A blog cannot deal with all aspects of a subject and is not intended to replace professional advice. It's purpose is to highlight information and identify areas of possible interest. Anyone wishing to discuss this blog or to make any comments or suggestions about this blog is invited to do so by either posting comments or emailing me directly.

 

 
  • Find a LOCAL REALTOR® who has a condominium specialist designation. In Calgary, this is an optional upgrade designation for REALTORS®. Condominium real estate transactions are significantly far more complex than freehold property transactions and require additional care and attention to details.
  • In Alberta, condominiums can be apartments, townhouses, 4-plexes, 8-plexes, attached homes, detached homes or even a few acreages just outside the city. All types of property can provide the benefits of condominium ownership. A condominium specialist should be able to spot the tell-tale signs of a well-run condominium corporation and in the case of townhouses, rowhouses, multi-unit properties can easily explain why they are far, far superior to "freehold" townhouses, rowhouses or multi-unit properties.
  • If you are buying a brand new condominium, recognize that the "sales person" in the show suite is an employee of the vendor and CAN NOT represent you in your transaction – they work only...
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Take a look at this information in these videos:

When you're ready to buy a home, work with an ABR®:
 
 

 

Source: Used under standard YouTube license terms.
 
The difference between an ABR® and a buyer's representative:
 

 

Source: Used under standard YouTube license terms.
 
Why consumers should hire an ABR®:
 

 

Source: Used under standard YouTube license terms.
 
The difference between Customers and Clients:
 

 

Source: Used under standard YouTube license terms.
 
In Alberta, by law, in order to receive buyer representation, you, as a client, must sign a representation agreement with your real estate agent. By Alberta law, if you decline to or fail to sign an agreement, the agent must treat you as a customer. The agent you are working with will get you to acknowledge that fact in writing to show that you have waived your right to representation in the purchase of the property. Yes, even if the seller is represented...
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Now could be best bet time to buy a home! This time of year sellers are MOTIVATED. They don't want to carry the home through the rest of the winter season and they want to be into a new home before the summer. So if you're considering buying a home, start looking now!

 

Concerned about rising interest rates? Look at the table below to see what just 1% interest rate increase can do to your monthly payment! This can directly effect how much house you can afford! This is what I call the "cost of waiting!" You know the interest rates are going to rise... the questions are "When?" and "By how much?"

 

Contact me today and let's get started on your house-hunting adventure!


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Real estate analyst, Barbara Corcoran explains how to go about buying a condo for your son or daughter and why it's far better than living in the dorm. We'd be glad to chat with you about how to make this is a great real estate strategy for you. If you'd like to get started, contact us today.
 

 

Source: Used under standard YouTube license terms.
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Tips for SELLERS:

Your most important decision when selling your home is the selection of the person you choose to represent you in this often difficult and complicated process.
 
The job of your real estate professional is to support you in selling your home with the best possible terms, advise you on your options and the aid you through the entire process.
 
Your real estate professional will explain the process of selling a home, and familiarize you with the various activities, documents and procedures that you will experience throughout the entire process. 

Tips for Selecting Your Real Estate Professional:

Your Real Estate Professional should be:
  • A member of the local real estate board and a REALTOR® - only REALTORS® have complete access to the MLS® Systems in Canada. Only a member of the LOCAL real estate board will get you exposure to local agents, and knowledge of many of the private sales,
  • Highly aware of the complicated local and provincial requirements...
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Condominium apartments and townhouses offer a quite affordable option to single-family homes in the Calgary area, and they're ideal for those who truly appreciate the maintenance-free lifestyle. Buy before you buy a condo, make sure you do your "homework."
 
 
These are some of the really important elements to consider:
 
  • Maintenance: Many condo properties hire onsite maintenance personnel to care for common areas. Those with a concierge service may coordinate repairs in your unit and let in workers when you're not at home.
  • Amenities: Many condo properties have swimming pools, fitness centres, or other facilities that would make life much more convenient and would be hugely expensive in a single-family home.
  • Security: Keyed entries are the norm for most condos. You're also closer to other people in case of an emergency.
  • Neighbours: You're much closer to your neighbours in a condo apartment or townhouse. If you like a sense of community, make sure you introduce yourself to...
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Real Estate Videos to View OnlineFor years, we have been providing consumers and clients alike with our library copies of DVDs to help educate them on the home buying and selling processes. Now they've been taken to the next level: online delivery.
 
No longer do we have to drop off or courier out DVDs and worry about retreiving them later. Not only that, we can give consumers Instant Access to our 6 video library.
 
For consumers, the process is simple:
  1. Select the video you wish to watch;
  2. Enter your contact information;
  3. Either wait for my email with the embedded link to the video - or - enter our View Code to watch the video immediately, online;
  4. Watch the video, replay or rewind as often as you wish.
 Our video libary includes:
 
  • Pricing Your Home to Sell - Avoid the dangerous pricing mistakes that decrease your home’s sale price.
  • Preparing Your Home to Sell - Make your home blast out of the pack by applying these enhancement methods.
  • Selecting Your Real Estate Agent - Discover how to properly...
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If You're Buying a Condo from Plans, Read the Fine Print and Avoid Condo Buyers' Remorse...

