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.

 

 

Grilling Safety

Don't Melt Your Vinyl Siding

Pillar-to-Post Home Inspections always has great info to share. Thanks to them for providing us with some of the ideas for this information on barbecues and grilling safety.
 
Calgarians are big on barbecues all year long and hopefully this is a timely reminder. I can't tell you how many homes I've been to this year that have had damage to their vinyl siding or latticework from barbecues. There have been more than just a few. A lot of people don't realize how dangerous their natural gas, propane or charcoal barbecue can be when it's used too close to the outside walls or deck rails of their homes or apartment balconies. 
 
  • Gas or charcoal grills should be located no closer than 3 metres (10 feet) from any structure. Radiant heat is invisible. Never use a grill or barbecue under a porch, deck, overhang, eaves, carport, in the garage or any other enclosed area. Make sure it sits on a stable surface and can't be tipped over.
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A Condominum Document Review is one of the many standard conditions that can be entered on an offer to purchase for Alberta real estate. This condition is inserted to protect the buyer's interests when buying property with condominium ownership. In many cases reviewing the condominium documents is far more important than even doing a home inspection with a licensed property inspector. There are dozens of documents to review: audited and unaudited financial statements, operating budgets, board meetings, engineer reports, a survey(s), 25-year cash-flow projections, owner's obligations, restrictions, by-laws, rules and policies. There are just so many important and costly things that can be hidden in those documents relating to the condominium corporation that you're getting involved in and how well it is being run. In buying a unit in a condominium corporation, you become an partial owner of that corporation. The condominium corporation is a not-for-profit corporation which is run by the board...

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Almost every week at our brokerage office we have a speaker that helps to keep us on top of trends in the real estate industry. This week's topic was "Asbestos in Calgary area homes." Specifically, what asbestos is, what types of homes will we find it in and what should buyers and sellers do about it. Today's speaker was the CEO of Western Asbestos Removal Inc. He is definitely a subject matter expert, but it was a bit of a sales pitch just the same.

Here is the Asbestos Problem: 

  • Asbestos is fibrous mineral, that if inhaled can cause life threatening lung diseases.
  • Until banned, asbestos was used in more than 2000 building materials.
  • Homes built before 1990 possibly contain asbestos materials somewhere.
  • Homes built before 1980 almost always contain asbestos materials somewhere.
  • Asbestos containing building materials, when disturbed, can release asbestos fibres into the air where they can be inhaled.
  • When found, it's best to properly and safely have asbestos removed. If left undisturbed...
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Alright, you have a conditional purchase contract in place on a home and one of the conditions is for the satifactory review of the property through a home inspection.

 

One of the mistakes that some buyers make is assuming when their licensed home inspector finds issues with a home (and they always do) that they have an opportunity to renegotiate the purchase price with the seller prior to releasing their condition.

 

A mistake? YES!

 

The home inspection condition provides the buyer two alternatives: a) to accept a home, blemishes and all, and release their condition, or b) to not release their condition because of the blemishes identified in the home inspection  (and thereby nullifying the purchase contract). There is no "option c" that automatically permits the renegotiation of the price.

 

Occasionally, if some issues are found that it is believed the seller is completely unaware of, then it might be worth trying to get the seller to lower their purchase price...

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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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We had predicted this quite some time ago, but it appears the revolution has started.
 
One of our brokerage's clients is in the process of purchasing a former grow-op. And guess what? His insurance company and agent that he has done business with for years, has refused to insure the house that he had planned to purchase.
 
These kind of risky purchases (grow-ops, foreclosures, and bank sales) are just that - RISKY! I'm sure this Buyer client is using a knowledgable and experienced agent that put into the "Offer to Purchase" the condition of being able to find insurance. This is just one of the many conditions that a knowledgable real estate agent will suggest to their clients to have inserted into the Offer to Purchase. Finding out after the sale is FIRM would be a real expensive lesson for someone.
 
If anyone ever questioned the value of an experienced, and fully-trained industry professional to help them purchase or sell a home, this is just one example that shows that...
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We're asked this question quite often, so you're not alone.

Closing costs explained"Closing costs" is a term that you will likely hear often in your real estate transaction, whether you are buying or selling a home. The "closing costs" are the costs paid for at the end of the transaction at your lawyer's office. Many of them are directly related to the legal fees, property tax adjustments, land transfer fees, mortgage fees, etc. and generally add up to between $800 and $2,000 for the Buyer and $600 to $1,500 for the Seller - depending upon the transaction and the legal firm selected.
 
Other jurisdictions may have additional costs or may not involve lawyers in the real estate transaction (they use "Title Companies" and refer to a concept of "Escrow"). As always, you should verify this discussion within the context or your own jurisdiction.
 
A much better discussion involves the total costs included in buying or selling real estate. These costs are many and which is why it is not advisable to be "flipping"...
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Home inspectors in Alberta are to be licensed as of September 1, 2011As of September 1, 2011, home inspection businesses and individual home inspectors must obtain a licence from the provincial government.

Qualifications for a home inspector licence

  • Inspectors must have a degree, diploma or certificate in home inspection from an approved educational institution and successfully complete a test inspection. The government currently recognizes the Carson Dunlop & Associates curriculum offered by SAIT and will evaluate other courses that become available in Alberta. 
  • Inspectors are automatically qualified for a licence if they hold a Registered Home Inspector designation from the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors; or a Certified Master Inspector designation from the Master Inspector Certification Board, Inc., affiliated with the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. 
  • Inspectors who do not meet these requirements may apply for a conditional licence valid until March 31, 2013 to give them time to acquire the necessary...
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Home Inspections for Calgary area real estateA Press Release today from Service Alberta:
 
Edmonton...
 
The Alberta government will license and set standards for home inspectors under new rules to protect Albertans who rely on an inspection when buying a home.
 
“A home is the single largest investment most Albertans make. They deserve to have confidence that the person they hire to inspect a home is qualified to make a reliable assessment,” said Service Alberta Minister Heather Klimchuk, responsible for consumer protection. “Most home inspectors are professionals, but the financial consequences of a faulty or negligent inspection can be staggering for families.”
 
The Home Inspection Business Regulation, which comes into force on September 1, 2011, will require all home inspection businesses and individual inspectors be licensed by the provincial government. To qualify for a licence, inspectors must have successfully completed training from an educational institution approved by the provincial...
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