March 14, 2017
Saving Money on Your Mortgage
Guest Post by Jason Dodd, Vice President, Verico Maximum Mortgages Inc.
Doing your research and talking to the right people can help you save thousands of dollars on your largest debt obligation, your mortgage. Surprisingly many clients are unaware of options, terms, rates and conditions that are attached to their mortgage financing. This summary will help with ideas on how to go about getting a mortgage and show you how to save money on your mortgage.
1) Consult multiple people/sources before deciding -
Many times it starts with your realtor making a recommendation for a broker or banker. The important part is to at least contact a couple people who deal in mortgage financing. Many people ask me why I would suggest this when I am trying to earn their business? Well I feel it is important for clients to experience the advice and expertise of more than one person before jumping into a large debt obligation. Mortgages are more than just rate, you need to understand the options, terms, rates and conditions which cumulate to give you a full mortgage package. Many clients are surprised at restrictions or high penalties that were not explained initially, that come back to cause high cost and aggravation in the back half of their mortgage term. Initially you should talk to and work with someone who can fully explain the process and the mortgage and is able to provide you with multiple options.
Knowledge is power and peace of mind when getting into a mortgage and home ownership. Many clients who are just comfortable with their bank are surprised to find out the large amount of good offerings that are available elsewhere in the market.
2) Utilize pre-payment options -
There is more to this than most people even consider and each client is very different. Many lenders offer varying degrees of pre-payment options and some are better suited to specific borrowers. This is a great discussion piece and you can literally save a lot of money by having the correct pre-payment options that align with your borrowing and home goals. This is why selection becomes important when deciding on a lender, if you just look at one option how will you know what is out there? By making small adjustments to monthly payments and choosing accelerated biweekly/weekly options you can dramatically reduce interest over the life of your loan. I find April is a great time to decide if you would like to make lump sum payments as spring is coming(home repairs) and also the tax man will either give or take away some money at that time. This might determine how much or little you can put towards your home.
Consider a mortgage of $400,000. 5 year fixed rate of 2.59% and monthly payments.
Your Monthly payment would be $1809.84 and you would pay $47753.89 in interest over the term and $60836.51 principal pay down.
Utilizing some pre payment options that are manageable can make a significant difference under the same scenario.
Changing payments to Bi Weekly accelerated $904.92. Applying a lump sum payment annually of $1200 (or increase payments $100 each month).
Interest is reduced to $46467.79 but you increase your principal pay down up to $77,171.82. A significant difference with making minor changes to your overall monthly budget.
3) Choose the correct term-
I have lost count over my 14 years in the industry of times I have seen clients aligned with incorrect terms. Discussing life changes, job movement, home ownership goals starts to uncover the best options for financing. 5 year fixed terms are popular because of stability and security (good points) but some clients are saddled with large penalties if they have to break early due to life changes or circumstance. Often this can be prevented by picking a shorter term or variable (closed or fixed) or open term that can accommodate more readily some uncertainty for future plans. This alone could save you thousands of dollars down the road if you anticipate some uncertainty of plans in the future. Good brokers will give you options on shorter terms as well as an option so you can consider them as well, certainly a worthy discussion.
Feel free to contact me if you have questions on various lenders and options and rates.
Happy to talk about this important subject
Regards, Jason Dodd, Vice President-Associate, Verico Maximum Mortgages Inc.
F: 403-451-1660, C: 403-815-0565, Jason@maxmort.ca, www.jasondodd.ca
March 14, 2017
Multiple Offers: They are Back. How to Win.
As we enter the spring market on the start of what seems to be a strong upswing in our market, we are once again seeing more multiple offers on property. Surprised aren't you?
It is about inventory, numbers and affordability.
Considering the mortgage rule changes that came into effect in the fall of 2016 and the pricing in our market, it isn't surprising in the starter and mid size home detached home segment especially.
