Archive for the ‘Saskatchewan News’ Category

New Festival For Saskatoon

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Saskatoon welcomes its newest festival this weekend with the first ever Word on the Street in Saskatoon joining other Canadian cities from Halifax to Vancouver. The event began in Toronto in 1990. Organizers promise a fair-like atmosphere with plenty of family activities and a total of 29 writers will read from their works, respond to questions from the public and sign books. One of those readers is my mom, Marie Donais Calder, with her books series “The Other Side Series”.

She has published 5 books already in the series with the 6th one on its way, due to arrive in stores mid October. She will also be at the Saskatoon Public Library on Friday afternoon to present and read from her 5th book, “Torn”.

When it comes to library use and buying books, Saskatoon is at the top of national figures and our city is also home to writers of high achievement. There are 4 Governor General Award winners who live here as well as the Man Booker Prize winner and Griffin Poetry prize winner.

The exhibit will take place at the public library facilities and will be hosted in front of the Frances Morrison Library downtown and at City Hall, with the street in between closed and tents set up along the street. It will be sort of like a farmer’s market for books. The event is free and it runs from 11-5 on Sunday and the weather is supposed to be nice so hopefully the turn out is great! Unfortunately I am off with many of my Saskatoon Century 21 agent colleagues to our national convention in Edmonton where I will be receiving a Centurion Award for my Saskatoon real estate sales in 2010 so I will not be able to be here to support my mom and the community for this first time festival.

If you get a chance please stop in and support our city’s festivals as well as my mom!

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

Kind of a Funny Start to a Serious Blog

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

 The other day my mom was in town to promote her books series, “The Other Side Series” and I was on my way to see her at McNalley Robinson here in Saskatoon when I stopped off at Tim Hortons on 8th Street. There were 3 people in electric wheelchairs trying to get into the entrance. I stopped to open the first door and it was quite the spectacle. We were all laughing by the end as there are 2 doors that can open with the button and I, and the first man in the wheelchair who we finally got through the first door, hit the wrong one at least twice each which would hit the 2nd person coming through…you can imagine this took a few minutes. There were about 5 people sitting near the door watching this all and seeing that I couldn’t get the 2nd door open while holding the first and not ONE got up to offer assistance. Seriously!? I commented to the first man about people getting off their arses to help as we had kind of built a rapport by the end of this and he just shook his head and said he was used to it. I wondered if people are reluctant to help people with handicaps as they think it could be taken the wrong way? I ask if they would like help when I see they could use help and have very rarely been turned away.

Then I had to stop off to pick up my dad from Superstore on 8th Street and a lady had too many items in her hand and was dropping things. I saw this, also saw the 10+ people watching her, and stepped out of line to give her a hand. She was so grateful and again, we had a laugh, but I was disappointed that no one else could be bothered to help. At least no one tried to step in my spot in line!

These are the 2 back to back events that triggered my awareness of how less likely people are to lift a hand to help now than I think they were even a few years ago. Is it because of our changing population? Or is it our laziness and lack of compassion as a society?  Or is it just a coincidence? I’m not sure, but I do know that I was brought up to help people in need no matter who they are or what their situation is and I thank my parents for that.

 I have been noticing a lack of compassion and willingness to help lately in Saskatoon and was wondering if it was just my imagination or are we getting to be as bad as other places? After reading this article about a Regina man left to drown while his friend desperately tried to find someone to help my suspicions were confirmed.

Reading the sad story about an aboriginal man in Regina who couldn’t even get someone to call 911 to help his drowning friend almost makes me sick. Thank you Lani Elliott for calling 911, unfortunately she came along about 30 minutes too late and his friend had drowned. It is a phone call and, whether you believe someone or not, if someone is asking for help and asking you to call 911, who wouldn’t do it?? Let the police sort it out if it isn’t true but why take the risk? That guilt is hard to live with and I would imagine the people that know he was asking for help are now feeling pretty bad about their decision. If the man had been a clean cut caucasion man you know the call would have been made…instantly.

