How To Be The “Dream” Seller That Every Agent Wants To Work With

Tue, 15 Aug by TruHome Inc

Selling your Edmonton home is an exciting endeavour but it can also be overwhelming due to the complexities involved. Whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned home seller, it’s easy to make errors that could potentially derail the selling process, cost you money, or extend the time your home spends on the Edmonton market. By understanding common pitfalls, you can navigate the sale of your home more efficiently and confidently.

   Overpricing Your Home: It is normal, homeowners often cherish their homes and can overestimate their market value due to their emotional ties to the home. Pricing a property correctly from the start is crucial. An inflated price can result in your home sitting on the market longer, creating an impression among potential buyers that something is amiss. Instead, aim for a competitive and fair price, which aligns with local market trends and the value of comparable properties. Sometimes, there may even be an advantage to list below value based on your risk tolerance.


Neglecting Repairs/Updates: Every homeowner knows that wear and tear are a part of life, but failing to address necessary repairs before listing can send red flags to potential buyers. Small issues like leaky faucets or chipped tiles can signal neglect, while larger structural issues like outdated electrical, an older roof, or HVAC can significantly decrease the value of your home. We recommend conducting a pre-listing walk-through with your agent to identify items that can improve your home’s appeal and potentially increase the final selling price.


Forgetting to Stage: Staging is more than just cleaning and organizing. It involves creating an environment that helps potential buyers visualize themselves living in your home. This could mean decluttering, rearranging furniture, painting walls in neutral tones, or making aesthetic improvements. A well-staged home can create a powerful first impression and help your property stand out in a competitive market. This is something that you can discuss when you’re talking about pre-listing repairs with your agent – you’d be surprised what changes really matter and which ones may not matter as much to potential buyers. Talk with your agent about how to maximize your time and budget.


Not Accommodating Showings: Often a buyer and their agent will be seeing many homes in one appointment and scheduling can be a little like a game of Tetris where everything has to fit together just right to maximize your time. If a seller can’t accommodate the requested time (even shifting one viewing by 10-20 min can throw off the entire appointment) there’s a high likelihood that viewers will just move on to the next property.While constant showings can be inconvenient, they’re crucial to selling your home.


Not Choosing An Agent You Trust: While your agent is definitely there to provide a deep level of customer service and ensure you feel taken care of, their primary job is to apply their expertise to the sale of your home. Sometimes this means giving you unpleasant news about the current market and where your home fits in (think reducing listing price or negative feedback from showings). This kind of honest relationship takes an immense amount of trust that the person you’re working with really does have the professional market knowledge and expertise to justify whatever they’re suggesting. So when choosing an agent – ask yourself if they’ve demonstrated enough market knowledge that you’re going to trust them even if the news is not what you want to hear.


Selling a home is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can increase your chances of a successful and profitable sale. Always remember that every real estate transaction is unique, and it’s always wise to enlist the help of a real estate professional who can provide valuable guidance based on their knowledge and experience. Be proactive, do your homework, and you’re sure to navigate the home-selling process with fewer hurdles. Happy selling!

Discover Edmonton’s Flourishing Greenhouse Scene: Top Picks for Plant Enthusiasts

Thu, 15 Jun by TruHome Inc


Edmonton and surrounding areas are home to a thriving greenhouse community, offering a wealth of options for avid gardeners and plant enthusiasts. From family-owned establishments with decades of experience to unique destinations combining greenhouses with additional amenities, there’s a greenhouse to suit every gardening need. Let’s explore some of the best greenhouses in Edmonton and area, and get a glimpse into the wonderful world of plants and gardening that awaits you.

1. Greenland Garden Centre: A Horticultural Haven in Sherwood Park Tucked away in Sherwood Park, just outside of Edmonton, Greenland Garden Centre is a horticultural paradise that draws visitors from far and wide. With an extensive selection of plants ranging from vibrant flowers and lush trees to bountiful vegetables, Greenland Garden Centre is a go-to destination for all your gardening needs. Inside their greenhouse, you’ll find an array of seasonal plants, expertly tended by knowledgeable staff ready to offer advice and guidance.



2. Erdmann’s Gardens & Greenhouses: Erdmann’s Gardens & Greenhouses is a family-owned and operated farm located in Westlock County, Alberta. They grow a wide variety of vegetables, potatoes, and bedding plants, hanging baskets, and planters. Their products are available at four Farmers’ Markets in Edmonton and the surrounding area, as well as at the farm itself.




3. Salisbury Greenhouse: A Family Legacy of Gardening Excellence For over half a century, Salisbury Greenhouse has delighted Edmontonians with its commitment to providing quality plants and outstanding customer service. Situated in Sherwood Park, this family-owned greenhouse is a beloved destination for both experienced gardeners and those embarking on their green-thumb journey. With a diverse selection of indoor and outdoor plants, Salisbury Greenhouse is a haven for discovering new varieties and seeking expert advice.