When you buy a condominium from plans that won’t be built for a few years, the developer has to give you a list of important documents when you sign the sale agreement. These include the rules that will govern the condominium and a budget for the first year, so you can figure out in advance what you will pay for common expenses.

 

You have 10 days from the date the developer gives you that information to change your mind. If you do not cancel, then it is a firm deal.

 

Read more...

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Calgary Real Estate Market Update
Wow, my blog and Twitter posts on the forecasted effects of the new mortgage rules created the highest amount of feedback yet - albeit quite negative from other agents who felt I was forecasting "doom and gloom" that would drastically reduce sales for the next several months. One stated, "How dare I cause fear?" I countered, that I did no such thing. I merely posted the fact-based research and forecast that the City of Calgary had completed in regards to the impact of the new mortgage rules on a LOCAL housing basis. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Read on...
 
On a national basis, almost every economist is forecasting a ten to 15 percent price correction (price drop) - on average - over the next two years. That isn't particularly rosy, but based on the over-inflated prices in Vancouver and the super-hot condo market in Toronto, this makes total sense. Those two cities, alone, make up a significant number of the total sales in the country.
 
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Calgary Real Estate Market Update
It has now been a week since the mortgage insurance rules changed. There has been lots of speculation from a number of banks and other economists over the last several days as to the impact that is forecast. For example, the TD Bank economists forecast that average home prices in Canada will likely contract 10 to 15 per cent over the next two years.
 
Incredibly, we still see articles quoted from a week prior to this with extremely optimistic numbers based on the conditions prior to the mortgage insurance rules change. These folks are either extreme optimists or they have their heads in the sand.

What Will the Local Effect Be?

The Corporate Economics department at the City of Calgary has now come out with a report with a significantly more local focus. As a result of their prior research and adjustments, their forecast is:
 
The Calgary housing market has two active sectors, entry-level and move-up level.
 
Low priced entry-level housing will be affected most by this...
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Hang on. What's the difference between all the names like agent, REALTOR®, broker, associate, and others that are used so often in real estate? I expect most people assume they're all the same.
 
Quite simply, an agent is any person or entity who is legally licensed to represent another party. The insurance, recruiting, mortgage, and real estate industries all use this agent concept. In real estate, it is a real estate Brokerage (the real estate company) that is the legal agent that represents you – however, the licensed individuals working for the real estate brokerage are often referred to as "real estate agents." Generically, they should be referred to as brokers since they broker transactions between buyers and sellers.
 
To become a licensed real estate agent in Alberta, one must:
  • Have a Canadian high school diploma or equivalent;
  • Have proficiency in English;
  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Satisfactorily pass a criminal record check;
  • Satisfactorily pass the Real...
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It occurred to me the other day that one of the most important early decisions that you can make when considering purchasing or selling real estate is the selection of a REALTOR®. It's no secret that real estate agents, as a whole, are not really held in high regard, and certainly much of it is well deserved.

 

So how can you meet and talk with a real estate agent without feeling pressured, sold to, or just plain intimidated by them? Other than meeting them in their natural habitat (an open house, a real estate office, when they "call you out of the blue" at meal time) it's really kind of difficult, and frankly too important a decision to leave to chance. Which, by the way, is how many people end up with their real estate agent.

 

One of the reasons that I maintain this and several other real estate information websites is for people to get to know me and a lot about the real estate processes of buying and selling - without the pressure. Over a period of time, you'll get to...
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Why You'll Want Me to Call...

So you're just in the information gathering stage of hunting for a home. You may not even be sure you want to buy a home this year! Your credit score may even be "a little dodgy" right now. Whatever the reason, you don't want to be bugged by some pesky "salesperson" looking to make a quick buck. Do you?

Me neither!

I loathe being pushed. I loathe being hounded. I especially loathe being harassed into making a decision – especially when I'm not ready! It's just plain rude. And it screams that that pushy salesperson isn't even listening to me nor are they working in my best interests. If they're not listening to me now, do you think they'll be listening to me later when it may be crucial?
 
I'll make you a deal right up front: I'll be fair and honest with you, if you're fair and honest with me. If you tell me exactly why you want the information that you're requesting and how quickly you need it, I'll give you that information -- whatever the reason....
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Considering Buying a Condo?

Condominiums are a very popular housing choice for many Calgarians. Today, it accounts for well over 30% of all homes purchased and sold. Across Canada, ownership of condominiums is growing at a phenominal pace. However, there are a number of things to research and keep in mind before making an offer on a condo.

Maintenance Fees

Condominium corporations collect fees on behalf of their owners that cover a variety of items from modest maintenance and upkeep fees to high fees for extravagant luxury amenities. Sometimes some utilities are even included in these monthly fees. Before you place the offer on your dream condo, make sure that you clearly understand what's included in the monthly fees and whether or not there are any out-of-the-ordinary expenses likely to be incurred in the near future. These aren't always due to deferred maintenance, but can be planned upgrades. A little investigation can keep you from being taken by surprise.

Reserve Fund Studies

As a...
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