May 20, 2016
Latest Listing Featured in Avenue Calgary
May 3, 2016
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - May 3, 2016
The Calgary Real Estate official numbers are out for April 2016 sales. The trends continue as last month with adjustments reflecting the current economic climate.
May 3, 2016
Secondary Suites or Secondary Income Properties in Calgary
Utilizing a rentable suite in your home to offset mortgage costs is a popular concept. It is becoming more popular due to economic reasons but I also have to point some nods to HGTV and the many renovation shows that center around the concept.
Calgary is structured around a single family home concept so while it is more common for there to be multi family units in a single home in other cities, it isn't as common or permitted here. The long standing debate at City of Calgary Council continued yesterday with a review of amendments that would change how suites are developed. These changes refer to legal basement or secondary suites.
There are two different steps in determining whether you can have a legal suite in any specific property.
1. The property zoning has to permit a secondary suite. Or you can apply to the City for an exception. Zoning is public knowledge so we know quickly if it is already zoned and only the City can speak to whether it can be zoned.
When we are viewing homes sometimes folks ask me if a particular home can be a secondary suite and how much it would cost. It's the same for me when folks walk into a house and ask me if a wall can be removed. In terms of the zoning, only a trip to City Hall can give you a better idea of the expectations and opportunities for a potential zoning application change. In terms of the physical modifications, the answer is usually, "It depends and most things are possible depending on how much money you want to spend".
I have a secret to share. When the Property Brothers or Income Property or any of those shows give homeowners a quote on costs they usually did some homework before hand and talked to some engineers and trades and probably the City or community development office prior to walking on set and providing expert advice in 2 minutes. You just never know how much something is going to cost until you receive quotes from a few experts (ventilation, engineering, city development) and maybe open up a wall or two. Just ask Hillary or Scott or Jonathan..... :)
April 28, 2016
Just Listed - 3 908 Memorial Drive NW Calgary
Have you ever thought about living in a beautiful historic Calgary apartment within walking distance to Kensington, across from the Peace Bridge, Prince's Island Park? 2 bedrooms? Claw foot bathtub? Private back porch with your own access? Front bay windows that look out to the front garden and city views? Last time a unit was listed in this building was in 2011. Is this your chance?
Rare property for sale in Glenwood Manor, one of Calgary’s remaining historic brick buildings overlooking the Bow River and Downtown. Located just steps from the Peace Bridge, this beautiful 2 bedroom unit is walking distance to Kensington, Downtown, Prince’s Island Park and numerous bike/walking paths. You can enter through the front of the building or the private, secure, rear porch which can double as a sunroom or bike storage. The kitchen has been updated and is bright, fresh, and welcoming with white cabinets, quartz counters, stainless steel appliances and an integrated dishwasher. There are two bedrooms as well as a bath with a claw foot bathtub. The living room looks out the bay windows to the front garden and city and is separated from the spacious dining room with stained glass cabinets. Additional bike storage and lockers in the basement. The rear building garages are currently being torn down and will be replaced with privacy fencing for the back terraces, stall parking and a courtyard.
April 26, 2016
Contribution to MoneySense Magazine - Should You Sell Your Home Before You Buy Another?
I've had the opportunity to contribute to the Real Estate section of Money Sense Magazine a couple of times now. Previously in 2013 when I was included in a series on 'Where to Buy Now' and most recently this month as part of an Ask the Expert series.
This is a very popular question and one that I help folks with all the time. It really is a matter of market, timing and financial numbers.
Should be trying to determine your next steps please give me a call so we can discuss you individual sitatuion and best plan forward.
April 7, 2016
New Testimonial - Thank you Paul and Agnes
I've had the opportunity to assist a lot of great families purchasing and selling homes here in Calgary and I always think of them and hope them the very best in their new home or on their new journey.
Last year I assisted Paul and Agnes with the sale of their home. Yesterday I picked up a letter from them at my office. Their testimonial is below and I would like to thank them for the permission to share it.