4. The Enjoy Centre: A Multifaceted Greenhouse Experience The Enjoy Centre, located in St. Albert, offers a unique fusion of a greenhouse and an array of additional amenities. Step into their expansive greenhouse to discover an assortment of beautiful plants, from vibrant flowers to aromatic herbs. Beyond the greenery, The Enjoy Centre also houses a charming café, a rejuvenating spa, boutique shops, and even a farmer’s market. It’s a delightful destination where you can immerse yourself in the world of gardening while enjoying other indulgences.




5. Ellerslie Gift & Garden: A Hidden Gem in South Edmonton Conveniently situated in south Edmonton, Ellerslie Gift & Garden is a local favorite for its extensive plant selection, gardening supplies, and delightful gift items. Wander through their greenhouse, and you’ll encounter an impressive assortment of annuals, perennials, and hanging baskets. The friendly and knowledgeable staff at Ellerslie Gift & Garden are always eager to lend a helping hand and share their gardening wisdom.



Edmonton’s greenhouses provide a haven for plant enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of plant varieties, knowledgeable staff, and a captivating atmosphere. Whether you’re seeking specific plants, gardening advice, or simply a delightful browsing experience, these greenhouses are well worth a visit. From the blossoming beauty of Greenland Garden Centre to the multifaceted charm of The Enjoy Centre, Edmonton’s greenhouse scene promises a world of inspiration and possibilities for your gardening endeavours. So, grab your gardening gloves and embark on a journey of botanical discovery!

Small Spaces: Embrace Compact Gardening In YEG

Mon, 05 Jun by TruHome Inc


Having a small space doesn’t mean you have to give up on the joy and beauty of gardening. In fact, gardening in small spaces can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. This blog will guide you through the enchanting world of gardening in compact areas, helping you transform limited spaces into vibrant, green havens. Get ready to nurture your own miniature garden oasis right here in Edmonton.

Embrace Container Gardening:

Containers are your best friends when it comes to small space gardening. Opt for various sizes and shapes of pots, hanging baskets, and window boxes. This allows you to utilize vertical space and create stunning arrangements of flowers, herbs, and even vegetables.



Choose the Right Plants:

Select plants that are well-suited for small space gardening. Look for compact or dwarf varieties that don’t require excessive space to thrive. Herbs, lettuces, cherry tomatoes, and ornamental flowers like pansies and marigolds are excellent choices for small gardens.



Vertical Gardening:

Make the most of your vertical space by incorporating trellises, hanging planters, or wall-mounted systems. Train vining plants like cucumbers, beans, and peas to grow upwards, freeing up valuable ground space. You can create your own by attaching pockets or shelves to walls. This allows you to grow a variety of plants without taking up precious floor space. 



Window Sills and Balconies:

Take advantage of sunny windowsills and balconies by creating mini-gardens in containers or vertical planters. Herbs, microgreens, and small flowering plants can thrive in these spaces, bringing beauty and fresh flavours to your home.



Creative Planters:

Think outside the box and repurpose unconventional containers for your garden. Use old pallets, shoe organizers, or even recycled materials like tin cans or wine crates. Let your creativity flourish as you transform these items into unique and charming planters.



Hanging Gardens:

Hang baskets filled with cascading flowers or trailing plants to add visual interest and create a lush, suspended garden. Utilize sturdy hooks or overhead structures to bring life and greenery to eye-level spaces. If you’re looking to grow edible plants there are a multitude that are grown well in hanging baskets, our favourite being cherry tomatoes  



Companion Planting and Succession Planting:

Maximize your small space by practicing companion planting, where compatible plants are grown together to enhance growth, maximize space and repel pests. Additionally, utilize succession planting by staggering plantings to ensure a continuous harvest throughout the growing season.



Gardening in small spaces is a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of garden enthusiasts. By embracing container gardening, vertical solutions, and strategic plant selections, you can transform even the tiniest nooks into flourishing green retreats. Remember, it’s not about the size of the space but the love and care you put into it. So, grab your gardening tools and start cultivating your own slice of paradise, right in your small space. Happy gardening

Four Designer Tips When Decorating Your Condo

Thu, 18 May by TruHome Inc

Whether you plan to live in your Edmonton condo for a shorter or longer period doesn’t mean you can’t bring in designer style! There are lots of ways to make the most of your home and maximize the form and function of your space without compromising on your needs. Here are some tips to make your apartment feel even more like home!


Tip #1: Invest in Versatile Pieces

If you are purchasing new furniture pieces, think long-term. What pieces of furniture can you bring in now that will also serve you in your future home(s) as well? Think of smaller pieces that have flexibility in their utility such as small storage cabinets or console tables. These are pieces that can be used in many different rooms and areas so no matter where you go, you can take them with you. 

