All Calgarian’s know that Calgary is a thriving and wonderful city to live in! Yes, we do have some cold, long winters but we are also blessed with Chinook’s (to break up the really cold spells). Not to mention, how many other cities in the world have such easy accessibility to such a wonderful playground as the majestic Rockie Mountains!rnrnrnrnThe Economist Intelligence Unit, a part of the Economist Group, has just released their annual livability list. This list consists of 140 global cities and ranks the cities in order of stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. Out of the 140 cities listed Calgary ranked 5th. Congratulations Calgary!rnrnTo find out more about the EIU please visit…rnrnhttp://www.eiu.com/public/topical_report.aspx?campaignid=Liveability2011
First let me state I am probably one of the biggest animals lovers around! I have grown up with pets and have carried that tradition into my adult life. And, I have always considered these furry creatures as part of my family.rn
rnBut, I find that sometimes animals can hinder the quick sale of some properties. If you are a pet owner and thinking about selling your home then you should follow these five easy steps to possibly expedite the sale of your home.rnrn1. Always clean up after your pets, whether Fido is a Shitzu or a Great Dane his excrement does always need to be picked up in the back yard. The winter, cold, snow or rain is no excuse to leave Fido’s ‘presents’ in the yard. Potential buyer’s want to see that the yard has been taken care of and that they won’t have to clean up after Fido when they take possession.rnrnThis rule also applies to the litter boxes and cages of Felix the Cat, Peter Cottontail the Rabbit and Herbert the Hamster. Not only does cleaning the cages make the home smell better but it is also much nicer for your pets as well!rnrnThe other day I was showing a home where there were 4 ferrets living in the home. The poor ferrets cages were not tended to and unfortunately the smell was so unbearable that my buyer refused to look at the basement of the home. We were in the home a total of 2 minutes and my client said ‘forget it I can’t concentrate on looking at the home. The smell is unbearable!”rnrn2. If you have a shedding pet then make sure to vacuum up the dander before each and every showing. There are so many people that have allergies to pet dander that you want to do whatever you can to prevent a potential buyer from having an allergic reaction in your home.rnrnLast summer, I had a buyer client who had severe allergies to dogs so she would carry wet naps with her to clean her bare feet off after ever home we went into. Some homes she would even refuse to pass the front doorway if she could see piles of dander on the hardwood floors.rnrn3. If Fido is a barker or aggressive then arrange to take Fido out of the home for all showings. Most Realtors are understanding and will attempt to work with you to show your home when the pets are out.rnrnDon’t leave your pitbull in the basement unattended like I once encountered! It was not a pleasant experience for myself, my clients or the pitbull.rnrn4. If you had an outdoor pond with fish make sure to let all potential buyers know whether you are leaving the fish with the home or are planning to take them with you. Just like all animals they deserve a good home with good caregivers too. So, if you aren’t planning to take the fish with you make sure that the buyer’s are comfortable with assuming the responsibility of looking after the fish once they take possession. Or, alternately make arrangements with a friend or organization to take the fish when you move.rnrn5. Put all feeding bowls, dishes and containers in an area that isn’t high traffic. You wouldn’t leave your half eaten dinner out in front of a doorway for potential buyers to walk on, would you?rnrnOn numerous occasions I have had buyers accidentally knock over pets water dishes and end up with wet socks for the remainder of the day! That is not a good way to remember a home.rnrnThese are just 5 little pointers that may help with the sale of your home! All the best with the sale of your and your pets home!
Wow, 2011 sure has arrived with gusto! The Calgary real estate market has picked up steam and there seems to be optimism in the air! The Calgary real estate board (CREB) recently released January’s housing statistics and the results were positive! There has been a 8 percent increase in single family home sales from December ’10 and a 4 percent increase in sales from January ’10. Most of the sales of homes happened in the price range under $350,000 which generally means that the increase in sales were from first time home buyers. The condo market remained relatively unchanged from December. The majority of real estate professionals are predicting that the market will continue to improve as there are more job prospects and as more people move to Calgary. I think that the Spring market will bring increased sales but that inventory will increase as well; therefore, we won’t notice much change in home values. Overall, 2011 is shaping up to be a good year with increased volume and this should pave the way nicely for a full real estate market recovery in 2012.rnrnAs always, visit my Calgary real estate website for further information regarding the Calgary Real Estate market.
With all of the recent, positive housing data, I thought this would be a good time to take a look at how the Calgary and Canadian real estate markets are performing. The most recent average home prices, released by CREB, indicate that we’ve seen almost 9 months of uninterrupted growth. Back in December of 2008, the average house price in Calgary was $413,049 and as of September 2009, the average house price was $462,465.rn
Another important real estate market indicator that has seen improvement in the last month is the amount of new housing starts. Generally, residential construction companies build 6 months to a year in advance. And, an increase in the amount of new starts translates into a vote of confidence for both today’s housing market but more importantly, the housing market 6 to 12 months down the road. For the month of October, housing starts increased 5.4%, building on increases in previous months.
And with all of this positive data, CMHC has gone ahead and improved their forecasts and outlooks for 2010. After a year of dismal news on the Canadian economic and real estate fronts, this is welcome news.
