CIR Realty recently announced a partnership with two great organizations in Calgary. As a mom to great kids and a couple of nutty canines I am very happy to make a contribution to the program at the closing of every transaction going forward.
June 12, 2017
CIR Realty recently announced a partnership with two great organizations in Calgary. As a mom to great kids and a couple of nutty canines I am very happy to make a contribution to the program at the closing of every transaction going forward.
June 9, 2017
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - June 9, 2017
The regular market update is usually posted the first week of the month, but I let things play out a few days longer this time. I was noticing a bit of a surge in new listings at the end of May and wanted to see if it was a blip or still continuing.
So far this last week there has been a noticeable surge in listings. This is coupled with trying to show property and being told many are already under contract. This results in things being quite interesting and folks pull out their crystal balls and try and play the market.
With school winding down this is the optimal time to list for folks that want to move after school ends but before the new school year. It is also easier for busy sports families as many events are winding down. Maybe folks were waiting for positive market news which is now more consistent or maybe then wanted to show off their landscaping. With the flowers starting to bloom many homes have beautiful curb appeal.
We are in a climate of slow but consistent stabilization and slow pricing growth in our market for detached homes. Benchmark pricing is up from last year in all areas of the city except the northeast. Semi attched homes are catching up. Townhouses and apartments are a bit further behind and pricing is down compared to benchmark pricing last year most everywhere (except townhouses in the inner city). it is all logical really. Month over month pricing is in the positive though so that's a good sign meaning things are slowly moving forward even though they have a bit of ways to catch up from previous sales periods.
If you are considering the sale or purchase of a new home I would be very happy to assist you. Let us find you a great home at a great price. Give me a call direct at 403 850 2446.
May 10, 2017
Just Listed - 404 280 Shawville Way SE Calgary
Just steps from the LRT this large 2 bedroom plus den unit could easily be utilized as 3 bedrooms. This is one of the larger units in the building. Located on the top floor looking west, the open layout allows for a great flow and lots of natural light. The open plan kitchen and living room allow for ample living space plus there is a separate open dining area to host friends and family. The den is just to the right of the living room. To the left down the hall is the master bedroom private ensuite, an additional bedroom, main bath, laundry room and storage. This unit provides two titled parking spots just outside the elevator (22, 24) and titled storage (9). Pets permitted with restrictions. In suite air conditioning unit included.
April 26, 2017
New Development in Arbour Lake - NW Calgary
For many years an acerage in Arbour Lake, NW Calgary, remained as a large private parcel of land with a private residence on scenic property. The land is now sold to Hopewell and a new development is in the works in the very popular community of Arbour Lake. Walking distance to Crowfoot shopping and the LRT, this development is one to watch.
The 43 Acres of land is expected to house approximately 2200 new residents in approximately 890 homes and condo units. Construction is expected to start September 2018.
April 5, 2017
Development around Canada Olympic Park and the west side of the TransCanada Corridor
As we approach the construction season of 2017, it seemed a good time to get caught up on some of the major development and transportation projects in NW / West Calgary especially so much happening around Canada Olympic Park (COP) and the Trans Canada Corridor. This is a longer post than intended but I have so much to share with you!
You may have also noticed signage regarding some of the new communities soon to be starting construction in the area. The stages of development and detailed information vary for each site. As well, the names for some areas on the City of Calgary website differ from the advertised community or project names.
New Development Projects/Communities:
Trinity Hills / Medicine Hill / Paskapoo Slopes:
Developement of the area right beside Canada Olympic Park to the east. The application is by Winsport which runs Canada Olympic Park.
City of Calgary: City information for the Ripley Site
Parkside / Greenbriar / Greenwich:
Shape / Calgary West:
Loblaws / BVX Corp:
This area is located immediately southwest of the Trans Canada Stoney Trail interchange. Proposed use is 1325 residentail units, grocery store and supporting commerical, retail and office space. To be developed by Loblaw Properties West and BVX Corporation.
To be developed by Qualico Communities. Within this space, there will be approximately 516 dwellings ranging from single-detached, semi-detached and townhouses.
Bearspaw in Haskayne:
Stadium Shopping Centre:
This area will be redeveloped by the property owners, Western Securities. Redevelopment Plan
Calgary is building. Where are you going to call home? Contact Monika at 403 850 2446 to help you make your best move.
April 4, 2017
April 4 2017 Calgary Real Estate Market Update
The headlines read that the housing market is stabilizing as we enter spring. That does seem to be the case for detached homes in general and attached homes in some areas. However, it also seems to mean that some folks selling are feeling that since the turnaround has begun that prices have followed. They have not. Not yet. Inventory remains low with less homes on the market than last year with sales numbers increasing, but those overpriced homes are not selling. Pricing appropriately for today's market is key to getting your home sold, not just listed.