We love this console table as seen as an ‘entry drop spot’ with a dish for keys, a light for ambiance, and a mirror to give yourself one last check-over before heading out the door! The small scale and neutral finishes of the piece mean that it’s easy to incorporate into future areas, and it’s easy to change up the accessories to suit your evolving needs and style preferences.

This storage cabinet is used as a media unit but could also function in an office for overflow supplies or filing storage, in a bedroom for clothing or bins, or even in a dining room as a small cabinet as well.


Tip #2: Keep Things ‘Light’

Oftentimes, Edmonton condos can be on the slightly smaller side so, it’s best to trick your eye whenever you can by selecting items that are visually lighter. So with that in mind, think of lighter colors, brighter finishes, and using elements such as glass and mirrors throughout your space. 

In this space, you’ll see that our sofa, although the largest piece of furniture in the room, is a light grey color to contrast the darker floors.


We also specifically chose a glass coffee table to keep the space from being ‘bottom heavy’ which can easily happen when you have dark floors, dark furniture and pieces that are too large or visually weighted.

Even in the bedroom, we chose a light grey headboard to draw your eye up and add contrast to the light walls, but the lighter fabric stops the headboard from feeling too intrusive in the space. 

Light warm-grey fabrics are very complimentary to most spaces and universally flattering, so try to purchase your largest investment pieces in those tones for pieces that you’ll be able to take with you no matter where you go! Then you can contrast with smaller accents and accessories that bring in bold colour and pattern!


Tip #3: Take Advantage of Your Walls

Storage can sometimes be a pain point in rentals and so as such, we suggest taking advantage of your wall space wherever you can, to add increased functionality and storage. 

Wall hooks in entryways or bedrooms are great for overflow hanging and storage of everyday items.

If you are in need of a workspace, consider using tall shelving surrounding the desk to increase storage and to use it as an opportunity to showcase some of your favourite pieces. Even in a living room, a tall bookcase is a great way to take advantage of your wall space without encroaching more than you need to into your floor space to add more storage.

Even something as seemingly small as hanging wall sconces instead of using floor or table lamps is a great way to utilize your wall space, freeing up more floor space and space on the top of your furniture pieces for your everyday items. Just remember, you’ll need to patch/fill those holes when you leave but if storage and space is at a premium, it’s worth doing!


Tip #4: Add Your Personality


Our final design tip when decorating your condo is to add your personality! Even if your space may not be your “forever home”, it’s important to add elements that bring you joy so that you love your home, no matter how long you plan on staying. 


Don’t be afraid to add artwork, bring in accessories, and use color to liven your space! Keep your walls neutral, so they act as the perfect backdrop for your favourite colors, textures, and artwork. 

And remember, have fun making your condo your home! 



Featured Guest Blogger: Diana Tidswell, CID. Partner and Interior Designer at Kresswell Interiors.Diana has dedicated over 12 years to the design industry. With a passion for creating uniquely personalized spaces, she approaches each project with a perfect blend of creativity and focus. Diana’s goal is to enhance homeowners’ lives through thoughtful and innovative design solutions. If you’d like to learn more about Diana or the services of Kresswell Interiors please visit or the Kresswell Interiors Instagram page.


Buying YEG Real Estate? Here’s why you might want to consider a fixer upper

Sun, 12 Mar by TruHome Inc




When it comes to buying real estate in Edmonton, many homebuyers are drawn to new or recently renovated homes. However, there are several reasons why you might want to consider a “fixer-upper” instead. Firstly, a fixer-upper is typically priced lower than a move-in ready home. This means that you can often get more square footage and a larger lot for your money. Additionally, if you’re willing to put in some sweat equity, you can potentially increase the value of your home over time.

Another advantage of buying a home that requires renovations is the opportunity to customize the space to your liking. With a move-in ready home, you’re limited to the existing layout, finishes, and features. When renovating, you have the freedom to turn something with “good bones’ or the “perfect ” location, into your dream home – whether that means knocking down walls, installing new appliances, or adding a deck or patio.

Of course, buying a fixer-upper does come with some challenges. You’ll need to have a solid understanding of your budget and the costs associated with renovations, as well as a clear idea of what you’re looking for in a home. You’ll also need to be prepared to handle the logistics of the renovation process, including obtaining permits, hiring contractors, and managing timelines.

However, for those who are up for the challenge, a fixer-upper can be a great investment. By putting in the work to renovate and customize your home, you can create a space that truly feels like your own, while potentially increasing its value over time. So if you’re in the market for a home in Edmonton, don’t overlook the potential of a fixer-upper!

