Monday, March 10, 2014

Recent School Announcements for Calgary

In the recent weeks and late in 2013 a number of announcements have been made by the Province of Alberta regarding the development of new schools and modernization or update or others.


The full list updated by the Province with future announcements can be found here: New School Capital Projects

I have just copied the announcements as of today's date. The volume of listings illustrates the major need for new school space. I spoke with another family just this weekend that is potentially delaying plans to move due to lack of school space in their preferred neighbourhood.  As the capacity issues are just coming to light in some areas this is a shock to many folks. School lotteries in capacity schools were held mid February.

 

These are the announcements for Calgary so far. I didn't include the Modular Classroom Allocations or Modernizations as there are too many.

 

Under 2013 Spring Projects Underway:

Calgary, Auburn Bay
School District: Calgary Roman Catholic Separate School District
Project: New Kindergarten-to-Grade 9 School
Delivery Method: Public-Private Partnership
Opening/Final Capacity: 900/900 students
Anticipated Completion: 2016
 
Calgary, Copperfield
School District: Calgary School District
Project: New Kindergarten-to-Grade 4 School
Delivery Method: Public-Private Partnership
Opening/Final Capacity: 600/600 students
Anticipated Completion: 2016
 
Calgary, Evanston
School District: Calgary Roman Catholic Separate School District
Project: New Kindergarten-to-Grade 9 School
Delivery Method: Public-Private Partnership
Opening/Final Capacity: 750/900 students
Anticipated Completion: 2016
 
Calgary, Evanston
School District: Calgary School District
Project: New Kindergarten-to-Grade 4 School
Delivery Method: Public-Private Partnership
Opening/Final Capacity: 600/600 students
Anticipated Completion: 2016
 
Calgary, Martindale
School District: Southern Francophone Education Region No. 4
Project: Kindergarten-to-Grade 6 Replacement for Ecole La Mosaique starter school
Delivery Method: Public-Private Partnership
Opening/Final Capacity: 300/350 students
Anticipated Completion: 2016
 
Calgary, New Brighton
School District: Calgary School District
Project: New Kindergarten-to- Grade 4 School
Delivery Method: Public-Private Partnership
Opening/Final Capacity: 600/600 students
Anticipated Completion: 2016
 
Calgary, Northeast
School District: Calgary School District
Project: New Grade 10-12 High School
Delivery Method: Design-Build
Opening/Final Capacity: 1500 students
Anticipated Completion: 2016
 
Calgary, Royal Oak/Rocky Ridge
School District: Calgary School District
Project: New Grade 5-9 School
Delivery Method: Public-Private Partnership
Opening/Final Capacity: 900/900 students
Anticipated Completion: 2016
 
Calgary, Saddle Ridge
School District: Calgary School District
Project: New Grade 5-9 School
Delivery Method: Public-Private Partnership
Opening/Final Capacity: 900/900 students
Anticipated Completion: 2016
 
Cochrane
School District: Rocky View School Division
Project: New Kindergarten-to-Grade 8 School
Delivery Method: Public-Private Partnership
Opening/Final Capacity: 800/900 students
Anticipated Completion: 2016

Under 2013 Winter Projects Underway: (No date yet.)

 

Calgary, Aspen Woods
School District: Calgary Roman Catholic Separate School District
Project: New K-6 Elementary School - Aspen Woods
Opening/Final Capacity: 750/750
 
2014 New School Projects Underway: (These don't have any dates yet.)
 
Calgary, Auburn Bay
School District: Calgary School District
Project Type: New K-4 Elementary School
Opening/Final Capacity: 600/600
 
Calgary, Cranston
School District: Calgary Roman Catholic Separate School District
Project Type: New K-6 Elementary School
Opening/Final Capacity: 600/600
 
Calgary, Evergreen
School District: Calgary School District
Project Type: New 5-9 Middle School
Opening/Final Capacity: 900/900
 
