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Weekly Calgary Real Estate Update for February 18, 2019

Weekly Calgary Real Estate Update for February 18, 2019

Weekly Calgary Real Estate Update

6413 homes for sale in metro Calgary (up 127)

1004 homes sold in the last 30 days (up 45)

6.39 months worth of inventory (down 0.16)

15.66% of the homes statistically to sell in the next 30 days (up 0.40%)

Market Conditions: Buyers

Average List Price: $476,795 (down $2,213)

Average Sale Price: $458,113 (down $1,1088)

Average days on market: 66 (down 3)

Average list to sale price ratio : 96.20% (up 0.17%)

*Numbers in the brackets are a comparison from last week’s stats. Ideally, we want the number of homes selling in the last 30 days to increase weekly, the months of inventory to decrease (meaning demand is matching inventory) and the % of homes to sell in the next 30 days to increase.

Staging Your Property for the Real Estate Market – By Homes Scape Home Staging & Design – Our Preferred Home Stager

 

Staging Your Property for the Real Estate Market

 

When selling a property, the questions that go through a seller’s mind is always how are we going to sell quickly for the most amount of money? How can we compete against the other homes on the market?  Should we consider staging? Is staging worth the time and expense?

If you have ever watched HGTV, you’ve probably seen shows on home selling and staged properties. Property staging has been around for more than 20 years but more recently has become a serious marketing tool for selling homes. Why? Because it works. That’s the whole point of home staging in the first place — to present your home in the best possible light. If you do this, buyers will be more likely to make an offer.

Staging a house means taking the time and investing the money up front to prepare the property for market. The National Realtor Association states that every $100.00 spent on staging a $400.00 return is made. Trying to see what a buyer sees in your home can be tough, but getting that glimpse is extremely important for preparing your home for sale.

When buyers walk through your home, they are making observations on various levels. They obviously need to make the emotional connection to the home where they feel comfortable. The emotional connection happens within the first 3 minutes of being in your home. They will also make sure the home meets all their needs from a structural standpoint (size, layout, number of rooms etc.). Savvy buyers will be looking for clues that indicate the true conditions of the home.

If you stage your house effectively, it will give buyers the impression of a well-maintained home. The first step in any home-staging plan are the basic repairs. You start by fixing what’s broken. This is the bare minimum. After that, you move on to the cosmetic touches like painting, replacing outdated light fixtures, replacing the flooring etc. The result is that the house seems like it’s in tip-top shape. These improvements put a buyers’ mind at ease, which is exactly what you want to accomplish in order to sell. Every buyer wants an easy transition. Moving is stressful enough. The last thing they want is to inherit a long list of repairs and upgrades. Staging your house well makes life easier for your buyers.

The second step in the staging process is packing. You want buyers to see the house as a good fit for their family. I often get the question what should I pack and what should stay? My answer: you don’t want them to see your family living in the home. If they see pictures of you everywhere, they’ll have a harder time making a personal connection to the home. The same goes for taste-specific decorating choices. Unusual paint colors and exotic knickknacks are fine when you are living in the home. But when you’re trying to sell it, you need to neutralize the decor. When you stage your house, you’re essentially removing yourself so that others may insert themselves.

You will have to pack up your belongings when you sell, so why not get a head start? By starting the pre-packing stage, you are also making your job easier when it comes to the move. You won’t have as many items to box up at the last minute.

The last step in the staging plan is the showcasing. This is where you get to get to make your home “Magazine Ready”. The art of home staging has a lot to do with space. You want to remove excess furniture and arrange the furniture in a way that maximizes usable space within the house. This gives the impression that the home is larger than it actually is. Have you ever walked through a home with minimal furniture and been amazed at how much space it had? But when you fill up that same house with over-sized furniture, knickknacks and other forms of clutter, it suddenly feels cramped. You may be surprised at how large your house seems all of a sudden. This is a common reaction among homeowners. And it’s a positive reaction among potential buyers. You never want buyers to feel like the home is cramped or crowded.

Staging doesn’t just occur on the inside. It happens on the outside as well. You’ve heard the phrase “curb appeal” before. This is the positive first impression people get when they pull up to your home. But you can’t achieve curb appeal unless you stage the house effectively.

You want buyers to be impressed with the property before they even step foot inside. This is a critical moment that will determine their attitude for the rest of the visit. It’s hard to overcome a bad first impression, even if the inside of the house is in prime condition. If you stage the house well, you’ll improve the exterior as well as the interior. Buyers will see your property in a positive frame of mind before they even walk through the front door.