Planning For Tomorrow When You’re Buying Today

Fri, 09 Dec by TruHome Inc

Let’s be really honest for a second – there is just nothing more exciting than buying a new home and it’s so easy to get swept away in the romantic notion of the life you’re going to build there. And, so you should! There are endless possibilities waiting for you whether you’re looking to build a new Edmonton home or buy a pre-existing option. As hard as it may be to imagine, considering you’re only JUST purchasing the house, the reality is that at some point, you may want to sell. A little thoughtfulness today will go a really long way when it comes to enjoying your house more now and in the future if you choose to sell. 

When buying your home, here are a few things to consider investing in that may impact its future sale price:

  1. Location: This is about so much more than just the neighbourhood you choose, think about the physical placement of your home within the community. Is it on a main road, facing a commercial property (think large signage), perhaps there’s a condo complex obscuring your view? Just because you may be willing to overlook these things it’s not guaranteed that the next buyers will be so easy going.
  2. Lot Size: This becomes especially important in newer neighbourhoods when lot sizes can be on the smaller side. Investing in either an extra long or pie-shaped lot may end up being worth the upfront cost when it comes to the future salability of your home.
  3. Demographic Perks: If you find your desired neighbourhood caters predominantly to young families, for example, consider the needs of those families:- Does the home have a desirable yard space?
    – Is there an adequate amount of bathrooms and where in the home are those bathrooms located?
    – In an older community, with your more typical 1950’s bungalow, it is common to have a single shared bathroom on the main level, vs. in a newer neighbourhood where you might find a dedicated bathroom for the primary bedroom, and secondary bathroom for the additional bedrooms upstairs. Maybe even a half bathroom on the main floor.
    – Are there enough bedrooms and are they sizeable enough that kids can grow into them over time?
  4. Extra Space: If your budget allows, one of the greatest investments you can make is more usable space. Whether that’s a finished basement, a bonus room, a garage – anything that provides additional living or storage areas is going to be a huge draw for future buyers.
  5. Amenities & Commutability: What else does the Edmonton community you’re considering offer? Access to schools, playgrounds, convenience stores and coffee shops for example add to the walkability of a home. Homeowners also appreciate more direct routes to major roads, allowing for quicker commutability to additional shopping districts and to work.

At the end of the day everyone has to make concessions during the buying process. It’s really easy to forgo the above items for the sake of a “good deal” and save yourself a few dollars right now. If this strategy solves an otherwise unsolvable problem for you (for example: this “deal” is the only way you’ll be able to enter the homeowner arena) then it’s not a bad one. But, if you’re looking for long term gains, it might be wise to have an honest conversation with your Real Estate Agent about how you can focus the funds you have available now on the features of a home that will provide you with the best return later on.

7 Halloween Activities Happening Around YEG

Fri, 21 Oct by TruHome Inc



  1. Pumpkins After Dark (Family Friendly):

    Located in Borden Park this family friendly interactive Halloween display features over 6000 hand carved pumpkins, live pumpkin carving demonstrations, and plenty of Instagram worthy photo opportunities.

    Cost: $21.95/Adults  and $17.95/Youth (4-16 years)

    Details: Visit The Pumpkins After Dark Website

  2. DARK (18+ Recommended):

    Ever wonder what lurks around Fort Edmonton Park at night? Well now’s your chance to find out. Featuring 3 separate haunts: Under The Big Top (Knife wielding clowns anyone?), Blood Harvest (The scarecrows are up to no good), and brand new this year, 3AM Dead of Night (find out what happens during the witching hour). Prepare for the scare – this event is not for the faint of heart.

    Cost: $45 per adult

    Details: Visit The Dark Website

  3. Old Strathcona Ghost Tours:

    These walking tours are a personal favourite of some of us here at TruHome because it combines the rich history of our city with the spookier side of life. Learn all about the entities that inhabit the Strathcona Hotel, the Princess Theatre, as well as Strathcona High School as told by one of Edmonton’s most experienced storytellers. While there are no age restrictions – this activity may be a little…dry… for the kiddos and does require a fair bit of walking (in rain, snow, or shine) so please plan accordingly.

    Cost: $16.93 – $22.23 per person

    Details: Visit The Eventbrite Page

  4. Deadmonton Haunted House (18+ Recommended):

    If jump scares and gore get your Halloween vibes flowing, Deadmonton Haunted House may be just the activity you’ve been searching for. These fine folks have mastered the art of the scare in their 9 years in operation so believe us when we tell you the two featured haunts, Icons Of Darkness and Return Of The Living Dead, will be like nothing you’ve ever experienced.

    Cost: $36.99 per adult

    Details: Visit The Deadmonton Website

    * Pro Tip: If you’re looking to amp of the level of terror… consider booking the “Lights Out” pass where you’ll navigate the entire haunt with in the Dark


  5. Highlevel Bridge Haunted Trolley Tour:

    Another deep dive into the creepier side of YEG – this historical tour takes you across the North Saskatchewan River in the Highlevel Bridge Streetcar (a rich part of Edmonton’s history in it’s own right) as your regaled with tales of the ghosts that call our city home.

