Keep Looking!

Tue, 13 Aug by Ken MacAulay

Just thought I would give you an update on what was happening with the two burglaries at my home in the past month. Mind you we did not have a blade of grass taken from our home in the 9 years we lived at this address. So needless to say this all came as a shock to me & my family.

We pushed forward, updated our alarm/video system, did the 9PM check on doors, windows, cars, etc & then made sure the alarm system was on before we all went to bed.

As far as the missing mountain bike that was my 17-year-olds pride & joy the missing Golf clubs and a few other items. We tried all that we could with the authorities, ( who were busy with other more important police matters like stabbings, domestics, etc ) and being there are many stolen bikes in our city daily we decided to go out on our own to find the mountain bike at least.

Well, I won’t get into the whole story & I won’t recommend this to anyone as you never know who or what you are going to run into as this ordeal has a few moving parts. I found the bike, took it back without any confrontation with the person or persons who stole it,  and when my son found out he had it back it was like the first time we gave him his first bike. “Smiles from ear to ear & the biggest hug he could muster.

Home Security ! Dont let your “STUFF DISAPPEAR” YOU WORK HARD FOR YOUR $.

Thu, 08 Aug by Ken MacAulay

Just thought I would pass this on. This month we were in the unfortunate situation of having vehicles, as well as our garage burglarized while we slept.

What I learned from this experience?

1- Always check your vehicles & home every night at 9PM to make sure your “STUFF DOES NOT DISAPPEAR “.

2- Keep your garage door “CLOSED” when not in use.

3-Watch your neighborhood for strange vehicles or people walking your streets that are not residents especially if you live in a Rural Community.

4-Let your street know when you are going on vacation & from what dates.

5-Have a more than adequate alarm & cameras ...”NEST “…is a great one. Make sure the video quality is high.

ALWAYS TAKE A LOOK AROUND YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD & BE MINDFUL OF WHAT IS GOING ON IN YOUR HOOD!

Time to Sell & Buy Again!

Tue, 30 Jul by Ken MacAulay

When we moved from the Greater Vancouver area 3 years ago, Ken MacAulay handled the purchase of our house with the professionalism we have now found to be his style. When the decision was made to make “the move” again, there was no question who’s hands we were putting the responsibility in for selling and relocation. Ken’s experience got us the selling price we needed and the purchase of our new place was seamless. His extensive list of contacts has allowed the quick, efficient and cost-effective Renos we required to move in. We have and will continue to recommend Ken.

Great Ideas To Update Kitchen Cabinets

Tue, 30 Jan by Ken MacAulay

If you are looking to get a pro to do this , please contact me , I have a company that does an amazing job !

Real Home Value Calculator: Assessed Value vs Market Value

Thu, 20 Jul by Ken MacAulay

Understanding a home’s true market value is about more than pictures, software assessments and price-per-square-foot. Whether you’re a current homeowner thinking of selling or are house-hunting, it’s crucial you understand what factors affect home valuation. By partnering with a local market expert, sellers will avoid pricing their house out of the market (the kiss of death in real estate) and buyers will ensure they get a good deal on their next home.

So, how do you accurately calculate a home’s value? After all, the value a home is assigned by its town or county and the one it’s given when it’s listed are often dramatically different from one another. Which one is accurate and what does it all mean? Read on to learn more.

Assessed Value vs Market Value: What’s the difference?
When it comes to home value, you’ll often hear two terms, assessed value and market value.

A home’s assessed value is often the lower number of the two, and is the value given by your municipality or county. Investopedia defines assessed value as “the dollar value assigned to a property to measure applicable taxes.”1 Although property tax laws vary, assessors commonly arrive at this number by taking into account the following:

● What comparable/similar homes are selling for in your area.
● The value of recent improvements.
● Income from renting out a room or space on the property.
● How much it would cost to rebuild on the property.

A home’s market value, or Fair Market Value, is the price a buyer is willing to pay or a seller is willing to accept for a property. A skilled real estate professional will arrive at the value using a variety of metrics, including:

● External characteristics, such as lot size, home style, the condition of the home and curb appeal.
● Internal characteristics, such as the number of rooms and their size, the type and condition of the heating or HVAC system, the quality and condition of construction, the flow of the home, etc.
● The sales price of comparable homes that have sold in your area.
● Supply and demand; that is, how many buyers and sellers are in the area.
● Location; that is, the quality and desirability of your neighborhood and other community amenities.

