Radon Gas Testing – Should it be a Condition of Sale?

Tue, 20 Jun by Ken MacAulay

Radon- Is a gas formed by the breakdown of uranium , a natural radioactive material found in soil & rock .

Long Term exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after after smoking and the leading cause of lung cancer for people who had never smoked , according to Health Canada  booklet titled , Radon -Reduction Guide for Canadians

I have spoke about Radon Testing in a previous blog . The more I dig into this the more we in Alberta should be doing Radon testing in our homes no matter what the age . The most recent addition to the Building Code has the rough-in for a Radon Mitigation system as mandatory.

If you are like me and spend a lot of time in the lower levels of our homes ( basement ) as this is where I spend most of my day ( in my office )  I thought  it is a good reason to get it tested , so I got as much info as I could and now have a digital Radon Detector sitting on the edge of my desk and the cost was  $250 .00 inc. postage

I  recently Sold a Home in the Inner City Calgary that had a Radon Mitigation System installed. It as quite the conversation piece with Buyers & Realtors previous to the home being sold .

The public should have  more education about Radon as well as  the numbers of their homes readily available if the are going to Sell their home , if it has not been completed you may see in the not so distant future if a test has not been completed by the Sellers   a hold back of the cost of a mitigation system may be in place until the home has been tested, to determine if a system is needed or not .

If you are looking for some more info on Radon Testing there are a few reputable companies  out there that have the  necessary certification one is Radon Controls Inc . Both Pat & Len are NRPP certified their website is  www.radoncontrols.com  or  w- 403-475-0303

Until next time … Be safe ..Get Tested !

Great Turnout today for …”Elbow Valley Realtor Caravan “

Fri, 09 Jun by Ken MacAulay

Today we had the pleasure to view 13 listings in the Elbow Valley area this morning .It is great to see Realtors getting out to look at other Realtors listings & get each others feedback on how the property shows , what kind of feedback we are getting from other agents  that view theses properties with their clients as well as the amount of showings we are getting .

We usually do this every other month to keep updated on what we have for inventory in the area, as well as see first hand what you don’t see through pics or video on the listing info or by talking to the individual Realtors whom you may call to ask a question about their listing or with something going on within the community.If they are calling me it is usually on the latest & greatest info I have on the sewer situation in EVW ??

After the tour is over we usually talk about what listings we saw and what we think was the standout of the day .. this is quite interesting as we have an array of homes usually from 700,000 – 3m ans not necessarily is the highest priced home gets the most attention . The info we can pass onto our clients from these events is often very useful to both our Buyers & Sellers .

You know over the last 15 years of selling Real Estate in the Calgary area , I can always count on learning something valuable from another Realtor whom I have a lot of time for .. such as today …

Thanks to all who showed up ..looking forward to  our next EV Caravan ..

Probably ,”The Best” New Built Springbank Home !

Wed, 24 May by Ken MacAulay

This weekend I had the privilege to show my buyers an amazing Springbank home .. Not to often you see other realtors “plugging” another Realtors listing , but this was such an amazing home ..I must .
The owner of this home is an amazing “Inner City Infill Builder” who has been in the construction business for many years now so to see the quality & the detail on his own personal home was no surprise to me . From the Grand turret entrance, to the soapstone granite ” built for entertaining ” kitchen , main floor master bedroom, 10.5 bathrooms , 7 bedrooms , heated pool , parking for at least 7 cars , Gold Simulator , ICF contraction .. this home is over and above anything I have seen in many years in the Springbank area.
If you are in the market for a “True Quality Home ” which was planned , designed & built by “True Craftsman”.

3 Things To Do “NOW” If You Plan to Sell this Year !

Sun, 22 Jan by Ken MacAulay

3 Things to Do Now if You Plan to Sell This Year
1. Make repairs. Most buyers want a home they can move into right away, without having

to make extensive repairs. While the repairs may or may not add value, making them will give your home a competitive advantage over other similar homes on the market.