So what is becoming of the people of Saskatchewan? We used to be infamous for our friendliness but I see that changing. I hope to hear more good samaratin type stories soon as I do know that the media likes to focus on the negative but when I see evidence with my own experiences I don’t know what can be done. It starts with each individual and the whole ‘pay it forward’ attitude needs to grow.

As a real estate agent in Saskatoon I want to go that extra mile whether it be in my career with my Saskatoon real estate clients or just with the general public and lend a hand when I have one to lend. I don’t have a lot of spare time to be part of boards and I only volunteer with one group on a regular basis but I think it is the day to day things that we do that don’t get recognition that people are less likely to do if they are always looking for a reward or recognition. So do some people just volunteer with groups as it looks good on paper and on a resume and for bragging rights or do those same people also help just because that is the type of people they are? There are a lot of people out there volunteering in day to day life, whether it be holding a door, helping someone with their bags, or giving them a hand crossing the street so next time you see someone in need of a bit of help I hope that you offer.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

After Over 5 Years I Had To End This Relationship…

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

With Saskatoon Curbside Recycling. I recently switched from using Saskatoon Curbside Recycling, who is a small start up company, to the All Green Recycling Program from the well known name of Loraas. I was reluctant to end my 5 year relationship with Saskatoon Curbside Recycling as they have been great to deal with and they were pioneeers here in Saskatoon to get the recycling program up and running and I give them a lot of credit.

Sadly, it came down to the bins. Loraas offers a large bin similar to our garbage cans that can accomodate all of my recycling (for 2 people we recycle a LOT!!) whereas Curbside had 2 separate boxes that, when set out by 8am and not necessarily picked up until later in the day, often resulted in my neighbours in Willowgrove ending up with my recycling on their front lawn.

Every delay the City of Saskatoon has in making a decision and accepting a bid means more and more recyclable material ending up in the landfill. They are considering 2 different companies; one to collect and one to process. I think that is a big problem as the company who collects isn’t going to care what gets collected as they just drop it off to the company that processes it and leaves them to sort it out. According to the Star Phoenix article today it will be at least another 2 months before the city starts accepting bids from companies to run the $29-million household recycling pickup program due to last minute changes to the bid guidelines.

As one of the fastest growing regions in Canada we need to get on this program! I have had lots of people buying houses for sale in Saskatoon who are from out of province and they just can’t get over our lack of mandatory recycling here. I even had one first time home buyer in Saskatoon from Ontario ask me about our garbage pick up as they had to put everything in CLEAR plastic bags and if there was anything in there that was recyclable their garbage wouldn’t get picked up that week.

Well hopefully Saskatoon gets its recycling together and makes this mandatory sooner than later as I am definitely frustrated when I walk by garbage bins full of cardboard and plastics because people are too lazy to drive to the larger recycling centres!

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

Saskatoon-High in Crime? Good Job CBC!

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

I love how, right on the heels of an article that people in Saskatchewan have a cheery outlook on our economy and that Saskatchewan’s economy will be doing better than the national average, CBC prints news that we have the highest overall crime rate (and of course Winnipeg as their economic forecast is also pretty good!)

It seems to happen often like this. One article will bring people looking for job opportunities in Saskatoon or Saskatchewan and as a result the newsmakers will print a downer article to make people question if their lives are at stake if they come to Saskatchewan!? Maybe I am just jaded about the news industry, but I see it happen quite often so I don’t think it is a mere coincidence. CBC writers who are more than likely not from Saskatchewan?

What they always fail to mention about our crime statistics and and number of murders is that they are typically gang related and happen in the core neighbourhoods so 95% of the population is not affected by it. I have had people looking to buy houses for sale in Saskatoon who were worried because of ‘news’ like this. I am always sure to take them into the areas they will want to avoid. They are small and people should not lump in the rest of the west side of Saskatoon as there are loads of beautiful neighbourhoods on Saskatoon’s west side.