Real estate agents walk through homes every day. This is especially true for the buyer agents, who might have to show dozens of homes to please their individual clients. Many of the homes the agents visit will be poorly staged. They’ll have oversized furniture, antiquated wallpaper, and shelves full of clutter. When an agent walks into a house that has been staged properly, they can get pretty excited about it. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen.

As a seller, this is exactly what you want. You want the buyer’s agent to rave about your house. You want him or her to say things like, “This is so much nicer than the other homes we’ve looked at.” The agent’s excitement will rub off on the buyers, which increases the likelihood of a sale.

We just talked about real estate agents getting excited over a well-staged home, but the benefits of this goes beyond the agent’s buyers. Other agents will hear about your house as well. Word gets around quickly in the real estate world. The buyer’s agent will want to bring his or her other clients to your house as well. They’ll probably mention it to other agents working in their firm. This will increase the number of buyers who come out to see your home.

In order to enjoy this level of “buzz,” you need to stage your house before you try to sell it. Giving potential buyers a good first impression is your primary goal. Giving agents a good impression also helps sell your property.

There are only two ways to distinguish your home. You can price it below the competition or make it seem like a nicer home. If you do neither of these things, your house will probably be on the market for a long time. Staging can make all the difference in the real estate world, even if your home is priced the same as comparable properties that are for sale. You are giving the appearance of a better value.

So what makes your home stand out from the rest?

 

 

New and Upcoming Schools in the Calgary and Surrounding Areas between 2018-2020

New and Upcoming Schools in the Calgary and Surrounding Areas

Many clients like to consider which schools are in the neighborhood before purchasing a home. As population grows in our subdivisions, there has been an urgent need to increase the amount of schools in many areas. Here is a list of schools that have recently opened or are scheduled to open between 2018 and 2020 in the Calgary and Surrounding areas. 

Herons Crossing School  – K-6 –  Located at 1860 Reunion Blvd NW Airdrie – Opened January 2018

Griffith Woods School  – K-9 – Located at 7752 26 Ave SW Calgary – Opened April 2018

Foothills Composite High School –  Located at 229 Woodhaven Drive Okotoks – Opened September 2018

Joane Cardinal-Schubert High School  – Located at 19480 45 St SE – Opened September 2018

Devine Mercy Elementary School – K-6 – Located at 228 Mahogany Blvd SE – Opened September 2018

All Saints High School  – Located at 729 Legacy Village Rd SE – Opened September 2018

Blessed Marie-Rose School – K-9 – Located at 999 Sherwood Blvd NW Calgary – Opened September 2018

Ecole Beausoleil  – K-8  – Located at 71 Okotoks Drive Okotoks – Opened in January 2019

Meadow Ridge School – K-9 – Located at 21 Chinook Arch Way Okotoks – Scheduled to Open September 2019

West Hillcrest Airdrie – K-12 – Located at 275 Hillcrest Dr SW Airdrie – Scheduled to Open September 2019

Coventry Hills/Country Hills Village Second Elementary School – K-4 –  Located at 711 Coventry Dr NE – Anticipated Opening Date – September 2020

Cranston Second Elementary School – K-4 – Located at 66 Cranford Dr SE – Anticipated Opening Date – September 2020

Evergreen Second Elementary School – K-4– Located at 2511 Fish Creek Blvd. SW  – Anticipated Opening Date – September 2020

Mahogany Elementary School – K-4Tentatively Located at 210 Mahogany Way SE – Opening Dates still TBD

North Calgary High School – 10-12 Tentatively Located at 12065 Coventry Hills Way NE – Opening Dates still TBD

Weekly Calgary Real Estate Update for February 11, 2019

Weekly Calgary Real Estate Update for February 11, 2019

Weekly Calgary Real Estate Update

6286 homes for sale in metro Calgary (up 149)

959 homes sold in the last 30 days (up 125)

6.55 months worth of inventory (down 0.81)

15.26% of the homes statistically to sell in the next 30 days (up 1.67%)

Market Conditions: Buyers

Average List Price: $479,008 (down $3,782)

Average Sale Price: $459,201 (down $2,839)

Average days on market: 69 (down 4)

Average list to sale price ratio : 96.03% (up 0.15%)

*Numbers in the brackets are a comparison from last week’s stats. Ideally, we want the number of homes selling in the last 30 days to increase weekly, the months of inventory to decrease (meaning demand is matching inventory) and the % of homes to sell in the next 30 days to increase.

Days On Market: Here’s How Long It Will Take You To Sell A House in 63 Canadian Markets

Have You Been Wondering How Long it Will Take You to Sell A House in 63 Canadian Markets? HuffPost Canada compiled a list for you. As many of you already know that Calgary is currently sitting in a Buyer’s Market. Calgary ranks as #38 on the list. Guess who is #1 with only 12 days?