The mortgage rule changes reduced the buying power of anyone utilizing a mortgage with less than 20% of purchase price for a downpayment. Where previously folks utilized the bank rate for their mortgage for qualifying (example 2.79%), they now must qualify using a benchmark rate (4.64%) set by the Bank of Canada. This can reduce buying power up to 20% for some folks.
With most detached homes in our market starting in the $400,000s and quickly moving up from there, there is a large segment of folks looking in the pricing zone. When you line up typical incomes, mortgage approval ratings based on those incomes and the price of typical detached homes in our city, it is no small surprise that more folks are being squished into a smaller pricing zone than previously.
More buyers + less inventory = Multiple Offers
How do you stand out when putting forth an offer in competition?
As a seller you are looking for security of the transaction. Let us say Mr and Mrs Seller have a home for sale in NW Calgary for $450,000. It is in great shape, in a great community and presents well. After going on market they receive 4 offers. They are all somewhat similar. How do Mr and Mrs Seller choose? Their home is going to be conditionally sold for over a week waiting out someone completing their financing and completing a home inspection. Is it a strong offer from a prepared buyer or a buyer on a whim that hasn't done their due diligence?
The first place to review is financing. What is the amount each potential buyer is borrowing? It would seem someone with 5% downpayment is in a stronger financial position than someone with a 20% downpayment and more likely to complete their qualifications but is that true? What if they ar all purchasing with a 5-10% downpayment? As a seller's realtor, my first question to each buyer's realtor is if the buyers are pre-qualified to purchase. As a buyer it is your choice what you disclose. Do you think having a prepared letter confirming your preapproval from your lender could help you? I'd recommend having that in your back pocket. It might just be what wins the purchase when sellers are looking at 4 similar offers. Peace of mind can be worth a lot.
You may be tempted to simply exclude some conditions from your offer to win. I would highly discourage you from doing that. You never know what a home inspection could uncover on that 'great deal' or if your bank would withdraw a mortgage approval due to a unique history on a property. Win smart and be prepared instead. Having a great Realtor that knows how to negotiate a win helps too. Give me a call anytime. I am happy to answer your questions.
February 16, 2017
Calgary Property Types and Building Types - Your Options
There are a number different property types and building types available for sale in Calgary and sometimes it gets confusing because names and terms changes over the years and they are also different area to area.
Below is a breakdown of the various options here in Calgary and the local terms used. There are others too but this captures the main ones. I hope it helps you narrow down your preferences and understand your options in the local real estate market. Any questions at all just contact me anytime.
Detached: This type of home is a free standing residential building where the exterior walls do not touch the adjoining property.
Attached: A home shares at least one common wall with another unit.
Semi-detached: A single dwelling built as one of a pair that share one common wall. These are sometimes called duplexes. These may be villa properties such as in a condo complex of 30-40 units where each is structured as a semi-detached villa.
Row: A single dwelling attached to each other by a common wall with more than two properties in the complex. These are what most folks consider as typical townhouse properties where most of the units share common walls The end units only share one wall but they form part of the larger building so all of these units are considered as Row.
Apartment: Whether high rise or low rise, apartments are typical buildings with common access and hallways.
So now you have decided which of the above may work for you.
Apartments are rather easy. They are either single level units or multi level units.
For attached and detached properties, the options are quite varied. Below is a visual from the RECA (Real Estate Council of Alberta) Measurement guidelines. A visual is the best way to understand some of the options especially various split level designs. The front door is on the left of these examples.
The one most often singled out is the Bungalow in terms of property searches is a Bungalow which is the local name for a single level property.
Please note that different property types are measured differently so please refer to the RMS Measurement Guidelines
for more information if you want to get into the details.
Did you know that any property type can be a condo? More on that next time.
February 15, 2017
Building Feature - Renaissance Towers
The Renaissance Towers in Briar Hill are a unique and sought after address. Located at 1718 and 1726 14 Avenue NW, the two towers provide amenities, location and views like no other.
