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.


Calgary's real estate market to avoid the major correctionAt the end of last week, another report from one of Canada's largest banks was released in regards to the Canadian housing markets. This time it was from their research branch: TD Ecomomics (for TD Bank, TD Waterhouse, TD Canada Trust).
They report that the Canadian housing market in 2012 will be in a battle between on the one side: low interest rates, and on the other side: economic uncertainty along with slow income and employment growth.
It's forecast that there will be huge price corrections in both the metro Toronto and metro Vancouver markets which have again heated up in 2011 - especially in the apartment condo markets. Combined with the price corrections, they also forecast a higher that average sales corrections for both cities in the next two years.
TD estimates that house pricing, on a national basis, are over-valued 10 to 15 percent, although that is expected to drop over the forecast period.
According to the report, there has been little upward pressure...
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Which is better: A home equity line of credit or reverse mortgage? Let’s compare and see what’s best for you.
If you want to access the equity in your home without selling your house, most people think of a "home equity line of credit" first. But, if you’re over 55 and own your own home, there may be a better option: a reverse mortgage.
Which is better: a home equity line of credit or reverse mortgage? Let’s compare and see...
Read more: 50Plus.com.
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Alberta Economy continues to GrowAlberta is once again positioned as one of Canada’s provincial growth leaders, according to the latest RBC Economics Provincial Outlook report released today.
The provincial economy is set to grow at a rate of 4.0 per cent this year and 3.9 per cent in 2012.
“Amid the heightened global economic uncertainty, Alberta’s steady progress towards full recovery from the recession is refreshing,” said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC, in a statement. “Were it not for the even stronger performance by Saskatchewan, Alberta would recapture the crown of Canada’s fastest growing provincial economy.”
RBC is forecasting economic growth for Canada of 2.3 per cent this year followed by 2.5 per cent in 2012.
Saskatchewan is expected to lead the country both years with growth rates of 4.5 per cent in 2011 and 4.2 per cent in 2012.
RBC said oil production in Alberta has fully recovered from the disruptions...
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Homes - Deposit MoneyThe deposit for a home in a real estate contract can also be referred to as "Earnest Money." Oftentimes, the Offer to Purchase has an initial deposit and then an additional deposit due at a future, predetermined time. However, there are cases where a deposit isn't even needed to make a real estate contract binding and enforcable. The "promise to pay" the purchase price and signing "under seal" can satisfy the requirement of contracts for consideration. (This may not be the same case in all jurisdictions).
Let's look at the deposit issue from both the Seller's and the Buyer's point of view...
The Seller's Perspective:
    • A larger deposit would tend to indicate a qualified and more serious Buyer.
    • If the Buyer firms up the contract, (i.e. removes all their conditions) then if the Buyer can't close the deal and take possession, then the Seller may get to keep all or a portion of the deposit in damages.
    • The higher the amount of deposit submitted (initial and additional, combined) it...
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Gambling in Selling - Multiple OffersThe prospect of having multiple offers on your home is a ideal situation, right? With multiple people all trying to buy your home at the same time! There couldn't possibly be anything wrong with that!
Well there are definitely some pluses, but there are some significant risks to the prospect too.
The Pros:
    • You will likely get close to "market value" for your home. In some cases you might even get full asking price or more.
    • You will likely find an offer that matches all, or many, of your needs - possession date, inclusions/exclusions, etc.
    • You likely won't have long protracted negotiations. You will likely get offers with only a few conditions. Maybe you'll even get some offers without conditions.
And now some of The Cons:
    • Buyers are skeptical about competing offers - especially in today's buyer's market! The don't like getting dragged into a bidding war on price with the possibility that they will pay more than market value, and are more apt to just walk away. If you announce...
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Heading into the holidays can be a stressful time for most people, especially when you have a home to sell in the midst of all the celebrations. Many sellers take their homes off the market before the holidays to avoid the added stress, but this time of year can actually be a blessing for the home seller. There are some good reasons to keep marketing your home over the holidays.
  1. Less competition. Since so many sellers take their homes off the market you will have less competition. If your home shows well (holiday decor is ok and is expected at this time of year) and is priced well this could be a big benefit to you. There are buyers out there who need to find places to live over the holidays. If you are worried about showings when you are celebrating or have guests, simply have your agent ask for more notice in the MLS for showing times.
  2. Serious buyers. Buyers who are looking for homes over the holidays tend to be serious buyers, given the fact that they are looking for homes during the...
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Originally Published: December 10, 2010
Check your condo rules before you put up that menorah or Santa decoration, or you might find yourself taking your holiday decorations down a lot sooner than you planned.

I want to flout condo rules and put up holiday decorations despite an HOA rule banning them. What’s going to happen to me?
  • Option 1: Nothing may happen because the HOA rules aren’t enforced.
  • Option 2: You might get a letter asking you to take down your decor.
  • Option 3: You might get fined for breaking condo rules. Constructive ways to balance your need to deck the halls with condo rules that ban decorations:
Talk to your neighbours. If it’s your first holiday in your new home, check with your neighbours to find out what's really allowed. Condos that ban lights and signage most of the year may ignore illegal decorations during the holiday season. "But do understand these rules and regulations are enforceable by boards of corporations that are created...
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It's so great when the national aggregator of the home listing data from the various MLS® Systems gets updated to include a few of the advanced features that we've had on our website since as far back as I can remember! When I reviewed the changes yesterday, I honestly didn't see these changes because they are expected on every agent's home listing website. Aren't they? 
Too bad that REALTOR.ca directs you to call the Listing Agent, and their office, for viewings and more information. Shame on them - what bad advise for the vast majority of buyers! But then again, REALTOR.ca has always been nothing more than an advertising vehicle for the Listing Agents and not the properties they have listed for sale. It's not about selling homes, it's about selling agents!

Ottawa, ON – December 1, 2011 – Earlier this week, a new version of REALTOR.ca was released. This version introduces exciting new features and tools that allow users to customize REALTOR.ca...
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Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
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