Check it out here:  https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/02/06/days-on-market-canada_a_23661049/?ncid=other_email_o63gt2jcad4&utm_campaign=share_email

 

Are You Packing Up a House Long-term?

Are You Packing Up a House Long-term?

 

Many people need to pack up boxes and boxes of their belongings when getting ready for a big move. The more that you can pack up items that you don’t use on a daily basis – the easier the packing can be. Items such as winter clothing in the summer, hockey equipment in the summer, summer clothing during the winter, etc. Then when you have piles of boxes, then where do you put them all? If you are out of room with all your boxes, then we may have a solution for you!

 

Our clients could potentially receive 25% off the 1st month and 2nd month free at Maple Leaf Storage.

We also have contacts with Big Steel Box which can also yield discounts on different size boxes as well with storage and delivery.

 

If you are in need of a storage solution – call us today to discuss how we could be of assistance to you!

 

What is Radon?

What is radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs when radium in soil and rock breaks down. It is an invisible, odourless and tasteless gas that can accumulate to unnaturally high and dangerous levels in our homes.

Radon gas in Canada

Western Canada contains some of the highest radon-generating soils on our planet. Although it arises naturally from our geology, radon gas is often drawn up inside modern buildings and concentrated to hazardous levels not seen in nature – thus, high radon exposure is a manmade problem. Canada contains many radon-generating regions, and Canadians have constructed towns and cities across almost all of them. This does not mean, however, that all of our buildings contain high radon. There are three factors needed to incur hazardous radon exposure:

  1. Geologic source and pathway (upwards) for radon into a property
  2. Building metrics that actively draw up and concentrate radon
  3. Human behaviour that enables higher exposure

Why is radon gas harmful?

Radon is radioactive and unstable. In a very short period of time it decays and emits alpha particle radiation, which severely damages our DNA in such a way that is almost impossible for our bodies to repair without introducing genetic errors (mutations). These errors trigger a worsening cycle of DNA mutation that drives cancer formation. Hence, radon is listed as a category 1 carcinogen (cancer causing agent), meaning that it is absolutely known to cause cancer in humans. As radon is inhaled into our lungs, it primarily triggers the formation of lung cancer – the number one cause of cancer death in Canada – even in folks who have never smoked. Younger people, especially children, are the most at risk from the DNA damage caused by radon exposure. The risk of cancer goes up with greater radon levels, and prolonged exposure over a life.

How is radon gas measured?

Radiation from radon is measured in a unit called the Becquerel (Bq) that represents one alpha particle being emitted per second. When measuring radon, the Bq is monitored per cubic meter of the air in your home (Bq/m3). A 16% increase in your relative risk of lung cancer is measurable per 100 Bq/m3 of chronic radon inhalation. In Canada, 200 Bq/m3 is considered maximum allowable by Health Canada, with advice being to strive for as low as reasonably achievable. We have observed some homes in Western Canada with radon as high as 10,000 Bq/m3, which is the equivalent of 60,000 dental x-ray equivalents of radiation each year according to the International Commission on Radiological Protection.

How do I test my home for radon gas?

Testing your home for radon is cheap, easy and effective. To figure out the amount of radon in your home, all you have to do is purchase a radon testing device through us. One of the most effective and simplest of tests is called an “alpha track” device, which, over a 90+ day period, will register the Bq/m3of the indoor air of your home. It requires no electricity and is about the same size as a small hockey puck. Place the device in the lowest level of your home that you or someone spends about 4+ hours a day. This could be your basement, or perhaps the main floor. Do not place the radon test in kitchens, bathrooms, near open windows or other areas with fans or strong air flow. Areas of the home that no-one spends time in (crawl spaces, furnace room, etc.) are also not ideal. Radon testing should only occur between the beginning of November to the end of April, as testing in spring, summer and early fall gives inaccurate readings. After your 90+ days are complete, you just ship your device to a lab using the provided shipping label, and within 2-3 weeks you should receive your confidential reading.

What happens if my home contains high levels of radon gas?

Radon can be easily prevented from entering into most properties. This is usually quick (1-2 days’ work) and, even for the most drastic (but effective) of interventions, it still only costs about the same as replacing a few windows. The important thing to recognize is that determining if your home has high radon will not devalue your property, as it is so easily solved. Homes that have been ‘mitigated’ for high radon tend to have the lowest achievable levels – and have amongst the healthiest of indoor air. In other parts of the world, a radon mitigation device is seen even as a selling feature. When considering a mitigation, always find someone with C-NRPP (Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program) certification. C-NRPP certification is approved of by Health Canada.

