March 27, 2013
Missed the first unit? Now listed: 1512 Edenwold Heights NW
Just SOLD - 2914 Edenwold Heights NW. Conditionally sold within 1 week of listing.
Now LISTED - 1512 Edenwold Heights NW. If you missed the first opportunity, here is another chance:
One bedroom unit in the Edgecliffe Estate complex located in Edgemont. This west facing unit in building 1500 offers an open concept layout including a kitchen with wrap around counter, warm living room with a gas fireplace and a separate dining area. The full bath and insuite washer/dryer are just across the hall from the bedroom. One outside parking stall is assigned to this unit. Large deck to enjoy a summer BBQ. The clubhouse offers great amenities including a pool, hot tub, steam room, large exercise room/gym with ample equipment and party room with a pool table. Great location close to Nose Hill, Market Mall, U of C, Hospitals and transit access. Ask about the investor rental pool. Unique and attractive opportunity for investment via on site rental management. With recent exterior updates and improvements including all new stucco and windows, this complex shows very well.
Property Details for 1512 Edenwold Heights NW
March 27, 2013
Changes to Condominium Legislations. Why you should care.
The Minister of Service Alberta, The Honourable Manmeet S. Bhullar, held a town hall meeting tonight, March 26, 2013 with thousands of Alberta Realtors to get input and answer questions regarding condo developments, condo management and the property management industry. The scope is very large. We're talking about a lot of money here. The investments of thousands upon thousands of condo owners and how those investments are managed.
It was a very interesting town hall call and I am looking forward to future changes. Until May 2 you also have a voice and I encourage you to voice your opinion.
Condo Consultation Website
Why you should care:
1. If you own a condo unit, then you should care. Well built and well managed condos sell for more money. Special assessments are something none of us want to receive.
2. If you are considering a condo, then you should care. Understanding how a condo is run and managed affects your investment and its future value. You should have confidence in the quality and condo fees payable for a building under construction.
3. Developers. The best marketing plans shouldn't get top dollar. The best buildings should.
4. Tax payers. When bad things happen to lots of good condo owners, the end results are foreclosure, lower property values, lawsuits and some other unfortunate consequences. In the end, someone is helping these people get back on their feet and in the end we all end up paying.
As a realtor, I want to help you sell a condo unit for top dollar with the knowledge that your building is well run and well maintained. You shouldn't have to pay hundreds of dollars to get access to documents to find out it's not when you are making a move. I want to assist buyers in finding great new homes without concern that they will find out about issues after their purchase. They should find out before so that they pay appropriate market value. Every property has value, but disclosure is the key.
Voice your opinion. Service Alberta Condominium Consultation
Thank you for taking the time, now back to our regularly scheduled programming. :)
March 19, 2013
Looking for a home in a lake community in NW Calgary?
Situated just south of Stoney Trail within the ring road, lies the ever popular community of Arbour Lake. The draw? If you want to dip your toes into a lake this summer a few minutes from home while still residing in the NW and minutes from shopping, LRT access and many local amenities, then Arbour Lake is a community you should consider. The lake even hosts an ice fishing derby in the winter along with ice skating so it is no wonder it was rated #2 - Calgary's Best Neighbourhood 2012 by Avenue Magazine.
Amenities include Crowfoot Crossing Shopping Centre, direct LRT access at the Crowfoot Station, Crowfoot YMCA, Crowfoot Library, local schools, parks and more.
Detailed community listing searches.
March 11, 2013
Would you spend $500 to potentially make $5000? Some great odds if talking any investment.
Would you spend $500 to potentially make $5000. Some great odds if talking any investment.
Why then would a homeowner not spend $500 or $700 or more or less in preparing a home for sale when there are strong indicators that such improvements would add value to the final sale price?
It depends on the market and what is expected in any given area, but understanding how other homes are presented and how you compare is an important starting spot when considering the sale of your home.
If your home presents above the area standard, then you're in a great position. If it is well below, then consider the differences, cost and potential sale price. If you are average, but a declutter and a paint job away from being a standout, then make the investment and you'll see benefit for your hard work.
