A new family moves to Calgary and innocently asks, "What are the best schools in the city and what is available to purchase within walking distance." The answer is a long one and it usually starts with 'It depends...."


Schools. One of the most important criteria for some families when choosing a community or property to call home.


Sometimes it is parents looking for a specific program or philosophy and sometimes it is all about the logistics of getting our children to school and home safely while still working or attending to our other activities.


It used to be easier I am told. Children in a community would go to the school in that community, often within walking distance. Some communities had before and after school care. It's not that easy now.


In some communities the choice to attend the local designated school is thwarted by full enrollments, alternate school assignments, bus schedules and lotteries for school space. Parents are scrambling to find before and after school care or changing their plans regarding work and availability.


Some inner city locations have low enrollments while outlying areas are bursting at the seams. The current baby boom, Calgary's large growth numbers, funding and timeliness of construction of new infrastructure all contribute. Affordability of housing, access to backyards and playgrounds, parks and amenities fuels the move within the city as well.


Recently the province announced more schools in 2013 with $1.4B allocated over 3 years to school capital projects. I'll leave the 'how can you build that many schools so fast given the shortage of folks to build them' to someone else and instead say, "That's great. What's the plan for the when and where?"


Calgary Board of Education schools and Calgary Catholic schools also offer french immersion, language schools and specialized programs on top of everything else. Charter schools enter the mix providing unique learning opportunities geared towards various streams including science, arts, girls only, academics, inquiry based and others. Charter schools are unique to Alberta and the waitlists are huge so they must be doing something right. On top of that are the private schools adding another layer of option.


So as you are looking at new homes, you need to remember that just because you see a school doesn't mean your children can attend. It's kinda nutty given the perceived options. Research is critical if schools are a top priority.


I should have listened to my neighbour and enrolled my kids when they were born. 


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With the snow hitting the ground, it usually signals a slow down in Calgary's real estate sales. That is a little less evident this year it seems. The ongoing growth in the overall sales numbers and increases to pricing continue.

The overall numbers show a slight increase from September in terms of pricing across various types of property. The larger increases are in year to year comparisons. Sales are significantly higher with inventory significantly lower from October 2012. Total sales numbers increased beyond the 10 year average for the first time since 2007 are on par between those posted between 2004 and 2005. 


Things are slowing down a bit due to the expected seasonal adjustments but just less so than in previous years. Inventory is dropping so buyers will see less and less choice as we approach the holidays.


The big picture for Calgary is positive and strong but not yet entering the frenzy zone. It has definitely made for interesting negotiations when buyers and sellers have different views of the crystal ball.


On a local level, the various developments and announcements from builders, developers and government are changing the landscape so adjustments to various communities may also start to shift outside of the larger picture.


The largest announcement being agreement for the SW ring road. The construction can have nothing less than a major effect on how folks get around Calgary and it will have consequences to the real estate market. View the design concepts for the length of Stoney Trail and the SW Ring Road.


Currie Barracks is in the news with plans for a town site concept in this large and unique urban community as well as applications related to the West Campus development by the University of Calgary. Various condo projects have been announced and some existing developments such as the River in Mission have adjusted design and construction plans due to the recent floods. Growth and more growth for our amazing city.


November 30 marks the deadline for home owners applying to the Disaster Recovery Program and much work remains in this area. 


Hope you had a great Halloween. We'll soon be searching for our Christmas lights.


CREB Released Market Statistics Package

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As many other Calgarians, I am excited to see the SW Ring Road move closer to reality. It shortens my personal travel time and will ease congestion among my various frequented routes. Reduced commute times is what matters, even if the distance is a touch longer. 

The remaining sections to be developed are actually 2.

The first is the west side between Hwy 1 and Hwy 8 extending  Stoney Trail along the west side of COP beyond COugar Ridge, West Springs, Aspen Woods, Springbank Hill and the Slopes. 


Bow Trail to Trans Canada.


Hwy 8 (Glenmore Trail) to Bow Trail


The second is from Hwy 8 to 22x which is what is called the SW Ring Road portion. The 2013 Agreement with the Tsuu T'ina Nation allows for this section to move forward. The images are from the published concept plan on the Alberta Transportation website as linked above. 


Image 1 of 4 - Glenmore Trail SW near Sarcee Trail SW and path through the Weaselhead Natural Environment Park.

Original file for these images in larger view.



Image 2 of 4 - Extending to Anderson Rd SW


Image 3 of 4 - Anderson Rd SW to 116 Ave SW




Image 4 of 4 -  Detail of Sarcee Trail SW and Glenmore Trail SW Imterchange area.



The details of this huge project will change. Information here is what is avalable today. 


For more details visit Alberta Transportation.




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Beautiful home in Rocky Ridge, 4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 bathrooms.


Beautifully renovated and updated inside and out by the current owners, this warm home in Rocky Ridge is fully finished with 4 bedrooms, 3 ½ baths, bonus room and attention to detail. A new kitchen including solid maple cabinetry, stainless steel appliances including double ovens and wine fridge compliment the expanded island with granite counters and mosaic backsplash. The living room and current dining room opens to the kitchen with new hardwood flooring. Painted with neutral colors throughout. The bonus room is spacious and custom entertainment system is included. The master bedroom and 4 piece bath with in floor heat and two additional bedrooms complete the upper level. Outside the exterior has been painted, new roof installed and decking expanded. You'll enjoy the beautiful two tear deck, mature trees and views. The basement is completed with a large bedroom with full sized window and ample light, a full bath and completed rec room with custom built-ins.  Excellent location. Double garage.


Full details and images for 30 Rocky Ridge Heights NW.


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