    Cost: $43.45 per adult

    Details: Visit The Event Page

  6. Front Yards in Gloom – Halloween Themed Front Yard Displays in Edmonton (Family Friendly):

    Starting on October 28th, take in the beauty of the city in this self guided tour of all the best Halloween decorations around the city. You can even participate in the process and vote for your favourites. A winner will be selected on October 30th and crowned the winner of Front Yards In Gloom.

    Cost: FREE (This tour is self guided)

    Details: Visit The Event Page

  7. Halloween Skelebration (Family Friendly):

    Telus World of Science is the place to be during this spooky season! Whether it’s attending FrightFest and  watching vintage horror movies on the IMAX screen or a Halloween themed laser show with the kiddos – there is literally something for everyone. We’re most excited to learn the Anatomy of Skeletons in the Health Zone and dance with ghosts at the costume party on October 29th. We all know the potential for quick weather shifts here in Edmonton, so this is a great option to keep in your back pocket in the event the weather takes a turn.

    Cost: Varies based on activities

    Details: Visit The Telus World Of Science Webpage

7 Places You Need To Visit In Edmonton’s Warehouse District

Fri, 29 Jul by TruHome Inc


We’ve all heard of the Ice District and the Brewery District, but did you know that Edmonton has a district dedicated to warehouses? If you are familiar with downtown, it is likely that you have been in the Warehouse District without even knowing it. A little background on the Warehouse District: during the first decade of the 20th century, the Hudson’s Bay Company began selling its land holdings in this area, and businesses were quick to move in. Between 1909 and 1914, no fewer than two dozen warehouses were constructed.

Located between Jasper Avenue & 104th Avenue & 103rd Street and 109th Street you will find Edmonton’s iconic Warehouse District—filled with, you guessed it, warehouses. Even though it may not sound glamorous, Edmonton developers have turned these buildings into one-of-a-kind spaces that are filled with iconic restaurants, bars and local companies. Here are 7 places you need to visit in Edmonton’s Warehouse District!

1. Warehouse Park

Downtown cores in any city often lack greenery, and Edmonton is no exception—for now. Coming soon, the areas between 106th Street and 108th Street will be turned into an inclusive, multi-use green space featuring large, open areas that invite citizens and visitors to reflect and explore. This new park will expand across a large portion of the Warehouse District, covering 1.47 hectares.

This space will be an “urban oasis” and is destined to be adored by Downtown residents and workers. If you would love to learn more about this incredible project and its timeline, visit this link.


2.  Mercer Warehouse

This building is a not-so-well-kept secret that is home to many incredible businesses. Owned and operated by Gather Co., here is what you can find in the Mercer Warehouse:


Home and Away  is a sports bar that is originally from Calgary. This restaurant will be home to Oilers games, great food, drinks and good times!

Rostizado is an elevated, creative Mexican cuisine restaurant served in stylish surroundings accented with brick & exposed wood.

Baijiu is an Energetic, hip outlet offering sharable Asian-inspired plates & cocktails in a dimly-lit space. This restaurant serves some of Edmonton’s best cocktails!


Small Businesses:

Weekly – Trim True is a laid-back hair salon that is well-known in the hair industry. Some of Edmonton’s top hair stylists work out of the Mercer Warehouse location

Shoe Shine Shack is a shoe shining service. Bring in all kinds of shoes—they are experts at them all!

HypeFetish is a clothing and shoe store. Shop brands such as Supreme, Bape, Off White, Yeezy and many more.

dealcloser is a legal technology software company with its home base located right here in the Mercer Warehouse. If you’re a lawyer, check out this software!

Betable is a London-based company that develops and markets a real-money gambling platform for the social gaming industry. Their Edmonton office is located out of the Warehouse District!

Communatio YEG is Edmonton’s one and only car sharing service, allowing you to rent cars by the minute through an app!

Todoruk Designs is a fashion designer (Kathleen Todoruk) who has a unique design and a passion for textiles.


3. Metals Building

Located in the Metals Unlimited Erecteo building on 104th Street and 101 Avenue, DOSC (which stands for Drunken Ox, Sober Cat) is a funky local option for informal daytime dining, freshly mixed cocktails & a range of steaks. During the day, you will find business people working while drinking coffee or friends catching up over some baked goods. In the evening, DOSC is known for its one-of-a-kind cocktails, great atmosphere and meat-forward dishes.


4. Cecil Place

After many changes to the exterior of this building, you may not even notice that Tiffin is located in one of Edmonton’s oldest warehouses, now called Cecil Place. Until 2014, this location was home to Sobey’s. Now, it is one of Downtown residents and workers’ favourite places to grab a meal. Trust is, if you are a fan of Indian food, this place is a must try!


