Expert Series Archives - North Ridge Developments Saskatoon

The Smart Way to Get Fresh Air in Your Home

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Fresh air is one of the most essential components of a good living space. It is imperative to have good ventilation in your home as this will help avoid respiratory problems and improve the overall quality of your home life. A good way to ensure fresh air in your home is by installing a Heat Recovery Ventilator, which comes standard in all North Ridge homes.

What is Heat Recovery Ventilator and how does it work?

A Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) is a type of ventilation system that exhausts stale air from your home and replaces it with fresh outside air. It is an energy-efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to provide fresh air to your home. This type of ventilation system works by drawing in air from the outside and passing it through a heat exchanger, which extracts heat from the outgoing air to warm the incoming air before it enters the furnace which then distributes this fresh air throughout your home. This process creates a constant flow of fresh, filtered air in your home.

What are the benefits of a Heat Recovery Ventilator?

HRV systems can provide a number of benefits to the homeowner. These include improved indoor air quality, reduced energy costs, and better humidity control. Because HRV systems are designed to exchange stale air from the home and replace it with fresh outside air, it removes contaminants such as smoke, chemicals, and dust particles. One of the main benefits of an HRV is to control humidity during the winter season by removing moist air from your home and replacing it with dryer outside air to avoid condensation on windows and reduce the possibility of mould growth.

How to Maintain your HRV

HRV systems are most effective when they are properly cared for. Maintaining your HRV system includes performing routine inspections, checking for leaks, and cleaning your filters regularly. The following practices are generally recommended for maintenance:
• Dust your HRV filters and rinse with lukewarm water every 3 months. Let it completely dry and never reinstall a wet filter.
• Rinse the HRV’s core with water once a year. Let it completely dry and never install a wet core.
• Wipe away any dust and debris from drains at the bottom of the unit every time it is opened.
• Check outdoor intake and exhaust hoods – remove leaves, waste, or other obstructions that may be blocking the outside vents of your HRV. Without this airflow, your HRV will not function properly. During winter, make sure to clear any snow, frost or ice buildup blocking outside vents.

A Heat Recovery Ventilator is a great way to make your home more comfortable. It can save you money on heating and cooling costs, and it improves the air quality in your home.

November 18, 2022

Fall Preparation Guide

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I know I know… I also have been trying to avoid the fact that summer is really over. (Hope you enjoyed your summer!) School already started, stores are already selling Halloween treats and Christmas decorations, leaves are starting to change colours, there is pumpkin spice everywhere and the weather is so unpredictable. Days are getting shorter and shorter and although it is often warm and sunny during the daytime, it can be cold at night and early in the morning.
As the season begins to change, it is time to blow out your sprinklers, trade your lawn mover for a rake and prep your home for cooler weather. Here is a quick checklist of things to do before your house transitions from hot summer days, to cool fall nights and eventually to freezing temperatures.

OUTSIDE:

☐ If your window screens are inside, remove them to allow for adequate airflow of the heating system to keep condensation off your windows.
☐ Ensure all exterior doors and windows are closed tightly; repair or replace weather stripping and dust pads as needed.
☐ Cover outside of air conditioning units and shut power off to the device.
☐ Ensure the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation wall so that water does not drain into your basement. Touch-up as required to maintain positive drainage.
☐ Clean eaves troughs and roof ensuring proper drainage from the downspouts.
☐ Clean out window wells of garbage.
☐ Blow out underground sprinklers and store outdoor hoses. Close interior valve to outdoor water connection. Drain the hose bib and leave it partially open.
☐ Store outdoor furniture, prepare gardens and protect young trees and shrubs for the upcoming winter.