As always, visit my Calgary Real Estate website for further information regarding the Calgary Real Estate market.
rnrnGoogle Street View was launched in the U.S. in early 2007 and now after a long wait Google Street View has gone live in a number of Canadian cities, including Calgary. While this technology has a novelty value (yes you can have all your co-workers show you where they live), it also has a practical value for the real estate industry. For clients who are transferring to a city where Google Street View is offered, this technology can allow people to get familiar with those communities that they are interested in, before stepping foot in that city. As well, I am now using this technology to help potential buyers view my listings and the surrounding community, from the comfort of their homes. So, if you’re a buyer who is interested in one of my listings, you will be able to see a street view of that listing, the houses in the neighbourhood, and schools and shopping in the vicinity. While I don’t think Google Street View is a ‘game changer’ , I do believe that it is another important tool in a Realtor’s technology tool belt and I’m happy to offer this feature to my clients and anyone browsing my website.rn
In a recent Coldwell Banker Home Price Comparison Index of North America’s most expensive homes, Fort McMurray beat out both Calgary and Edmonton real estate markets as the most expensive market in Alberta. In fact, Fort McMurray ranked fourth (Calgary ranked fifth with an average price of $525,525) for the most expensive markets in Canada. This study compared the average price for homes that are 2200 square feet, with four bedrooms and two bathrooms in markets around North America. This statistic adds to a number of unbelievable statistics surrounding the community of Fort McMurray. For instance, the average home price in 2006 was $459,140 but by 2008 this number had jumped to $682,149. And, the population of Fort McMurray is expected to boom by around 60% by 2012. What makes these statistics even more amazing is that Fort McMurray is located 435 kilometres north east of any other major centre and the average winter temperature is -19 Celsius. Of course, it is the plethora of oil reserves and an economy based on oil and gas which has ultimately transformed Fort McMurray. And, the prosperity of Fort McMurray has been beneficial to both Edmonton and Calgary, as people commute to and from these centres to the oil rich region around Fort McMurray, for work in the oil and gas sector. This is definitely a community on the move and we’ll continue to watch the pace and growth of Fort McMurray well into the future.rnrnAs always, visit my Calgary Real Estate website for further information regarding the Calgary Real Estate market.
Calgary’s downtown and the residential neighbourhoods of the Beltline are ‘on their way up’ so to speak. In recent years, the Beltline has seen its share of infrasture improvements and new residential and commercial development. In fact, this area was targeted by the City of Calgary for redevelopment, under the Beltline Area Redevelopment Plan, in May 2006. Under this plan and with support from the Calgary police service, this area has become a safe and desirable place to live for both families and young home buyers who want to live within walking distance to shops, offices and commercial areas in the downtown district.rnrnRecent evidence of the Beltline redevelopment came in the form of a brand new playground and 2.4 hectare urban park around 13th Ave. and 2nd St. S.W. Families and Beltline residents are celebrating the new park as another significant step forward in the transformation of the neighbourhoods of the Beltline. As part of this project, the Haultain School (the oldest surviving school building in Calgary and built in 1894) will also get a face lift. With refurbished schools, new parks and new, posh condo developments, the Beltline is quickly becoming a desirable place to live, shop and enjoy.rnrnAs always, visit my Calgary Real Estate website for further information regarding the Calgary Real Estate market.
When a home is used as a marijuana grow operation, the home must often be gutted and renovated due to moisture damage and mold infestation. And, due to the hazardous nature of mold, these jobs have to be done by qualified professionals. However, in the Calgary housing market, there are no laws or regulations certifying the safety of the newly refurbished home and no legal or obligatory certification for the contractors doing the work. Often these homes are auctioned at prices that are well below market value and at face value, they seem to be excellent deals. However, I always advise my clients to stay away from these homes because I feel that buying one of these homes would be akin to playing ‘Real Estate – Russian Roulet’. And, the new owners have very little recourse if the home is purchased and problems are later discovered.rnrnBecause of the prevalence of these reclaimed homes, this topic has become an issue in many Canadian real estate markets, including the Calgary real estate market. Recently, the Calgary Real Estate Association and the University of Calgary have embarked on a project to establish minimum standards for homes that have been residential grow ops. These standards would be unique to the North American market, as there are few cities that have established regulations for the reclamation and resale of home which have previously been grow ops. Further, these regulations would help protect renters as well as home buyers. Hopefully, we will see these regulations in the near future and buyers can be confident that there health won’t be compromised when living in home that was formerly a grow op.rnrnAs always, visit my Calgary Real Estate website for further information regarding the Calgary Real Estate market.
Recently, I had some clients who bought a nice home with a fireplace and mantel. When possession day came we rightfully expected that when we walked through the door, there would still be a fireplace and mantel to greet them. They and I were wrong. The sellers had taken the mantel as they felt that they had a right to it. In this case, the sellers were wrong. Anything that is nailed, screwed or otherwise fixed to the walls or home has been purchased with the home and property and has to stay with the property upon possession day. There is a lot of confusion regarding this topic with both buyers and sellers but there is one simple statement that can sum it up: if you need a tool to remove the object, it needs to stay with the property (unless otherwise stated in the listing contract or offer to purchase). With the few exceptions, if a seller lives by this rule they will not run into trouble.rnrnOne exception is lightbulbs. Many sellers have spent several hundred dollars on energy efficient bulbs but unfortunately, if they were present when the offer was written then they are supposed to stay. Another suggestion for sellers is, if you do not want to sell an object or fixture with the house, then simply remove said object or fixture before any showings occur. This is a subject that I talk to my seller clients about and it helps to avoid many problems in the future.
Census data released in July indicates that Calgary’s population increased by over 23000 people, in 2008. While, this growth rate has slowed since the boom of 2005-2006, people are still choosing Calgary as a top Canadian destination for those who are seeking new permanent surroundings. Job prospects and a steady economy appear to be the top draw for people who are moving or contemplating a move to Calgary. And, this western push is something that has not been missed by moving companies who are noticing more moving requests from various eastern areas of Canada to Calgary. Calgary neighbourhoods that have witnessed the largest increase in population include areas such as, Panorama Hills, Evergreen, Bridlewood, and Cranston, among others. While it remains to be seen if Calgary’s economy can continue to absorb the pressure from these job seekers, demand for real estate and rentals will remain steady as these new immigrants settle in to their new city.