Calgary Dream Homes Real Estate News Blog

 

Jan. 7, 2020

Members of your Calgary home buying Team

Pick your team

A licensed real estate agent.

While many of you browse the Internet for homes, then contact the listing agent, who works for the seller, it can be an all-consuming task, especially when you have other obligations like a job or children. You'll save time by working with your own Realtor, who gets paid by the seller, but you’ll also benefit from their expertise and knowledge of the local housing market to find the best matches for you.

An experienced real estate lawyer.

A real estate lawyer ensures your paperwork is correct and that the transaction is complete. They will review the contract and mortgage documents, conduct a title search, purchase title insurance on your behalf, register the property in your name, get signatures, prepare a Statement of Adjustments that shows the amount you will pay in closing costs, and collect and disburse fees. 

A professional home inspector.

I’m sure you’ve heard the horror stories about homeowners moving into their dream home and discovering that all is not what it seemed.  An experienced home inspector can help you avoid this nightmare. It might seem like a waste of money to pay for a home inspection for a newly-constructed home, but you might consider getting an inspection a few months before  the expiration of the New Home Warranty.  Better safe than sorry. 

The Insurance Agent.

Lenders will require you to have fire insurance.  An insurance agent will help you find the best coverage and the best price.

A Mortgage Professional.

I mention this last, but it could be listed first. There are so many reasons why. First, you need to know how much mortgage you can afford so your Realtor knows how much house you can buy. Second, you’ll save time and money. We know the lending landscape and have access to a variety of lenders to find the right fit for your needs, and we can negotiate rates and terms that work for you. 

Our job isn't done until your closing date goes smoothly. We'll help ensure your mortgage transaction takes place on time and to your satisfaction. And we are with you for the life of your mortgage.

Consider building your home-buying team early in the process -- their knowledge and expertise are your most valuable assets. I would be happy to refer some trusted partners at any time.

Call me today to get started. Cathy MCMurrich

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 7, 2020

New Rules For Calgary Alberta Condo Owners Jan 1 2020

Calgary Condos

 

New rules that came into effect at the beginning of the year mean Alberta condo owners could be on the hook for upwards of $50,000 if damage is caused within their unit.

Effective Jan. 1, 2020, condominium corporations will be able to seek recovery of the deductible portion of the corporation’s insurance claim up to a maximum of $50,000, from a condo owner for any damage that originates in their suite or private area.

“That means that if something happens in the unit and it’s not your fault — the toilet explodes, there’s water loss, water damage goes through to the floors below — and there’s a $50,000 deductible or a $25,000 deductible, the owners are now responsible for the deductible,” Todd Shipley, of Reynolds Mirth Richards & Farmer LLP, explained at a recent Canadian Condominium Institute educational event.

This means the owner may be responsible to pay the corporation’s deductible amount regardless of whether there was any proven negligence, according to the CCI. “The typical example, and we’ve seen this in Edmonton in the past few years, is when someone is smoking on their balcony and they put out their cigarette in a flower pot and then within minutes or hours, the entire balcony is engulfed in flames and perhaps the entire building within an hour is engulfed in flames,” explained lawyer Robert Noce, who specializes in real estate and condominium law.

“In that case, because the fire originated in that owner’s unit or in an area in which that owner is responsible for, the condominium corporation would be entitled to go after that owner for the deductible that the condominium corporation will eventually be paying.

“The fact that you left your cigarette in a flower pot on the balcony of your unit, that may have been stupid but not negligent. They don’t have to worry about your stupidity or your negligence, all they have to show is that it came from your unit and the corporation can go after an owner for that deductible.”

Recent market corrections due to the amount and size of claims have seen deductibles rise “substantially” from around $2,500 to $10,000 to upwards of $25,000 to $100,000, according to the CCI.

Under the legislation, the maximum amount a corporation can make the owner liable for is $50,000. This means if the deductible is $25,000, then the owner’s liability would be $25,000. If the deductible is $100,000, the owner’s liability would be the maximum $50,000.