5. Icon I and II

Though the name of this warehouse is unknown, the residential condo buildings Icon I and II are built on top of old warehouses. At its base, this warehouse is home to several local Edmonton businesses—here are a few:

Evoolution is an olive oil and accessory store known for its unique flavours and educated staff. At Evoolution you will find oils, vinegars, salts, seasonings, chocolate and snacks that you won’t find elsewhere!

The Black Pearl is a vibrant, maritime-themed eatery offering raw oysters, a range of classic seafood dishes & cocktails.

Credo Coffee is much more than merely a place to run in for coffee: it is a place to connect, to relax, to discuss, and to feel at home.

Ono Poke Co. is a modern, informal outpost serving custom & signature poke bowls with varied toppings.

Kelly’s Pub is a lively hangout with exposed brick walls offering clever pub grub, sports on TV & happy hour deals.


6. Revillion Building

Built in 1912, the Revillon Building was, for many years, the most modern building in Edmonton. Revillon Frères, the international furriers of Paris, built it when members of the extended family came to Edmonton in 1906 to establish a warehouse for their fur-buying business. Now, this building is home to many local businesses. Here are a few:

Evolution Wonderlounge is a hopping gay bar offering cocktails, bottle service, DJs & dancing, with regular drag shows & events.

Sabor is an upscale eatery offering Portuguese & Spanish cuisine, with traditional tapas & wine.

Bodega is a warm, rustic spot for an array of Spanish tapas & paella plus wines served in a high-ceiling room.


7. Phillips Building

Located in the main floor of the Phillips Lofts Building in a repurposed warehouse called the Phillips Building, Cavern is an artisanal cheese joins wine, beer & espresso restaurant that features an intimate, brick-walled cheese shop & wine bar. 

We hope you learned a thing or two about Edmonton’s Warehouse District and we encourage you to check it out when you’re in the area. Maybe we will even see you there!

From Ukraine To Edmonton: Week One As A Host Family

Thu, 07 Jul by TruHome Inc







A month ago, my husband Roberto approached me with the idea of wanting to do something in the face of the tragedy of the Russia and Ukrainian war—navigating what we could do as a family and how we could best help those truly in need. 


While neither my husband nor I am of Ukrainian descent, imagining what these families were enduring was unimaginable to us.  Roberto remembers the hardships of coming to Canada as a young boy, what it was like to learn a new culture, a new life and let go of his previously known life. For me, a lot of my family resides in Finland, and knowing how close they are to the wrath of Russia is definitely scary too… 


We recently moved into a new home with a lot more space (transitioned from a 2 bedroom condo) and so decided to explore the journey of hosting a family. We connected with a group on Facebook and started discussions with one of the organizers. They have a long list of people waiting to find family partners. After getting to know our family through a couple of conversations, they recommended 3 family profiles to us and we had the opportunity to chat with them via video with the help of a translator. Scheduling between different time zones was tricky, but within a few days we were able to chat with the husband of the family we ended up choosing to host. Overall it was a really, really fast experience, from connecting to them, to flying here was less than 3 weeks in total. We are now a week in and learning a huge amount as well.  Below is some advice that we are learning first hand with our family – week one: 


  1. Not every family will be the right family for you and that is okay. 


We really had to consider what type of family we were comfortable housing. How many people? Is it a single mom and kids, or an entire family? How many children and what ages would fit well with our family? How can we best help them navigate the things they need to both live and thrive here in Edmonton? How long would they be with us? Do they have pets? Do they speak much English?


Each of these questions would be different for everyone. One of the toughest for us was whether we wanted children the same age as our boys (3 and 6) or a different complimentary age/gender. Another one was understanding what supports were in place to assist the family when it comes to finding employment in Canada. In truth, we are still navigating this one. 


In the end, the right fit ended up being more people than we originally expected, a family of 5 – 3 girls (8,11 and 13) and their mom and dad. 


  1. We Need To Communicate Somehow


Seriously, google translate is such a lifesaver for us. Our guests are slowly learning English but for the most part, we have relied heavily on Google Translator to connect. Sometimes it feels like we are playing a game of charades but overall the apps have greatly improved how we can communicate on a daily basis. Something we didn’t realize or consider was what language we were needing to translate. The dad was raised mostly speaking Russian, while the mom and girls do know Ukrainian too. In fact, ⅓ of the Ukrainian’s native language has been Russian, however, due to the war, this appears to have caused some conflict and many are trying to distance themselves from speaking Russian due to this. That being said, ultimately getting clarity of communication is most important and whether we speak/translate in English, Ukrainian or Russian, for us it doesn’t matter. We just wanted to ensure we could understand each other best. 


  1. There are many steps to get started here in Canada – be patient and take one step at a time


There were so many things we needed to organize for our guests, beyond the physical space. 