The adult only building is connected to the shopping centre below allowing residents to access groceries (Safeway) and many shops and amenities without ever stepping outdoors in the winter time. The towers are also located across the street from the Lions Park LRT station and easy access to city amenities.
Building amenities include on 24 hour on-site concierge and security which assist many residents with their building needs, parcel delivery, receiving guests and maintaining the security of the building. Underground titled parking as well as underground visitor parking are accessed off the beautiful entry. An onsite library, fitness room, games room, theater, guest suites, carwash and private roof top park are unique features as is the building and unit central air conditioning system.
Should you be wishing to sell your unit or wish to be notified of properties as soon as they are available just contact me at 403 850 2446.
Details, photos, location and available listings for the Renaissance Towers.
December 9, 2016
5 Tips to Make Showings a Little Easier
You staged your home for the listing photos, you cleaned places you never noticed before and you set out pillows, accessories and flowers to welcome buyers to your home.
Everything is perfect. Then everyone comes home from school, work and sports events and stuff appears as if by magic in every room.
Preparing for showings can sometimes cause folks angst as it is hard to keep everything 'perfect' all the time. How we show our homes isn't often how we live day to day especially if we have children and pets.
1. Prepack some unneeded items and ensure you have one spot in each room to put all that random stuff that shows up.
- Living room: Keep an empty ottoman or empty couple drawers in the living room. On non-showing days keep all the showing accessories in there. On showing days, put everything that's been left out in the living room in the ottoman. You'll find the remote that way when you get home.
- Children's room - toy trunk or storage bin under the bed
- Bathroom - storage bin under the sink or in the hall closet
- Kitchen - storage box in the pantry
- Office - keep all your personal papers locked away.
- Bedroom - empty drawer for laundry
2. Prepare a showing tidy kit for yourself in a carry container. Cleaning wipes, stainless steel wipes, duster, etc. for last minute cleaning as you walkthrough your home.
3. Keep an extra bag for baby items, toys, food, water or whatever you may need in the car just in case. That way you have an extra whatever-you-need on those days where timing doesn't go in your favour.
4. Have a plan of a few places to go during showings and options for folks to watch your pets.
5. Determine your showing cut off times and communicate them to your Realtor. It is very common for homes with children to end showings at a specific time like 7 or 8pm. That way you maintain your normal evening bed routines no matter the days events.
Short term staging and cleaning and you will soon be on your way to your new home. All the best!
December 6, 2016
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - Dec 6 2016
The official numbers are out for November. I've been mulling them over before I sent out my update because things feel different than the numbers suggest.
November sales and pricing numbers were down. November was the first full month following implementation of the new lending rules and many people have been pondering the consequence of that change. The rules change has definitely slowed down the market.
While the effect of the new lending rules is supported by the data that does not tell the whole story. At the same time I am having a hard time finding good new detached home options for some clients. They could be hoping for lower prices still or maybe many sellers are just choosing not to list their homes resulting in lower inventories. There were 2680 detached homes on market November 2015, but only 2322 on the market November this year. As the holidays approach we expect the number of listings to continue to constrict until after the new year.
The trend is quite different for apartments where inventories remain higher on the resale market. Townhomes and semi-detached properties fluctuate in terms of supply / demand differences this year compared to last depending on the area of the city.
There have been more sales in the upper price and luxury price points this year than last. Perhaps some folks are recognizing the savings opportunity here. A 5% reduction on a $1,000,000 home is quite the savings if someone is moving from a $500,000 home. They would have sold their previous home for a bit less but overall enjoyed relative savings on the new purchase in this market.
Now, what's next is what is on the horizon? The approval of two major pipeline projects, Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain expansion and Enbridge's Line 3 replacement, has many ears perking up. Energy East is yet to be determined as is Keystone XL.
So time to look ahead with open eyes and prepare for 2017. It will take a bit of time for new projects to translate into jobs, but it is great to see positive news in our forecasts.