Staging and preparing a home for sale will add thousands to a final sale price. This type of staging isn't a construction project or a remodel. It is making the most of what currently exists with some cosmetic enhancements, furniture placement, lighting and a decoration. The difference between a blue cluttered living room and one with neutral beige walls, edited furniture and accessories can be amazing.
1. Decluttering - free in most cases or the cost of a storage locker.
2. Paint - $200 and up if you are willing to do some of the work, more if professionals are hired.
If you aren't convinced, I invite you to do the following exercise. Choose a large apartment complex that is at least a few years old in your area and look up the listings. Most apartments will be similar as all were built around the same time. It is best when there are at least a few at a time. Some units will have been updated, while others more standard and others potentially occupied by tenants. Which one would you pick to view and why? If you gravitated towards those where the photos are bright, clean, neutral and well presented, you are among the large majority. These units are most likely very similar, but the well presented units sell for thousands more.
Buyers first shop for homes online and presentation is key.
Need ideas for colors? Benjamin Moore has some great resources and preselected colors.
Not sure where to start? Give me a call at 403 850 2446. I'm happy to help.
March 8, 2013
New Listing - 2914 Edenwold Heights NW
Interested in owning a rental unit in Calgary ? This one is in a rental pool with on site management.
West facing unit in the Edgecliffe Estate complex located in Edgemont. The open concept layout includes a kitchen with wrap around counter, warm living room with a gas fireplace and a separate dining area. The bedroom also has a bright west facing window. The full bath and insuite washer/dryer are just across the hall from the bedroom. As the unit faces Edenwold Drive, it has direct access to street parking in addition to the parking stall assigned to this unit. You will have a bright balcony to enjoy an evening in the summer. The clubhouse offers great amenities including a pool, hot tub, steam room, large exercise room/gym with ample equipment and party room with a pool table. Great location close to Nose Hill, Market Mall, U of C, Hospitals and transit access. Ask about the investor rental pool. Unique and attractive opportunity for investment via on site rental management. With recent exterior updates and improvements including all new stucco and windows, this complex shows very well.
More details, photos and pricing for 2914 Edenwold Heights NW.
March 5, 2013
Real Estate Market Update March 5 2013
The snowstorm may put a short term damper on our enthusiasm and our ability to get around our awesome city, but the real estate market in Calgary doesn't look to be slowing down.
With many folks calling Calgary the bright spot in the Canadian market, the real estate market locally is showing positive growth. With sales just a touch down from this time last year and the average pricing hitting new records, the numbers speak to the day to day reality we are seeing. The challenge right now is the lack of inventory and the very tight rental market. This time last year there were 4,843 properties for sale in the City of Calgary. As of this posting there are 3,623 listings. There are less listings at lower price points than previous years so those looking for a $400,000 home are seeing fewer options and more competition than other price points.
In terms of limited inventory, it is a bit of a wait and see game for some buyers looking for homes with specific criteria especially in some neighbourhoods. I have buyers waiting for homes in some areas to come on market and we are seeing them sell very quickly when they do. Careful consideration of price is still very important as 'overpaying' is not something most will consider.
Those people moving between properties are reviewing the buy then sell vs the sell then buy scenario in a new light in this market. As a 'subject to sale' offer is more challenging to get accepted, those people that wish to buy with the confidence of knowing where they are moving are finding it more difficult. With the lack of homes on the market in some areas, these same people are cautious to list their homes because they don't want to sell and be left without any options especially considering the tight rental market. It's a scenario we haven't seen for some time. I've spoken to a few families about this recently and much of the stress can be removed with careful review and planning both financially and also in being ready to list their current home almost immediately once we find their new home. Get packing, organizing and meet with your mortgage representative. The upside is that the current home should sell in a reasonable time frame as well.
For those interested in listing a home for sale, the average days on market have reduced and sale prices moved closer to list prices on average. I've also noticed a few more people 'testing' pricing and the market. Buyers are still doing careful market evaluations (as are their lenders during appraisals) so the test will be quickly evalutated.
The condo market has stabilized now as well with positive growth shown both for apartments and townhome style properties. Careful review of condo documents and projects remains a must even in a tighter market.