  • Arriving At The Airport: If you can, it is best to organize transportation from the airport to your home. Many people that arrive will have limited funds for getting from point A to point B, so it is important to be mindful of this. When you get to the Edmonton International Airport, there is a booth set up with information for Ukrainian travellers pertaining to some of the items that need to be done. The good news is that this information is available in both English and Ukrainian. The Red Cross presently is set up there too but only open from 3 pm – 8 pm. The red cross has some handouts, but may vary – our guests received some gift cards to Save on Foods. 
  • Getting their SIN Cards: While you can mail in your SIN card application, we decided to visit Service Canada and walk in. It did take a couple of hours, but it was worth it to get it done quicker. We went to the West End Service Canada location, here in Edmonton as we knew downtown would have much longer wait times. 
  • Getting A Bank Card: We decided to go with Servus, as it seems like they were offering the most value for Ukrainian refugees. This was recommended to us by another Ukrainian refugee who has been a great help in helping us better understand the culture. Presently for opening a bank account, a Ukrainian refugee gets $250.00 cash back, 24 months of no bank fees and a MasterCard with $1500 worth of credit. 
  • Applying For Alberta Health Care – Simply fill out the form from AHS and drop it off at any Alberta registry, however, do note that there is about a 2 month lag in processing time due to high volumes. 
  • Getting A SIM Card For Their Phones: Phone packages in Canada, again a higher fee than most would expect. The red cross at one point was giving free SIM cards from Roger’s Chatr, but these have been long gone in Edmonton for months. We ended up finding a fairly good rate through Fido as it allowed them to be on a month-to-month with high data (20 GBs) and no credit check. People have also expressed Bell has some good options too. 
  • Getting A Bus Pass: Edmonton Bus passes for Ukrainian refugees are significantly reduced, but the cost of it will still most likely come as a surprise as many of our basic costs are higher than what our families have experienced in their home country or other parts of Europe. Compared to our normal bus pass fee of $100.00, it is $35.00 and includes a leisure pass. You can read more here. 
  • Applying For Finanacial Aid: The government of Canada has a one time financial assistance program that is a non-taxable benefit. Each person 18+ can receive $3000 and each dependent child $1500.  


There are still more things we are researching and working on, so stay tuned for more updates on this. 


  1. There are some unique resources set up for Ukrainians:


  • Ukrainian Free Store: There is a Pop-up Ukrainian free store downtown open Wednesdays and Saturdays where you can find toiletries, clothes and other items your guest family may want and need. They are also seeking donations and most in need of basic necessities – shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, socks, underwear and shoes. 
  • Children’s Summer Camps: We are still exploring this, but some are offering the experiences at no-cost to Ukrainian refugee children. Check out Camp Bar-v-nok and Camp Oselia
  • Useful Facebook Groups: I’m looking on some of the Facebook pages to see if I can find additional information that would be helpful to the family we are hosting. 


  1. They Really Become An Extension of Your Family


While we have been helping our guest family navigate many of these things mentioned, they have also blessed us more than we would have ever imagined. Within the first few days, we had heavy rain that resulted in our water wells filling up. They were there helping us reduce the water and even helping us clean out our gutters to avoid further issues. We have enjoyed many home-cooked meals and have extra hands around the house to visit with, play with our boys and aid in the day-to-day. 


They have joined us for our son’s 6th birthday party, have surprised our boys with little gifts (drawing cards, candy and other surprises) and the mom has trusted me to bring her girls to our son’s last day of school activities. We are making new friends and trusting each other to navigate the day-to-day to best support everyone.  


While many describe us as being amazing for this, what people don’t realize is how blessed we are to welcome this beautiful family into our home. They are enriching our lives for the better and our hearts are truly so full because of this experience. 


We have worked together to establish what works in terms of shared roles – cooking, cleaning, spending time with all the children and have worked towards strategies that feel good for all of us and that feels fair and focusing on our individual strengths. 


This is only week one and my family is excited to continue to get to know our guest family and support them on their journey to calling Edmonton and Canada home. 


At TruHome, for me – our role is always to focus on ways we can better build community and I wanted to share this experience with our TruHome friends and followers as being a host family is very much about helping our guests find their TruHome both physically and emotionally here in our beautiful city.  

How To Save Up For A Down Payment On A Home In Edmonton

Sat, 02 Jul by TruHome Inc


Saving up for a down payment is difficult—we know that. And what’s more, saving up for a down payment in 2022 is even harder than years past. Inflation in Canada is changing the way many of us look at paying bills and saving money, but that doesn’t mean that buying a home needs to be out of the question.

To save for a home, you must prioritize your spending, cut down on unnecessary expenses, and/or increase your income. And don’t forget—you will also need to be conscious of your credit score to ensure that you can get approved for a mortgage.

1. Find how much you need to save

Before setting a budget and finding ways to get you to your desired saved amount, the first step is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Doing this will allow you to know how much money you need to save, as well as allow you to shop homes within your budget. The average homebuyer needs to put down between 5% and 20% of the home’s cost. You can do this by going to your bank’s website and using their online calculator!

