CBC – Doc Zone ” The Condo Game ” ….. An Eye Opening Documentry ..Every Condo Owner Should Watch …

Tue, 26 Nov by Ken MacAulay

If anyone who owns a condo anywhere in Canada you must watch this documentary that was on CBCs “Doc Zone ” last week .This one of the most in depth insights into the condo world in Toronto which could been any city across the land . I was quite impressed with the Realtors commentary as well as the Real Estate Lawyer that was interviewed  .

I also like David Flemings skit ( Condos & Cake )  with the analogy of buying a already built  condo building rather than waiting for one to be built …just like …waiting to make a cake  vs buying a cake already made ..!

There are many things we can take away from the show and apply it going forward as 75% of all issues with condos are the buildings themselves and how poorly they are constructed. With proper checks and balances we should have very little concerns with building in the future  if the powers to be ( provincial law makers) legislate developers to  build to a higher standard and have a Quality Control Program to back it up.

Remember when you walk into a New Condo Sales Center the salesperson is not on your side …they work for the developer …. please bring a Certified Condo Specialist  Realtor   (CCS) along as your representative ..so you even out the odds of having a positive experience when purchasing your biggest investment of your life …. do not worry about getting a better deal if you do not have a Realtor ( as many sales people in the sales centre will lead you to believe) ..they have the Realtor fees built into their pricing …

Watch the  show ..it will be the most informative hour any condo owner will have  .

Any of you Condo Owners who would like their voices heard it would be to your advantage to join the newly formed Condo Owners Assoc. of Alberta ..http://albertacoa.com/ it will be the best $20 you ever spent …

U Of C Heat Loss study of Calgary Homes- 4.9m !

Fri, 15 Nov by Ken MacAulay

A recent survey published in this weeks Calgary Herald revealed some startling facts .. Dr. Jeffery Hay a professor of geography conducted the study … why ? .. He was wondering why his recently built home in Cougar Ridge was so cold and why his energy bills were so high.

Hmmmm … maybe he was in the same _ _ _ _ _  built home as I once owned in Cougar Ridge ,.. I although knew why my home was cold in winter and the heating bills were rather high … .. cheap windows ,no caulking around the windows , a “Hot Box” which is a insulated box under the bonus room over the garage with hot air blowing in to the empty cavity used to heat the bonus room  ..(which I was told was acceptable practice by most builders in the area)  .

Dr Hay .. minimal code and no quality control … is your answer. As I see more and more in recent building practices in Alberta .

I asked my builder when my home was under construction why they do certain things that I was amazed they could get away with .. they told me if I changed anything it would be classed a “Custom Build” and I would pay more $$$ and have a longer possession date …to build more energy efficient ??? Really ….

These are real stats from the study :” Among the nearly 38,000 single-family homes in the northwest and southwest quadrants of Calgary that have been mapped so far, the web map estimates those homeowners could realize annual savings on heat of $4.9 million and avoid 29,000 tonnes in C02 emissions through efficiency improvements”….. states Dr Hays Study .

Anyone building with a one of the big players in the new home construction business in Alberta should be asking the tough questions , Not …what colour is our granite , but what has the builder done to make my new home more energy efficient ? Do you shoot my home with an infrared camera before I take possession to see if there are any places where heat may escape ? Do you have a quality control program ? If so can I see your manual ?

We are so stuck on the “Lipstick ” on a new build like … granite countertops  , Hardwood floors , walk-in closets  etc we miss the meat & potatoes of a home … triple glazed  Low-e windows , spray foam insulation high efficiency furnaces , direct heat Hot  water tanks etc .. Until the Buying public start raising these issues with the builders … and not buying there less then efficient homes then we will see this practice carry on for generations to come .

I saw the infamous Mike Holmes at a Canadian Home  Builders seminar  a few years ago , where the  majority of the audience was made up of  New Home Builders and their staff ,Mike s opening remarks were  ” When are you guys going to stop building crap so I can retire ” .. as a gasp came across the room and an eerie silence followed until Mike was done .. needless to say he was not invited back the next year .

So , Dr Hay … I commend you for your study and hopefully get some funding to do the remaining areas of our fair city… maybe the New Home Builders will become pro-active &  fund it ?? Good Luck !

For more info on the U of C study please go to www.saveheat.co.

CNE- Certified Negotiation Expert ” New Designation”

Fri, 08 Nov by Ken MacAulay

Spent the last 2 days in probably the best course I have taken at CREB. amazing instructor .. negotiation is what we all do on a regular bases .. whether it is negotiating with your 10 year old  or collaborating with Realtors on a daily  bases . Just another way I can keep sharpening the saw to do be a powerful negotiator for my clients …




Two Months Supply – Calgary Real Estate Market

Tue, 05 Nov by Ken MacAulay

Recent CREB stats show that we have just 2 moths supply of both single family homes and condos in Calgary .With an average $ for single family homes at over $516,000 ..with the average price of condos  being  $309,000 .

With 1336 sales recorded of single family homes  in Oct/13 with just 2705 active listings  which is down -12.88% from last year this time the market is really tight for inventory . With this being said Sellers are putting their homes on the market with the idea that a quick sale is good possibility . That is usually true “if” you are in the desired communities as well as priced accordingly and in amazing condition …

” Funny How Things Turn Out ” –

Fri, 01 Nov by Ken MacAulay

Lately I had the pleasure of having a really nice retired lady as a Buyer her name was Catherine ..she had to move out of her rental  home that she lived in for 25 years as the owners wanted to sell. This lady was a referral from a client that I sold a condo a few years back . It was a great referral and I am “Never Too Busy for any of your referrals” .

After a few weeks of showing I was still getting the feeling how she was so attached to the home she lived in for so long . As we got down to the 2  listings that worked for her  over everything else we saw I said to here and her family ” Catherine both these homes would work well for you but I am still wondering why you do not ask your current landlord if she would sell you the home you are in now “…as I knew she would miss going from a single family detached home in a neighbourhood she loved to a condo ….

Low and behold she did go and talk to her landlord and they did make a deal for her to buy the home … I did work myself out of a job .. but .. I knew  Catherine deserved to live in the home she loved for so many years ….

I am so Happy things turned out for the best for Catherine and she wrote some nice words that I posted in the testimonial section of my web site ……….


Best of luck Catherine it was a real treat to spend time with you .


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