In the coming years the lands around Canada Olympic Park (Paskapoo Slopes) and the Trans-Canada Corridor are going to change dramatically. 


First, transportation improvements are huge.

By the summary of 2017 the Bowfort Rd NW Interchange should be complete.

By 2020 or 2021 the final portion of the ring road connecting the west side of the city should also be at or near completion.


We are going to need the transportation improvements if all of the proposed developments go forward.

On the north side of the TransCanada proposals include the proposed community of Haskayne which runs north of the Bow River heading west from the old quarry. This section is in earlier stages than the rest. The next open house is March 3, 2015.


On the east side of the Ring Road (Stoney Trail) are two more proposed communities on the north side of the TransCanada called Parkside and GreenBriar.


On the south side of the TransCanada are several proposed sites. Running from west of COP is Trinity Hills which is proposing a hotel, residential townhouses and commercial office space. This development is facing some local opposition.The Trinity Hills proposal will go before the Calgary Planning Commission in May or June, with a public hearing at City Council expected sometime in July.

West of COP the proposed developments include Bow Valley Crossing, Shape and then Crestmost Phase 4 on the west side of Crestmont.


An overview of most of the proposals are included in the Calgary West Trans-Canada Corridor Study.


As all the projects are in the initial design phases it is hard to detail what will be built or when, but definitely an area to watch.

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The Calgary rental market vacancy rate remains very low. Even with a slight increase in the fall of 2014, it is hard to find housing and rental rates remain high.


Given the environment, investors see opportunity. But what's the best purchase to ensure long term growth and income? The safest best is the property that will always rent so chose wisely and consider the following:


1. Location

Every city has preferred neighbourhoods and zones. The rental market is usually the first stop for newcomers to our city so choosing neighbourhoods that are safe, have great access to transportation and amenities is key. Understand the type of renters attracted to various areas you are considering.


2. Think Winter

Calgary winters can be tough, especially for newcomers that are not used to shoveling snow. Properties that offer in suite laundry, secure parking are obvious positive winter features. In addition look for properties that provide good accessible access roads for cars or transit and are in close proximity to Calgary's excellent multi-modal pathway network. If you are looking at condos, then consider how well a complex is maintained and what their reserve fund is.


3. Security

Some buyers may not want to purchase a ground floor condo unit especially in more densely populated areas for concerns regarding security. You'll easily see the trend when comparing the pricing of the same units in a building that are below or at ground vs those above. If you want to expand your pool of renters, purchase a property that is perceived to be more secure. For condos that means units on the 2nd or 3rd floor (or above), security doors and well lit entrances, secure parkades and well lit hallways. For single family homes, the feeling of security is based on location, layout, solid construction, good doors and locks. If you don't feel safe when viewing a property then neither will your tenants.


4. Interior details

A beautifully appointed home is going to appeal to more renters, but that comes with cost so the opportunity is in finding the right balance of home features, layout, finishes and amenities. Consider the purchase price and rental price range you are considering and ensure your potential home meets the general expectations of that price point. As the price increases folks expect more amenities, larger space, upgraded appliances, views, decks, etc. Some flooring material wears better and will require less long term maintenance. State of repair and cleanliness are key when showing a rental property but may not be deciding factors in purchasing one. Elbow grease goes a long way to maximizing your return on investment.


5. Know your numbers

What is the total cost of owning and managing the property type you are considering? It is not just about the simple equation of rent - mortgage = income. Factor in property taxes, utilities, condo fees, and maintenance needs. Will you include utilities in the total rental cost or expect tenants to pay their own? Some older homes can see hundreds more in utility costs than newer or renovated home.


6. Who is your target renter?

If you have the time to run a more engaged rental business, you may wish to consider a furnished home that could cater to shorter term leases (3-6) months for corporate or temporary residences for those working or transitioning to our city. There is more work involved, but in return, higher rental margins. Understand the local market and rental needs and decide on your best plan before purchase.


I often get calls from investors looking for a great deal, but investment properties are about so much more than low initial capital cost. The most important number are your monthly revenue, expenses, risk projections and considerations for long term appreciation. The most successful landlords I have worked with are those that invest with a long term vision, mitigate risk, and work closely with a Realtor that gives them the numbers they need to make the best decision.


When you are ready to invest just give me a call to get started.

Monika Furtado, 403 850 2446,

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A 'Subject to Sale' Condition on an offer is one sometimes utilized by those that already own a home but want to move to another property. It is more popular in other parts of the country but not often used or accepted here in Calgary.


When you already own a home you generally have two options:
1. Buy first and sell later. This requires you to secure financing to own properties in the event your current home is not sold before you take possession of your new home.
2. Sell first and then buy. This requires confidence knowing you will find a home in that timeframe or that you have a plan B to live elsewhere if that takes a bit longer.


The third option folks hear about is:
3. Buy first with a 'subject to sale' condition, sell first home and complete the firm sale of the purchase.