Unfortunately the apartment sector is not seeing the stabilization. As of today's numbers sales are up significantly and listings are starting to edge up. Until the supply/demand numbers are stabilized we won't see pricing stabilize in this sector especially given the volume of new construction which is not reflected in the MLS listing numbers.
From the CREB stats report:
The spring/early summer market is the most active in the city. Having the right strategy is key to take best advantage of this period.
A couple other items to note this month:
- If you are moving between similar priced properties in the city and you do not have much equity in your current home, please PLEASE contact your lender before you list your home. The current mortgage rules may dictate that while you qualified for the $480,000 property you live in a couple years ago, you now may qualify for less. This is very important information before you list your home.
- Developers and lot hunters are back in the market. If you are considering the sale of a lot with redevelopment potential there are strategies to improve your marketability. Contact me for details.
- There are some effects throughout the city due to the start of construction for the remainder of the Calgary Ring Road. Should you be considering neighbourhoods along the corridor be sure to review the short/long term plans so you know what to expect. Some short term disruptions in some areas, but also some amazing long term transportation and commute time improvements.
As always, please contact me with any questions or plans. I'm happy to help. Reach me directly at 403 850 2446 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 3, 2017
What is a mortgage pre-approval? Why do you need a mortgage preapproval?
Guest post by Tammie Redelback, Mortgage Advisor, MortgageLine Powered by Dominion Lending Centres
Thinking of buying a property, but don’t know where to start? One of the inital steps is to speak to your lender about your mortgage pre-approval.
A pre-approval is the best way to get started, but you should understand what a pre-approval is and what it isn’t.
What is a pre-approval?
What is a pre-approval not?
So if things change why get a pre-approval?
A pre-approval usually comes with a rate-hold, which is a good thing. Rates fluctuate and go up and down from time to time. Lenders will typically offer a rate hold for 90 days on a specific mortgage term. This means that if you find a property to buy in the allotted time, even if rates have gone up, you will get the rate that was guaranteed. If rates go down, you get the lower rate. It’s a win win.
Buying a home is a process, a process that has a lot of steps that come into play. A pre-approval is one of the first steps you take. A pre-approval allows you to collect all your documentation ahead of time, handle any obstacles that may come up, have a look at your mortgage options, secure a rate hold, and will give you peace of mind as to the next steps in the process. Regardless if this is your first time buying a place or your tenth, a pre-approval is the best place to start.
For more information regarding your next preapproval contact:
March 31, 2017
Just Listed - 221 Evanspark Gardens NW
Centrally located in Evanston within walking distance to schools, shopping and local parks, this modern and exceptionally cared for home is move in ready. The open concept main level with large windows, hardwood floors and great sight lines takes advantage of light and flow and highlights the kitchen with tall dark cabinets, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, sparkling tile and lighting accents. Tucked behind the walkthrough pantry is the main floor laundry/mud room and powder room. Upstairs offers 3 large bedrooms including the master bedroom and ensuite with master bath including separate tiled shower and large tub and the main bath. The other two bedrooms are well sized. Just down the hall is the bright bonus room for family fun. The landscaped and fenced backyard backs to a community pathway. Double attached garage. Unspoiled basement. Extended structural warranty to 2024 with Alberta New Home Warranty. Call for your private showing today.
March 14, 2017
Saving Money on Your Mortgage
Guest Post by Jason Dodd, Vice President, Verico Maximum Mortgages Inc.
Many times it starts with your realtor making a recommendation for a broker or banker. The important part is to at least contact a couple people who deal in mortgage financing. Many people ask me why I would suggest this when I am trying to earn their business? Well I feel it is important for clients to experience the advice and expertise of more than one person before jumping into a large debt obligation. Mortgages are more than just rate, you need to understand the options, terms, rates and conditions which cumulate to give you a full mortgage package. Many clients are surprised at restrictions or high penalties that were not explained initially, that come back to cause high cost and aggravation in the back half of their mortgage term. Initially you should talk to and work with someone who can fully explain the process and the mortgage and is able to provide you with multiple options.
There is more to this than most people even consider and each client is very different. Many lenders offer varying degrees of pre-payment options and some are better suited to specific borrowers. This is a great discussion piece and you can literally save a lot of money by having the correct pre-payment options that align with your borrowing and home goals. This is why selection becomes important when deciding on a lender, if you just look at one option how will you know what is out there? By making small adjustments to monthly payments and choosing accelerated biweekly/weekly options you can dramatically reduce interest over the life of your loan. I find April is a great time to decide if you would like to make lump sum payments as spring is coming(home repairs) and also the tax man will either give or take away some money at that time. This might determine how much or little you can put towards your home.