Calgary, McKenzie Towne
School District: Calgary School District
Project Type: New 5-9 Middle School
Opening/Final Capacity: 900/900
 
Calgary, New Brighton - Copperfield
School District: Calgary Roman Catholic Separate School District
Project Type: New K-6 Elementary School
Opening/Final Capacity: 600/600
 
Calgary, New Brighton - Copperfield
School District: Calgary School District
Project Type: New 5-9 Middle School
Opening/Final Capacity: 900/900
 
Calgary, North Calgary
School District: The Southern Francophone Education Region
Project Type: New K-6 Francophone School
Opening/Final Capacity: 400/400
 
Calgary, Panorama Hills
School District: Calgary School District
Project Type: New K-6 Elementary School
Opening/Final Capacity: 600/600
 
Calgary, Southeast
School District: Calgary Roman Catholic Separate School District
Project Type: New 10-12 High School
Opening/Final Capacity: 1500/1500
 
Calgary, Tuscany
School District: Calgary School District
Project Type: New K-4 Elementary School
Opening/Final Capacity: 600/600
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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Just Listed - 63 Sunset Point in Cochrane

Enjoy the unobstructed views of the valley and mountains from every level of this beautiful home including the fully finished walkout basement and south facing backyard. 63 Sunset Point backs directly on to the ridge, pond and park area in Sunset Ridge, Cochrane. Upgrades include hand scraped solid hardwood floors throughout the main level, stone faced fireplace, granite counters with raised island bar, granite sinks, stainless appliances, gas range, wired sound system, custom built-ins and more. The main floor open concept design with ample windows allows light to fill the space from all angles and allows for an office and separate laundry room and powder room. Upstairs is a large bonus room as well as 3 bedrooms and 2 baths including master bedroom with 5 piece ensuite. The walk out basement offers a 4th bedroom, full bath and large open rec room. Step out into the fully landscaped backyard with concrete patio and plantings designed to enhance view and privacy. View the video for additional photos.

 

View all property details for 63 Sunset Point.

 

View additional photos and property panoramas including the view!

 

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Calgary Real Estate Market Update - March 3

The number of listings on market continue to remain low. Are folks all waiting for the deep freeze to end or betting that prices will continue their climb? 

 

I'll be watching the listing numbers once the weather breaks.

 

The number of sales of condos and townhouses especially are up. CREB - "After the first two months of the year, both condominium apartment and townhouse sales increased by 28 per cent compared to last year." With such sales increases it won't be long before this segment also begins to surpass 2007 pricing as single family homes did last year.

 

With prices continuing the move, it isn't a surprise that more people are moving to condos and townhomes just due to affordability and availabilitiy since the rental market continues to be very very tight. With many older homes on inner city lots being purchased by developers rather than homeowners, the trend to tear down and build new also impacts available inventory.

 

As the market turns towards spring (and warmer weather I hope), there will also be a change to the rates for mortgages with less than 20% down. CMHC has increased the rates for mortgage insurance as of May 1, 2014.

 

One very bright note for the NW areas of the city, there has been a very recent announcement that work will soon begin on the sewer system upgrade and it will be completed earlier than expected. Bowness Sanity Trunk Upgrade.

 

Especially in this market many folks begin to ask whether they should buy first or list first when moving between homes and the decision on either side has its risks and rewards.

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Monday, March 3, 2014

List First or Buy First?

Unless you are a first time buyer, one of the big decision points when purchasing a new home is whether to buy first or list first.

 

In a strong market such as we have today, sellers won't often consider an offer 'subject to the sale of a buyers' home' so purchasers are left with a big decision before signing an offer and I've noticed a few folks deciding to just wait a bit because they find the decision somewhat daunting.

 

There are risks and rewards from both approaches, but finances ultimately dictate. With banks changing lending rules and putting limits on refinancing, the option to buy first sometimes isn't there. Have a conversation with a very good mortgage broker or your personal mortgage rep to ensure your numbers are clearly outlined as well as the purchase process, down payment options to avoid unneeded mortgage insurance costs and other details.