We’d like to share with you our wonderful experience of having Monika Furtado as our realtor for our home sale. Monika was extremely professional from the beginning to the end of our home sale process. She clearly did her homework to price our condo perfectly which resulted in a sale price that exceeded our expectations. Monika worked very diligently to market our home by getting the word out quickly and she created custom-made brochures of our home for prospective buyers to take away. She kept us current with regular updates and feedback from the many weekly viewings. This gave us confidence that it was just a matter of time before our home sold. When the right opportunity presented itself, Monika’s expert negotiation skills enabled us to get thousands more from our home than we would have settled for it we had acted alone. Thank you Monika and Royal LePage!
- Paul and Agnes
Thank you Paul and Agnes!
April 4, 2016
The Propsosed Green Line and Calgary Real Estate
There are some fundamentals in real estate values and many of them focus around 'location'.
Location can be specific such as location on a specific block or it can also mean which area of the city or general trends such as proximity to amenities, work, school and transportation.
There have been numerous studies completed that point to the value of real estate in relation to rapid transit such as our LRT system. The REIN Real Estate Investment Network completed one specifically for Calgary in recent years. A powerful voice in the real estate industry, Don Campbell, shares many details in this study that align with those in other cities and the general trends we see everyday. Essentially the value of comparable real estate will be higher closer to the LRT within a walking distance zone to a station than further away from it. Makes sense. If we can get around our city easier we tend to prefer that. Getting around easier, faster and at reduced cost is even better.
Current proposed alignment in detail on the City of Calgary site. -http://www.calgary.ca/Transportation/TI/Pages/Transit-projects/Green-line/map.aspx
Current LRT/Bus system Map for Calgary -
With the current market now in the buyer's advantage and the announcement of the alignment for the green line there is some opportunity to see how these two trends may align. Nothing is written in stone here so until the trains are running we are working on speculation in terms of final alignment, stops and timing. That being said, if you are considering a few different properties and one has a significant future transportation link advantage, you may want to consider that.
Need some help planning your next purchase? Give me a call. I'm happy to help.
April 4, 2016
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - April 4, 2016
The March Calgary real estate official numbers have been released. The statistical numbers reflect the day to day adjustments we are seeing across the city. While the overall numbers now also show a decline, that decline is higher in some areas and property types.
This continued decline in sales numbers and prices of individual homes is not unexpected given the current economic climate.
Sellers are often seeing high listing prices in their area and using the active listings on MLS to determine their home value. Without seeing true sold prices and inventory a homebuyer doesn't have the necessary information to project their sales numbers. If you are pursing a sale in the coming timeframe please request a home evaluation and I am happy to provide you the numbers you need to plan your next move.
Real estate is quite unlike the stock market as well need a home so adjustments occur slowly and with a time lag. When looking at listings it is quite clear most of the time who intends to sell a property and who is testing the market.
From the CREB Summary:
Calgary’s benchmark price totaled $442,800 in March, a 0.49 per cent decline over February and 3.51 per cent lower than levels recorded last year.
March home sales in Calgary totaled 1,588 units, 11 per cent below the same time last year and 28 per cent lower than long-term averages for the month.
Calgary also saw housing supply gains in most price ranges. Inventory levels rose by seven per cent to 6,084 units in March. Overall, months of supply has averaged five months in the first quarter of 2016.
The apartment sector has been the hardest hit by the recent downturn. After the first quarter of the year, apartment sales totaled 554 units, a 17 per cent decline over the same period last year.
Apartment benchmark prices have been trending down since late 2014. In March, benchmark apartment prices totaled $281,300, seven per cent lower than levels recorded prior to the slide and 4.93 per cent lower than levels recorded last year.
The detached and attached sector has also felt the brunt of Calgary’s weakening economy. Detached and attached home prices have dropped by four per cent from the recent peak.
March 22, 2016
Do Open Houses sell homes?
I've recently had some interesting conversations about sellers and open houses. Although for years many were told that Open Houses are the way to sell a home, the times are changing.
Why? Because folks often view open houses out of curiosity. It may not be the right price point, style or they may not yet be ready to buy a home. Many visitors are neighbours just curious to see your home. When I greet those visiting my open house at the door I always ask if the visitors saw the listing online or the signs. I keep a tally and it lets me know how many were looking at the home in particular or just out to see what was available to view that day.
March 3, 2016
Great condo, but what about my pets?