With that I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all, my amazing clients, for your continued support. Be it calls for information, a move, a referral or just to say hello, I feel touched that you turn to me with your real estate questions. I am always happy to help and happy to say hello. I''m always curious about your move, if you like your community, and how the family is doing.
I wish you all the very best in 2017. Keep in touch and feel free to contact me anytime.
December 2, 2016
How are property measurements calculated in Calgary?
When looking for a new home, an initial item many folks consider is the home size. On reviewing properties you will see the property measurement in sq ft or sq m, but you may not know what that number actually measures.
All properties measured for sale in Alberta must follow RMS (Residential Measurements Standard) as outlined by RECA (Real Estate Council Alberta). The current rules of the RMS came into effect in 2016.
The details of the measurement guidelines
provided by RECA are very specific so please direct any specific questions to your Realtor or RECA directly.
In a general sense there are some fundamental items to consider.
1. Below grade measurements are not included in the RMS. The 'floor space' measurements for a listing on realtor.ca
or other websites are above grade only even if it is a developed walkout or a split level below grade. The basement or below grade measurement is a separate figure.
2. Vaulted areas with no floor such as two storey open to below are excluded from measurements. Minimum ceiling heights are required in areas of sloped roofs and details surround the inclusion/exclusion of bay windows and other cantilevers.
3. Detached homes are measured using the exterior wall at the foundation.
4. Attached properties with a common wall such as half duplexes, villas, townhouses and apartments are measured based on interior walls (paint to paint) at floor level. (This means these properties show smaller than if the same property was detached.)
The most important item to consider is that RMS treats all property of the same type the same. If a property is not measured according to the RMS standard it makes it difficult to compare to other properties.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or for more information regarding the purchase or sale of your home.
December 2, 2016
Preparing for winter showings - Shoes
I was out and about a week or so ago with some clients showing homes and we got into a conversation about shoes as they searched for a place to sit and tie their shoes after a showing. They commented on my shoes. My easy to slip on shoes.
We had an in-depth conversation about my shoes. Why? Because they are going to bring easy to put on shoes for our next showing appointment.
For those sellers listing their homes this winter season I'd ask you to consider shoes when preparing your home for showings.
- Many people have to tie their winter shoes. Please provide a place to sit if possible.
- If you ask people to take off their shoes, please keep the heat at a comfortable temperature.
- Buyers will track snow into your front foyer. Please provide a welcome mat to wipe our shoes and an entrance mat inside.
- A couple of years ago I almost broke my leg slipping on ice trying to reach a lockbox at the side of a property. It was cold, icy and dark. I wasn't happy when I hit the ground. Please ensure the lockbox for your property is located in a safe location.
- Please clear your sidewalks and driveway of snow and ice so potential buyers can safely access your property.
Thank you for considering your buyers shoes when presenting your home this winter season.
November 10, 2016
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - Nov 10, 2016
Last month I posted my update and the next day the new mortgage rules were announced, so I waited this month and today is a day after the USA election results.
While folks are in various states of happiness or concern regarding the results, the one positive takeaway is to note that Keystone may be back on the table and that is a great possibility for Alberta. Enough about that.
Locally, the October numbers were strong with sales returning to 'normal' levels. City wide sales increased nearly 16% over last year. Detached homes especially are going strong. However, at the same time prices have continued to edge downward. The price variance is highly dependent on price point, property type and location. Strongest sales remained in the lower priced detached markets. Meanwhile, high apartment inventory continues to impact this segment the most.
With some many large scale events on the horizon, I'm not going anywhere near a general prediction for our market. I can, however, give you prudent, detailed and realistic independent advice and information to help you guide your next decision. I've provided numerous past and future clients with market information recently and we have been able to plan their next steps to ensure their goals are met.
For those in the market for a new home, please ensure you speak to your lender and have a pre-approval ready to go. More sellers are requesting confirmation of financing as they review offers during this changing financing environment. If you aren't aware of the new rules and have an older approval please give your lender or me a call for more information and an approval update.