 

If you buy first, the risk is that you will be holding two properties without knowing your exact sale price or sale date. The benefit is that you can wait to find the right new property without being rushed to purchase just what is available during a given window of time. If you are looking for a unique property or one with specific characteristics such as view, walkout basement, specific area or homestyle or else a condo in a specific building, it is often these types of homes that are purchased prior to selling.

 

If you sell first, the risk is that you will not yet find a new home and need to find temporary housing between possession dates. You will have certainty that your home has sold, have a firm sale price and have full understanding of your budget and dates.

 

If you are deciding a plan forward then take the time to ensure you have the market data you need and that you know there are options out there when looking for a new home. Being prepared makes it much less daunting and much more exciting.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Open House: March 1 and 2 at 2404 25A Street SW

Open House: March 1 and 2: 2:00 - 4:00

 

Stop by this weekend to preview 2404 25A Street SW. An exceptional home featuring 5 total bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, and an open concept design. A well thought out floor plan and beautiful finishes complete this beautiful home located in Richmond just west of Crowchild.

 

Property Details

 

 

 

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Calgary Real Estate Market Update - Feb 4 2014

The sales and pricing numbers continue to show substantial growth across the City. While overall sales showed a 17% increase in sales from the same time last year, condominium apartment and townhouse sales totaled 466 units in January, a 33 per cent increase over the same period in 2013.

 

The lack of inventory is making it tough to find homes for some buyers especially under the $500,000 price point. With less than two months of inventory for single family homes and very small numbers of homes in some areas, folks are responding in big ways.

 

With our rental market remaining very tight, the low interest rates for mortgages and a growing city, the push to find homes is driving up prices. Multiple offer situations are becoming more and more common and may be the reason we are seeing more townhome sales just due to pricing and availability.

 

While multiple offers get folks fired up, it is essential that you have the information you need to not go beyond your own risk threshold.

 

Banks still rely on appraisals to determine how much they will lend on a property so even though you are willing to spend an extra $20,000 to get that house, the bank might still only lend on a lower appraisal value. Going forward without a financing condition can be very risky. Home inspections and review of condo documents are very important items of protection for buyers. It is in these markets that sometimes properties get purchased that would be passed over in a slower market.

 

The interesting thing is that I am noticing the lenders tighten up their review of each and every file. Get that paperwork ready as your bank is going to want to see it all.

 

Need some guidance so you feel comfortable about your move? Give me a call.

 

CREB Statistics Package

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Just Listed - 2404 25A Street SW

Elegant and beautiful executive infill close to amenities, schools, LRT with easy access to the city core. With upgrades throughout and a well thought our floorplan this property stands out. Touches include custom built-ins, sound system, vaulted ceilings, granite counters, upgraded insulation and noise reduction, bamboo flooring, Italian tile and beautiful skylights. The main level provides a front open den or family room, stylish kitchen with stainless appliances and eating bar, dining area and living room beyond as well as a half bath. Upstairs is an open bonus room; laundry; master bedroom with stone surround gas fireplace and a 5 piece custom ensuite and walk in closet; additional full bath and 2 more bedrooms. The basement with in floor heat and built in custom bar in the rec room also provides a full bath and two more bedrooms with large windows throughout. The two tiered deck and low maintenance yard out back are perfect for entertaining or relaxing. Detached double garage. 

 

View all property details and photos for 2404 25A Street SW

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Listing - 20 Tuscany Reserve Green NW

Spacious home in Tuscany located on the inside of a cul-de-sac and backing onto environmental reserve greenspace. The main floor offers an office, laundry, open concept living room, dining room and very large kitchen with walk thru pantry. Custom cabinets surround the stainless steel appliances and 7 foot island. Large windows look out to the landscaped backyard, cedar shed and tree grove beyond. Upstairs is a vaulted bonus room, master bedroom with sitting area and 5 piece ensuite including soaker tub, separate shower and custom walk in closet. Two additional bedrooms and full bath complete the upper level. The basement is fully finished with a large rec room, media area, bedroom and full bath with in floor heating. Professionally developed with dricore subfloors, large windows, extra lighting and acoustical insulation. The tot lot is a short walk and the local school bus stops are just behind the home and up the path. Warm and inviting for your family, this home is a must see. Fully finished garage.