As Calgary has grown and changed over the years, the type of property being built has also changed. We now see many more apartment and multi-family options than ever before. Whether high rise apartments, low rise apartments, townhouses, villas or detached homes, the concept of condo ownership is a very large part of the market.
Condo corporations typically have by-laws that determine some rules and guidelines for ownership to manage the goings on at any particular building or complex. Common rules are typically to maintain the safety and enjoyment of all owners such as rules about what can be stored in a parkade, what can be on a balcony and restrictions of use.
One big rule that is becoming an issue in my mind is pet restrictions.
More and more properties are either restricting all pets outright or else limiting pets by size of animal or type of animal. A typical example is no dogs over 20 pounds. This makes sense in some instances, but in others its tough. Many older Calgarians are moving from detached homes to condos in order to reduce costs and many have beloved pets which are family to them. In order to move to affordable homes, they have to give up their dogs. These dogs in many cases provide companionship, a reason to get up for a daily walk and the social interaction and joy that can come from a trip to the park.
Yes, 2 large barking dogs in a small apartment can be a bad idea. But that's where pet rules and board approval of animals may be a better option than outright bans cause honestly a little small dog can cause a nuisance where a big great dane can go completely unnoticed taking a nap in a warm sunny corner.
Understanding pet policies and learning which condo corporations are open to welcoming new owners with pets is key when searching for your new home with your beloved dog.
If Calgary, as a city, wants to develop more dense multi family living options, then please take into consideration the consequence of these pet policies on our overall population.
February 11, 2016
Just Listed - 43 Sceptre Close NW
This exceptional former Albi showhome is a stunning bungalow tucked away on a quiet street and backing to a pathway to local parks. Easy access to the LRT, local schools, amenities and parks, the location is exceptional. Inside you step into an open concept main level with vaulted ceilings, skylights, a brand new kitchen with bright cabinets, granite counters and stainless appliances. The open family room is surrounded by windows and light and open to the dining room. The master suite is spacious and warm with a large jetted bath with separate shower and walk in closet. The second main level bedroom is just beside another full bath on the main level. The laundry completes the upper level. Downstairs offers a large recreation and studio space, an additional bedroom, full bath, hobby room (no window), an additional den/office and more storage. With room for hobbies and entertaining this home has it all. Viewings by appointment only. Double attached garage.
February 11, 2016
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - Feb 11, 2016
The market update for Feb 2016 is rather unchanged from previous months. Our economy remains on a similar track. I've taken the last few days to really carefully review our local numbers and statistics and also had the opportunity to attend a small market update meeting with the Chief Economist from CREB.
Putting all the numbers together I've decided to tell you to ignore all TOTAL Calgary numbers currently posted in making decisions about your potential purchase or sale. Shocking. Why?
They are aggregate numbers meaning they are numbers that take together property styles, prices and locations across the city. Except for general trends they really say little about what your specific home is worth. What is exceptionally important is reviewing the property type, price point and area of city that you are interested in. The Chief Economist has provided local Realtors with the tools to compare and review detailed market data in various forms and I strongly take advantage of the tools made available and for that I want to thank Ann-Marie Lurie both for her hard work and openness with the data available.
Year over year numbers are not helpful right now. When the percentage flashes on the screen in big numbers on the evening news please ignore it. Last year we were just at the start of a downturn at this time of year and the statistics didn't reflect the adjustment yet and the rental market was tight. New home construction hadn't yet adjusted to the pullback in sales. Today we are looking at much more opportunity in the rental market, new home construction is going to have many options shortly available especially in the multi-family sector and our local economic forecasts have adjusted to reflect an expectation of reduced sales and some downward pressure on pricing.
The numbers that I ask you to carefully review are those that I will bring you when evaluating your home or when pursuing a purchase. Details include the following:
Property type? Are you buying an apartment or a detached home? 2 Story or Bungalow? How are the various types performing in various communities?
Price point? The number of available homes vs sales is dramatically different per price point. You are not in a buyers market in some segments and in a significant buyer advantage in others.
Location? There are 3 main rules in real estate that determine property value. Location. Location. Location. And that doesn't just mean a community, but also on what type of street, what is the lot backing to and how does the property relate to transportation, amenities and school options.