Why are these values often so different? An assessor usually estimates your property’s market value during a reassessment or if you make a physical change or improvement to it.2 As a result, a property may not be reassessed for many years. While your home’s market value may fluctuate with the market, your home’s assessed value is more likely to remain steady.3

What Determines a Home’s Value?
You’ve likely heard the motto of real estate: “Location, location, location.” This means a home’s value relies on its location. While the home and structures on the property will likely depreciate over time, the land beneath it tends to appreciate. Why? Land is in limited supply and a growing population puts increased demand on the housing supply. As a result, values increase.4

Other factors that affect your home’s value include the function and appearance of the property, how well the home and other structures are maintained and whether the home is a lifestyle property, such as a ranch style with mountain views or beach bungalow.

Ultimately, the best indication of a home’s value is the overall supply and demand of the market. This is why we recommend you partner with a real estate professional who takes all of these factors—the assessed value, local market conditions, home features and has physically walked through and experienced your home— into consideration to determine the most accurate market value.

How to determine if a property is comparable to yours.
Both assessed value and market value are partially determined by the sales price of similar, or comparable, homes in the area. To determine if a home is comparable to yours, look for the following characteristics:

● Lot size
● Square footage
● Home style or similar architecture
● Age
● Location

While you may not find a home with the same exact characteristics as yours, you’ll likely find a few that are close. To account for any disparity, adjust the sales prices of the comparable properties. Look at the differences between your property and the one in question and determine if the differences increased or decreased the sales price and by how much. For example, if your home has two bathrooms and a similar home only has three, estimate how much that extra bathroom increased the sale price of the similar home. The adjusted sale price is the estimation of what the property would sell for if the properties were exactly the same.2

Where can you find comparable sales?
Fortunately, you can find comparable home sales in a variety of places.2
● Your local assessor’s office is able to provide a list of recent sales you can browse and compare or a sales history of a particular house, home style or neighborhood.
● Your municipality. Many cities keep local sales information in their offices or post it online.
● Online databases, such as a real estate database
● Your local newspapers may offer some real estate information in the form of quarterly sales reports in the business or real estate sections of the newspaper.
● Our office. We regularly do Comparable Market Analysis of homes in our local area.

How to calculate your home’s value.
By answering a few questions about your home, property and the local market, you can begin to estimate your property’s value. We’ve also included a worksheet for you below…

Home Value Questions:
When was your home last assessed?
What was its CMA assessment value?
What is your area’s average sales price?
What is your area’s average price/square foot?

Structure:
● Is the architecture and exterior structure of the home consistent, superior or inferior to other homes in the area?
● Does the era or genre (Modern, Victorian, Ranch, Cottage, etc.) add a premium based on current design trends?
● How does the floor plan and room size proportions of the home compare to other homes on the market?
Interior Structure:
● How does the kitchen compare to others on the market?
○ Updated or outdated
○ Floor plan
○ Appliance packages
● How does the Master Suite compare to others on the market?
○ Size
○ First/second floor
○ Updated or outdated
○ Access to Master Bath
● How does the Master Bath compare to others on the market?
○ Updated or outdated
○ Shower and bath
○ Flooring
Outside Areas:
● Are there views, outdoor living areas or recreational areas?
○ Pools
○ Ponds
○ Patios
● How does the landscaping and hard-scaping compare to the market? (e.g., built elements such as walkways, patios, decks, etc.)
Overall Condition of Home
● What is the level of repair needed to compete with other homes?
● Does the home need to be staged? How does it show?
● What curb appeal projects are necessary to be consistent with others on the market?

Home Assessment Worksheet

If you want to accurately assess a home’s value, it’s crucial to know about the market activity of our local area. We can help! Give us a call to get the scoop on the local market.

Sources: 1. Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/assessedvalue.asp
2. New York State Department of Taxation and Finance https://www.tax.ny.gov/pubs_and_bulls/orpts/mv_estimates.htm
3. Realtor.com http://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/assessed-value-vs-market-value-difference/
4. Investopedia, http://www.investopedia.com/articles/mortgages-real-estate/08/housing-appreciation.asp?lgl=myfinance-layout

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 !

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.

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.

KEN’S RANT / CALGARY REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE… NOV/16

Mon, 12 Dec by Ken MacAulay

There are many advisors putting the spin on what is happening in the Calgary Real Estate market .. here is my BOMB /BOMB e-mail on mine…. SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT MONTH!

 

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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.