View all details and photos for 20 Tuscany Reserve Green NW


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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Are your renovations going to increase the value of your home in Calgary?

As Canadians we are spending more on renovations than ever before. TD recently released their renovation spending report. According to TD, "At 7% per year since 2003, spending gains in this area have outshone other components of household spending. During the 1990s, outlays for home renovations accounted for just over 25% of total residential investment. Currently, that share is almost 40%."

 

Many of us renovate for our own use and to add features we wish to have such as upgraded mud rooms and laundry rooms, media rooms, new fireplaces, spas, modern kitchens, high end showers, basement bars and rec rooms, new exterior finishes, sunrooms and even pools.

 

So when it is time to sell, are your renovations going to increase the market value of your home?

 

Well, it depends.

 

1. What did you renovate?


Typically a kitchen or bathroom renovation can see an increase up to 75% to 100% of the money spent, but it depends on what existed before and what was put in. The answer comes only from a review of other comparables homes in your area. If you have a 30 year old kitchen in disrepair you will see a large return on investment if you modernize to current standards. If you however, have a well maintained relatively new maple kitchen and you replace it with a different style or layout of a similar standard you won't see much change. As well, a poor installation of expensive materials will not be well received by buyers.

 

Replacing old carpet and worn wallpaper and paint with more new can have a huge impact on a home, but choose colours carefully. Pink carpet or paint is not popular no matter how new or expensive it was to install.

 

When already renovating, attention to future homeowners needs are well worth the planning and additional attention to detail. For example, changes to a bungalow that remove stairs, open up flow in the home and improve access to sinks, laundry and kitchen appliances will remain in high demand as will lot and home design that reduces maintenance and allows for easier access during the winter.

 

2. Where is the property?


Especially in some parts of Calgary, older homes are being torn down and replaced with new construction (infills). Putting money into smaller renovation projects in these homes requires careful review as it is builders and not home buyers that are buying these properties. A builder will not pay a premium for improvements that are just going to be demolished.

 

Depending on the community, holding the budget to stay within typical sales patterns in the area is key. If you add a $40,000 custom kitchen to a home worth $260,000 you will not see a $40,000 return on your investment. Each community and style of home has a ceiling of sorts as a 1600 sq ft two storey home will only sell up to a certain value before buyers start looking at larger homes or homes in more desirable areas no matter the finishings.

 

The recent flood events need to be acknowledged. Homes in flood fringe areas now require special attention to flood proofing and acknowledgement of potential future buyer fears.

 

3. Do you have your paperwork in order?

 

Buyers are asking more and more questions about renovations and permits than ever before. They are checking for asbestos in older homes as part of home inspection. Insurance companies and lenders are also asking more questions especially related to major renovations so ensure you have the required permits before you start your renovation. As of February 2014, the new home warranty rules will come into effect. Major renovations that require a building permit will also require a home warranty so even handy home owners will require documentation, permits and warranty to sell their homes.

 

At the end of the day, if you are making a substantial investment in renovations, do your homework. Very often sellers believe their home is worth more due to the actual cost of renovations and can be disappointed when it comes time to sell. At the same time, well thought our designs have fetched sellers sizeable increases in sale price.

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Friday, January 3, 2014

Prices are on the rise. Calgary Market Update Jan 2 2014

2013 was a year of larger than anticipated price increases and sales volume for both single family homes and condominiums. Will the trend continue for 2014?