INSIDE:

☐ Check sump pump to ensure proper operation
☐ Test and reset the ground fault circuit interrupters (GFI) breakers
☐ Set humidifier as per the manufacturer’s instructions for the winter setting
☐ Set the thermostat to “heat” and test the furnace for proper operation by raising the thermostat setting until the furnace starts to operate.
☐ Have furnace and heating system serviced by a qualified company every two years
☐ If you have central air conditioning, ensure the drain pan under the cooling coil mounted in the
furnace plenum is secure and draining correctly.
☐ Remove grilles on forced air systems and vacuum inside the ducts.
☐ Check your furnace air filters monthly and replace them as needed
☐ Check and clean the HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) core
☐ Check to see that the ductwork leading to and from the heat recovery ventilator is in good shape and the joints are tightly sealed.
☐ Adjust registers and confirm that cold air returns are clear of furniture or draperies
☐ Vacuum smoke and carbon monoxide; replace batteries if required.
  If you have a door between your house and the garage, check the adjustment of the self-closing device to ensure it closes completely.

Click here for a downloadable PDF: Fall Checklist

September 30, 2022

3 Easy Steps To Save For Your Mortgage Down Payment

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Saving for a down payment for a home isn’t always easy, but it’s not as difficult as you think. Whether you are a first-time buyer or returning to homeownership, saving for a down payment can seem overwhelming! Purchasing new or used? The more of a down payment you put down, the better your options are and the amount you invest can affect your mortgage rates.

Minimum down payment requirements:
For new homes that cost up to $500,000, the minimum down payment is 5%
For new homes that cost more than $500,000 and less than $1 million, the minimum down payment is 5% of the first $500,000 plus 10% of the remaining balance
You might need some help from a financial expert, but these three easy steps could be an excellent way to start.

Step 1. Create a Budget & Cut Unnecessary Spending
There are many ways to save money and it really can be as easy as packing your own lunch instead of eating out or riding your bike to work during the summer months. However, if you want to get serious about cutting your expenses and saving more money, then follow these two things:
1) Create a budget and stick to it – this will help you see where your money is going and what areas need improvement. Set a monthly savings goal, track your success and make sure you stick to your set budget.
2) Cut unnecessary spending – Think about the ways you can reduce your spending. Bring lunch to work or buy second-hand clothes and toys. Think about cost-saving options like borrowing books from the library or taking a staycation.

Step 2. Get Rid of Unwanted Debt from Your Life
Paying down debt can seem like an endless struggle but, with some self-discipline and faith in yourself, your financial picture can change for the better in just a matter of months. The key to success will be to establish a debt plan and stay committed.
With the budget you’ve created, you’ll determine if you have a surplus, which you can put towards paying off your debt; or a shortfall, which means it might be necessary to cut back on regular expenses. Reduce your debt by controlling your expenditures and paying off your high-interest debts as they will be the most expensive over time.

Step 3. Utilize Programs Available
There are different programs and incentives available that can help you save money for your down payment.
Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) – If you have an RRSP, you can withdraw up to $25,000 to buy your first home. The only catch to this program is that you have to pay the money back to your RRSP within 15 years. If you do not repay the money, it is treated as income and you will have to pay tax on the money you withdrew as though it were income.
Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) – this lets you grow your savings without paying income tax and withdraw whenever you wish — making it a great place to set aside your savings for a big purchase, such as buying a new home. Regardless of your income, investment in this account does not affect your income taxes. Currently, Canadians can contribute up to $6,000 but that limit can change so double-check before you contribute.
First-Time Home Buyer’s Incentive (FTHBI) – If you have put aside at least 5% of the purchase price of a home, the government can give you an incentive of an additional 5% – 10%. These additional funds will increase your down payment, which would then lower your monthly mortgage payments. However, there are some strict conditions to qualify for the FTHBI. You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and a first-time homebuyer. Your income cannot exceed $120,000 unless you are buying in Toronto, Vancouver or Victoria, where the cap is $150,000. This program is a shared-equity mortgage, so the government has a share in any increases or decreases in the property value.

Saving for a down payment can be daunting, but it is worth it in the end. If you can set aside a little extra money each month, it will go a long way toward achieving your home ownership dreams!

August 25, 2022

4 Moving Tips For An Easier Move

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You finally bought your dream home! Hooray! Everything is all set and your new home is ready to move in to! Now comes packing and moving your things from your previous home to your new home.

Your new home is like a blank canvas – a fresh start for you to have everything organized and look exactly the way you were dreaming of. To make this possible, go through every room and decide what to keep and what to get rid of to avoid bringing unwanted things to your brand new home. Once you have everything set and know which items you will definitely bring, follow these tips to make your packing and moving less stressful. Remember, preparation is important!