May the snow stay away another week!
October 3, 2016
Calgary Real Estate Market Update - Oct 3 2016
Timing the market. It's what folks try and do. But you just don't know what's up or down until the curve forms. A curve may currently be forming in the detached sector. Detached homes are those that do not share walls with other properties. Garages can be attached or detached. Inventory numbers are lower than last year at this time and sales are ever so slowly trending up. Average prices and median prices are above this time last year.
From the Calgary Real Estate Board: "The segment of Calgary’s housing market with the greatest influence on the overall market is showing signs of pricing stability. The detached benchmark price totaled $503,400 in September, which is 3.3 per cent below last year, but the second consecutive month at this price level."
Attached properties are a bit mixed. Semi-detached homes (duplexes and those sharing one common wall) are becoming somewhat more stable. Row houses (sharing multiple shared walls such as townhouses) are still seeing some increased inventory numbers.
Apartment numbers are the ones that are seeing the continuing higher inventory numbers with eight months of inventory in the apartment sector.
With a shifting market the opportunities are presenting themselves. Investors ears should be perking up.
Running numbers in different communities yields quite different buyer or seller trends. For condo purchases, whether apartment or townhouse style, folks are looking first to those that have a lower risk of special assessments or condo fee increases. The complexes and residences that are well run, well maintained and of good construction are maintaining stronger prices than those that show risk due to a lack of reserve, unattended maintenance issues or unfunded projects.
There's also a trend I personally watch. It is the luxury sales market. It's kind of a hunch thing. These folks seem to be buying more real estate again.
Sales of detached homes over $1M
Jan 1 - Oct 3 2013 - 504
Jan 1 - Oct 3 2014 - 590
Jan 1 - Oct 3 2015 - 372
Jan 1 - Oct 3 2016 - 426
If you are watching the market to determine the right time to purchase your new home, get out that crystal ball. It may be getting interesting.
View the full CREB Statistics Package
September 1, 2016
Important Real Estate Numbers in the Calgary Real Estate Market - Sept 2, 2016
Should you happen to hear a general real estate market number such as sales or price adjustments in the coming days please ignore it or view it as a very generic indicator. The market is currently segmented enough that an overall number tells us little about the value of individual properties.
Detached homes are in a more balanced environment due to reduced inventory numbers while attached and apartment listings continue to increase the imbalance between supply and demand leading to a strong buyer's market in some areas. Apartments are seeing a stronger impact on pricing and sales than other attached properties.
We live in a large city. At previous times when the market favoured the seller, higher pricing may have moved folks outside of their preferred neighbourhoods. Today, in a more balanced market, a buyer can find what they are looking for in preferred areas, housing types or those properties that have specific details. This is the market where that well kept home with a popular layout on a quiet street with beautiful manicured yard will sell well. However, those in less desirable locations or with less desirable finishes may take more time and see a lower price. As our market shifts any sellers entering the market must be willing to review market shifts regularly. To not adjust and expect results based on a market evaluation completed 2-3 months ago isn't a pathway to a successful sale.
So what does this mean to you?
As a seller, you must be provided with and understand the specific market information that relates to your home. If you are truly wishing to sell and not just test the market, then presentation and pricing are imperative. You must be flexible with showing times and keep your property clean and in good repair. It also takes patience. Average days on market for a sale of a detached home is currently 42 days. For apartments this number is 56 days. If you expect a sale in 10 days at list price then you need to review expectations of pricing to encourage more buyers. The number of folks looking for a new home at any given time remains the same. You can create incentive for more of those folks to look at your home with pricing or you can wait for more buyers to enter the market.
For a buyer, this is actually a good time to buy depending on what you are looking for. With more options you will find the right house that checks all the boxes at a good price. You can make decisions at your pace rather than the immediacy required during a hot sellers market. Where you may have only been able to purchase an apartment or townhouse in the past, a detached home may now be an option.