Should I have my home mitigated?

Any level above 100 Bq/m3 represents a statistically significant increase in the lifetime relative risk of lung cancer for those being exposed chronically to it. Indeed, the WHO deferred to the amount of radon where a statistically observable increasing in lifetime risk of lung cancer is clear and significant – this is 100 Bq/m3Health Canada set our “maximum exposure limit” reference level at twice this value, with the view that double where we start to see an increase in risk is truly unacceptable. To ensure that you are protected to where there is no significant increase in risk (as science and medicine understands radon), aim to get your home, school and work environment below 100 Bq/m3. It is important to remember that the 200 Bq/m3 level is set by Health Canada as a maximum acceptable reference level. Health Canada’s advice is to aim for as low as reasonably achievable. Your body cannot distinguish between 199, 200 and 201 Bq/m3 of radon, and being slightly under or over that number is meaningless to your long term health. Our advice if your home is at or near 200 Bq/m3 is to evaluate your relative risk and exposure by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Are their babies, kids or teens in the home? If yes, consider mitigating, as young people are at a much higher risk from the negative impact of radon compared to those of older ages (65+).
  2. Does anyone work from home or spend most of their days at home? If yes, then consider mitigating, as those individuals are breathing the home’s air for a lot longer than a person leaving for large parts of the day for school or work.
  3. Does anyone in the home have a family history of cancer? If yes, consider mitigating, as some families carry altered genes that make them more susceptible to cancer following exposure to radiation.
  4. Is anyone in the home a current or former smoker? If yes, consider mitigating. The risk of lung cancer from radon is ‘synergistic’ with the risk from smoking. For example, ‘1 unit’ of risk from smoking plus ‘1 unit’ of risk from radon does not equal 2, rather it is a case of 1+1=17. Smokers (current or former) are much more at risk from radon, and so should protect themselves from radon even if still actively smoking to reduce their chances of cancer in the future.
  5. Is anyone in the home exposed to other lung cancer risk factors? If yes, consider mitigating. In addition to smoking (described above), folks who work with or who are exposed often to metal dust (metallurgists, jewelers, machinists, blacksmithery, etc.), leather dust, gasoline or diesel fumes (mechanics, firefighters, etc.), asbestos and heavy air pollution should also aim to reduce their exposure to radon as much as possible

How do I test my home?

STEP 1

Order

Order a radon test through the Evict Radon website. Every radon test bought assists in field research.

STEP 2

Register

Once you receive your device make sure you register it on our website: radonova.com/evictradon/with the supplied commission number and password.

STEP 3

Place

Test the air you are breathing on the lowest level of your home.

STEP 4

Wait

Leave the radon test device in place for 90+ days allowing the device to measure radon levels over time for an accurate reading.

STEP 5

Send

Log back into radonova.com/evictradon/ and enter the end date. Collect your radon test device and send it to the location specified on the test kit package.

STEP 6

Review

You will receive your results within a few weeks. Be sure to review them and ensure your home’s radon levels are safe.

What do I do once I receive my results?

The Canadian guideline established by Health Canada for the maximum exposure limit of radon in your home is 200 Bq/m3. A bit more information about why this is the maximum acceptable limit:

RADON LEVELS

0 Bq/m3

200 Bq/m3

Breathe Easy

Phew! Your radon test results are within the safe range for your home. You can now breathe easy knowing, in this house, you and your family are safe. Please note: Health Canada recommends retesting every few years, or if a major home renovation takes place. Encourage a neighbour or friend to test their home for radon.

Tell a neighbour/friend

Mitigation Recommended

Uh oh! Your radon test results are over the maximum exposure limit for Canada. At this level you, your family, and especially your children are at risk of future radon-induced lung cancer. Our team and Health Canada highly recommend that you have your home mitigated by a C-NRPP professional. Don’t worry, in Western Canada, radon mitigation techniques are very effective.

Find a mitigation professional

 

*This post is an excerpt from evictradon.ca

Moving Checklist – What to Do And Where to Start

Moving Checklist
Moving Date:
New Address:
Moving Company:
Moving Company contact info:
Realtor Contact Information:
Building / Property Manager:

While Packing:
 Clearly label each box for each room – color coding also is helpful for quick reference (use a colored piece of paper to label boxes with – this also helps if you plan to recycle boxes)
 Find out if your moving company supplies reusable boxes at no cost for your move
 Prior to packing the moving truck – send any unwanted items to Donation Centers

Prior to the Move, Plan your Utlitities and Other Basics (cancel current providers or set up new ones):
 Electricity:
 Gas:
 Water:
 TV/Cable/Satellite:
 Wifi Provider:
 Landline Phone (if applicable):