In 2015 I was assisting a few clients that were rather stuck by the hot market of 2014. They couldn't secure financing to buy first or just weren't comfortable holding two properties or they were too nervous about selling first because the market was so hot they feared being without a home or being forced to buy something that wasn't quite right. The market was so hot it was hard to win out in competition with just a typical financing and home inspection condition so a 'subject to sale' lost out. Unfortunately even in a slower market, it can be a challenging scenario. To be successful the buyers are most often focusing on a slower market and selling in a more active market.  The challenge for the buyer is that they trade the risk factor of this scenario with negotiating power. Very few sellers will negotiate to their best price when they are looking at a subject to sale. The buyer also has to aggressively price their home to get it sold in the time required especially in a slower market.


This is the overview of how a 'subject to sale' offer works:


You are Mr. and Mrs. Smith and own a beautiful home at 124 Great Street SE. You want to move to a new home so you meet with your mortgage broker to confirm numbers and we start the search.


We find a great new home owned by Mr. and Mrs. Swanson at 245 View Street SW.


We write an offer that is accepted with a financing condition, property inspection condition and 'subject to sale' condition. You must complete your financing and inspection in the typical 5-10 business days but have a longer time to secure a firm sale on your home, say 70 days.


During this time Mr. and Mrs. Swanson continue to market their home.


We have to put your home, 124 Great Street SE, on market within a typical 24 hours. I have prepared your marketing plan ahead of time, we have prepared the listing paperwork and prepared your home for sale so we are ready to go.


If you sell your home within the example 70 days with all conditions removed then you remove your 'subject to sale' condition on 245 View Street SW. Your home is sold knowing where you are moving and at what cost. Mr. and Mrs. Swanson have sold their home and can move on with their plans. All is well.


The challenge is if someone else wants to buy 245 View Street SW before you sell your home. Another buyer can write an offer and if Mr. and Mrs. Swanson accept then you will have a short period of time to remove all your conditions, typically a day or two. If you cannot or do not want to remove all conditions then your offer is now ended and Mr. and Mrs. Swanson can move forward with the second buyers.


If you remove all conditions you have bought 245 View Street and still own 124 Great Street so you need financing in place from the onset if you would consider this option. If you don't remove the conditions then you start again but you have no risk of owning two properties. At this point your home is already listed for sale so you rather need to know ahead of time how you will manage your next steps.


I've assisted with numerous moves like this. I even helped a great family complete a subject to sale even in the hot market of last year. How? Good negotiating, advising the sellers regarding the sale and marketing potential of the home to be sold and some solid planning. The key to success is working closely with your realtor so there is a clear plan working forward given the various scenarios. 


Considering a move? I'll explain all of your options and ensure you have the information you need to make your best decision. Monika Furtado.



(This information applies to our market in Calgary. This type of offer may work differently in other areas.)

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The official Calgary real estate statistics have been released and the numbers spurred a series of articles and stories on the evening news. The price of oil and uncertainty of the energy sector has caused folks to take a second breath before making a purchase decision while some others decided they didn't want to delay listing their homes. The result has been increased inventory levels and reduced sales through January 2015.


Part of the drama comes in a review of year over year numbers. Last year in January we saw record low inventory and higher than normal sales so the year over year looks worse than it really is when compared to further years back. Don't get me wrong, numbers are still down but just not quite as dramatically as the year over year statistic portrays.


The more important information is future economic outlook and the supply and demand of housing. We are moving potentially from a year of 10% price growth, multiple offers, and low inventory, to a more balanced market where folks have the time to make solid decisions, potentially purchase on a 'subject to sale' clause when moving between properties. This balanced market shift may also unlock some folks stuck in the hot market of 2014.


From an investment perspective many will follow the thoughtful advice of Don R. Campbell, but even he states the tipping point depends on signs of economic improvement. Nobody today can really tell you the price of a home in 6 months.


With oil on the rebound the last few days and some pundits saying oil has reached the bottom at $50, we may be on the other side. We just don't know it yet. Rental vacancy is still critically low. The single family lot count of available serviced lots is at the lowest in years.


Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist at ATB Financial is quoted in an article updated a couple of days ago:

Talk to an economist. It’s not an original idea. Just ask ATB’s chief economist, Todd Hirsch. His phone has been ringing off the hook with people wanting reassurance that the sky is not, in fact, falling. “This is a very normal cycle,” he says. “It’s not that pleasant. But the biggest threat to the economy right now is not $45 oil, it’s fear.” Hirsch is all for household financial prudence but says irrational decisions — “such as ‘I’m not going to spend any money because I might lose my job’” — will lead to a downward spiral. And then, he warns: “It’s a self-perpetuating cycle, to the bottom.”


This isn't the time to allow emotions and fear to drive your decisions. Prudent advice, thoughtful review and current information will help you make your best move.


Contact me for any questions you have with respect to your real estate decisions.

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An exciting opportunity to own a renovated top floor 1 bedroom unit with panoramic views. The open concept layout makes great use of space including a large kitchen with granite counters and island, maple cabinets, black appliances and cork flooring. The wall to wall living room windows open to a spectacular view outside and lead to a private 120+ sq ft rooftop deck. A cozy bedroom is across from the full bath complete with tile tub surround. Move-in ready condition with newly installed carpet this unit is sure to please. Other amenities include in-suite laundry, underground parking, separate secure storage, indoor complex pool and hot tub, party room, exercise room and tennis courts. Recently rented for $1300-$1400 per month but now vacant for immediate occupancy or investment. Book your private showing today.


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