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...

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...

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.

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...

An article from last month by a an American pundit predicts that housing prices in the U.S. will never recover, and in fact, except for the boom of the mid-2000s, housing prices have remained relatively flat for the last century. In 2007 he was advocating that "Renting Makes More Financial Sense Than Buying" and then last year he was advocating "It's Time to Buy that House".
He backs this up with research by S&P / Case-Shiller numbers and states that now, with inflation taken into account, U.S. housing values are equivalent to 1895 levels.
The implication of this very last somewhat startling sentence is that buying property may not be the strong, long-term investment it has often been positioned as. The article does not discourage buying property however, instead it argues that “...buyers should stop focusing on the vague hope that house prices will jump from here and focus instead on the functional value houses provide for the money.” In other words,...

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...

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: Housing Market Outlook for 2012— Calgary

This Outlook report for Calgary is published semi-annually and offers forecasts and analyses of trends in the new, resale and rental housing markets. For the new home market, housing starts and price changes are examined in detail, while the resale section presents sales activity, average prices, and listings. Analysis of the rental market focuses on vacancy rates, average rents and related forecasts. An overview and forecast of key economic indicators is also detailed, along with other factors affecting the local economy and housing market.

Real Estate Market Forecast for 2012

In 2011, there were 13,186 single-family MLS sales in Calgary, up 9.06 per cent from the previous year while the average sale price increased by 1.14 per cent to $466,402. There were 5,382 condo sales, up 3.98 per cent, but the average price dipped by 0.94 per cent to $287,172.
Dan Sumner, economist with ATB Financial in Calgary, described the local housing market in 2011 as “slightly disappointing.”
“We definitely saw a rise in sales from 2010 but sales still remain quite slow compared to 10-year averages ... Prices have been flat for now 2 years and it really continued along in 2011,” he said.
Sumner said he’s cautiously optimistic for 2012.
“Overall the Canadian housing market in general I wouldn’t say it’s in a place where I’d want to put a lot of money right now if I had to bet on it,” he said. “But as far as housing markets in Canada go, I think the ones...

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...

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...

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"...

This real estate website was designed as a consumer service to help Buyers and Sellers make truly informed real estate decisions. We know that it is often difficult to get relevant information when you're looking to buy or sell a home.
In order to better educate and inform Calgary area Buyers and Sellers, we have provided comprehensive information as a free, no-obligation service. Many Buyers and Sellers who visit this site are so impressed with this service that they will contact us in order to assist them in the purchase or sale of their home.


Let's face it, there is so much information on the Internet these days that is erroneous. We have sifted through some of it and repost interesting articles here and try to always follow the licence agreements of YouTube (i.e. any venture, commercial or otherwise, may repost any YouTube video providing that it is not altered and the licence rights are restricted by the poster) or where we cite other published articles, we always try...
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™.
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.