This map of murders though shows a more accurate story,-106.675694&spn=0.072763,0.153714&source=embed 

Saskatoon, and Saskatchewan in general, is one of the leading markets for economy, real estate, etc so it isn’t surprising that we also get negative publicity. I have certainly lived and traveled in scarier places in the world so take what you read with a grain of salt…as always! Saskatoon real estate is still a great investment and will continue to be so in the future in my opinion.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

Century 21 Conexus Changed to Century 21 Fusion

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

I should write about a change in Century 21 Saskatoon that took place on July 1. We went from working under a bank, Conexus Credit Union, to becoming owned by Saskatoon real estate agents in less than a month. This was a good move for everyone I feel. We had our hands tied with the beauracracy of working under a banking system since I became a real estate agent in Saskatoon over 4 years ago. Conexus has now, I believe, sold off all of the Century 21 franchises across Saskatchewan.

Three Saskatoon real estate agents (and 1 spouse) purchased the Century 21 Saskatoon franchise and we are now called Century 21 Fusion. We take pride in advancing with technology while excelling at Saskatoon real estate sales. Gary Busch and Barry & Sandy Chilliak are the new agent/owners of Century 21 Saskatoon (Century 21 Fusion).

Some people ask me if it is a conflict of interest to have our Saskatoon real estate company owned by realtors in Saskatoon but little do they know Century 21 was one of the only ones that was not owned by Saskatoon real estate agents. So, is it a conflict of interest? Only if the owners are cherry picking the best listings when people call our company and are looking for a Saskatoon real estate agent to list their home for sale in Saskatoon.

Do I mind? If I minded I would have packed up my bags and left! With my 4 year annivesary having just passed as being a Realtor in Saskatoon I have not wavered from Century 21 Saskatoon as I enjoy my colleagues and I see the advantage of working with such a cohesive company. We have different things to offer than other brokerages in Saskatoon so I’m proudly sticking with them.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

Mortgage rules to change in March

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

This is a long overdue post mostly because I have been so busy showing Saskatoon homes for sale due to the change that I have not had time to write about it! I have also been busy showing houses for sale around Saskatoon as there are lots of great new homes for sale in Warman and Martensville.

As of March 18th, 2011 buyers will no longer be able to take advantage of a 35 year amortization period for their mortgage. This has meant an increase in Saskatoon first time home buyers and busy times for Saskatoon real estate agents.

While some people are opting to wait, there are others who will wait themselves out of being able to get into the Saskatoon real estate market. The Saskatoon real estate market is not so busy right now that we are seeing many competing offers, but it has certainly occurred when a great property comes up.

If you haven’t already done so, get down to see a Saskatoon mortgage broker so that you can take advantage of this. The mortgage rates are still low so it is a win-win for first time buyers in Saskatoon. There is still a lot of great product out there as well as plenty of new homes for sale in Saskatoon that a first time buyer can build sweat equity with.

If you don’t already have a Saskatoon real estate agent or you are not happy with the level of service from your Saskatoon realtor(r) give me a call and I would be happy to help you, whether you are buying a house for sale in Saskatoon or looking to put your Saskatoon house for sale I am here to be of service.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Conexus

Saskatoon Growing Faster Than Any Other Canadian Region

Friday, February 4th, 2011

As I am a Saskatoon real estate agent I see the amount of people coming in to look at homes for sale in Saskatoon but with my web presence I also get a lot of inquiries about rentals in Saskatoon (which I do not deal in as I am not licensed as a property manager).

Reading this article today in the Star Phoenix was no surprise to me. We passed Alberta for the first time in decades last year according to Stats Canada and Saskatoon is also now the youngest metropolitan area in Canada which bucks the Canadian trend of an aging population. I could add that it may have something to do with our older population heading out to warmer areas! Two of the other reasons cited are young families immigating here from other countries as well as our high aboriginal birth rate. Saskatoon’s average age is now 35.6 while the average age across Canada is 40. The oldest city is not where you would expect (British Columbia?) but actually Saguenay, Quebec with an average age of 45.

The Saskatoon region (which includes Warman, Martensville, Dundurn, and Dalmeny) has now reached over 265,000 people which is up 30,000 people since 2005. Vancouver was second for growth and Regina was third with their population now over 215,000.