Calgary's real estate market has been and will continue to be a shifting market. Thousands of homes have sold this year in the city and some folks have done a great job of taking advantage of the opportunities.
For example, there are currently 78 detached homes active on market in NW Calgary under $500,000. 68 of such homes have sold in the last 30 days. That's a great opportunity for a seller to sell their home at expected market prices. Should that same family be in need of a large home in the $600,000-$800,000 zone they have 78 homes to choose from. They are however competing with less buyers as 29 of such homes have sold in the last 30 days.
For year to date numbers of detached homes, average price has actually increased from last year by 1.23%. Benchmark price has decreased by 3.27% and median price has decreased by 3.32%.
As always, contact me anytime for information specific to your needs. I am happy to help.
July 30, 2016
Contribution to MoneySense Magazine - New Homeowner Unsure of "It's Cute" Comment
My most recent contribution to MoneySense Magazine Ask an Expert Series.
This one was sweet. I wish the homeowners all the best in their new home.
MoneySense Magazine - New Homeowner Unsure of "It's Cute" Comment
Thank you again Romana for including me in your series.
July 13, 2016
Staging your home for sale - Consider your privacy
Over the last few years I've noticed a trend in staging advice that honestly we just didn't think about before. With photo quality and volume increasing it is important to consider that the photos remain in the MLS system long after your home is sold. Consider your family privacy when staging.
We now often question if open houses are necessary. And we also take care in photographing homes for sale. To keep photos beautiful while securing your family privacy please do the following.
1. Remove your children's names from their bedroom walls or elsewhere in the home.
2. Remove large family photos and replace with neutral prints.
3. Tuck away your family event calendar.
4. Clear your office and tidy away any financial or personal papers.
5. Explain to young and teenage children that their room will be photographed and ask them to remove anything they do not wish to be public.
6. Remove any valuables from view such as watches or watch boxes, jewelry and storage, electronics, etc.
A staging consultation is available to all of my clients as part of the listing process. We will work together on the details to present your home at its best while respecting your home privacy and security.
June 14, 2016
New Testimonial - Thank you Carley
I was thrilled when we found the perfect first home for Carley. And I was even more thrilled to see the smile on her face when I was able to finally give her the keys.
A testimonial from Carley is below shared with her permission.
I could not have asked for a better Realtor!! Monika's market knowledge is invaluable and the entire experience was extremely positive. I have already recommended her ot multiple friends and will continue to do so. You're the best Monika!
- Thx, Carley
Thank you Carley and I wish you all the absolute best in your new home!
View previous testimonials.
April 26, 2016
Contribution to MoneySense Magazine - Should You Sell Your Home Before You Buy Another?
I've had the opportunity to contribute to the Real Estate section of Money Sense Magazine a couple of times now. Previously in 2013 when I was included in a series on 'Where to Buy Now' and most recently this month as part of an Ask the Expert series.
This is a very popular question and one that I help folks with all the time. It really is a matter of market, timing and financial numbers.
Should be trying to determine your next steps please give me a call so we can discuss you individual sitatuion and best plan forward.
April 7, 2016
New Testimonial - Thank you Paul and Agnes
I've had the opportunity to assist a lot of great families purchasing and selling homes here in Calgary and I always think of them and hope them the very best in their new home or on their new journey.
Last year I assisted Paul and Agnes with the sale of their home. Yesterday I picked up a letter from them at my office. Their testimonial is below and I would like to thank them for the permission to share it.
We’d like to share with you our wonderful experience of having Monika Furtado as our realtor for our home sale. Monika was extremely professional from the beginning to the end of our home sale process. She clearly did her homework to price our condo perfectly which resulted in a sale price that exceeded our expectations. Monika worked very diligently to market our home by getting the word out quickly and she created custom-made brochures of our home for prospective buyers to take away. She kept us current with regular updates and feedback from the many weekly viewings. This gave us confidence that it was just a matter of time before our home sold. When the right opportunity presented itself, Monika’s expert negotiation skills enabled us to get thousands more from our home than we would have settled for it we had acted alone. Thank you Monika and Royal LePage!