Consider a mortgage of $400,000. 5 year fixed rate of 2.59% and monthly payments.
Your Monthly payment would be $1809.84 and you would pay $47753.89 in interest over the term and $60836.51 principal pay down.
Utilizing some pre payment options that are manageable can make a significant difference under the same scenario.
Changing payments to Bi Weekly accelerated $904.92. Applying a lump sum payment annually of $1200 (or increase payments $100 each month).
Interest is reduced to $46467.79 but you increase your principal pay down up to $77,171.82. A significant difference with making minor changes to your overall monthly budget.
3) Choose the correct term-
I have lost count over my 14 years in the industry of times I have seen clients aligned with incorrect terms. Discussing life changes, job movement, home ownership goals starts to uncover the best options for financing. 5 year fixed terms are popular because of stability and security (good points) but some clients are saddled with large penalties if they have to break early due to life changes or circumstance. Often this can be prevented by picking a shorter term or variable (closed or fixed) or open term that can accommodate more readily some uncertainty for future plans. This alone could save you thousands of dollars down the road if you anticipate some uncertainty of plans in the future. Good brokers will give you options on shorter terms as well as an option so you can consider them as well, certainly a worthy discussion.
March 14, 2017
Multiple Offers: They are Back. How to Win.
As we enter the spring market on the start of what seems to be a strong upswing in our market, we are once again seeing more multiple offers on property. Surprised aren't you?
It is about inventory, numbers and affordability.
Considering the mortgage rule changes that came into effect in the fall of 2016 and the pricing in our market, it isn't surprising in the starter and mid size home detached home segment especially.
As a seller you are looking for security of the transaction. Let us say Mr and Mrs Seller have a home for sale in NW Calgary for $450,000. It is in great shape, in a great community and presents well. After going on market they receive 4 offers. They are all somewhat similar. How do Mr and Mrs Seller choose? Their home is going to be conditionally sold for over a week waiting out someone completing their financing and completing a home inspection. Is it a strong offer from a prepared buyer or a buyer on a whim that hasn't done their due diligence?
March 3, 2017
Did You Know that any kind of property can be a condominium?
For many people the word 'condo' means an apartment. But as development styles have evolved, the term condo or condominium can refer to any kind of property including detached homes, attached homes such as duplexes and townhomes and the typical apartment in Calgary. A condominium is a term that refers to legal ownership, not property style. Condominium ownership combines individual ownership of a living unit with shared ownership of the common property and shared participation in the condominium corporation.
Over the years some common condo examples include a complex of semi-detached duplexes such as villas or townhomes. Each owner owns their unit but shares common property such as the back greenspace, clubhouse, street, snow and lawn maintenance and other services. Often exterior maintenance is also part of the responsibility of the condo corporation. This concept appeals to those that enjoy owning their own home with the benefits of a lock and leave lifestyle without worrying who will cut the grass.
Another example is a street or community development where a number of detached homes are developed under a bareland condo structure. Each owner owns their home (their unit) and land, but share common property such as the road, snow maintenance, amenities, security, etc. All of the units (detached homes) form a condo corporation with set rules, responsibilities and condo fees.
A condominium structure, whether apartment, townhouse, duplex or detached dwelling, appeals to many. It is important to understand that when you purchase a condo that you purchase a unit and also a portion of the responsibility of the condo corporation. The value of similar units between different condo corporations can differ substantially even if the units seem similar due to the management and financial stability of the condo corporation.
As part of purchasing a condo, there are additional due diligence steps a buyer should take including a review of the condo documents.
March 2, 2017
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - March 2017
It is March 2 in Calgary on a sunny and chilly day. I'm reading in detail the monthly statistics package released by the Calgary Real Estate board as it shows in numbers what we have been feeling out in the market place over the last few weeks. The market felt like it was turning. There was optimism regarding our economy, stabilization of markets and folks were starting to ask a lot more questions. More sold stickers were going up. Inventory numbers are lower compared to last year with sales trending much higher.
Now that the numbers are out, they speak to that change. The graphs and charts show curved lines across many metrics. Sales to date across the city are up 21.5% year to date and we have a 14% reduction in inventory so far compared to last year. Now don't get me wrong. We didn't just jump back to before the downturn in terms of sales or pricing but we are now consistently trending upward in sales. Whether pricing soon follows will depend on the supply and demand balance of the spring market. Year over year benchmark pricing for detached homes in the northwest and west have already moved to the positive.