1. Have all your materials/supplies ready
There is nothing more frustrating when you’re packing than stopping to run to the store to grab another box or tape. Your packing will be faster and more efficient once you have everything prepared. Some supplies you might need include bubble wrap, permanent markers, boxes, tapes and other specialty containers such as dish barrels or wardrobe boxes.
2. Do a change of address
To avoid the hassle of failing to receive important mail, go to the local post office and fill out an address form, or do it online. But in case there are stragglers, it’s wise to ask a close neighbour or your previous landlord to look out for mail after you’ve moved. At the same time, you should alert the following of your move: banks, your employer, credit card companies and utility companies.
3. Group items and separate valuables
Once you begin packing, pack the items you infrequently use such as the waffle iron or popcorn maker together. This way you don’t need to be stressed out if you can’t unpack them during your first week. Then, group all the items based on their location in the house. For example, all the kitchen utensils should be packed in one box and labelled. This way, when you start unpacking, it will be easier and more convenient. When labelling, make sure to clearly label each box with its contents and the room that it’s destined for. Then closer to your moving day, pack items for everyone in the family that will be immediately needed for the first couple of days such as clothes and toiletries. At the same time, make sure to pack your important documents and valuables separately from the rest of your things. If possible, it is best to personally bring these items to your new home to avoid losing them.
4. Appliances/Furniture
A few days before you move, make sure to defrost the freezer if you are planning to move it with you. Make sure to empty, clean, and defrost it at least 24 hours before moving day. When moving appliances, big boxes and furniture, it is best to hire a moving company to do the heavy lifting for you. Reconfirm the moving company’s arrival time and other specifics to help you prepare.

Moving is never an easy process. It takes time, energy and patience. Ask other family members and your friends to help you in your packing and moving to make it a lot easier and fun. Congratulations on your new home!

June 22, 2022

Battle of the Houses: New or Existing?

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You are about to make one of the biggest investments in your life – buying a home. The decision is not one to take lightly, as there are many factors making each home on the market unique from the next. A major choice is between building new and finding an existing home.
In one corner, a brand new home – built with the most up-to-date technology, backed by a warranty, and complete with that sought-after new home smell. On the other, an existing home – full of character, located in an established neighbourhood, and often with a more reasonable price tag than comparable new homes for sale. It boils down to personal preference, so take a look at a few pros and cons of the two opponents, and see which wins the battle for your heart.

Newly built home:
Pros:
1. New Home Warranty – At North Ridge, we provide our new homeowners with peace of mind knowing that their house is built by a trusted builder who is backed up by the Saskatchewan New Home Warranty Program. On top of that we provide our own Customer Care Warranty where we call our new homeowners every 30, 180 and 365 days after possession to make sure that everything is as good as they expected it to be, and if not, we will take a look at any issues.
2. Everything is brand new and more efficient– You don’t need to worry about replacing carpets, appliances, insulation or anything else! There is peace of mind knowing that there will not be any unforeseen costs associated with replacing or repairing anything in your home in the near future. With the construction industry constantly improving, new homes are more energy-efficient compared to homes before. Who doesn’t love a lower energy bill each month?
3. Choices, choices, choices! – With pre-sale homes, you have the freedom to make your home look exactly the way you want. You also have a wide range of selection on pre-built homes that speaks more to your expression of style and way of life. On top of that, you can enjoy the freedom of choosing your builder. The opportunity to investigate and carefully select the home builder you trust means you can have confidence in your decision.
Cons:
1. Unestablished neighbourhood – Most new houses are built in new neighbourhoods that are still construction areas. It can take several years for a neighbourhood to be completed, with all residences built, landscaping and parks completed, and amenities like schools and stores in place.
2. Incomplete – Many new homes have unfinished basements and, although some neighbourhoods require driveways and landscaping, not all do. Flowers and trees don’t grow overnight!
3. More expensive – As a general rule, a new home is more expensive than an existing home. The home building industry is constantly looking for improvements in the materials they use or the processes involved in building a home.

