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.
This is an issue I have been discussing for at least 10 years since discovering it was a leading cause of cancer in many areas of North America. Research had been completed in the U.S. several decades ago with regards to electromagnetic radiation around electricity corridors and towers. It turns out that the cause of the higher than normal incidence of cancer were not from EMR, but rather Radon gas which was, coincidentally, naturally occuring in all of the areas of the corridors. Unfortunately, electricity corridors have remained with a stigma eventhough there is no longer the correlation there was once thought.
Source: Used under standard YouTube licence terms.
Radon is a colourless, odourless gas that is produced naturally from the radioactive decay of underground uranium minerals and is often drawn up and concentrated inside our homes.
Radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in non smokers, and the second leading cause in smokers. Because Radon is an...
Prices remain similar to last year, but ease in October
October's housing market conditions closely echoed previous month's trends with easing sales, rising inventories and downward price pressure. Like last month, the monthly activity was not enough to derail gains that occurred earlier in the year.
October sales and inventories totaled 1,467 and 6,463 units for a month of supply of 4.4. Several months of elevated supply in comparison to demand has weighed on pricing over the past several months. The city-wide unadjusted benchmark price in October totaled $438,900, 0.6 percent below last month, but comparable to last year.
"While economic activity has improved in 2017, it will take some time for this to translate into housing market growth. There have been employment gains, but most of this has occurred in areas with traditionally lower income," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
"We also continue to face weak migration, higher lending rates and changes...
When a home owner decides to sell their home, they obviously want the best possible price for it with the least amount of hassles along the way. However, for the vast majority of home sellers, the most important result is actually getting their homes actually sold.
In order to accomplish all three goals, a home seller should realize the importance of using a real estate broker. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behaviour during the home buying process. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the first step that, “…44% of recent buyers took in the home buying process was to look online at properties for sale.”
However, the report also revealed that 96% of buyers who used the Internet when searching for homes purchased their homes through either a real estate broker or from a builder or through a builder’s saleperson. Only 2% purchased their homes directly from a seller...
Your home isn’t selling and yet the current, local real estate market is really quite active. You naturally ask yourself, “Why?”
Sadly, not all real estate agents are equal. Some only use the classic 3 P’s of real estate marketing: Put a sign in the yard, Put the home in the local MLS System, and Pray that the home sells.
But there are also some other sure signs that it’s time for you to face the music and hire someone else:
1. The online photos leave a lot to be desired. With real estate being a cut-throat and expensive business to be in, many real estate agents are trying to cut expenses wherever they can. Too often, we see homes being photographed with cellphone or point and shoot cameras. Often, real estate agents don’t have the tools to crop, colour balance or control exposure in their photos. Worse still, they don’t know when they should hire a professional. For the minimal cost, this is one area that agents should short-change...
Drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (or UAVs), have recently entered the mainstream market in Canada and are now widely used both commercially and recreationally. For use in real estate, the activity is considered strictly a commercial use. Commercial drone use is heavily regulated and compliance is required in order to fly.
Operating a drone means that certain rules and guidelines must be followed to ensure the safety of the drone's team, of the public, and of manned aircraft in the area.
All drone flights must take place in daylight and in good weather,
Aircraft must remain in visual line-of-site of the drone pilot at all times,
Drone operations must be conducted outside of airport airspace, away from populated areas, buildings, public areas, and busy roads, and cannot go higher than 90 metres, vertically,
The privacy of others must be respected.
While most of these rules are primarily safety oriented, they may also affect when and how one is able to capture aerial imagery,...
You've probably been driving around Calgary and have seen several RE/MAX® Real Estate Signs.
RE/MAX actually has some of the strictest real estate signage rules among all the various real estate brands (both franchised and independent). The colours, the style, the layout and the content are strictly defined by our corporate offices.
Currently, there are two basic styles. Both indicate which franchisee is being represented in the bottom line of each sign. In Calgary, for example, there are over 10 different RE/MAX offices working the city so you may see a sign from any one of them. The individual real estate agent's name is also required to be on the sign (and the name has to be the one that is registered on their provincial real estate licence. A nick name, if used, must be on the licence too.) Team names are permitted, but they should always include the name of the individual agent that has the listing.
Yesterday, I held an Open House at 334 Ascot Circle SW.
I met so many wonderful people!
A big THANK YOU to everyone that came out in the chilly Calgary weather to see this wonderful home. We had 12 people through during those two hours including one real estate agent and her client. At one point it seemed to be like shark infested waters and a feeding frenzie of home buyers!
We should be getting an offer any day on this wonderful home in a tremendous complex in Aspen Woods.
If you're looking for a home in this area or any other west and northwest community of Calgary, please give me a call. I specialize in all of these neighbourhoods!
Sales of homes in Hawkwood this past month are following a similar trend of many other established communities in Calgary. While sales are slower than sales in 2014, sales continute to happen and overall sales prices have not substantially lost ground. In fact, on an annualized basis the selling prices in Hawkwood for 2015 are up 3.2% over 2014.
Because home prices throughout many areas of the city are somewhat stalled, it remains a good time to buy homes for both first-time buyers and move-up buyers. However due to the negative influence of the media, many will tend to sit back and wait until prices begin to rise overall in the city instead of just in a few select neighbourhoods and price ranges as the case today.
Looking for a home in our lovely neighbourhood of Hawkwood or looking to sell one?
I'm the trusted neighbourhood real estate professional! I live here, I work here, I'm here for You!
Here are all the listings available in Hawkwood today: click...
Today, the federal Finance Minister announced changes to the rules for government-backed mortgage insurance to contain risks in the housing market, reduce taxpayer exposure and support long-term stability.