Work out Your Wish List for Your New Home:
 Toaster
 Coffee Maker
 Kettle
 Microwave
 Blender
 _______________________
 _______________________
 _______________________
 _______________________
 _______________________

Before you Unpack:
 Make a floor plan for your furniture
 Check your new home one last time for faults or damages and record them
 Deep clean your home

The Unpacking Stage:
 Make clear pathways for your ability to move around the home with ease while carrying boxes
 Utilize your pre thought out floor plan to place your furniture – ie bed, dresser , couch
 Start unpacking your bedroom(s)
 Move onto unpacking your bathroom(s)
 Arrange your kitchen and unpack your food & appliances
 Arrange your living room
 Arrange your laundry room (if applicable)
 Unpack any other rooms of the house

Stocking Up Your Fridge & Pantry:
 Cooking oil
 Salt/Pepper/Spices
 Coffee & / or Tea
 Condiments – ketchup/mustard/mayo/jams
 Sugar/Flour
 Pasta/Rice
 Cereals
 Cooking sauces
 ________________________
 ________________________
 _______________________
 _______________________

Decoration Wish List:
 Curtains / Blinds
 Throw Pillows
 Lamps
 Area Rugs
 Bathroom Accessories
 Plants
 _______________________
 _______________________
 _______________________
 _______________________
 _______________________

Outside spaces, tools, gardening:
 Lawnmower / Weed Wacker
 Shovel
 Broom
 Rake
 Screwdrivers
 Hammer
 Stepladder
 Patio Furniture
 Tool Shed
 Storage Box for outdoor toys / cushions for furniture etc.
 ______________________
 ______________________
 ______________________
 ______________________
 ______________________
 ______________________

Security:
 Door Locks – change them?
 Garage Door Opener – Change code?
 Garage Door Keypad – Change code?
 Home Alarm System – set up?
 Fire Alarm
 CO2 Alarm
 Radon Detector (in older properties – new ones come equipped)
 ________________________
 ________________________
 ________________________
 ________________________
 ________________________

 

Barb Eglauer Mortgage Update February 2019

Down Payment Options and Tax Credits for First Time Home Buyers

Purchasing a home is a big financial commitment. In addition to moving costs and closing costs, most home purchases require a down payment of at least 5% of the purchase price.  This is the amount of money you are personally committing.  Coming up with a down payment can be challenging; however, there are options, depending on the lender, the location of the purchased property, the loan to value and your credit score.

Ideally, you’ve saved the down payment in a savings account or have an RRSP, from which you can withdraw up to $25,000 with no penalty under the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP). If you choose to take advantage of the HBP, here is what you need to know.

RRSP Withdrawal Conditions

  1. Must be a resident of Canada at the time of the withdrawal.
  2. Must receive or be considered to have received, all withdrawals in the same calendar year.
  3. Only the person who is entitled to receive payments from the RRSP can withdraw funds from an RRSP. You can withdraw funds from more than one RRSP as long as you are the owner of each RRSP. Your RRSP issuer will not withhold tax on withdrawal amounts of $25,000 or less.
  4. Your RRSP contributions must stay in the RRSP for at least 90 days before you can withdraw them under the HBP.
  5. You have to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself, for a related person with a disability, or to help a related person with a disability buy or build a qualifying home.
  6. Also, there are a number of rules for repayment that we can review together.

If an RRSP withdrawal is not an option, here are some other avenues to consider:

  • Non-repayable gifted funds from an immediate relative
  • In some cases, you can borrow the down payment, just be aware that the loan payment will be factored into your affordability calculation
  • You can sell some personal property. Make sure you have proof of ownership and a paper trail. If a lender sees a large amount of money deposited into your account, they want to know where it came from.
  • You can sell any assets, such as stocks or bonds
  • Use the cash value built up in your life insurance policy
  • You can use your TFSA. Remember you can withdraw as much as you want tax-free. As with an RRSP withdrawal, there are few rules to repayment that we can review.

Because different lenders have different down payment requirements, I would be happy to discuss all your options.

I’d also like to mention the First Time Home Buyer’s Tax Credit (HBTC). You will qualify if:

  • You or your spouse or common-law partner acquired a qualifying home; and
  • You did not live in another home owned by you or your spouse or common-law partner in the year of acquisition or in any of the four preceding years.

A qualifying home includes existing homes and those being constructed as well as single-family homes, semi-detached homes, townhouses, mobile homes, condominium units, and apartments in duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, or apartment buildings.

The tax credit is not connected to Home Buyer’s Plan so your eligibility for the tax does not change whether or not you also participate in the Plan.

Call me today.