Existing homes:
Pros:
1. “Move-in” ready home – When you buy an existing home, you typically don’t have to worry about buying the extras, such as blinds for the window, a security system, or a landscaped back yard. Also, buyers who are willing to purchase a fixer-upper in a well-established neighbourhood have the opportunity to make improvements to their homes and increase the value of their property. This can be considered a great way to get returns out of the investment made in a home, a fun project, or both!
2. Layouts – Many new homes are built with an open concept, but with existing homes, there is a wide range of layouts. If you like the formal living and dining rooms, an existing home will likely satisfy you. If you like open concepts, never fear, there will surely be an existing open concept home on the market!
3. Character and Neighbourhood – You can find pre-existing homes from just about any decade in the past century – so there are a variety of styles from several eras to choose from located in established neighbourhoods. It has the potential to be full of history, quirks, and personality, that new homes have not yet acquired.
Cons:
1. “What-if” Factor – What the house has been through in the past will likely be a mystery. Whether it was a past hail storm weakening the roof or a previous owner who did not properly maintain the appliances, there is always a chance that previous events that you do not know about have damaged the house, which can result in unexpected costs.
2. Leftovers – Some appliances or furniture that comes with the house may have been left behind for a reason – it is not in good condition. This leaves you having to clean up someone else’s mess.
3. Compromise – When buying a home, you may need to make compromises in regards to the features you want. Because you did not design the house yourself it is not likely to be the perfect house for you, and making it so may require costly renovations.

At the end of the day, buying a new home and building a new home both have their pluses and minuses. However, if you’ve done your research and planned carefully, the end result is sure to be rewarding no matter which option you choose. To buy a new build or an existing home: you decide!

May 12, 2022

What is a Flex Room?

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If we ask the question: “what does home mean to you?” the most common answer we’ll receive is exactly what you might be thinking right now; a home is a place where you live, where you create memories or a place for relaxing and fun. How we use our home space is always changing and because of that, it makes sense to have rooms in the home that can change too. In real estate, these are called flex rooms.

What is a Flex Room?
A flex room is essentially a space that can be used for a number of functions or can be customized to serve more than one purpose. It gives you more possibilities to tailor your home specific to what you and your family needs. Whether it’s an office, formal living room, a playroom or a music room, the possibilities are endless!
To make the most of this space, start by thinking about what your needs are. Perhaps you’re looking for a place to cultivate your hobbies, show off your book collection, or create a learning space for your kids.

1. Formal Living or Dining Room
Why have one when you can have two? Turning the flex room into a second living or dining room gives you the option of having both a formal space for guests and an informal space for family time.

2. Home Office or Study
When you want a space in the home where you can tune out distractions, a home office is an ideal space to accomplish just that. The flex room can provide a peaceful escape to work remotely.

3. Playroom or Homeschool Room
Your flex room can be a designated space within your home for school-related activities. This is a perfect example of how multi-purpose rooms can evolve over time. Today it’s a playroom, tomorrow it’s a homework station, and in the future, it could be your hobby room.

4. Hobby Room
Whether you’re into video games, sewing or another creative hobby, turning your flex room into a hobby room is a great use of the functional space!

5. Reading Nook or Library
Are you an avid reader? A flex room library allows you to keep all of your literary favourites in one spot. Line the walls with shelves for all your novels, magazines, and comic books, and add a few comfy chairs to read on.

Flex rooms are a great opportunity to create a special spot that your family will enjoy for years to come. Whatever you decide on how you use your flex room, we have plenty of options to help customize your space to fit your needs!

February 7, 2022

Are You Ready for a Single-Family Home?

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There is nothing more stressful or exciting than purchasing your first home. For many people, it is a time of adventure but for others, it can be scary deciding whether or not you’re ready.

Here are some reasons to consider purchasing a single-family home.

1. Space – If you’re an expanding family or have children, a townhome or condo won’t provide the same space as a single-family home – not only inside but also outside. Condos and townhomes rarely come with a yard. A single-family home is situated on its own lot with its own yard.

2. Privacy – A single-family home is the most private residency, you will not share any walls with your neighbours (unless you have a rental suite in your house, which is a bonus source of income). You will have your own yard and won’t have to worry about neighbours using your space.

