Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

Trusted Regina shares a tip on Deck Construction

Here they share a great tip on Deck Construction:

When it comes to deck construction, there are several options to consider when building the structure. Some of these options are: joists, beams, post size, supports, and spacking; decking thickness, guard railing height and spindle spacing.

  • Joists are used to support the decking surface material that is walked on. The size and spacing are directly proportional; that is, as the size of the joist increases, the allowable spacing also increases. Larger joists can carry a larger load, so fewer joists are required.

  • Beams are provided to support the end and sometimes middle of the joists to reduce excessive vertical flexing and side to side (lateral) movement. As with the joists, the size and spacing of the beams are directly proportional.
  • Deck posts transfer the load from the beams to the ground, which is a very important job. Deck posts should be at least 15 ¼ cm x 15 ½ cm (6"x6") unless the deck is very close to the ground. Large decks may require larger posts, or posts spaced closer together. 


  •  The guard/railing should be very sturdy and high enough to prevent people from falling over. The requirement for guards and the appropriate height is mandated by local building codes and varies from municipality to municipality. 

  • In most cases, your clients need to get building permits for their decks. Some municipalities only require a permit if the deck is a certain height above ground or if it is anchored to the house. In addition to local building department requirements, the local planning and zoning department should be consulted to confirm if there are any limitations.a



Robert MacKay your Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer expert shares a tip on Legal Fees

It’s an exciting time – the old house is sold, the new one is ready, and all that’s left is the move…..oh wait – not quite yet! There’s all that legal “stuff” to deal with now….signatures….titles to be given…and pages and pages of documents that need to be signed before the key is in your hand!!! And to top it all off – who really knows a good real estate lawyer?

MacKay & McLean provides the professional services of a large Regina law firm, with the intimate attention of a small firm. The legal process can be daunting and overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. MacKay & McLean is with you every step of the way.


Here Robert shares a tip on Legal Fees:

What does it cost?

Legal Fees

Most people wonder about lawyer’s fees. Maybe you saw it on TV or you have heard of lawyers charging $200, $400 maybe even $600 an hour. Maybe you have even dealt with a lawyer all before and can recall only a couple phone conversations lasting only a few minutes each and ten or so minutes during office visit to sign papers.

What isn't seen, is all the time it takes to check titles, request and receive mortgage instructions, prepare the mortgage documents, have them checked for accuracy, have them signed and witnessed, deal with the other party's lawyer, receive pay-outs (if applicable), complete interim and final reports to all parties, trust accounting reports to the law society, among many other possible tasks that often arise.

Further, people tend to not see the risk that lawyers ensure against in real estate transactions. Most real estate transactions involve loans of $100,000's of thousands of dollars and assets of $100,000's of thousands of dollars. Lawyers oversee most of the financial aspects of a transaction and ensure that the exchange of title(s) for money happens, as it is supposed to. Considerable risk to the lawyer is involved in doing so.

Therefore, in most real estate transactions, the actual legal fees charged are dependent upon the value of the property involved, whether or not there is a mortgage, whether there are multiple transactions and how quickly the lawyer is required to close the deal.

The Law Society of Saskatchewan has a tariff that serves as a guideline for legal fees in real estate transactions. For example, for the purchase of a $105,000 home with a mortgage, the recommended fee is $950.00. Disbursements are additional. Lawyers who specialize in residential real estate may charge less than the suggested tariff amount. Fees may also be more for complicated or higher risk transactions or where other services are provided.

Consider asking for an estimate in writing. This simple precaution resolves most misunderstandings that may arise over the final bill, as to what was or was not included in the original fees quoted.

ISC – Land Titles Fees

Information Services Corporation (ISC), i.e. Land Titles, charges fees for title searches, mortgage registration or discharge and for transfer of ownership. The fee to register land under $500,000 in value is 3% of the land value. A $100,000 property would, therefore, cost $300 to register. Most mortgages cost $150 to register. Title searches cost $10.00 each and usually three searches per title are required on the average purchase transaction.

Tax Adjustment

Property taxes are paid to the local municipality. Buyers may have to pay to reimburse sellers for taxes already paid, pay the taxes for the entire year or pay a prorated share. Depending on the value of the property and the time of year, this can be several thousand dollars. Your lawyer should be able to provide you an estimate of the cash required for taxes on closing.

CMHC Fees for Low down payment Mortgages

Anytime you put less than 25% down, you usually pay someone like CMHC, GE Capital or a finance company, a premium which can end up being as high as 3.5% of the amount borrowed. The more you put down the lower the premium. In addition to the premium there is a $165.00 application fee to pay.

Title Insurance or Surveyors Certificate

If your transaction involves a mortgage, most lenders make their loan to you conditional on their being a surveyor's certificate (a.k.a. real property report) or that their mortgage be title insured. Credit Unions in Saskatchewan are an exception to the rule and if the lender is Western based, i.e. from B.C. or Alberta, they require that the mortgage be title insured regardless of whether there is a surveyor's certificate or not. A Surveyors Certificate is a drawing that shows the position and size of any buildings in relation to the property lines of the plot of land. It confirms or refutes whether all buildings fall inside the property and whether any buildings encroach on the property. The cost for a new real property report is usually between $600.00 - 800.00 dollars. Title insurance is generally used when a Surveyors Certificate or Real Property Report is not available. However, title insurance does much more. Title insurance may protect you against defects in title, fraud, renovation work done without proper permits or approvals, outstanding work orders by the municipality, unforeseen condominium assessments and, in some cases, even some mistakes made by lawyers. Title insurance is usually obtained through your lawyer, who will provide the title insurer with the details surrounding your transaction. Title inurance premiums are around $135.00 - 250.00 dollars but premiums vary depending on whether one get both a lender and an owner policy, if the deal exceeds $500,000 or if it is a commercial transaction. Also, lawyers generally charge an admin fee of approximately $75.00 dollars to cover the extra time and paperwork involved.