The month on month news calls of increased pricing have caused some sellers to unfortunately over price their properties. I've represented a few buyers that have offered strong values but were not successful as sellers decided to hold out for more. In almost all cases, the properties my clients offered on sold for less or have not yet sold and my buyers have moved on to purchase other homes. Potential sellers with homes close to new developments need to also consider builder options when evaluating their competition in the marketplace. Many buyers are newcomers to Calgary so are looking for a move in ready home. If they are coming to Calgary from cities with longer commute times they seem to be willing to travel the extra distance for a new home compared to purchasing an older home closer to their area of employment.

At the same time buyers do need to review recent sales to understand that pricing has gone up significantly in the last year. It is shocking to some folks that there are very few 'great deals' out there that don't have strings attached and it is in fact a seller's market.

I believe prices will continue to climb, but not as quickly as last year. Buyers are focusing more on the quality of homes and are willing to pay for preferred materials, best building practices, and quality renovations but they are also saavy and want to see information regarding flood history, permits, builder backgrounds, warranty information, and more. Builders have also responded to the lack of inventory so will have to wait and see how many new starts and build outs become available in the spring.

The numbers in the statistics package are a snapshot of history for the resale market only and I encourage you to review them. The future pricing growth depends on many factors including new listing availability, migration to our city, mortgage rates, and lender policies. I also believe that the school capacity issues around Calgary will begin to push folks either to or away from certain neighbourhoods.

 

Full CREB Statistics Update

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Back from Holiday - Time for Winter Property Showings in Calgary

Over the last few weeks we've all been busy with the festivies of the season and listings slowly declined and sales slowed as the season came upon us.

 

Now that we focus again on the year ahead, many folks are going to start planning an upcoming move. If you are considering a sale give me a call now so you have time to make preparations and plan for your move.

 

If you are now listing your home and are ready for showings, here is some advice to make those showings count.

 

1. Folks that view properties in the winter tend to be serious buyers.  Those folks just having a look tend to look more during the spring / summer open house season. Try to accommodate showing times and requests.

 

2. Shovel your driveway and sidewalk or hire a service. This past weekend a home I showed required us to walk through 2 feet of snow with the side access frozen shut. 

 

3. Please provide a carpet or entry mat at your front door so we can leave our shoes and boots without creating too big a mess.

 

4. Leave the lights on outside. It is much more inviting and makes access easier in the cold.

 

5. Please allow your property lockbox to be at or very close to the front door. They don't fare well frozen into the ground, buried in snow, attached to side back fences and other fun places to access.

 

6. Leave the heat on. Cold floors and drafts aren't showing features. Please keep the heat on for comfort.

 

Thank you and good luck with your sale.

 

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Calgary Real Estate Market Update - Dec 3 2013

Until the last few days, we've been very fortunate with the fall and winter weather, but this kind of snow and cold is sure to put a damper on enthusiasm. Am I still showing homes today? You bet. Buyers willing to put on snow boots and get out in this weather are serious.

 

There is no doubt sales during this time of year are fewer than the warmer months. However year over year the seasonal numbers are up, pricing numbers are breaking records and single family home statistics show average prices higher than 2007 levels. We are not yet reaching 2007 total sales numbers (total number of properties sold) but the trends have been trending upwards since the summer. The number of luxury homes sold continue to break records month after month as well.

 

Single-family benchmark prices totaled $470,600 in November, 8.5 per cent higher than one year ago. Of course the value for each specific home is different based on property price range, style and location so your home may have gone down, gone up 4% or it may have gone up 14% but the general trends are holding strong.

 

The graphs show that there are now less sales at the lower price points and more sales at the higher price points. This points to availability of property but also buyer demand. Calgary is a city of folks that earn higher wages than in other parts of the country, we are a young city and we see opportunity. Our attitude, perspective, rental availability, net migration and general optimism create the environment of growth and we are seeing that in the real estate market. I hope all those enthusiastic new landlords have done their homework.