CREB Press Release and Statistics Package
March 4, 2013
Updated: Buying and selling grow ops and remediated grow ops in Calgary
Updated Feb 26, 2015, Updated March 14, 2017 (Websites links updated. Updated mortgage information.)
A grow op property is one that has been used for the production of marijuana, in many cases mass production. Other similar properties are meth labs or clandestine drug operations.
I regularly receive questions about grow ops in the city. My challenge is that the prices of these homes often attract new buyers or those looking for a deal. The first step is education and then careful review so that people can make an informed decision.
This is often how the process works:
- A home is built or purchased by Owner A. Owner A or their tenant use the property to grow marijuana plants and most often significantly modify the home to do so. Mold spores from growth accumulate in the home. Sometimes the home is also where drugs are directly sold. View what an example home looks like. ALERT posted this video on Feb 26, 2015.
- At some point the home may or may not be closed down by police and the health authority. Other times the owner ‘remodels’ and returns it to the market as a home for sale.
- If the health authority requires remediation an Executive Order will be produced and posted on the Calgary Health Region website. A caveat, a document declaring the issue, is registered on the property title. If you want to see some examples, go have a look. These aren’t minor issues. Examples include extensive mold growth, altered electrical systems, holes bored in foundation walls, plumbing altered and ventilation systems modified.
- The home is sometimes remediated as per the executive order. The challenge is that there are no current standards of remediation in the province of Alberta. There is no guarantee how the work was done or that future issues such as mold won’t return. Once the home is remediated, the caveat on title is removed.
- The home is listed for sale in the future either as a grow op, a remediated grown op or sometimes as a regular home if it wasn’t caught by police. Along comes potential Owner B. This is where realtors enter the picture. As a realtor, I cannot and will not list a property for sale that is a grow op or remediated grow op without full disclosure. Not everyone shares that opinion but all local realtors have been advised to disclose the history of a property. Private sales have no such requirements as it is not agreed that a remediated property still has a ‘material latent defect’ that would require disclosure. Buyer Beware prevails.
- Representing buyers. Many buyers inquire about and specifically request not to view or enter any homes that are grow ops, remediated or otherwise. Others consider the option due to the potential cost savings on purchase for a remediated property. Unremediated properties often sell for far under market value and investors or flippers sometimes review these options.
A newly emerging question is coming up around homes used as formerly legal growers for medical marijuana and if these homes pose any issues for future owners.
When representing a buyer reviewing a home, the potential that it was a former grow ops is always a consideration. As banks are less and less willing to provide a mortgage on such a property, it isn’t even an option in many cases. (A great article by BC mortgage broker addresses this side of things. ) 2017 Updated: Some lenders will now fund mortgages on these homes.
A thorough inspection can identify clues that a home was used as a grow op. Checking the internet for any information on the property is always a must. As the Calgary Health Region removes inactive properties, there is no public searchable database available to buyers or realtors to check even for legally busted properties. I think this absolutely must change so buyers have protection to at least have visibility to those properties reviewed by police and the health authority. The last thing I want to do is represent a buyer in purchasing a home that we later discover has such a history.
If a buyer wishes to purchase a home with such a history, careful review and education is essential. Some reading to get you started if you are considering the move.
Some informative links regarding grow ops in Alberta:
Alberta Justice and Solicitor General - Grow Op Free Alberta Recommendations Report
Alberta Health Services - Abatement Program
AREA Document - Recommendations for the Assessment and Remediation of Properties Used as Illegal Drug Operations
My family and I would never knowingly live in a former grow op. Nor would those of many inspectors and contractors I have asked. Why? Future economic uncertainty since banks and insurance companies are reluctantant to provide mortgage for these properties. Potential medical issues with a concern that the mold could return and also the knowledge that the home was used to produce and sell drugs. The folks who were originally involved and their friends and not so great friends may return for a visit one day. I don’t want my address on that list.
If you have further questions about this issue please feel free to give me a call and I can answer where I can and put you in touch with experts that work with mold and remediations. I've had great conversations with folks on different sides of this issue. The most important thing is that all information is available to potential owners so they can make an informed decision.