  1. Get a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA not only gives you the current market value of your home, it’ll also show how your home compares to others in the area. This will help us price your home to sell in our market. Call us for your free CMA!
  2. Start packing. Help your buyers see themselves in your home by packing up items you don’t use regularly and storing them in an attic or a storage space. This will make your home easier to stage as well as make it easier to move later on.

Are you thinking of buying or selling?

Whether you’d like to buy or sell a home this year, want to know how much your home is worth, or have general questions about our local market, give us a call! We’d love to discuss the market with you.

Calgary Home Buyers – Need to know in 2017

Sat, 21 Jan by Ken MacAulay

3 Things to Do Now if You Plan to Buy This Year

  1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you’re like most buyers who plan to finance part of

    the home purchase, getting pre-approved for a mortgage will allow you to put in an offer on a home and may give you an advantage over other buyers. The added bonus: you can see how much home you can afford and budget accordingly.

  2.  Contact your Realtor@ Ken MacAulay.  While most buyers start their searches online, be sure to look at homes in neighbourhoods you’d like to live in as well. Keep a notebook or use Evernote to write down what you like and dislike about each home you view in person or online. This will help you narrow down where to look and what to look for in your next home.
  3. Come to our office. The buying process can be tricky. We’d love to guide you through it. We can help you find a home that fits your needs and budget. Give us a call to make an appointment today!

What to Expect in Real Estate in Canada for 2017 – Pt-2

Fri, 20 Jan by Ken MacAulay

Demand will continue to increase as immigration significantly increases over the next five years.
Housing demand is high in Toronto and Vancouver, especially for condos, due to increased demand of foreign buyers and urban migration. According to PwC, in these markets, where demand for single-family homes is high, there’s an opportunity for condo and rental markets to absorb those who are now priced out of buying. Developers in Vancouver are beginning to turn their attention to mixed-use developments and high-density condos to meet growing housing demand.

How will the property transfer tax impact foreign buyers in British Columbia?

In 2016, the government of B.C. enacted a property transfer tax for foreign buyers purchasing property in the province. The tax is intended to help temper the market and prevent it from overheating. However, the experts at PwC say the tax may not impact foreign buyers, who are able to afford the area’s rising prices, regardless of new taxes imposed.

What’s the impact of new mortgage rules?

At the end of 2016, the Canadian government announced tighter rules on mortgage insurance. The new measure included an increase in the interest rate used to qualify borrowers with a down payment of less than 20 percent who selected a fixed rate mortgage with a term of five years or longer, which impacts a large share of the Canadian mortgage market. According to Mortgage Professionals Canada, 75 percent of new mortgages were fixed-rate with a five-year term. Qualifying standards for fixed-rate mortgages with terms of five years or more and portfolio-insured mortgages will be subject to the same “stress tests” as those for fixed-rate mortgages with terms less than five years and variable-rate mortgages.

While we’ve yet to see how the rules will impact the housing market, it’s expected they may impact home resales and prices in 2017. While the rules are unlikely to cause a crash, there is a chance they may dampen any growth in the market and may cause declines of 11 percent in home sales across Canada.

What does it all mean to you? If you’d like to know more about our local market and how it compares to national predictions and trends, give us a call! We’d love to discuss our local market with you.

What to expect in Real Estate in Canada in 2017 – Pt -1

Thu, 19 Jan by Ken MacAulay

Real Estate 2017: What to Expect

One of the most common questions we get at this time of year is, “What’s going on in the market?” It’s not just potential buyers and sellers who are curious; homeowners always want reassurance their home’s value is going up. While the state of the real estate market depends on where you live, one thing is for sure: Overall, the real estate market is healthy in most areas.

We often use national real estate numbers to give us a clearer view of our local market. However, real estate is local, and while statistics and predictions help us understand the overall real estate market, our local market may be different. If you’re thinking of buying or selling, or just want to know how much your home is worth, give us a call!

What to Expect in the Real Estate Market in 2017

Experts are “cautiously optimistic” about the Canadian housing market in 2017. The overall outlook for the Canadian economy is good, despite falling oil prices. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), job losses within the natural resources sector were offset by gains in manufacturing and construction in 2016. However, this has created dramatic differences in housing markets across Canada, with hot markets in Toronto and Vancouver continuing to see high demand and tight inventory and areas impacted by falling oil prices experiencing little growth. Nationally, housing starts are expected to fall below the 20-year average due to factors including housing affordability, limited income growth and increasing consumer debt.