Example (As of Feb 9 10 am)
Say we are looking for a starter home under $500,000 in NW Calgary. A popular area due to the proximity to the LRT line.
Say we are looking for a large home with minimum 2000 sq ft under $1,000,000 in West Calgary.
Do you see the opportunity? If you are looking to move up to a larger home this may be just the right time if you have a smaller detached home in the under $500,000 segment.
The strategy for selling your home is the same as always. Presentation, Marketing and Price. Let's work together so we can put the sold sticker on the sign out front.
When buying a home you will have the information you need to negotiate your best price for your new home.
Should you wish assistance with the purchase or sale of a home in our local Calgary market please do give me a call. I am happy to help.
January 20, 2016
Calgary Foreclosure Listings - What to Expect.
I am beginning to see more listings for foreclosures and judicial sales and also beginning to receive more inquiries regarding these types of listings. In 2015 the residential market saw exceptionally low record foreclosure rates so we aren't as used to seeing them. As such, here is a bit of information about what to expect.
Judicial listings are those where a property is being sold by order of the court. The owners on title are often in financial hardship, part of a dispute or some other court matter. In the case of judicial listings, the property owners still remain on title and most often live at the property.
Foreclosure listings are those where the property title has been transferred to another party such as a bank, lender or lawyer and they are selling the property. These properties are often vacant.
Some things to consider:
A couple other items only apply to occupied properties or where owners are still on title:
If you wish more information just contact me directly.
January 14, 2016
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - Jan 14, 2016
Hi everyone and Happy 2016! I wish you all the very best and a great full year of happiness, good health and a great adventure or two.
The Alberta government could have used the recent Powerball jackpot to offset revenue loses from our oil and gas industry but I doubt they bought tickets. :)
While we are all busy trying to go about our business and have a great 2016, the news is going to make us think it is the end of the world economically. It's not. I mean, it's not great, but we will can still have dinner with our family and be content in our warm homes. We will face some challenges, but we are strong willed and as hard working Albertans, we that know the roller coaster goes down and it goes up. We just don't know how long the ride is.
There are a whole lot of folks out there, first time buyers and investors especially, waiting to time the market for the low and the perfect purchase. But compared to what? We have such short memories. That's going to be rather hard to predict, but when the bell goes they will all flock. In the meantime, it's time to get connected to a great realtor to help you sell your home or find the right one. Selling is about timing, strategy, pricing and presentation. It takes some hustle to get things going and knowledge about your home and market segment.
While some folks are waiting for the perfect time, life goes on. Folks get married, have kids, kids move away, the snow gets annoying in the long driveway, maybe you won the lottery, may you want to downsize, or you might need a home office. Whatever the case may be, you still need a home. Give me a call and I will do my very best to help you achieve your goals and keep you well informed as we ride out an overly interesting start to the year.
You can reach me directly at 403 850 2446 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
January 6, 2016
2016 Calgary Community Changes Published and Active
As of yesterday the changes to Calgary Zones and Communities was published and the neighbourhoods page and other search functions have now been updated.
There are now 8 zones rathar than 4 and many community names were updated to be in line with the City of Calgary neighbourhood naming and boundaries. As such there have been many changes on the website to match.
Should you find any issues or wish specific information please contact me anytime and I will make sure you have the information you need.
January 5, 2016
Just Listed - 2304 928 Arbour Lake Road NW
Top floor two bedroom and two bathroom corner unit in Calvannah Village of Arbour Lake. This bright and spacious unit takes advantage of the corner with lots of windows and a great layout. The entry is private with the remaining unit not visible from the door. The short hall opens up to a large open kitchen, dining room and living room. The kitchen offers many cabinets for storage and ample counter space. Open to the living area, the layout is great for entertaining visitors and family. Large windows run along the entire back wall. To the right is the second bedroom, a full bath and around the corner a spacious master bedroom with separate ensuite, walk thru closet and a city view. Insuite laundry. Underground parking and storage. Exceptionally clean and well cared for, this unit is move in ready. Please contact your Realtor to book your private showing. Age restrictions apply in this complex.