When you buy property or have a mortgage on a property, you are usually required to insure the buildings against damage from fire and other hazards. Make sure you have replacement cost fire insurance.

You NEED to have fire insurance in place or effective at least one day in advance of taking possession. If you are refinancing an existing mortgage you may be required to have the new lender listed as the second loss payable before the lender will advance funds.

Your insurance agent will have to fax your lawyer confirmation of fire insurance. Your lawyer should be able to provide a form to assist with this task.

Note, if you have children or dependents, then you may wish to consider mortgage insurance, disability insurance, and critical illness insurance. An insurance broker can advise on the different types of coverage and the costs associated with each.


Robert MacKay is your Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer  


Trusted Regina Real Estate Agent tip on Packing tips


Trusted Regina Real Estate Agent


 tip on 14 Packing Hacks To Make Your Next Move As Painless As Possible:

Everyone you know is probably moving right now. 

That’s because April, May, and June are the highest traffic months of the year for moving thanks to mild weather and college kids finishing school and finding post-grad housing.

If you’re one of the countless people getting new digs this season, these 14 tips will make packing and unpacking less horrible.

Get free moving boxes. If you're not the type of person to save big boxes, ask friends and coworkers if they have any spare ones you can use. A lot of people break down boxes and keep them, and they would be more than happy for you to borrow them.

Furniture stores may also have a wide variety of box sizes for you to use. Ask if they recycle their boxes and if you can take them or buy them at a steep discount.

Take a picture of how your electronics are connected before unplugging. This way, you won’t need to try and remember what goes where, and it will be easy to see how everything connects once you've moved in.

Pack an overnight bag. It's common after a long day of moving to be too tired to unpack right away. Everyone should pack an overnight bag with toiletries, PJs, a change of clothes, and any electronics and cords you'll want immediately.

                                     Nail holes can be filled with soap. 

Fill nail holes with a bar of soap. This is a simple hack that easily covers up any small nail holes. Rub the soap (Dove soap works well) in small circular motions until the hole is completely filled in. Then take a wash cloth and lightly rub off any soap residue from around the hole. 

This tip doesn’t work as well with painted walls, but it works shockingly well for plain white ones. You can see a full tutorial here.

Put the tools you'll need right away into a clear plastic box. This includes moving essentials like a box cutter, paper towels, trash bags, eating utensils, cookware, power strips, phone chargers, toilet paper, toolbox, etc. Using a clear bin will allow you to see everything that’s inside the box for easy access.

Wrap breakables in clothing. There's no need to go out and spend money on bubble wrap or paper. Instead, put socks inside glassware and wrap shirts and sweaters around plates and other delicate objects. This way you save money and pack items you would've had to pack anyways in one fell swoop.

Use sandwich bags for cords and screws. For those taking apart bigger objects like tables or beds, keep all the screws and nails in a labeled plastic sandwich bag that says "bed" or "dining room table" for quick assembly. The same goes for TV cords and cables.

Keep clothes on hangers for fast unpacking. There's no need to pack hangers and clothes separately — stick them in a wardrobe box or into your suitcase with the hangers still attached. You'll appreciate this especially when you can take out all the hangers and have your closet come together super fast.

                                     Boxes should be packed by room. 

Pack boxes by room. Knowing what box belongs in which room negates the need to go searching for items in other boxes. Just be sure to label the boxes correctly. 

Leave your clothing in drawers. A drawer is a box with no top — leave your shirts, pants, and underwear in the drawers and take them out of the dresser or table. Wrap the top with cling wrap to keep everything in place until you reach your new home and then just sick the drawers back where they belong.

Remember the physics of boxes. Pack small items in large boxes and large items in small boxes. The logic behind this is that heavy items are far more likely to come crashing through the middle of a large box. Also, pack heavier items at the bottom of the box and lighter items toward the top of the box.

Books are the major exception. If you fill a big box with a bunch of small books, the weight is going to add up and the box is going to be too heavy to carry. Use medium boxes instead.

Have any area rugs professionally cleaned before your move. They will return from the cleaners rolled, wrapped, and ready to be packed (plus, clean!).

                          Take a picture of your home before moving in. 

Put a string underneath tape.  Leave a little tail of string hanging out at the end of the tape as you pack your boxes. It’s an extra step, but this will allow you to simply yank the string and rip up the tape when you’re unpacking, saving you time and effort looking for scissors or box cutters.


Take pictures of your old home and new home all unpacked. If you’re renting, you should do this before and after moving in. That way if picky landlords or new tenants try to gouge your for a hole or a scratch, you’ll have a record of what the home looked like before and after.



Trusted Regina caterer share a Marshmallow Whip Cheesecake Recipe








Graham Cracker Crust:

·         40 squares of graham crackers (crushed)

·         1/2 cup sugar

·         1/2 cup butter or margarine (melted)

·         Mix above ingredients.

·         Press into top and sides of 9 x 13 greased pan.

·         Reserve 1/2 cup for top.



·         10 1/2 oz. large marshmallows (40 marshmallows)

·         3/4 cup milk

·         2 – 8-oz. packages of cream cheese

·         12-oz. Container of fat-free Cool Whip



·         Melt marshmallows and milk over low heat.

·         Beat cream cheese; add marshmallow mixture.

·         Cool. Fold in Cool Whip.

·         Spread into crust and sprinkle with remaining graham cracker crust.

·         Refrigerate until set.

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