3. Long Term Investment – Single-family homes are the longest investment you will make in your life, and generally, you can sell your home for a profit if it is well maintained.

4. Variety – A single-family home offers more variety than a townhouse or condo. If you want a specific number of bathrooms or bedrooms, a playroom or a walk-in pantry there are options that will include your preferences. There is also more variety in the floorplan which means that finding a layout that suits your needs is higher than the standardized layouts for condos or townhomes.

If you’re interested in starting your single-family home search in Saskatoon or surrounding areas, come talk to us at North Ridge and we can discuss your options and help find your forever home.

March 2, 2021

3 Reasons to Build with North Ridge

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At North Ridge, we are proud to offer functional layouts; premium features and finishes; a strong commitment to quality and unwavering dedication to genuine customer service. After all, we are dedicated to not just build quality homes but also to build quality relationships with our homeowners.

1. Function
Whether you’re looking for a bi-level, bungalow or a two-storey, our single-family selection offers a number of different layout designs to meet the needs of varying lifestyles and budgets. Even if this includes more bedrooms, bigger living space or a separate legal basement suite, we have the perfect home for you and your family.

2. Design
From gorgeous lighting to durable flooring to garages that can actually fit your truck, function and style are noticeable throughout your brand-new North Ridge home.

3. Quality
From the moment you choose your home to the moment you get your keys and even after you’ve moved in, we work hard to ensure that we’re meeting your needs.

We are a member of the Saskatchewan New Home Warranty Program, which offers up to ten years of warranty on the structural integrity of your North Ridge home. In addition, we offer our own Customer Care Warranty Program – your assurance that your North Ridge home is constructed to the highest building standards of the industry and has passed our rigorous Quality Assurance inspection of over 300 items.

The North Ridge Customer Care Warranty Program provides workmanship and material protection on your new home by providing three scheduled comprehensive service calls at 30, 180 and 365 days.

We understand that building a new home comes with many exciting challenges and a certain level of stress. We pride ourselves on guiding our customers through the entire process and beyond to ensure your peace of mind. When you’re ready to start your new home search, we’ll be here for you. Visit one of our show homes today.

September 27, 2019

Perks of Buying a Quick Possession Home

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Whether you’re relocating to a new city or you are ready to upgrade and don’t want to wait for a house to be built, quick possession new builds are a great option for purchasing a new home. Quick possession homes are completely finished and are just waiting for someone to fall in love with them.

Here are the top three perks of buying a quick possession home in Saskatoon and area:
1. No Waiting – With other newly built homes, you may need to wait for the builders to complete the home before you can move in. However (as mentioned above), quick possession homes are completely built and ready for new homeowners.
2. It’s A New Home – Quick possession homes are new builds. They haven’t been lived in before, so you get to enjoy the perks of a brand-new home with up-to-date appliances, fixtures, and modern features.
3. Newer Neighbourhoods – Most new homes are built in newer, developing neighbourhoods which are a great option if you’re looking for something a little more modern with parks and recreation built into the fabric of the neighbourhood.

If these perks seem appealing to you, check out our move-in ready homes and see if anything catches your eye. We have a number of move-in ready homes available in Brighton, Rosewood, Aspen Ridge, Lake Vista, Warman and Dalmeny.

August 29, 2019

First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

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Improving Affordability: Support for First-Time Home Buyers

There is nothing more exciting (or stressful) than purchasing your first home. For many people, it is a time of adventure, but for others, it can be a little scary deciding whether or not they’re ready. The federal government wants to make homeownership more accessible and affordable for first-time home buyers and to do so, is introducing the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive administered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC).

With this incentive, CMHC provides 10% of a first-time buyer’s purchase of a new build in exchange for an equity stake, allowing for smaller mortgages that will keep monthly payments lower! The incentive is available to first-time homebuyers with qualified annual incomes of $120,000 or less.

Set to launch on September 2nd, 2019, take advantage of this exciting new program and let us help you get to homeownership! Visit one of our show homes to learn more.

View Infographic PDF

August 12, 2019