The national market will moderate, but regional markets will vary.

According to RBC Economics, there’s minimal chance of a widespread and steep downturn occurring in the next year. Markets including Toronto, Vancouver, and Montréal will remain strong in 2017 due to strong local economies, immigration and low interest rates. Additionally, prices in these markets will continue to increase. These cities are responding to the hot market in different ways. Vancouver issued a 15 percent tax on home purchases by foreign buyers in hopes of tempering the market. In Toronto, since many homeowners are choosing to remain in their homes and renovate, inventory will remain tight. Montréal is focusing on turning condominiums into mixed-used development, which is appealing to buyers of all ages, particularly millennials. In hot markets, like Toronto and Vancouver, experts have noticed some signs of cooling in 2016, which will improve the affordability of homes in 2017 if present trends continue, according to RBC Economics.

Other parts of Canada are recovering from the fall in oil prices. While Ottawa’s economy is growing modestly, the residential market is stagnant due to reduced demand for single-family homes. In Edmonton, the real estate market has softened due to low oil prices. However, sales here are faring better than in other markets in Alberta. Although Calgary experienced a recession due to the drop in oil prices, the economy is expected to grow in 2017. Many homeowners in Calgary are waiting to sell until the economy improves. Additionally, demand for smaller residential properties and townhouses have increased as millennials tend to prefer the advantages of small-space living.

Nationally, housing remains affordable.

RBC Economics measures housing affordability at 42.8 percent, meaning there’s greater-than- average market stress for buyers. RBC deems anything above 45 percent to be in the “danger zone” of affordability. However, national housing affordability takes into account the Vancouver and Toronto housing markets. In most markets across Canada, homes remain affordable and on par with historical norms.

Calgary Home Seller’s Moving East

Mon, 16 Jan by Ken MacAulay

“We have had the pleasure of working with Ken multiple times.  He represented us both a buying and selling agent and I can’t say enough good things about him.  From a Buyers perspective he toured us all around town, helping to narrow our search down quickly, while being patient with us… as we all know how tough it is to make such a decision. As we were from out of town he set us up with a great Lawyer, Home Inspector and even changed all the locks for us on the close.  What a great experience!  From a Sellers perspective Ken helped us narrow down a price range to generate a lot of traffic and we managed to sell our house within a week, on the first open house, in a down market. Wow, those pictures that he get’s done through his photographer are great! Overall, Ken is very easy to work with, accommodating, knows the market and gets things done.  I would recommend hooking up with Ken for all your real-estate needs.

Chris & Amy”

What Are The Top- 5 Amenities In a Calgary New Home Search !

Fri, 16 Dec by Ken MacAulay

The recent Zillow survey  notes the most important features that Home Buyers are looking for in a New Calgary  Home Search are :

1-Affordability -is the home within their budget?

2-Safe Neighbourhood – Is the community safe for their family .

3-Floorpan – Does the floor plan fit their needs

4- Bedrooms – Has the preferred number of bedrooms to meet the family’s needs

5-Close to job /school – Is the home a short commute to the parents work as well as to the children’s school

All these as well as move-in ready, as well as is the home in the preferred school district are some of the key drivers of todays Calgary  Home Buyers .

How Buyers Find a Realtor@

Wed, 14 Dec by Ken MacAulay

According to the latest  Zillow Group Report 2016 the majority of Total Buyers using an agent find their Realtor@ via referral  31% Millennials ( 18-34 ) , 32% Gen-X  (35-49) ,33% Baby Boomers ( 50-64) & 39% the Silent Gen-(65-75 ) .

My business is about 90% Referral based , I usually get a Referral from the many satisfied Buyers & Sellers that I worked with over the past 14 yrs . As they say a “Referral is the Greatest Compliment You Can Get “ I am so Thankful & Grateful for each & everyone .

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Calgary Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.