Effective February 15, 2016, the minimum down payment for new insured mortgages will increase from 5% to 10% for the portion of the house price above $500,000. The 5% minimum down payment for properties up to $500,000 remains unchanged.
For example, a home costing $700,000 would require a $45,000 down payment – a 5% down payment on the first $500,000, added to a 10% down payment on the remaining $200,000.
Buyers shopping for homes below the $500,000 mark will be unaffected by the new rules.
The move is expected to take pressure off the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), which offers mortgage loan insurance for properties valued below $1 million.
Since the 2008 recession, the federal government has made it more challenging for Canadians to...
There has been little talk of the alignment of the Calgary MLS System community names and divisions with those of the City of Calgary. Early in January 2016, the map will be aligned.
What this means for consumers is that they can get more relevant information on the community they are interest in buying a home within. The 4 zones are being replaced with 8 districts. Some MLS System neighbourhoods are disappearing and almalgamating with a larger neighbourhood. (eg. Ranchland Estates almalgamates with Ranchlands; Lake Bonavista Estates almalgamates with Lake Bonavista; Garrison Woods amalgamates with Altadore.)
For me, it will be a bit of a challenge getting to learn some of the new nuances, but it does make a lot of sense and I welcome it. As far as I'm concerned, it's long overdue and the sooner it's implemented, the better!
Locally, we've recently had a lot of conversations about Seller Brokerage Contracts. What these are are the contracts that is agreed to by a Seller of property and the brokerage through the brokerage's agent to allow them to market the property on behalf of the Seller. Specifically our discussion have revolved around, the agreement regarding the real estate professional's obligations and the consumer's obligations regarding to their property when it is being listed for sale within the local MLS® System.
Firstly, there are several weaknesses that creep up as a result of Provincial Standard Forms. One of them is that they cater to the lowest standard of care.
One of the notorious weaknesses has been in detailing some of the individual real estate board rules that govern how the various MLS Systems in the province run. A few years ago in this province there were Harmonized MLS System Rules agreed to by all real estate boards in the province (which are still in place), but...
Every month, I've been mailing out 1,000 flyers in some of the newer sections of Hawkwood. (Actually, it's mailed out ten times a year.) There are lots of home insights for homeowners, renters and potential home sellers. If you have any questions about your current home value or wish to discuss marketing your home within the next 6 months, now is the time to talk with an experienced, real estate broker that actually lives in your neighbourhood. As Hawkwood's RE/MAX real estate professional and resident REALTOR®, I can help tell you what others may not be able to share with you. I'm also very "in tune" with many of the northwest and southwest neighbourhoods in the City of Calgary.
If you are currently renting your home, and you're thinking now may be the time to buy, please get in touch with me and we can get the process started. As you can imagine, the overall trend of house values within the City of Calgary is upward. Some communities can...
In visiting a number of homes, recently, we have noticed video and/or audio capture devices that were actively monitoring the premises. What this means to us is there is an increase in the number of home sellers that are actively recording their real estate agents, prospective buyers and their buyer agents during the course of open houses or private showing appointments.
This is something we were concerned with several years ago with baby monitors being positioned in homes and turned on so that home sellers could "eavesdrop" on the buyer's viewing sppointment from nearby outside the home. That was something we always warned our clients about when we were showing homes to them and reminded them again when we noticed monitoring equipment (whether or not we could determine if the device was "on".)
Times have now changed: it is starting to appear quite often. In a few cases the common indicator light showing the device is acively monitoring had been covered up or possibly even disconnected....
This past week, I came across a post card hanging on the door knob of one of the homes that I currently have listed for sale. The card was hanging from the door knob and was about 15 cm by 40 cm in size – so it was very highly visible.
The card featured the words "LOCK BOXES SUCK" superimposed on a photo of a standard REALTOR's lock box. Okay, I was intrigued.
I turned the card over. It was marketing by the local For Sale By Owner (FSBO) franchise. I didn't see a similar card on any of the neighbouring homes – so I assume it was targeted to only the homes with real estate signs. Hmm – I'm quite sure I wouldn't do business that way, but they probably have a business plan and process that they must follow as franchisees. In the really fine print on the card it specifically stated that they are not real estate brokers nor agents. Wow – that's news to me because when I was looking at ways to expand my real estate business a few years ago they were one...
Neighbourhood of HAWKWOOD Stats as of the end of August 2015:
With the end of summer all but complete, the summer market ends this week as we enter the Labour Day weekend. Although school has already started, home purchasers tend to get back into their home hunt after this unofficial end of summer. Market activity should warm up some between now and Thanksgiving's Day. Now is a good time to buy that home you've been keeping an eye on (providing you and your agent are able to get a market value price for it -- there are, incredibly, a few homes on that market that are still priced too high for their location and/or condition.)
Overall, the Hawkwood community remains in a BALANCED MARKET for the month.
Attached homes (townhouses & side-by-side duplexes):
Neighbourhood of HAWKWOOD Stats as of the end of July 2015:
July is usually the slowest month of the year for real estate sales in Calgary. This year shows no variation from the norm. We should start to see the listing and sales activity slowly climb until mid-November. It may be a great time to both put a home on the market and to shop for homes in Hawkwood. There will be a little less to choose from than the winter-spring market, but there will be far, far fewer people to compete with in shopping for homes. This also is an ideal time to see property at their visual peak – the grass remains close to green and there's no snow hiding unkept landscaping.
Attached homes (townhouses & side-by-side duplexes):
Data supplied by CREB®’s MLS ® System. CREB® is the owner of the copyright in its MLS® System. The Listing data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by CREB®.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.