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 .

Great New Selling Feature – in “3-D”

Mon, 08 Sep by Ken MacAulay

Brokerages offered free 3-D models that let buyers explore listings online

Came across this article in Inman News … this is a great new tool for Realtors  to market your home .. .

One of the most daunting tasks for a Seller to do when listing their home I believe is keeping it “Showing Ready ” by having 3-D modeling you will  great advantage to interested Buyers who  want to view your home as it appeals to theme  more after viewing your home in 3-D

Alain Pinel Realtors enrolls in Matterport’s ‘Real Estate Innovation’ program

Online 3-D models are on a roll. Matterport, which provides a scanner and software for the production of explorable 3-D virtual models, is juicing adoption of its product by producing free models for brokerages that enroll in its “Real Estate Innovation” program.

Calgary Building Permits .. A long wait ?

Fri, 01 Aug by Ken MacAulay

Just recently had a client going to city hall development & permits to get a building permit to ” replace his back deck ” . He was just replacing his deck , same size, support post etc . The only change he wanted to make was the location of the stairs . Well after 3 hours of talking to the person behind the desk , he did not know whether he was going  to be able to do so , until he got a visit the very next day from  a ” Safety Codes Officer” who was a lot more pragmatic then the person he dealt with the previous day , and gave him the OK ..

So if we look  at the developers / builders  who have to deal with this bureaucracy on a daily bases to construct  any hi-rise building in the city …. now we know why the signs are up on many a vacant lot saying “coming soon” and 2 years later you see something happening ..

I know we need checks and balances for the growth we are seeing in Calgary but .. can we make the process a bit more “user friendly “.

 

#YYC Stats…….June 2014 …

Thu, 17 Jul by Ken MacAulay

The Calgary Real Estate market is still going …less days on market with higher average sales $ is what is the norm .. It has been a balance market now since Jan 2013 according to CREB .

A question I have been asking many folks lately is you “If are moving to Calgary from another larger centre are you overwhelmed by the cost of housing or are you happy you are getting into a home below the price of the city you just left”?

As an article I was reading in the Toronto Star quoted the average Single Family detached home in TO is now 965K  an attached is a bargain at 702K …

The comparable article in the July-15th edition of Business Vancouver saw an increase from the previous month in Vancouver of 6.4% to and average of $800k . which is also 98% higher than the national average of 404k …

So…#YYC Real Estate  is a steal of a deal … if you are coming from either of these great Canadian Cities … ..

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 .

 

Post Election Day in Calgary

Wed, 23 Oct by Ken MacAulay

Really good to see  Mayor Nenshi get re-elected in our fair city . After the flood in June and the way in which he represented himself we all knew he was a shoo-in .The surprise of the night I believe for me anyway was Jon Mar the long time ward -8 councillor lost his seat to  Evan Woolley.

This should be am interesting 4 years , hopefully we can get ” secondary suites ” passed in the areas of the city that should have them .

Hopefully the ” developers / Builders ” and Nenshi can mend some fences and get the Calgary New Home issue put to bed . Maybe we can see some new ideas from both parties on sustainable housing ideas for our city and not the same 1600- 2500 square foot , zero lot line home with a double attached garage on the front of it .We must up our densities and build better homes .. I know we can .

We should all get behind this effort maybe the city will take the ear plugs out and listen to the people of this great city . There are many great minds in this city with amazing ideas to make YYC Better !

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