 

Ever changing is our market, just check out the roller coaster ride of the last few years. Timing is everything. Whether buying or selling, you never know the time was 'best' until it passed. 


Source for all numbers: CREB

 

 

 

If you want to crunch the numbers yourself, see the CREB Statistics Package or give me a call and I'll do that for you. ;)

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Calgary Schools: Buyer Priorities

A new family moves to Calgary and innocently asks, "What are the best schools in the city and what is available to purchase within walking distance." The answer is a long one and it usually starts with 'It depends...."

 

Schools. One of the most important criteria for some families when choosing a community or property to call home.

 

Sometimes it is parents looking for a specific program or philosophy and sometimes it is all about the logistics of getting our children to school and home safely while still working or attending to our other activities.

 

It used to be easier I am told. Children in a community would go to the school in that community, often within walking distance. Some communities had before and after school care. It's not that easy now.

 

In some communities the choice to attend the local designated school is thwarted by full enrollments, alternate school assignments, bus schedules and lotteries for school space. Parents are scrambling to find before and after school care or changing their plans regarding work and availability.

 

Some inner city locations have low enrollments while outlying areas are bursting at the seams. The current baby boom, Calgary's large growth numbers, funding and timeliness of construction of new infrastructure all contribute. Affordability of housing, access to backyards and playgrounds, parks and amenities fuels the move within the city as well.

 

Recently the province announced more schools in 2013 with $1.4B allocated over 3 years to school capital projects. I'll leave the 'how can you build that many schools so fast given the shortage of folks to build them' to someone else and instead say, "That's great. What's the plan for the when and where?"

 

Calgary Board of Education schools and Calgary Catholic schools also offer french immersion, language schools and specialized programs on top of everything else. Charter schools enter the mix providing unique learning opportunities geared towards various streams including science, arts, girls only, academics, inquiry based and others. Charter schools are unique to Alberta and the waitlists are huge so they must be doing something right. On top of that are the private schools adding another layer of option.

 

So as you are looking at new homes, you need to remember that just because you see a school doesn't mean your children can attend. It's kinda nutty given the perceived options. Research is critical if schools are a top priority.

 

I should have listened to my neighbour and enrolled my kids when they were born. 

 

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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sold. 30 Rocky Ridge Heights has now sold and over list price

Great homes attract great people. This amazing Rocky Ridge familly home sold quickly and will soon welcome a new family. 

 

30 Rocky Ridge Heights NW, Calgary, Alberta

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Real Estate Market Update Nov 5 2013

With the snow hitting the ground, it usually signals a slow down in Calgary's real estate sales. That is a little less evident this year it seems. The ongoing growth in the overall sales numbers and increases to pricing continue.

The overall numbers show a slight increase from September in terms of pricing across various types of property. The larger increases are in year to year comparisons. Sales are significantly higher with inventory significantly lower from October 2012. Total sales numbers increased beyond the 10 year average for the first time since 2007 are on par between those posted between 2004 and 2005. 

 

Things are slowing down a bit due to the expected seasonal adjustments but just less so than in previous years. Inventory is dropping so buyers will see less and less choice as we approach the holidays.

 

The big picture for Calgary is positive and strong but not yet entering the frenzy zone. It has definitely made for interesting negotiations when buyers and sellers have different views of the crystal ball.

 

On a local level, the various developments and announcements from builders, developers and government are changing the landscape so adjustments to various communities may also start to shift outside of the larger picture.

 

The largest announcement being agreement for the SW ring road. The construction can have nothing less than a major effect on how folks get around Calgary and it will have consequences to the real estate market. View the design concepts for the length of Stoney Trail and the SW Ring Road.

 

Currie Barracks is in the news with plans for a town site concept in this large and unique urban community as well as applications related to the West Campus development by the University of Calgary. Various condo projects have been announced and some existing developments such as the River in Mission have adjusted design and construction plans due to the recent floods. Growth and more growth for our amazing city.