2. Set a weekly budget

It is so easy to swipe your credit card and forget about your purchases until it is the end of the month and your bills come in. But if you are looking to purchase a home in the near future, your credit card should be left at home.

Canada has access to some incredible Canadian-owned prepaid credit cards that have been proven to help people with budgeting. Companies like KOHO and Neo are just two options to look into. With these cards, you can set a weekly budget while also earning rewards for spending your money at certain places—this is usually in cash back! An additional perk is that these cards come with handy free mobile apps that help you track your spending categories.

3. Increase your income

We know that increasing your income may not come easily to everyone, but this is an easy way to save up quicker for your dream home. You can do this in one of four ways:

  • Ask for a raise at your current job
  • Switch to a job that has a higher salary
  • Start investing
  • Pick up a side gig

Nowadays, Millennials and Gen Z are well-acquainted with the side gig. This can be in many ways: freelance writing, dog walking, opening an Etsy shop, voiceovers, taking quizzes… you name it! Any of these side gigs can get you anywhere between $250–$1000 of extra income each month.

4. Save on rent

It goes without saying that living completely on your own can be challenging. With bills steadily increasing, the cost of living is becoming difficult for many.

Consider swapping out that two bedroom for a studio, or maybe even bringing on a roommate or two to split on costs! Do you have a good relationship with your parents or a family member? Maybe they have some space for you to hunker down for a while.

5. Set up automatic withdrawals

Life is busy and it is so easy to forget to move your money around at the end of each month. Book a meeting with your bank to discuss setting up automatic withdrawals that go to a secure account that you don’t have everyday access to. After some time, you won’t even realize that the money is leaving your account. Consider setting up withdrawals of $100–$500 each month. Imagine, after a year you can have $6,000 saved for your down payment!

6. Look for a cheaper way of doing things

It can be so easy to get used to a life of luxury—but just because you are saving up for one of your largest purchases yet doesn’t mean that you have to give it all up. Here are some suggestions on common everyday purchases that can be made cheaper:

Nails: instead of heading to the salon every 2 weeks for a new set of nails, purchase a kit online and do it yourself at home. Kits usually cost ~$50 to get set up, which is around the same cost of your bi-weekly nail appointment.

Clothing: stop purchasing brand new clothes. If you are in need of a new article of clothing, check out your local thrift shops first. If you didn’t find what you were looking for, try shopping on Poshmark or Facebook Marketplace.

Vacations: traveling is a privilege, but you can still make do on a budget. Check out Swoop or Flair for cheap flights, and once you get to your destination, consider renting out a private room at an Airbnb or staying in a hostel. Better yet, do a getaway to close-by Canadian cities like Vancouver, Calgary or Winnipeg.

Eating out: we all deserve a nice night out every once in a while, but if you are a true foodie, consider getting takeout and sitting in the park with a friend. This removes the need for a tip! Or, get crafty in the kitchen and invite your friends over for a potluck.

Entertainment: concerts, shows and movies can easily rack up your chequing account. Instead of spending money during your spare time, find free things around Edmonton! Thankfully for us, our city is filled with many free activities—especially in the summertime. Check out the Fringe, Edmonton Street Performers, free concerts in Churchill Square and more!
Books & movies: there is something so special about opening up a brand new book and getting started on the story. But what do you do with those books once you’re finished with them? The Edmonton Library has so many free books, movies and games—all when you sign up for a library card.

The list doesn’t end there. Let us know if you think of any more ways to save money easily!

7. Invest your savings

Though we are far from being financial advisors, it is proven that investing your money can be the easiest and fastest way to increase your income. Investing can be daunting and worrisome, so if you don’t trust yourself to make the right decisions and grow your investments, hire someone to do it for you! Edmonton is filled with so many talented investment brokerages. Send us a message to get our suggestions!

8. Borrow from your RRSP

If you have been building up your RRSP for some time, did you know that you can withdraw up to $25,000 from it (without any penalty) to put towards your first home? But be warned—there is a catch. Within 15 years, you are expected to pay back the full amount. If you don’t repay in time, the borrowed amount is considered income and you will be taxed on that amount. If this is something that you are considering doing, please contact your financial advisor beforehand!

9. Find programs or incentives you can utilize

The City of Edmonton, Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada offer incentives that can empower first time home buyers to purchase their dream home. This is done through programs like the First Time Home Buyer Program, the City of Edmonton’s First Place Program, Down Payment Assistance Program and many more. We highly encourage every first time home buyer to do their research and see what programs apply to them!

We hoped this inspired you to start saving for your dream home! If you have any questions regarding down payments, homes in your budget or anything in between, feel free to reach out to us at any time. We hope to work with you when you are ready!

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