One of the main reasons for Saskatoon’s growth is a large spike in international immigration with 3300 added just last year.

If you are looking to buy a house for sale in Saskatoon give me a call. I work with a lot of first time home buyers in Saskatoon so if you need the right direction I am here to help you.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd

Century 21 Comes Through Again

Friday, December 17th, 2010

At this time of year the people of Saskatoon really step it up and try to help those less fortunate. This is all part of the 5th annual “Stuff the Bus” campaign. The food bank feeds over 15,000 people a month, over half of whom are children.

Century 21 Conexus Saskatoon and Conexus Credit Union, Conexus Insurance, and Centum Mortgage Direct in Saskatoon have teamed up and donated $800 cash and SEVEN HUNDRED pounds of food!!! WOW!

I am proud of my fellow Saskatoon real estate agents and proud of Century 21 Saskatoon for exceeding our goals-something we achieve on a regular basis. Our goal was to beat last year’s $150 cash and 500 pounds of food so we exceeded it beyond expectation. The cash donations are very important for the purchase of milk, meat and produce.

So way to go Century 21 Conexus Saskatoon and way to go Saskatoon in general for what looked to be another successful year.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd
Saskatoon, SK

Interest Rates Have Gone Up

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

We have had some warnings the past few days that rate hikes were coming and I just got confirmation from Centum Canada Mortgages (the Century 21 affiliated mortgage brokers) that rates have indeed gone up to 3.79 for a 5 year term. If you are thinking about buying a house for sale in Saskatoon it doesn’t hurt to get your rate locked in and held.

The alarm was sounded on Monday by Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney as household debt has reached an all time high. These low interest rates are not here forever so he warns that we need to be more cautious. The tone indicates that he may be setting the stage for a rate increase next year.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says they will keep tightening mortgage lending rules as needed to keep credit growth in check.

As a Saskatoon Real Estate Agent I think it is great to take advantage of the current low rates to build your retirement portfolio and to get started in the Saskatoon real estate market but only if you feel secure in your job and in your earning potential as when it comes time to renew your mortgage after 5 years and you have been living close to your means or slightly above your means those rate changes will have a huge and sometimes life changing affect on you. Some people are forced to sell while others just look at different options like getting a room mate or a boarder. If you are thinking of putting your Saskatoon house for sale let me know.

There are other risks in our economy and the high dollar is not helping the Canadian economy. As consumers we like it (especially with the Saskatoon winter we are experiencing it is nice to vacation in the southern US with the dollar being at par!) Debt worries in Europe also affect us here so rate hikes may be held off according to some analysts as they believe there are bigger fish to fry.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd
Saskatoon, SK

Arbor Creek Will NOT Be Getting A School

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

It has been rumoured for years that the vacant land across from Wright and Kenderdine Rd in Saskatoon’s Arbor Creek may be getting a school. Owned by Dundee Realty this site has been designated for future schools however there has been a formal request by the developer to turn this into a new residential housing site for Saskatoon’s east side. The company has already begun the process to rezone the sites making 45 residential lots available in Arbor Creek for single family homes  according to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix today. It would be great to see more lots for sale in Arbor Creek but at what cost? Having lived near the future site myself I can see the benefit for new home buyers in Saskatoon as you can get a brand new house in a well established area so I am sure there will be a huge demand for the lots.

Instead it appears that the public and catholic school systems are putting their efforts into Willowgrove.I have helped a few people buy houses for sale in Willowgrove that will be near these schools that ARE going in.  The Catholic school board has already removed Arbor Creek from its five-year capital plan for the division. Unfortunately many homeowners near the ‘proposed’ school site in Arbor Creek chose that location for the future potential. They have already been waiting a long time and by now most of their small children are likely in high school!

Land for Saskatoon new home construction is limited and expensive to begin with, especially on the east side. This land will be in huge demand so I have to give it to Dundee, they know how to develop better than the city does in my opinion.

If you are looking to buy or sell real estate in Saskatoon give me a shout! I would be more than happy to help find you the perfect house.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Conexus Saskatoon