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My Saskatoon Blog

Why Stand Up Paddle Boarding is the Perfect Summer Activity

posted by Elle    |   July 4, 2014 16:30

If you haven't tried stand up paddle boarding yet, this could be your year! Its becoming more and more popular in our province, and it is one of my favourite summer activities for several reasons. There are a lot of variables when it comes to outdoorsy stuff in the hot Saskatchewan summer. I find that stand up paddle boarding strikes the perfect balance, enabling you to do all of the following things at once!

Photo Credit: Fitness Solutions

Enjoy Your Surroundings

Summer in Saskatchewan doesn't seem to happen very often, so its nice to have opportunities to really soak up the nature that surrounds us in the warm months. Stand up paddle boarding gives you a nice view of your surroundings, as you have the ability to see right down into the water, and the freedom to enjoy the wildlife and other elements of nature as you paddle along. Because your vessel is not motorized, you can enjoy the sounds of nature to the fullest. Soak up that sun and breathe in that fresh summer air! 

Enjoy Your Company

Spending time in nature with the people you love is summer bliss! Stand up paddle boarding gives you the ability to set your pace, so you can enjoy conversation with your companions as you paddle. You can also paddle directly alongside your comrades, which makes conversation easier than in some other crafts like canoes and two-seater kayaks where you are stuck looking at your friend's back. Because the paddle board doesn't produce sound, you don't have to strain to carry on a conversation as you do with motorized water sports. 

Stay Cool

I find stand up paddle boarding to be the perfect intensity level for a hot day out in the sun. I don't know about you, but many other outdoor activities are just too labour intensive for me in the heat of a summer day! I of course love being active in the summertime, preferring activities that I can perform at a leisurely pace so as not to overheat. There is also often a nice breeze out on the water that can take the edge off even the hottest of days. 

Stay Dry

Not everyone loves getting wet, and not every body of water in Saskatchewan is appropriate for a dip. Fortunately, the width of the paddle board board makes it very easy to maintain your balance and not fall in the water. I have only ever fallen in against my will once, and it was because I wasn't paying attention. If you are intending to stay on your board, you will. That being said, a life jacket is a good idea as a precaution. 

Get a Full Body Workout

The upright position of your body while paddle boarding provides a full body workout. As your muscles work to maintain your balance on the board, your core is activated and your abdominal muscles are engaged. Your legs and even your feet and toes work to grip the board, and your arms and back muscles propel you along as you paddle. 

Photo Credit: Swim Guide

I've seen people paddling on the river, but according to this advisory from the Water Security Agency, that is maybe not such a good plan at this time (as of July 4, 2014). However, Pike Lake and Blackstrap are great spots nearby to try it out. If I've got you convinced, check out Fitness Solutions for stand up paddle board rental rates and information! They offer rental packages, and you can also buy top quality boards from them. They are a great local company and you will love their boards!

Enjoy your time outdoors this summer!

How To Effectively Use Your Home Equity

posted by Trusted    |   July 3, 2014 11:07

Is it time to renovate that kitchen or put an addition on your home? Or maybe you're tired of paying those high-interest credit cards. Or you're considering purchasing an investment property. If you're self-employed, you might need a cash infusion. So, where do you get the money? Well, if you have enough equity in your home you might be able to borrow against it.

Here, Deb Murdoch, your Trusted Saskatoon Mortgage Expert, provides some information about utilizing your home's equity. 

Your home's equity is an asset you can use, either by:

• borrowing against it with a second mortgage

• or a home equity line of credit (HELOC)

• or by refinancing

There are pros and cons to all three options. Let's take a closer look at the possibilities!

Refinancing

This is an entirely new loan on the property, and pays out the existing mortgage. You can choose to refinance to take advantage of a lower interest rate or take out cash to pay off debts or to renovate. There has to be sufficient equity since you can only refinance up to 80% loan-to-value (LTV) through conforming lenders. However, if you're in the first year or two of a fixed-rate mortgage, the penalty to refinance may be onerous.

Second Mortgage

A second mortgage is a separate loan on the property, but is still secured by the property. This is a popular way to get much-needed cash quickly -- the application process is fast, as is the turnaround time. Second mortgage lenders focus on the property and the equity available. The interest rate will likely be higher because a second mortgage is riskier than the first. For example, in case of default, the first mortgage lender has the first right to proceeds from a sale or power of sale. However, there are situations when a second mortgage can be advantageous, especially if you already have a great mortgage rate on your existing first mortgage.

Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit (HELOC)

A HELOC can be a stand alone first mortgage or an all inclusive collateral mortgage. The loan is approved using the same basic criteria as a mortgage loan. The full amount of the money is made available up front, and you can access as much or as little as you want. It's an installment loan that acts as a revolving line of credit. You access the credit line online, by using a cheque, credit card or by using your debit card. The "credit limit" is determined by the equity, but you'll only pay interest on the funds you use.

Whether you choose any of these options depends on your financial needs and situation. For example, if current interest rates are lower than the rate on your existing first mortgage, refinancing may be the best choice. However, if rates are up, taking out a second mortgage might make more sense. Or, depending on what your needs are, selecting a HELOC may be the way to go.

Stay Connected

Together, we can determine the best option that fits your needs. I will work closely with you to ensure you're achieving your financial goals. To find out which of the three options suits you, call me today.

 

Check out Deb's Spotlight Profile for her contact details and more information about her services!

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