- Paul and Agnes
View previous testimonials.
Thank you Paul and Agnes!
March 22, 2016
Do Open Houses sell homes?
I've recently had some interesting conversations about sellers and open houses. Although for years many were told that Open Houses are the way to sell a home, the times are changing.
At every listing presentation we chat about hosting an open house. I'm always happy to host one as it means more exposure for your home potentially and for me. I honestly meet lots of great folks looking for a home that I end up assisting after meeting them at an open house. However, it is often not the home I am hosting.
Why? Because folks often view open houses out of curiosity. It may not be the right price point, style or they may not yet be ready to buy a home. Many visitors are neighbours just curious to see your home. When I greet those visiting my open house at the door I always ask if the visitors saw the listing online or the signs. I keep a tally and it lets me know how many were looking at the home in particular or just out to see what was available to view that day.
Folks often start their purchase process by checking out open houses to find out what their money can buy and what property costs in various areas. Online listings take people so far and then it is time to see homes in person. I've also met quite a few visitors that see open houses as a fun Saturday afternoon activity.
Can open houses allow people to see a home they may have not otherwise chosen to view and end up in a sale? Absolutely. It's just not the main path to sales success. Qualified buyers that are seriously looking to purchase are most often working with a Realtor and will book individual showings.
Pros of Hosting an Open House:
- additional visitors and exposure for your home
- many folks viewing at once to drum up excitement
- opportunity to chat with buyers about the home
Cons of Hosting an Open House
- security regarding theft or potential theft
- security regarding privacy
- nosy neighbours
Will I happily host an open house for you? Absolutely. But I always ask that you please lock your valuables and private items away. Understand that there is a balance between pros and cons and make a decision based on your personal risk tolerance. At the end of the day, I have the same goal as my sellers. Obtain maximum exposure for a given property while respecting their safety, security and privacy.
February 26, 2015
Development around Canada Olympic Park (COP) and the Trans-Canada Corridor
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.
February 5, 2015
What is a 'subject-to-sale' offer?
A 'Subject to Sale' Condition on an offer is one often utilized by those that already own a home but want to move to another property.
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.
But in a balanced or buyer's market we add a third:
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.
So now that the market may calm, 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 so we are ready to go.
If you sell your home within the 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.
In a balanced market a 'subject to sale' can be a bit emotional but much less so than the financial challenge of holding two properties. You know exactly your purchase and sale prices and you can make informed financial decisions.
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.
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
(This information applies to our market in Calgary. This type of offer may work differently in other areas.)
September 16, 2014
Embracing electronic signatures in Calgary real estate
Electronic signatures have been growing in popularity across various industries including real estate. In Alberta, electronic signatures are accepted as part of real estate transactions.
Using highly secure Docusign
clients can sign a document using their smart phones, tablets, laptops or computers via their email. No paper. No printers, scanners or faxes needed.
This has become an essential tool in my arsenal for a few reasons:
1. My clients can sign from anywhere/anytime. They will not need to find a printer and then scanner or fax to sign a document. So yes, you can accept a purchase contract while on holiday in Mexico without having to send your personal documents via the hotel front desk. Or you can sign a document at work without having to print anything on the work printer or leave a job site.
2. Documents are returned at high quality vs those that have been faxed a couple of times. Lawyers like legible contracts.
3. It is much faster than the conventional paper and driving. My clients saw a house they loved and drove home to think things through. In the meantime someone else wrote an offer on the house and we had 1 hour to get our own offer in. There was no time to drive there and back so I prepared the documents, we discussed by phone and my clients signed using electronic signatures. We got the offer in and we got the house.
While I still sign most documents face to face, having electronic signatures as an option for my clients is another tool that improves the experience and helps you get things done. We won't miss an important deadline because of a traffic jam.