The one segment that has been strongly negatively adjusted in terms of pricing over the last two years has been apartments. With pricing down the market responded in February with a jump in sales. In Feb 2016 only 168 apartments sold. Now in Feb 2017 we saw 236 sales. So far year to date the sales of apartment units in Calgary is up 29% compared to last year (as of 1 pm March 2.). That metric for February alone was an increase in sales by just over 40%. That is significant.
If you are considering a sale or purchase now is the time you really need to get some good advice and a responsive Realtor that answers their phone, makes calls, follows up and makes things happen for you. There are some communities that are seeing spikes and others are not. Why? Many folks are seeing the writing on the wall and jumping on those homes in preferred neighbourhoods. Folks looking for lots are back seriously considering. First time home buyers are making calls and getting pre-approvals locked down.
If you have been waiting for the bottom to make some decisions now is the time to crunch some numbers. Call me. I'm happy to help.
February 26, 2017
Just Listed - 6 Tuscany Valley Rd NW
Centrally located in Tuscany, this inviting bi-level with 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths has over 2000 sq ft across both floors. It is walking distance to the new Eric Harvie school, Twelve Mile Coulee School, local shopping including Sobeys as well as neighbourhood playparks, the Tuscany Club, transit and 15 min walk of Tuscany LRT. The upper level opens to a living room and dining room with hardwood floors and a large kitchen with classic white cabinets, concrete counters, modern black backsplash and cork floors. Three bedrooms are on this level including the master bedroom. The main bath is updated and fresh. Downstairs offers a bright, large 4th bedroom, full bath, open rec room and family room and a spacious laundry/utility room. The double detached garage and back shed provide ample storage and parking space. Attractive inside and out, this charming family home with the great front garden and red front door can be yours. Book your private showing today.
February 16, 2017
Calgary Property Types and Building Types - Your Options
There are a number different property types and building types available for sale in Calgary and sometimes it gets confusing because names and terms changes over the years and they are also different area to area.
Below is a breakdown of the various options here in Calgary and the local terms used. There are others too but this captures the main ones. I hope it helps you narrow down your preferences and understand your options in the local real estate market. Any questions at all just contact me anytime.
Detached: This type of home is a free standing residential building where the exterior walls do not touch the adjoining property.
Attached: A home shares at least one common wall with another unit.
Semi-detached: A single dwelling built as one of a pair that share one common wall. These are sometimes called duplexes. These may be villa properties such as in a condo complex of 30-40 units where each is structured as a semi-detached villa.
Row: A single dwelling attached to each other by a common wall with more than two properties in the complex. These are what most folks consider as typical townhouse properties where most of the units share common walls The end units only share one wall but they form part of the larger building so all of these units are considered as Row.
Apartment: Whether high rise or low rise, apartments are typical buildings with common access and hallways.
So now you have decided which of the above may work for you.
Apartments are rather easy. They are either single level units or multi level units.
For attached and detached properties, the options are quite varied. Below is a visual from the RECA (Real Estate Council of Alberta) Measurement guidelines. A visual is the best way to understand some of the options especially various split level designs. The front door is on the left of these examples.
The one most often singled out is the Bungalow in terms of property searches is a Bungalow which is the local name for a single level property.
Please note that different property types are measured differently so please refer to the RMS Measurement Guidelines for more information if you want to get into the details.
Did you know that any property type can be a condo? More on that next time.
February 15, 2017
Building Feature - Renaissance Towers
The Renaissance Towers in Briar Hill are a unique and sought after address. Located at 1718 and 1726 14 Avenue NW, the two towers provide amenities, location and views like no other.
The adult only building is connected to the shopping centre below allowing residents to access groceries (Safeway) and many shops and amenities without ever stepping outdoors in the winter time. The towers are also located across the street from the Lions Park LRT station and easy access to city amenities.
Building amenities include on 24 hour on-site concierge and security which assist many residents with their building needs, parcel delivery, receiving guests and maintaining the security of the building. Underground titled parking as well as underground visitor parking are accessed off the beautiful entry. An onsite library, fitness room, games room, theater, guest suites, carwash and private roof top park are unique features as is the building and unit central air conditioning system.
Should you be wishing to sell your unit or wish to be notified of properties as soon as they are available just contact me at 403 850 2446.
February 2, 2017
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - Feb 2, 2017
The sun is shining and soon the snow will be flying and it is winter in Calgary. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. We are managing through some turbulent times, but always remember the opportunities and daily joys we share living in this great city.
The detached segment of the market is demonstrating the most improvement. Sales activity totalled 584 units in January, a considerable improvement over the 466 sales recorded last year. Inventories have also declined pushing the months of supply to 3.2 months well below the 5.4 months recorded in January 2016.
The numbers are turning. Slowly but turning and we are still below averages. But isn't it great to be on the other side of this one in some respects? Looking forward to a great year and to those of you with the means I hope you review your options to see what opportunities there may be waiting for you in the local real estate market.
January 17, 2017
Calgary Real Estate Update - Jan 17 2017
The Calgary Real Estate Board, CREB, released the 2017 market outlook and forecast report recently. The themes speak to a transition to a stable local real estate market in 2017. While detached and attached homes are ahead of the curve on this over apartments, the overall market balance is now taking us away from the challenging conditions in the previous two years. The apartment sector continues to lag in part due to new construction supply.
With that, our market is very much dependent on many factors including the stability of the energy sector, the overall labour market and public government policy regarding mortgages and lending.
As I have completed property evaluations for numerous clients over recent weeks the one biggest takeaway remains that the trends are quite different across the city. You can't just look at an overall city benchmark and take that to determine a home price.
With the holiday season now behind us we look forward to 2017 and the upcoming late winter/spring market. With change comes opportunity. Lets chat about yours.
January 14, 2017
SW Ring Road - Initial Project Information Posted
Yesterday Ward 6 Councillor, Richard Pootmans, posted a very important update regarding initial work for the SW Ring Road.
Part of this work is a gravel pit and haul road to be constructed and initiated in the TUC between 101 St SW and the community of West Springs and down to access to Hwy 8.
From the announcement:
Gravel Pit and Haul Road - larger version of map and details are posted here
December 9, 2016
5 Tips to Make Showings a Little Easier
You staged your home for the listing photos, you cleaned places you never noticed before and you set out pillows, accessories and flowers to welcome buyers to your home.
Everything is perfect. Then everyone comes home from school, work and sports events and stuff appears as if by magic in every room.
Preparing for showings can sometimes cause folks angst as it is hard to keep everything 'perfect' all the time. How we show our homes isn't often how we live day to day especially if we have children and pets.
1. Prepack some unneeded items and ensure you have one spot in each room to put all that random stuff that shows up.
2. Prepare a showing tidy kit for yourself in a carry container. Cleaning wipes, stainless steel wipes, duster, etc. for last minute cleaning as you walkthrough your home.
3. Keep an extra bag for baby items, toys, food, water or whatever you may need in the car just in case. That way you have an extra whatever-you-need on those days where timing doesn't go in your favour.
4. Have a plan of a few places to go during showings and options for folks to watch your pets.
5. Determine your showing cut off times and communicate them to your Realtor. It is very common for homes with children to end showings at a specific time like 7 or 8pm. That way you maintain your normal evening bed routines no matter the days events.
Short term staging and cleaning and you will soon be on your way to your new home. All the best!
December 6, 2016
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - Dec 6 2016
The official numbers are out for November. I've been mulling them over before I sent out my update because things feel different than the numbers suggest.
November sales and pricing numbers were down. November was the first full month following implementation of the new lending rules and many people have been pondering the consequence of that change. The rules change has definitely slowed down the market.
While the effect of the new lending rules is supported by the data that does not tell the whole story. At the same time I am having a hard time finding good new detached home options for some clients. They could be hoping for lower prices still or maybe many sellers are just choosing not to list their homes resulting in lower inventories. There were 2680 detached homes on market November 2015, but only 2322 on the market November this year. As the holidays approach we expect the number of listings to continue to constrict until after the new year.
The trend is quite different for apartments where inventories remain higher on the resale market. Townhomes and semi-detached properties fluctuate in terms of supply / demand differences this year compared to last depending on the area of the city.
There have been more sales in the upper price and luxury price points this year than last. Perhaps some folks are recognizing the savings opportunity here. A 5% reduction on a $1,000,000 home is quite the savings if someone is moving from a $500,000 home. They would have sold their previous home for a bit less but overall enjoyed relative savings on the new purchase in this market.
Now, what's next is what is on the horizon? The approval of two major pipeline projects, Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain expansion and Enbridge's Line 3 replacement, has many ears perking up. Energy East is yet to be determined as is Keystone XL.
So time to look ahead with open eyes and prepare for 2017. It will take a bit of time for new projects to translate into jobs, but it is great to see positive news in our forecasts.
With that I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all, my amazing clients, for your continued support. Be it calls for information, a move, a referral or just to say hello, I feel touched that you turn to me with your real estate questions. I am always happy to help and happy to say hello. I''m always curious about your move, if you like your community, and how the family is doing.
I wish you all the very best in 2017. Keep in touch and feel free to contact me anytime.