One of the first conversations folks usually have when they are preparing to purchase a new home is financing. Sometimes people are very focused on the interest rate but don't always ask questions about payment options, payout penalties, admin fees and other terms of their mortgage. Life happens so even though you may think 5 years is a short time, you may need to pay out your mortgage early.
 
There was a recent article published in REM Online: How to avoid hidden mortgage costs.
 
I highly recommend the read and to ask all the questions outlined when researching your mortgage options. I often suggest people speak to their current bank where they have an established history as well as a great mortgage broker to determine their best options. 
 
If you need some help planning your purchase, give me a call. I am happy to help.
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2 - 4pm on Saturday April 30
 
Come visit me at 365 223 Tuscany Springs Blvd to view this great condo in the Sierra's of Tuscany.
 
 
 
Top floor 1300+ sq ft 2 bedroom plus large den, 2 bath unit in the Sierra's of Tuscany. 2 underground parking spots and 2 storage lockers accompany this unit. The size does not include the fully glass enclosed insulated balcony. Unique modified floorplan with an open kitchen that is not visible from the front door. The living room is extra wide and the large windows provide great light. The master bedroom has a walk in closet and 3 piece ensuite with a large shower for easy access. The open plan accommodates a full sized dining room table. The den is just off the kitchen through a glass door and is a great space for an office or tv room. This age 40+ Medican building provides exceptional amenities including an indoor salt water pool, hot tub, bowling alley, workshop, games room, exercise room, craft room, library and gathering room with exceptional views. Shopping, transit, and many paved pathways are all nearby in the sought after community of Tuscany.
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Top floor 1300+ sq ft 2 bedroom plus large den, 2 bath unit in the Sierra’s of Tuscany. 2 underground parking spots and 2 storage lockers accompany this unit.  The size does not include the fully glass enclosed insulated balcony.  Unique modified floorplan with an open kitchen that is not visible from the front door. The living room is extra wide and the large windows provide great light. The master bedroom has a walk in closet and 3 piece ensuite with a large shower for easy access. The open plan accommodates a full sized dining room table. The den is just off the kitchen through a glass door and is a great space for an office or tv room. This age 40+ Medican building provides exceptional amenities including an indoor salt water pool, hot tub, bowling alley, workshop, games room, exercise room, craft room, library and gathering room with exceptional views. Shopping, transit, and many paved pathways are all nearby in the sought after community of Tuscany.  Call your Realtor to book your showing today.
 
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Unobstructed mountain views in this exceptional estate home in the Uplands of Hawkwood.  This spacious home offers 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms including a bedroom (or potential den) and full bath on the main floor. 16’ vaulted ceilings at the front foyer provide a grand entrance and open to the living room and dining room. A family room, large kitchen and breakfast nook look out onto the west view. The master bedroom includes a sitting area with gorgeous mountain views, ensuite with soaker tub and separate shower, and his/hers closets. 2 additional bedrooms and a full bath complete the top floor. Great storage throughout this home with tucked away closets and storage areas provides room for everything. The fully developed walkout basement would be an excellent in-law suite with large windows, 2 bedrooms and 2 full baths alongside a large rec room with gas fireplace. The backyard is private and established with mature trees to be enjoyed from the large upper deck or wrap around lower deck.  
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So as most of you know, I work with a lot of buyers. I help folks find all sorts of homes with all sorts of unique requirements.   I am happy to say there have been a number of happy folks so far this year and I hope to work with many more.
 
One of the main topics of conversation and requirements has been around transportation and finding homes that accommodate people's desire to use transit, bikes and other alternate forms of transportation.  Some if it motivated by the cost of gasoline and parking and some just by a motivation to make alternate choices.
 
In keeping with the theme I thought I'd provide you all with some of the great resources out there to help you find your way around Calgary.
 
1. Transit - The ongoing expansion of the city transit and LRT systems is allowing more and more folks to take transit and the LRT on a regular basis. Check out the various routes for your neighbourhood -  Calgary Transit Website

A great resource for finding specific bus stops near homes is actually google maps. Type in an address and zoom in a couple of times and small blue icons for bus stops appear at the stop location on the map. Clicking on the icon provides you the bus number that services that stop and the stop name which you can look up on the Calgary Transit Website.
 
As wel,l the West LRT construction is ongoing. Check out the West LRT website for ongoing info and station plans.
 
2. Bike Paths -  The City of Calgary provides an interactive bicycle pathways map which shows all the current paths in the city. Alternatively, this huge PDF also shows the info but it maxes out the memory on some machines on viewing. - Calgary Bicycle Pathways Map Download
 
3. Walking - So althought Calgary's weather isn't always so accommodating, many folks walk to work from homes in the inner city to the downtown core during much of the year.  The walk along the Bow in the morning is a beautiful way to start and end your day if you are considering a home in Kensington or other inner city neighbourhoods. 
 
Have other great suggestions to pass along? Either comment below or email me at info@monikafurtado.com and I am happy to share.
 
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INSTALLING SPRING...

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CREB released the March monthly stats package yesterday. Single family home sales continue to drive the market with NW Calgary seeing the larger increases to sales in the city.  We are currently in a balanced market with an average 3 months of inventory across the city, however location and property type have an effect.  Homes that are well priced and show well are selling quickly so careful attention to pricing, presentation, and marketing are essential.
 
Condominiums continue to lag behind in sales and prices from 2010, however, they are expected to rebound in the later half of the year so it is a great time to see what options are out there. Purchasing a condo is different than purchasing a single family house so if you are considering a purchase of a condo, check out my recent post: "So you Want to Buy a Condo?"
 
Although today's snowfall has put a damper on even my enthusiasm for being outdoors, we are very quickly approaching the spring market and the usual increase in activity.  I'm really looking forward to seeing my garden again.
 

Some notable numbers from the CREB stats update:

Single family home sales in the first quarter of 2011 were 3,309, a 4 per cent increase over the first quarter of 2010. The combination of stable home prices, low interest rates and year-over-year improvements in employment are the primary factors fueling the growth. 
 

March 2011 single family home sales totaled 1,355, a 3 per cent decrease over March 2010 figures.  The decline in sales was accompanied by a 19 per cent year-over-year decline in new listings. As a result, inventory remained at three months, which indicates a balanced single family market.  
 

The NW sector boasted the largest gains in single family home sales in the first quarter of 2011 with 1,198 sales, a 13 per cent increase over the first quarter of 2010. Sales in the SE posted quarterly gains of 5 per cent, while the SW remained relatively unchanged and NE sales declined by 9 per cent.
 

The SW sector recorded the highest single family average home price in the first quarter of 2011 at $570,748, while average home prices in the NW and SE were $464,990 and $422,821 respectively. The NE sector continues to remain the most affordable, with average prices hovering around $282,713.

Calgary Metro average price of single family homes in March 2011 was $462,947, a 2 per cent decline from March 2010, and virtually unchanged from the previous month.  Meanwhile, the median price declined by 5 per cent compared to March 2010. 
 

Quarterly condominium sales continue to fall over levels recorded in the previous year, down by 11 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2010, while quarterly average prices are down by 1 per cent.  It is important to note the quarterly average price of condominiums is skewed upwards for 2011 due to the sale of a $4.1 million condominium.  If we remove this sale, quarterly average price would have declined by over 2 per cent.

 
If you have friends or family interested in selling or purchasing a home, please pass my name along. A referral is the greatest compliment.
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