 

November 30 marks the deadline for home owners applying to the Disaster Recovery Program and much work remains in this area. 

 

Hope you had a great Halloween. We'll soon be searching for our Christmas lights.

 

CREB Released Market Statistics Package

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The SW Ring Road. The concept designs.

As many other Calgarians, I am excited to see the SW Ring Road move closer to reality. It shortens my personal travel time and will ease congestion among my various frequented routes. Reduced commute times is what matters, even if the distance is a touch longer. 


The remaining sections to be developed are actually 2.


The first is the west side between Hwy 1 and Hwy 8 extending  Stoney Trail along the west side of COP beyond COugar Ridge, West Springs, Aspen Woods, Springbank Hill and the Slopes. 

 

Bow Trail to Trans Canada.

 

Hwy 8 (Glenmore Trail) to Bow Trail

 

The second is from Hwy 8 to 22x which is what is called the SW Ring Road portion. The 2013 Agreement with the Tsuu T'ina Nation allows for this section to move forward. The images are from the published concept plan on the Alberta Transportation website as linked above. 

 

Image 1 of 4 - Glenmore Trail SW near Sarcee Trail SW and path through the Weaselhead Natural Environment Park.

Original file for these images in larger view.

 

 

Image 2 of 4 - Extending to Anderson Rd SW

 

Image 3 of 4 - Anderson Rd SW to 116 Ave SW

 

 

 

Image 4 of 4 -  Detail of Sarcee Trail SW and Glenmore Trail SW Imterchange area.

 

 

The details of this huge project will change. Information here is what is avalable today. 

 

For more details visit Alberta Transportation.

 

 

 

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Just Listed - 30 Rocky Ridge Heights NW, Calgary, AB

Beautiful home in Rocky Ridge, 4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 bathrooms.

 

Beautifully renovated and updated inside and out by the current owners, this warm home in Rocky Ridge is fully finished with 4 bedrooms, 3 ½ baths, bonus room and attention to detail. A new kitchen including solid maple cabinetry, stainless steel appliances including double ovens and wine fridge compliment the expanded island with granite counters and mosaic backsplash. The living room and current dining room opens to the kitchen with new hardwood flooring. Painted with neutral colors throughout. The bonus room is spacious and custom entertainment system is included. The master bedroom and 4 piece bath with in floor heat and two additional bedrooms complete the upper level. Outside the exterior has been painted, new roof installed and decking expanded. You'll enjoy the beautiful two tear deck, mature trees and views. The basement is completed with a large bedroom with full sized window and ample light, a full bath and completed rec room with custom built-ins.  Excellent location. Double garage.

 

Full details and images for 30 Rocky Ridge Heights NW.

 

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Monday, October 28, 2013

When the best mortgage rate is not the lowest mortgage rate. Saving money on your mortgage.

With rates beginning to move around a bit, I’ve noticed that some clients are getting better advice than others from various lenders so I asked one of my trusted mortgage brokers to put together some information to start the conversion. The question: what’s the best mortgage available for my clients?


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Most people will define a mortgage purely based on the rate they receive, but that’s like judging the “best car” by the one with the lowest monthly payment.

 

It’s nearly impossible to predict your refinance needs three or four years out. Statistics show that well over half of Canadians with a mortgage renegotiate before their term is up.

 

So if you try to end your mortgage or move your mortgage prior to the current term (say 5 years) you may face larger than expected mortgage penalties or be restricted by mortgage limitations. Mortgage restrictions can easily outweigh small (e.g., 0.10% to 0.15 %) differences in interest rates.

 

Did you know the average five-year borrower changes their mortgage after just three-and-a-half years?


That’s why it often pays to trade a slightly lower rate for more flexibility, unless you absolutely know that you won’t change your mortgage during its term. A cheap rate can certainly save hundreds of dollars up front, just be sure you won’t be paying thousands later.

 

Can you break your mortgage any time you want?
• Most lenders let you pay a penalty and get out of a closed mortgage early. Some no-frills mortgages only let you out if you sell your property. Some don’t let you discharge your mortgage at all, until the term is up.
• You’ll almost always pay a rate premium for an “open” mortgage with no penalties. If you plan to keep the mortgage for more than six months, you’re often better off choosing a lower rate and paying the penalty to get out early (if needed). The more you are borrowing, the more this applies.

 

If a mortgage penalty applies, how is it calculated?
• Fixed rate penalties are usually three months of interest or the interest rate differential (IRD), whichever is more. This is the difference between what the bank would have made if the mortgage went the full term and how much money they are not getting paid by closing your mortgage rate and the current mortgage market rate. Variable-rate penalties are typically 3-months of interest based on your current rate.
• Penalty calculations based on posted rates (i.e. rates higher the rate you actually pay) can sometimes be several thousand dollars more expensive. For example, instead of a standard 3-month interest penalty based on your current rate, some lenders charge 3-month interest penalties based on posted rates.
• Others charge interest rate differential penalties when 3-month interest charges normally apply. A few even ding you with 12-month interest penalties or penalties equal to 3% of your balance. Avoid such mortgages unless the rate savings is significant.

 

Can I port (move) my mortgage to a new property to avoid penalties?
Never underestimate your odds of moving. Look for good porting flexibility, especially if you’re young, need job mobility and/or have a growing family. Some lenders let you port, but not increase. That forces you to pay a penalty if you buy a pricier house and need more financing. Remember as well that that credit unions prevent porting across provincial lines, a problem if you move out of province.

 

Provided by Allan Bowerman, Mortgage Associate-Managing Partner-CERC Relocation Specialist, Ultimate Mortgage Partners Ltd.
http://www.calgarybestrate.com/

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If you have been shopping for a mortgage and your lender hasn’t explained about porting your mortgage, terminating your mortgage or other situations when fees may apply, please take the time to review your options and potentially save yourself some money on your mortgage costs.

 

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New Warranty Legislation coming into effect. Are you buying new construction?

Beginning Feb 1, 2014, new legislation will determine minimum warranty requirements for new constrution in Alberta. The changes apply to new homes constructed under a building permit applied for after Feb 1 2014.

 

"All new homes (detached homes and condominiums) would at minimum, include a warranty for:

  • One year labour and materials;
  • Two years for defects in labour and materials related to delivery and distribution systems;
  • Five years building envelope protection, with a requirement for the warranty provider to offer the consumer the option to purchase additional years of coverage; and,
  • 10 years coverage for major structural components."

Details and information source - Alberta Municipal Affairs

 

What does the change mean for homeowners?

 

There are currently various warranty programs available to builders and consumers that offer various levels of protection and some warranty packages provide much less coverage than homeowners may expect. This is true for single family homes and condominiums (townhouses and apartments).  The New Home Buyer Protection Act is the provincial effort to manage this issue.

 

 

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Time to Winterize your Home - 5 Essential Steps

Waking up to the thick layer of frost outside this morning, it is the sign it's time to winterize for the winter.

 

1. Get your furnace serviced if you haven't had an annual maintenance check recently. If you've done major renovations this year or added a basement development you might want to have the ducts cleaned too. If you have a gas fireplace, add that to the service list if you haven't had it checked in a couple of years.

 

2. Clean and inspect any wood burning fireplaces.

 

3. Test your smoke detectors and change the batteries. If your smoke detector is more than 8-10 years old, it needs replacement. The test may beep but it may no longer be as effective at detecting smoke and fire so check your model and replace if needed.

 

4. Check your windows and doors and repair any seals needed.

 

5. Blowout and winterize sprinkler systems and shut off water to outside taps.

 

As you take a walk around your property secure anything that might be blown away or damaged during a winter storm and put up the fall decorations.

 

Oh, and pull out the sleds, skates, skiis and other winter gear. There is an upside to coming snow.

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