December 10, 2015
Market Update - Dec 10, 2015
Inventories are up and sales are coming down compared to the same period last year. The higher the price point, the more challenging it is for sellers to see interest in their properties. As we enter the quieter winter season of slower sales and some reductions in price, some investors begin to more carefully watch the market for opportunities in the new year.
The adjusted rates, benchmark rates, average rates and all the surrounding statistics you may read are great to determine the general sense of the market, but if you are selling you do need some detailed evaluation and advice. Now is not the time to over price a property to test the market if you truly wish to sell your home.
As a buyer, the coming months may be an opportunity to enter the market depending on the price point and type of property you are considering. As various market trends collide the pricing of some properties may align with your wish list.
Some articles on real estate purchases seem to treat homes like stocks. They are not. We all need a place to call home. Whether purchasing a home or renting, there are monthly costs and benefits to both depending on situations and goals. Should you be considering a move to a new property in the coming months do give me a call so we can discuss the strategies to assist you in finding the right house at the right price.
All the best this holiday season. Merry Christmas!!!! and all the best to you all in 2016.
November 23, 2015
The Calgary MLS Maps are Changing January 2016
In January of 2016 the Calgary MLS system maps will be updated to reflect the naming conventions and boundaries used by the City of Calgary.
As such, this website will also be updated to reflect the new zoning and mapping. While we had 4 zones currently, the maps will be moving to an 8 Zone structure including North, Northeast, East, Southeast, South, West, Northwest and City Centre. Some community names are also being consolidated or updated.
Should you have any questions about searching for homes or wish some help in finding the information you need just give me a call or email me anytime. I'm happy to help.
November 3, 2015
Real Estate Market Update - Nov 3 2015
The current economic climate in Alberta continues to decline. Calgary Real Estate sales and pricing statistics continue to post lower sales and pricing numbers than the same time last year. For the last few months we have seen average prices decline in large part due to a reduction in luxury sales. As there were less high end sales in the total sales figures the average prices were reducing. However, benchmark prices (comparables of average properties over time) posted much smaller adjustments than average prices. The benchmark price statistics are now also showing a stronger downward trend meaning typical homes are also seeing a reduction in the overall sales price. This is especially true in the apartment sector.
The rental market is also currently seeing adjusted trends with an increase in inventory levels which we haven't seen for some time. This allows folks more options both in the rental market and home ownership market.
Buyers have many options so sellers have to work hard to present their homes well and pricing and marketing must be on point for properties to sell at top dollar.
From the CREB monthly statistics summary:
Benchmark prices declined 0.7 per cent from the previous month, and 1.2 per cent from the same time last year, to $453,100.
The steepest declines occurred in the apartment sector, where the benchmark price fell to $288,300, a 0.8 per cent decline from September and nearly four per cent from the same time last year.
If you are wishing to purchase or sell your home do give me a call. Preparation is key in this market and we can work together to ensure your goals are met.
October 14, 2015
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - Oct 14 2015
Well fall is in the air and with it changes to the Candian landscape and potentially the housing market are coming. October 19, 2015 is the date scheduled for the 42nd Canadian general election, to elect members to the House of Commons of Canada. Today there are 308 seats at the Parliament, the vast majority by guess are also homeowners. This number will be increased to 338 in 2015 likely resulting with even more homeowners in Parliament. Despite challenging economic times in Alberta and Calgary, people still need a place to live and investing in real estate either as a pure investment or primary residence grants you the security and certainty that even the upcoming election may not.
It's true that the market in Calgary has softened. In most segments we have seen prices drop and homes that aren't well maintained or in optimal locations remain on the market for longer periods of time. That's not too say the entire market is stagnant. I'm am still very active helping great people find wonderful homes, just there is more inventory to choose from and it affords my buyers the opportunity to be more selective in some circumstances. The luxury market especially has a large number of listings available.
One thing is certain, home ownership is still a large portion of a family's assets and potential for growth. We have all seen the cyclical economic and political waves come and go but year over year, decade over decade, home values tend to rise.
Now is a great time to consider home ownership or moving to a new location or home that better suits your needs. Whether it's that extra bedroom, greenspace, a quieter street or a location closer to transit or schools, there are more options for you today than this time last year.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss the market and your real estate opportunities in Calgary please don't hesitate to contact me. I look forward to assisting you with any of your real estate needs.