Over the last few months especially, I’ve spoken to a larger number of people looking to take advantage of a great deal. The upswing in our market and the lack of rental units has encouraged many buyers to look at home ownership and investors are out looking for properties for their investment portfolios. I want to get the best price possible for my clients, but some of the ‘deals’ out there are turning out to be quite the opposite.

Foreclosures: Foreclosures in Calgary are generally not aggressively reduced in price from traditional market value. In fact, many are at or slightly below market value. As foreclosures properties are sold by banks, there is often no property history or transferred knowledge about the property and no Real Property Report (RPR) provided. A RPR is a vital document as it outlines the legal boundaries of a property and structures and should include a City of Compliance stamp which indicates that the structures conform with city bylaws. The lack of an RPR may mean that fence at the back is actually feet into another property and your yard in fact is that much smaller. The addition on the back may be developed in the wrong area over utility lines and may need to be taken down or deck completed outside of required boundaries and require a city relaxation Without an RPR, the risk of each individual property needs to be evaluated and you can determine your risk and price you are willing to pay. Foreclosures are often sold as-is/where is so you accept the property as it stands on Possession Day.

Judicial listings: Judicial listings or court ordered sales are similar to foreclosures in many ways with the exception that the previous owner or their tenants/occupants may still reside at the property or have access to it. They may also have the option to redeem on their debts prior to property transfer so not a good option for those without a plan B in that case. As part of purchase, the bank will require you to buy the property as is/where is on possession day so you have no control over what happens to your new home between the day you agree to purchase and the day you receive access to keys. Some people can get angry and remove all fixtures, appliances or damage the property. It is a worse case scenario, but the price should reflect the risk. The other fact many don’t know is that with judicial listings your offer forms part of the public record.

Many buyers may not understand the risks and rewards of reviewing these types of properties and therefore the appropriate value to consider. If you are considering such properties, do your research and work with folks that understand the process. With the right research, you may find just the right property.

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Enjoy this beautiful 2 storey home in Country Hills with a finished walkout basement and oversized double detached garage with a paved back lane. Located on a quiet side street it is situated very close to public transit and various school bus stops. Across the street from the front porch is a playground and you can see the soccer fields from the back deck. This home checks all the boxes: all appliances included, central air conditioning installed, recently professionally developed basement with permit, stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, large back deck with stairs down to the spacious backyard and poured concrete lower patio. Side pathway provides additional separation from neighbours. The layout includes 3 spacious bedrooms upstairs and a total of 2 1/2 bathrooms. The main level provides a large living/dining area and an efficient kitchen layout complete with breakfast nook. This gem is a very bright home with large windows throughout. 

Full property details, photos and videos for 54 Country Hills Heights NW.

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If you've been actively looking for a home or watching the sale signs, you already know what's in this update. The market has picked up pace. Especially in the lower price points, homes and condos are selling quickly. Drive around and you'll see more signs with sold stickers than those without. Multiple offers are becoming more common and the pressure to decide quickly is increasing.

The timing can be stressful, but preparation and understanding the process, expectations, paperwork and market before you start looking at properties can really ease the situation and make it more exciting than overwhelming.

For sellers, it is now statistically a seller's market, however homes must be well presented, marketed and priced appropriately to see a more active buyer response and the highest price. Presenting your home to show off its best is as important as ever. The homes that I've seen in multiple offers are those that are presented to buyers in the best condition possible, scrubbed clean and de-cluttered with an attention to flow, space and curb appeal.

A seller mentioned the other day that they would be the only house in the area if they listed today so why bother with the prep. They are right in that their home will sell, but will the prep affect price? I think so.

Notable Numbers from the Calgary Real Estate Board:

The benchmark price of single-family homes reached a new high of $452,900 in April, as market conditions that favour the seller finally drove prices above the unadjusted peak of 2007.

Single-family sales totalled 1,611 in April, nearly two per cent higher than the previous year, but year-to-date figures are similar to levels recorded in 2012. Sales growth in the first part of the year was stifled by a shortage of new listings and inventory. However, the year-over-year increase of 6.2 per cent helped support sales growth in April.

After the first four months of the year, condominium apartment sales totalled 1,258 units, an 11 per cent increase over the previous year. Sales growth outpaced the number of new listings, causing inventory levels to decline to 893 units. This pushed the market toward a sellers’ market.

Tighter market conditions supported a year-over-year benchmark price growth of 7.35 per cent. Unlike the single-family sector, however, condo apartment prices remain well below unadjusted highs recorded in 2007.

There were 3,497 new residential listings in the city, an eight per cent increase relative to 2012. Sales activity also increased to a total of 2,376. Residential year-to-date sales improved by nearly four per cent compared to the same time in 2012. Meanwhile, citywide benchmark prices totalled $406,000 a seven per cent rise over the previous year.

Link to CREB Statistics Package

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