November 29, 2011
Finding Your New Neighbourhood
A great little video by Royal LePage. A buyer's guide is also available to you for download. Just give me a call for more info.
November 28, 2011
The Snow Route Parking Ban is in effect this year throughout the city so it is a great idea to check out the maps and rules so you can be prepared. It will kick in once a 'snow event' is triggered when over 5 cm of snow has fallen.
If you are looking to purchase a home, it is worth a look to see if a prospective home is on the route. The routes may change, but some folks may see the routes as a big positive or negative. You do have to move your vehicle off the road, but you will be on a cleared road and able to get out of your street after a snow event.
The best direct resource is the City of Calgary website which will have all of the latest info, link to an online map of all routes which I can't link to directly. Also check out the Road Conditions Map (SNIC) which shows up to date info across the city. Should mobility be an issue, Handicap snow route exceptions can be requested with the city.
November 19, 2011
Humidity in your Home
It is -16 celcius outside right now and overnight it is expected to go down to -23. It is the start of winter in Calgary.
This morning we woke up in our home to find our windows completely frosted over with ice and condensation. The source, drying mudding from drywall work in our basement, resulted in much higher than normal humidity levels. After a few hours of cleaning, a trip to the store to buy a dehumidifier was in order.
If you find your windows regularly do this in cold weather, some investigation is required to keep your home healthy and to avoid potentially costly repairs. During home inspections, I've often heard inspectors note water damage to window frames and surrounding drywall. Often this may have been caused by humidity rather than a leaking window. The danger of high humidity is also that mould can result.
If the cause is a humidifier set too high or too many plants in a particular area, that is easy to fix, but it may also be an indicator of water issues in your home.
CMHC provides some great information on Measuring Humidity in your Home. Check it out and hopefully some info keeps you and your home healthier this winter.
November 14, 2011
Preparing for sale - Consider a pre-sale home inspection
An item to consider when prepping your home for sale is a presale home inspection. It is difficult to lose a sale due to an inspection deficiency, so it is best to be prepared. If you are budgeting for some repairs and improvements, the inspection can help you target your efforts.
Should the home inspection show no major issues, it can be provided to prospective buyers as part of the pre-review process which could potentially help expedite the sale process.
Should issues arise, you can address them BEFORE you have an offer on the table or else give you time to get quotes for repairs that can be provided to prospective buyers. For example, if windows require replacement, buyers will often overestimate the cost resulting in more difficult negotiations.
Review your appliances. If they are very old or out of standard for your neighbourhood, consider replacements.
Gather together the warranty information for your home and appliances including the furnace and hot water tank. If items remain under warranty that is transferrable to the new buyer, let them know as this can enhance the perceived value of the house.
First time home buyers often do not have extra funds for repairs and may not have knowledge about what is required to repair various issues. Depending on your target buyer, a small investment in repairs may reduce time on market and result in a higher sale price than the cost of the repairs.
If you are planning to sell your home and wish to meet for a pre-sale consultation just give me a call at 403 850 2446. I am happy to help.
November 3, 2011
Oct 2011 Real Estate Market Update
CREB (The Calgary Real Estate Board) released the official numbers for October 2011 sales. The highlights: increased sales over 2010, communities which are showing significantly increased activity and some inner city neighbourhoods showing significant increases in average price.
One number folks sometimes use as a benchmark is ‘average sale price’. While it is interesting to view as a trend, it is not a reflection that a 2% increase in average price results in a 2% increase in potential sale price of a particular home. Whether due to the construction/sale of larger and higher priced homes, the sale of luxury property or the replacement of older properties with new infill construction, the average sale price can misrepresent what a homeowner may feel is appropriate for their home. It also depends on how your home compares to similar homes in your neighbourhood. Are you the only one with an updated home or the only one who hasn’t updated yet?
A number of folks I have been working with recently have been in the ‘renovate or move’ decision cycle. The popular show ‘Love it or List it’ is all about this challenge and I think has been successful in showing the potential cost of some upgrades, but also the successes of both making a renovation work or finding that great new home. When I'm asked by folks, I often say that if your layout and location work but you want a fresh look then consider staying, but if your layout or location no longer serve your needs then it is worth a thorough look to see what homes are on market. Either way, sometimes just running the numbers is enough to help make a good decision. Obtain contractor quotes, check out current listings for home prices in your preferred area and talk to me to give you some detailed information
As always, if you have any questions regarding the sale or purchase of a home, just give me a call. I am happy to help.
Some notable numbers from the CREB press release:
Single family home sales totaled 988 for the month of October 2011, an 11 per cent increase over October 2010, but continue to remain well below historical levels. Year-to-date sales totaled 11,503, a 10 per cent increase over last year.
October listings have edged upwards over last year’s levels, increasing by nearly two per cent, but year-to-date there are six per cent less listings than levels recorded last year.
The average price of single family homes for the month of October 2011 was $455,399, while the median price was $395,000, an increase of two per cent compared to last year. This is primarily due to the rise in the number of luxury homes sales. Despite the monthly price increase, however, year-to-date figures remained stable at levels comparable to the previous year.
Condominium sales for the first 10 months of the year totaled 4,681, a three per cent rise over the same period last year. Inventory levels remained at 1,935 units, resulting in months of supply pushing above five months.
Condominium year-to-date average and median prices in 2011 were $288,736 and $262,500, respectively, a slight decline over the first 10 months of 2010. The decline is mostly due to increased sales in units priced under $200,000.