Flip This House exposed: The “unreal” side of reality TV

Flip this house exposed: the unreal side of reality tv

This is not exactly important real estate news but I couldn’t resist writing a small snip about this story.


It seems that the popular A&E reality program, “Flip This House” has run a number of episodes which amount to nothing more than a sham. Featuring self proclaimed “real estate developer” Sam Leccima, the episodes represent his renovation projects as having been sold for huge profits. As it turns out, most of them haven’t actually sold and at least one of them wasn’t actually renovated.


To make matters worse, it’s clear that Sam Leccima is the target of a number of civil suits from prospective investors who trusted him to invest their money wisely. One gentleman claims to have lost $100,000 to the smooth talking television celebrity.


A&E claims to have no knowledge of the sham and they have pulled all episodes which feature Leccima from their re-run schedule.


Thanks to Doug Quance for the heads up on this bit. Doug is an Atlanta based agent who has been on top of this home town story since October of last year when he noticed some of Sam’s sold properties were still listed for sale.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Women drive housing demand and hammer away at renovations

Women drive housing demand and hammer away at renovations

The “2007 Royal LePage Female Buyers Report” was released this morning.   The report which marries findings from a national consumer poll with anecdotal research examines buying habits of Canadian women.  Among some of the findings, the report found that women are playing an increasingly significant role in the real estate market.  In fact, of single women who are not yet homeowners, 31 per cent say they will potentially purchase their next home within three years and 30 per cent already own.


With a cheque book firmly in one hand and a hammer confidently in the other single female homebuyers of all ages continue to knock down barriers by purchasing real estate and tackling home repairs. Currently, 30 per cent of single, never-before married women own their own home, while 45 per cent of divorced or separated women and 64 per cent of widowed women are homeowners, according to the Royal LePage Female Buyers Report released today.


Click here for the media release and access to the entire report.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Keeping water out of your basement

Water out of your basement

It’s starting to look like spring has arrived. Following a winter with precipitation levels which were 40% above the average, and with plus zero temperatures predicted for most days over the next couple of weeks, it’s about to get wet. The City of Saskatoon has issued a warning that a little preventative maintenance is in order if you’d like to keep the spring melt off from ending up in your basement.

Here are the tips they’ve provided to prevent a basement flood.


  • Remove snow from around your foundation and window wells.
  • Most lots drain along the outside edges. Remove snow from these areas.
  • Keep the snow in your yard because shoveling it onto streets or lanes could block drainage.
  • Clear snow and ice from around the bottom of your downspouts and extend downspouts at least two metres so water drains away from your foundation.
  • Where possible and safe, help clear snow, ice, and debris from the catch basins in your area.
  • Check your roof and eaves troughs for excessive snow.
  • Consider hiring a professional to clear snow from your roof.
  • A roof rake may help you to clear snow and debris from the edge of your roof.
  • Consider using sandbags to block water from entering low lying areas beside your foundation.
  • If water is getting close to your foundation, use an appropriate pump to drain it to the gutter or back lane.
  • Please use all equipment properly and follow safety guidelines.

Best wishes for a dry spring.

Hot housing trends for 2007

Ourdoor fireplace I came across an article on CNN Money titled, “5 home trends we never saw coming” which highlights some unusual items which more buyers are apparently looking for.


We’ve known for a number of years that many buyers are going for larger homes, so perhaps these top trends shouldn’t come as any real surprise.


CNN credits Mark Nash, author of Real Estate A-Z for Buying and Selling a Home who gathered this information in a recent survey which involved 923 real estate brokers, agents and industry experts were interviewed.

Here’s what Mr. Nash sees coming:

  • Upscale garages – “Today’s owners want their garages decked out with cabinet and storage systems, matching refrigerators, air conditioning and residential looking flooring.”
  • Personal Space – Nash calls it “caving” but the bottom line is personal space where people can find a little privacy to work or relax.
  • Rejuvenation rooms – Spaces set up for exercise, meditation, yoga, saunas and steam showers.
  • Heated patios – Expanding your living space to outdoor areas makes sense and there’s nothing like an outdoor fireplace or a natural gas heater to add a few weeks to both ends of the season.
  • Snoring rooms – A “snoring room” is simply an additional bedroom off of the master bedroom.

My wife asked me what a snoring room is and I described at as a comfortable room which she could use to escape my snoring. She said she thought it is more likely to become a comfortable room which I could use to escape her elbows. 🙂


Topping the list of features which we can expect to see less of? Spiral staircases, bamboo and laminate flooring.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Tips on hiring a contractor to renovate your home

Renovate your Saskatoon Home

I’m hearing that more people are considering renovating their Saskatoon homes as a result of the limited selection of properties available in our new and resale real estate market so this seemed like a timely post.


An interesting video clip appears on New York broker Barbara Corcoran’s blog. “Dump to Dream House” features Barbara on ABC’s Good Morning America and chronicles one home owner’s quest to turn their dump into a dream home and it provides some good tips on how to hire a contractor for home renovation projects.

Barbara had a new tip I hadn’t heard before which I thought was an excellent idea. She suggests that you walk the contactor back to his truck as he leaves your home and take note of its condition. “If it’s a mess, the job he’s going to run will be a total mess. You have to appreciate that the truck is that contractor’s office and how he manages his truck is exactly how he’s going to manage your job.” Good one Barbara!


Barbara also points to the importance of asking good questions. You might want to check out CMHC’s tips as well which provides a list of questions and other items you should be thinking about when you hire a contractor.


Check Barbara’s appearance on Good Morning America here. (no longer available)

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate