Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Embracing electronic signatures in Calgary real estate
Electronic signatures have been growing in popularity across various industries including real estate. In Alberta, electronic signatures are accepted as part of real estate transactions.
Using highly secure Docusign clients can sign a document using their smart phones, tablets, laptops or computers via their email. No paper. No printers, scanners or faxes needed.
This has become an essential tool in my arsenal for a few reasons:
1. My clients can sign from anywhere/anytime. They will not need to find a printer and then scanner or fax to sign a document. So yes, you can accept a purchase contract while on holiday in Mexico without having to send your personal documents via the hotel front desk. Or you can sign a document at work without having to print anything on the work printer or leave a job site.
2. Documents are returned at high quality vs those that have been faxed a couple of times. Lawyers like legible contracts.
3. It is much faster than the conventional paper and driving. My clients saw a house they loved and drove home to think things through. In the meantime someone else wrote an offer on the house and we had 1 hour to get our own offer in. There was no time to drive there and back so I prepared the documents, we discussed by phone and my clients signed using electronic signatures. We got the offer in and we got the house.
While I still sign most documents face to face, having electronic signatures as an option for my clients is another tool that improves the experience and helps you get things done. We won't miss an important deadline because of a traffic jam.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Open House Saturday Sept 20 at 42 Hawkdale Circle NW
Stop by at 42 Hawkdale Circle NW this Saturday, Sept 20, between 2pm and 4pm to view this beautiful Hawkwood Home.
Original owners. This exceptionally well maintained home in Hawkwood is well designed to take advantage of the south facing backyard and ample light. The main floor includes a large kitchen wrapping around the centre island, eating nook, family room, dining room, living room and main floor office. Up the grand staircase 3 bedrooms including the master with 5 piece bath, additional full bath and laundry complete the level. The fully finished walkout basement offers a large rec room, 2 bedrooms, full bath and access to the amazing backyard. Landscaped with love over the years, this oasis is unlike most you will find. Enjoy the rooftop mountain view from the upper deck or the garden details from the lower patio. The stonework and mature plantings are gorgeous. Updates include replacement of all Poly B piping with new pex lines, over 34 window glazing panes replaced with double pane and a new roof. Air conditioned. This home close to amenities, schools and transit is move in ready.
View all property details for 42 Hawkdale Circle NW
Friday, September 12, 2014
Just Listed - 1001 8 Ave NE Calgary
This exceptional home with south facing backyard/deck is just steps from the ridge in Renfrew and quick access to downtown. Well designed and constructed, this home feels very spacious. Beyond the front foyer is a large dining area open to the beautiful front bay window. Beyond is the wrap around kitchen with granite counters, hardwood floors, stainless appliances, under-counter lighting and elegant cabinetry. The kitchen bar opens to the bright living area with gas fireplace. Step out to the composite deck to enjoy an evening dinner. Upstairs the master bedroom is spacious with beautiful ensuite with standing shower and 2 sinks. Beautiful city views from the upper level. The laundry is also on the upper level. The second upper bedroom also has an ensuite. The fully finished basement offers a 3rd bedroom, full bath and huge rec room/family room. Spacious yard with lots of grass and double detached garage complete the back. Corner lot. Steps to transit. Book your showing today.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Calgary Real Estate Update - Sept 9 2014
Calgary's residential market continues to hold strong with high sales number. The condominium apartment and townhouse sectors saw the biggest gains, increasing by nearly 14 and 20 per cent, respectively. As pricing has moved up, those in the lower price points are moving to condo property vs single family as single family prices rise and less are available in the lower price points. It makes sense that townhomes are seeing a strong demand as many folks that would otherwise purchase single family homes are now looking at townhomes.
Pricing for single family homes remain at pricing similar to the previous month. Year over year pricing is still over 10% higher than this time last year.
Some major City announcements to watch include the ongoing discussion regarding secondary suties. The City of Calgary Council will be reviewing requirements and zoning for secondary suites this month. A big issue and currently a very political one as well.
As well, yesterday, Council approved the West Campus Development by the University of Calgary. This large new community still has many steps forward but very little contention on approval means they are well on their way. - Project Details for West Campus
If you wish detailed information regarding various market segments visit the CREB Statistics Info Page or give me a call at 403 850 2446.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Calgary Secondary Suites - Is a big change coming?
In the coming days and weeks, Council will be readdressing the issue of secondary suites in Calgary. A matter of great debate and has become quite politicized and is gaining momentum. Student groups, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and even the Home Builders Association have put their support behind the easing of restrictions regarding secondary suites. Currently they are not permitted in R-1 (or variation) designated areas which accounts for most single family homes in the city and every individual application must be heard by the Council.
The lack of housing due to our very low rental vacancy rate has pushed this issue forward. First folks were displaced due to the floods of 2013, then followed a surge of new residents to our city as well as a booming real estate market. Many tenants in current property are facing pricing increases and new tenants are having trouble finding housing. Students returning to colleges and universities have faced a tough couple of years. The lack of options have pushed many to move to properties with illegal suites which may not meet building and safety requirements.
Should City Council ease restrictions to allow suites in previously restricted areas, owners and investors need to understand that this only changes the bylaw requirements. Any legal suites still need to meet safety and building code requirements to be legal suites. City of Calgary information on secondary suites.
The change in bylaw would basically allow an owner to make step 1 of the current process much easier. Details on the process on the City of Calgary website.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Just Listed - 61 10940 Bonaventure Drive SE Calgary
First time on the market.
Renovated 3 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath fully finished townhouse backing directly to the Willow Park Golf Course. This unit is walking distance to the Anderson LRT station. The main level provides a spacious renovated kitchen with eating nook which looks out the front bay window. Beyond is a dining area open to the living room and beautiful views to the private back patio which looks out directly to the lush green golf course and mature trees. The main floor also provides a powder room. Upstairs there are 3 bedrooms including a master with 4 piece ensuite and walk in closet as well as a main full bathroom. Tile, flooring and lighting have been upgraded throughout as well as extra touches such as exposed beams and California knock down ceilings. The basement is fully finished with a spacious rec room and bar area, full bathroom, laundry and ample storage. Excellent location close to Southcentre mall and many shops and amenities. Double carport with tandem parking in front of the unit. Enjoy the complex pool!
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Just Listed - 158 Mt Douglas Pt SE
Steps from the Bow River Pathway and close to amenities, transit, schools and parks including Fish Creek Park, this fully finished home is a must see. Excellent school and daycare options in the area. With a fully finished basement, 4 total bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, main floor den, separate dining and a well landscaped yard with two tier deck this home has a great layout. On the main level you will enter to a front living room and dining area. Beyond is the open family room, eating nook and large kitchen with spacious island and ample cabinets. The main floor also provides a den/office and powder room. Upstairs are three large bedrooms including master with tile 4 piece bathroom as well as a laundry room with Miele washer/dryer. The basement provides a 4th bedroom, full bath, hobby room (no window) and huge rec area including a bar area. The current owners have upgraded many items inside the home such as new paint, lighting, dishwasher,roof, garage openers and other touches. New high efficiency furnace 2013.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
SW Ring Road Details
A few months back now we saw the initial designs for the remaining sections of the ring road. Alberta Transportation has now released two amazing animations that show full details.
This answers a lot of questions clients have had about access points and location respect to various property.
The videos were created by Alberta Transportation.
Friday, August 15, 2014
Just Listed - 42 Hawkdale Circle NW Calgary
Original owners. This exceptionally well maintained, clean home in Hawkwood is well designed to take advantage of the south facing backyard and ample light. The main floor includes a large kitchen wrapping around the centre island, eating nook, family room, dining room, living room and main floor office. Up the grand staircase 3 bedrooms including the master with 5 piece bath, additional full bath and laundry complete the level. The fully finished walkout basement offers a large rec room, 2 bedrooms, full bath and access to the amazing backyard. Landscaped with love over the years, this oasis is unlike most you will find. Enjoy the rooftop mountain view from the upper deck or the garden details from the lower patio. The stonework and mature plantings are gorgeous. Updates include replacement of all Poly B piping with new pex lines, over 34 window glazing panes replaced with double pane and a new roof. Air conditioned. This Hawkwood home close to amenities, schools and transit is move in ready.
Friday, August 15, 2014
Just Listed - 145 Tuscany Reserve Rise NW Calgary
This Tuscany home with west facing backyard is exceptionally clean, painted in neutral colors and move in ready. With hardwood on the main floor, the floor plan flows from the entrance to the back deck. Beyond the front entrance is a den/office to the right and spacious mud room to the left. Beyond the stairs is the open concept large kitchen with corner pantry and substantial island with breakfast bar, the living room and dining area. The large windows let in ample light and the raised back deck is a perfect place to relax in watching the evening sun over the mountains. The upper level provides a huge bonus room, master bedroom with 4 piece ensuite and a skylight over the ensuite tub, 2 more bedrooms, a full bath and a bright laundry room. The unspoiled basement is very well laid out and open. It is a raised basement so the back windows are unusually big. Basement bathroom is roughed in. Double attached garage. Close to amenities, schools and transportation. Tuscany LRT opening Aug 25.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Selling Property - Marriage status or Leaving Canada
In the last couple of weeks I've surprised a few buyers and sellers with information they didn't know but absolutely needed to know to avoid some major surprises.
1. Dower Rights. If you are legally married and purchasing a property only in your name you need to understand Dower Rights in Alberta. You can buy the property without a blink but to sell the property you will require the signature of your spouse, even if you haven't seen then in 14 years and they live in the Arctic.
2. If you sell your home and you have moved outside of Canada you need to be aware of tax implications. If you are no longer a resident under the Canada Income Tax act then 25-50% of sale proceeds can be withheld on closing until you file appropriate paperwork.
Some folks think they can just avoid resolving these issues and list their homes anyway. You can't. They are a legal reality. You can absolutely address them, prepare for them and find a resolution and then move forward, but legal advice and some extra paperwork are sure to be required.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - Aug 5 2014
The real estate sales numbers for July are very strong with record levels for the month of July being posted.
The Census also is showing significant construction and growth is happening in the inner city and not just in the suburbs. Calgary is clearly changing and adjusting to new home demand patterns.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
If your smoke detector is more than 10 years old, it may not work.
When you test your smoke detector it may beep but it may longer be able to detect smoke in your home if it is more than 10 years old.
At almost every home inspection, I hear the inspector advise buyers to swap out the smoke detectors. In many cases they are beyond their useful date, but owners don't realize that they are no longer functioning. It also advised that owners replace the old smoke detectors with a smoke/carbon monoxide detector.
Having a smoke detector or smoke alarm can save your life or help you avoid serious injury. Many injuries in fires are a result of smoke alone.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Buying in Calgary's Hot Real Estate Market
The Calgary real estate market is undeniably strong right now. The summer heat will slow things down a touch, but the fundamentals of a strong market continue. This poses a challenge for a few reasons.
1. Trying to buy a home before you sell a home is very difficult unless financially you can carry both. The 'subject to sale' clause is typically a non-starter these days especially in the more popular price points or in high demand areas. Most folks will instead choose to sell with a long possession or find other means to make the buy/sell timelines work for them.
2. The timing - inventory turnover - is quick. Buyers that typically want to see many properties often find that a few on the list are sold before they even make it out to their car! Alternatively, sellers receive offers, but don't commit as they are hedging that a better offer may be just around the corner. Some buyers may wait it out but some may find the tactic 'not in good faith' and move on to another property so both the seller and prospective buyer lose.
The great thing about this market is that most properties do sell if priced appropriately and presented well. Saavy staging and a sound marketing strategy can fetch higher prices. Some sellers are clearly over pricing their homes and that always happens but that's where solid market advice is needed. There's a reason some homes are selling in the first 2 weeks and some are sitting 60-70 days with multiple price drops.
The 'interesting' thing that happens in this type of market is that homes sell with urgency and pace that otherwise wouldn't sell so easily in a slower market. People get hurried and forgo property inspections, condo reviews or other due diligence to get 'a deal'. The Alberta market is based on a concept of 'buyer beware'. The sellers only obligation is to disclose 'material latent defects'. They do not have to disclose any other issues with the property, stigma or any other items. So take a deep breath and then find that perfect property while still protecting yourself by the conditions and terms set out in the purchase contract and ask lots of questions.
That's what I'm here for so don't hesitate to contact me with any questions regarding the sale or purchase of your home.
Friday, July 11, 2014
Calgary Market Update - July 11 2014
June was a busy month in the Calgary real estate market with increased sales numbers and pricing adjustments that continue the upward trend. New listings are coming on market to ease things, but looking at the details it isn't having much impact on single family homes under $500,000. The high end market is seeing the most inventory but even then we are seeing record sales numbers. The details of the adjustments are in the CREB stats, but the general numbers won't tell you much other than the trend because there is just a real variant across the city and year to year comparisons are not an accurate reflection due to the June 2013 floods.
The one item that I wanted to point out especially to buyers is that the number of active listings is deceiving. In the past when a seller accepted a purchase contract, a listing would be marked 'under contract' or 'pending' on the system so we would know how many were actually available and how many were in the pending state before they were officially sold. Now a large number of properties are kept as 'active' even in the pending state.
For example, last weekend a client sent me 12 properties she wished to view. Once screened, only 3 were actually active. The same for other clients though it depends on price point and area how quickly properties are moving. I've been successful in helping clients secure properties right on listing recently and I don't think the listing was even on the public MLS system before it was under contract.
In terms of condos there seems to be more available and a large number of projects proposed in the last few weeks so there are going to be good opportunities for buyers if they are willing to wait on new construction. As always, ask lots of questions especially about condo documents and fees so you understand your long term cost.
Friday, June 27, 2014
New Listing - 2131 Edenwold Heights NW
Top floor, south facing 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit in Edgecliffe Estates in Edgemont. This unit is well located and close to transit, market mall, hospitals and amenities. This open concept layout includes a kitchen with wrap around counter, south facing living room with a gas fireplace and a dining area. The living room provides sliding doors to the balcony with rooftop city views. Walking down the hall the first bedroom is on the right with the laundry room and full bath on the left. Beyond is the second bedroom with walkthrough closet and ensuite bath with standing shower. The clubhouse offers great amenities including a pool, hot tub, steam room, large exercise room and party room with pool table. Ask about the investor pool and the unique onsite rental management program. Parking Stall 123 just outside the front door is assigned to this unit.
This complex is unique in that it has an onsite rental management company that manages onsite rental units for owners and manages all as part of a rental pool program. Call direct for more information about the program.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Just Listed. Open House Today: 206 Arbour Meadows Close NW
Open House today, Sat, June 21 from 2-4pm.
206 Arbour Meadows Close NW
This bright and spacious home in Arbour Lake offer 4 bedrooms, 3 ? bathrooms, a fully finished walkout basement, detached double garage and sunny south exposured deck and backyard. Excellent location within the community close to transit, the LRT, Crowfoot Shopping Centre, schools and more. The main level offers a warm living room, dining room and the kitchen and eating nook beyond. Maple cabinets surround the extended island in this bright kitchen. Upstairs the master bedroom is spacious with separate ensuite. Two additional bedrooms and full bath complete the upper level. The walkout basement offers a rec room, bedroom, full bath and laundry. Exceptionally maintained. Book your showing today.
Monday, June 16, 2014
A good week to pay it forward
Today is June 16, 2014. It is days away from the 1 year anniversary of the June 21, 2013 floods which messed with the lives and homes of very many people in our awesome city.
It is starting to rain again, but even without the actual physical reminder, many people are feeling the stress of those days all over again. Yes, some folks are actively concerned with more flooding, but the realization that so much or so little has changed in 1 year can be hard too.
Some brave faces might not be showing the nervousness they feel as the day approaches. Rebuilding can take a long time and it's pretty hard to recover even with the help of 30 volunteers clearing out all of your belongings covered in mud and left in a heap for a dump truck to haul away.
So this is the week that we all remind ourselves that it might be a good time to show some Calgary spirit. Say hi to your neighbour and ask them how they are doing, buy a friend a coffee or maybe just ring them to say hi. Pay it forward in small ways or big ways.
One of the absolute best things you can do is support the businesses and people that were affected by the flood to help them get back. Go for dinner in Mission, go visit High River or Canmore and check out the shops or find ways to buy local and support local.
All the best.
Friday, June 6, 2014
Just Listed - 30 Citadel Crest Link NW Calgary
Warm and move in ready family home in Citadel. Excellent location on a circle just off the walking path to the school and steps to the play park. The kitchen has been updated to add a huge island for hosting family and friends as well as new appliances including a gas stove. The custom floor is a high end URBN manufactured floor which resists scratches and looks amazing. A powder room/laundry and front dining room complete the main level. Upstairs the large bonus room is bright and open. The master bedroom with 4 piece ensuite, 2 bedrooms and additional full bath complete the upstairs. The finished basement includes a large rec room, 4th bedroom and excellent storage. The rough in for a basement bath is accessible for potential development. Outside you will find a gorgeous 3 tier deck ideal for meals and entertaining outside. New roof, updated exterior paint and touches throughout. Book your showing today. Double attached garage.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Real Estate Calgary Market - June 3 2014
In the recent weeks/months, the real estate market in Calgary has been very strong and anyone watching property listings will have noticed the number of sold stickers that appear quite quickly on signs around the city and the number of headlines regarding new records for sales and pricing.
The numbers are strong but are varied depending on property type (apartment, townhhouse or single family home) and across communities. Everything from the ring road, schools, transportation, office location moves and other criteria are impacting the micro markets.
If you are looking for a condo and have settled on a building, give me a call so we can watch specific properties so you don't miss out. Some properties are selling before they even show up on the public MLS system.
Pricing changes include a 10% increase since a year ago for single family homes. The change has been shocking for those that have been waiting for a deal yet watched pricing creep up. The market does fluctuate, but all indicators are pointing towards continued growth in the coming period.
Local news such as the announcement of new luxury towers in Eau Claire and other new condo projects in the city, the opening of the Tunnel and resulting industrial and commercial development, Ring Road details, the planned opening of new luxury brand stores and strong economic indicators are all signs of growth for Calgary. A huge influence on potential changes to the real estate market are the continued talks regarding secondary rental suites in the city and the debates regarding future land development and expansion. The current initiative to allow secondary suite in inner city zones goes to Council on June 9th. I'm very curious to see the outcome.
With mortgage rates again on a decline (didn't think that was possible) the incentives remain.