Noce said there are some defences available to owners in the event of a loss, but added they are “very small and insignificant.”

“If I were an owner in a condominium building anywhere in Alberta today, I would immediately be calling my insurance broker or insurance provider and asking them how much will it cost to get some form of insurance deductible insurance so in the event of a loss in my unit and the corporation comes after me for that deductible, at least I have insurance that can cover those costs. Because those costs could be as much as $50,000,” Noce explained.

“So there’s an added expense to owners to get that level of insurance… but the peace of mind and the safety that will flow from that additional cost is undeniably a necessity for owner’s today.”

There are three important things all condominium owners need to do to ensure they have

proper coverage:

1. Ensure you have a unit owner’s insurance policy

2. If you have a unit owner’s policy, make sure you have deductible coverage. If you do not,

ask to have it added to your coverage

3. Ask your condo board, manager or corporation for a copy of the corporation’s certificate

of insurance that outlines the current deductible amounts, specifically for water damage

and ensure the deductible coverage is at least that amount

“If you have $10,000 worth of coverage from your insurance provider and a $25,000

water deductible, you’ve got a problem to the tune of $15,000,” Shipley said.

 

The changes were made under Section 62.4 of the Condominium Property Regulations.

 

Al Nenshi

Quantas Mortgages 

403.540-3000

Posted in Market Updates
Dec. 20, 2019

Making A Good Strategic Offer

 

So we have done all the current research - looked at homes that are available in Calgary and Area. Compared the area and community actives and solds, price per sq ft, days on the market and history of the home. And we have narrowed down your top six! - one of them could be yours – as long as you make the right offer!

So how do we make the right offer? That’s a very important question to consider.

Consider that even in a Sellers market in Calgary, if you offer too low, you risk the seller turning you down flat. You may not even get a chance to make a second offer. No counter from the seller means  your offer is dead. If there is a lot of interest in the home, yours may be at the bottom of the pile!

If your offer is too high, you could leave a few thousand dollars on the table... money that you could have been used for other important things, like renovations or a family vacation.

So before deciding how much to offer for a home you would like, it is time for a team talk! With 17 years in Calgary Real Estate you can have the comfort of knowing you are in good, experienced hands.

We will discuss what goes into a good offer and other ways to strengthen your offer. Sometimes a slightly lower offer that has good conditions that work for the seller (possession date etc.) can be more appealing. A pre-approved mortgage letter from your lender is huge, to go with your finance condition.

Remember, it is good to work with the seller to make it a win-win for both parties. 

So we need to talk

 

Stu:   403.850.0669

info@CalgaryDreamHomes.com

#calgarydreamhomes  #4calgarybuyers  # makingagoodoffer

Posted in Market Updates
Dec. 4, 2019

Tips to Sell Your Calgary Home - Flooring

TIPS TO SELL YOUR CALGARY HOME– FLOORING

If you have noticed certain problems in your Calgary home’s flooring – due to wear and tear, there are certain economical fixes which you could try before deciding on new floors. Carpet is a different fix, here we look at Hardwood and Laminate.

1)     How about using nail polish with a shade that resembles the colour of the tile to cover up with scratches. But remember it is always best to have spare tiles safely stored away – after all, problems may crop up which simple glue or nail polish cannot fix.

2)     Laminate flooring is strong and durable, you could use floor fillers provided by the manufacturer to fix the scratches. For marks left by furniture, you could use nail polish remover or Glue Gone. If the marks are a little too stubborn, try using a pencil eraser. If it’s vinyl flooring, you could use a spare piece of vinyl and sand it to produce a little powder. Mix clear nail polish with this powder and apply it on the burns in vinyl flooring.

3)     If you are planning on selling your home in the near future, and you feel that flaws in the flooring may be beyond economical floor-fixing, you could consider re-flooring. However, you do not need to re-floor the entire house, but only a few key areas. But if you do go for re-flooring the key areas, do not try to attempt cost-cutting by compromising on quality. It is a good investment.

