an island, pantry and dining area by a door to a deck.
Nine-foot ceilings and etched concrete heated floors ar highlights in the family room, office and two of the three bedrooms on the main level.  The latter also offers a third bathroom and access to the double garage.

The Agent’s Take: “It’s just a little bit larger than many of the homes in the neighbourhood, and it’s also a newer build, built in 2008, as opposed to some of the older homes that have been redeveloped or are more original,” Mr. Shepherd said.

“And the very nice finishings in the mountain style … seemed to be very desirable.”  equally important is the home’s quiet , yet central location.

“The downtown core commands a premium price compared to a lot of other areas throughout Canmore, largely because of the amenities we have downtown, including public transit now, which is amazing for a town of 12,000 people, a $41-million recreation complex within walking distance of the home and a brand-new arts place,” co-listing agent Jim Ridley said.

September 30. 2017 - By Sydnia Yu – Globe2Go


Boys just wanna have fun, the other side of your favourite Real Estate Team.

Below: Drew Betts, Jordy Shepherd & Jim Ridley. Royal LePage fundraiser give a kick out for the YWCA Walk a Mile in Her Shoes in Canmore on Friday (Sept 15).

Cover of the Rocky Mountain Outlook September 21, 2017

CREB Calgary Housing Statistics - September 2017

Inventory increases and sales drop in September, but overall sales for the year remain higher than last year.

City of Calgary, October 2, 2017 – Strong gains in the first-half of 2017 has put the Calgary year-to-date sales at seven per cent above last years’ levels and 11 per cent below long-term averages, but challenges remain with easing sales and rising new listings.

Inventories rose across all property types to 6,861 units, while both apartment and attached-style properties saw the highest inventory on record for the month of September.

“The recent rise in inventories is preventing further price recovery as sales activity has moderated over recent months. This does not come as a surprise as sales activity is expected to remain modest by historical standards until more substantial economic improvements take hold,” said CREB® chief economist Ann- Marie Lurie.

“Some may consider this a setback, but it is important to note that recent movements are balancing out the higher than expected gains that occurred in the first-half of the year.”

New listings in September totaled 3,266 units, a year-over-year gain of nearly 10 per cent.

“There are several factors influencing new listings. Given the falling prices over the past two years, some sellers were waiting for market conditions to improve prior to listing their homes. More stability in the market has prompted many of those sellers to no longer delay their listing decision,” said CREB® president David P. Brown.

“In some segments, rising new home inventories are also impacting total housing supply. Ultimately, prices are affected. However, this inventory also opens up opportunity for buyers to step up into a home that was financially unattainable.” 

As of September, unadjusted benchmark prices totaled $441,500. This is 0.2 per cent below last month, but nearly one per cent above last year. Downward price pressure this month occurred across most product types. However, year-to-date benchmark prices in the detached sector remain  comparable to last year. Prices in the detached sector remain relatively stable compared to last year.

Condominium apartment prices remain four per cent below 2016 levels and twelve per cent below 2014 highs. This sector continues to struggle with price declines resulting from excess supply as months of supply pushed above eight months.

For the full .PDF report with statistics click here.