4)     Re-flooring key areas of your home is one of those few home improvement projects which come with high chances of recouping the costs of investment. For the other areas of your Calgary home, you could go for simple and economical floor-fixing.

We can always advise you before if you are thinking of selling 403-850-0669

#CalgaryDreamHomes.com  #DreamHomes #4calgaryBuyers

 

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 26, 2019

Finding that Affordable Calgary Home

Finding That  Affordable Calgary Home 

It is a good time to buy, sellers are still competitive in their pricing and as the market starts to slowly climb back and inventory is steady , you can get a great home at a great price. For many people owning their own home is still a dream, but you will need a good team behind you, you can get most information on the internet, but you can’t get experience!

With today’s mortgage requirements and the down payment you will need, buying a challenge, even with interest rates low. As a new buyer you may have to compromise, here are a few things we can suggest.

  • The Price is the biggest sacrifice you can make. It is always good to consider buying a home that is 15-20% less than your mortgage person tells you that you can afford.  The impact that will have on your monthly outgoings will be huge.
  • Build Up Your Spare Cash.  Ok this has a huge positive impact on affordability for you. Cut out lots of things you just don’t need and force yourself to save a good down payment.  It means lower monthly payments, a lower interest rate, and it could avoid any private mortgage insurance.
  • The Community.  With your favourite community you may need to give up a little.  We could help you look for a home that is just outside your ideal community. Near public transportation and with schools within a short walk or drive. If you want to have easy access to work you might have to stay out of the communities where home prices are higher, i.e. Central South West if you work Downtown.
  • Home Styles.  This can make a big difference when you buy. If you don’t want to compromise on the location, but the single family homes are too much of a financial stretch, maybe consider a condo townhouse, but keep your options open. These housing types make finding an affordable home easier, and may still put you in the right community.
  • Square Feet.  Look out for a good floor plan that can make a home look a lot bigger. Most homes in Calgary are priced on square footage, so a smaller home with a great layout can be really good on price.
  • All You HHhHave To Do Is Move In. Sometimes it is good to look for homes that need a little TLC, and if you are not afraid of work, why not consider improving the home yourself after move-in, over a period of time. Everything doesn’t have to be done as soon as you move in.
  • Get the Right Amount Of Bedrooms. Try not to buy what you don’t really need,  look for extra space maybe in the basement. An undeveloped basement in a home can really bring the price down, but maybe you can develop it further down the road.

We can are here to help you with any concerns you may have; Call Stu Direct 403-850-0669

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 22, 2019

Energy Saving in Your Calgary Home

 

Thinking about saving money on Energy?

Do you wonder how you can save on your home energy bills? It's easier than you think and doesn't have to cost you a fortune. Upfront options may have larger costs but will pay for themselves pretty quickly. Below are a few things to consider to  conserve energy in your home. 

Why Not Insulate Your Home Better

The first thing to do is to stop the heat going out, by checking your roof insulation. It is always a good idea to look at what you have, older homes may have poor insulation and maybe you could upgrade it. Most people don't realize that their home isn't as efficient and the heat they are pumping in is going out up through the roof! 

Keep Checking Your Thermostat

It may be time to upgrade your programmable thermostat. That can give you the ability to set the times it comes on or off or up and down. It depends on your schedule but you just set and forget it, but remember to alter it when the clocks change!. These days there are systems like Nest that you can be linked to your phone. Imagine being in control of your home heat or AC when your away on holiday!. 

Do You Have Ceiling Fans?

Ceiling fans can help you save energy, they move the air   around your home. This increases circulation  allowing your furnace or air conditioner to run less. Ceiling fans aren't only useful in the summer, most have a setting for winter, which pushes the air down, so the heat is more efficient. 

Check Your Appliances and Fixtures

If your buying make sure it is an energy-efficient dishwasher or washing machine. These will use less water to get your dishes or clothes clean.  Water conservation is still important and low-flow toilets or showerheads are a good idea to. 

How About Changing Your Light bulbs

Simply by changing out your light bulbs from the old ones can help, LED light bulbs are much more affordable than they once were, and they use a fraction of the energy. They also last longer, which helps in the long term. 

 

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 17, 2019

A Walk Around Sage Hill Calgary

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 6, 2019

Buying a Calgary Home In Winter

calgary snow

There are a lot of plus points to buying a home in Calgary in the winter. The first thing people say is “If you like it in the winter, you will love it in the summer”

In the winter months there is usually less inventory on the market, so buyers, especially new to Calgary buyers, have less to choose from. Instead of 12 that fit their criteria they only have 4 and will buy one of those. Most sellers want to wait till spring “when the snow is gone and the grass is green” but what they sometimes miss, is that there is a lot more competition.

It even applies to the Christmas period. If a seller gets showings over the Christmas holidays in Calgary they are usually keen buyers. And with 24 hour notice to show, it doesn’t have to be a total inconvenience. Not even the keenest buyer will want to see houses on Christmas Day, they respect the day and family time.

Here is another thought, some buyers like to see a home in winter with the leaves off the trees so they can really see what they are buying!

Just a few thoughts for buying in winter!

 

#winterbuying #calgarywinterhomes

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 6, 2019

The Pre-Qualified Advantage

  • Be a Pre-Approved Buyer: A pre-approved buyer always has the advantage in an offer situation. Becoming pre-approved is very easy: you complete your loan application with a credit check prior to beginning your home search process. Pre-approval means that you have actually been approved for the purchase by a lender, which gives you the edge in home purchase negotiating.
  • The Best New Listings: The search process can be both fun and trying. You will notice that some homes sell very fast and others hang around for long periods of time. The best homes at the best prices sell quick. Keeping ahead of everyone else when you are buying is essential. As a professional Real Estate agent I know the market, and always keep you updated.
  • Do The Research: Make yourself a "home value expert." Investigate the communities that you like and the price range the kind of home you are looking for sits in.  We can provide all the "Action" in the community you like (Solds vs Actives) so you know what the market in the area looks like
  • Prove That You Are a Serious Buyer:  With a strong deposit (held in trust) and 5% or more down to let the Seller know that you mean business and you are qualified and ready to go, subject to conditions.
  • Take it Steady: Even in a hot market, we like you to be cool and calculated with your decisions. Our experience after 17+ years will guide you through. Your home purchase may be your single largest investment. We need to get the best deal possible, overpaying now will make it harder to get your value back when you exit.
  • Keep Your Offer Simple and Clean: We always advise our buyers to let us put together a purchase contract that is simple, clean and not bogged down with unnecessary contingencies, especially repairs. If things need putting right we need to keep time frames for repairs to a minimum, but done and verified before walkthrough,before possession. It is not always about the money, the cleaner your offer, the more interested the seller will become. This will help you purchase the property at the best price.
  • We have your back: In today's complex marketplace we provide you with experience and professionalism representing your interests only. No matter how heated the competition or the negotiations, we represent your best interests, keep you from paying too much to help you maximize your investment.

As the home buyer you pay nothing, all real estate commission fees are paid for by the seller.  Text or Call us today and find out how we can help you find the most house for the best price. 

 

Whatever your price range!

 

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 4, 2019

10 Advantages Of Living On An Acreage

 

1.   Lots of Space.

2.   Looking out your windows and not being too close to your neighbors

3.   You can be as loud as you like.

4.   Less Traffic Noise ! (Listen to the silence)

5.   Listen to the quietness

6.   You don’t have to shovel sidewalk snow.

7.   Lots of parking if you have more than one car

8.   Feeling like you own a big piece of Canada

9.   Clear open big skies

10. Did we mention Space!!

Posted in Market Updates