Blog

8 Real Estate Trends for 2018

1. Say goodbye to closed offices. The shared (and trendy) workspace is in. Expect high ceilings, open brickwork, stylish coffee machines, and comfy couches. Agents want to share, learn, and talk about market trends and political environments.

2. Retail below and condos above. This concept has been around for a while, though some builders are ramping it up. With this style of living, your latte, dog sitting, and banks will all be within walking distance.

3. More Condos: These are popular due to low price, convenience, and life in the city center. Condo location can reduce the walk to different amenities and, if driving is involved shorter distances. Condos are popular with college students and seniors alike.

4. AirBnb: This is a great way to save money for short-term rentals and if you travel a lot. Prices can be lower than renting, in some cases. There are no deposits, or extra charges for utilities and the renter can move around as necessary. Also, the renter can arrange for a lower price if they intend to stay in the area for many months.

Home owners can use websites such as VRBO for short-term rentals and reap the benefits.

5. Moving momma. As baby boomers age, many are downsizing. In some cases, the reason is declining funds and they need to find more affordable places to live. Real estate agents need to have more options to meet their needs.

6. More Technology: New condos and houses need to offer more gadgets and Internet. Preinstalled automation is important. Consider including security, smart gadgets, computerized fridges, stoves, light, and HVAC systems.

7. Micro Units: Faced with a shortage of housing some apartments could be as small as 200 square feet. Apartment dwellers must get creative when it comes to space. It’s necessary to use murphy beds, overhead storage, micro kitchens, etc.

8. Interest rates and the financial stress test. The government states for every dollar a Canadian makes we spend $1.69. Since we cannot manage our debt they want to manage it for us. This means you must qualify at a higher interest rate (known as a stress test). The stress test ensures you can afford your mortgage if the rates go up.

The government wants to make sure that what happened in 2008 in the United States does not happen in Canada. We have already seen interest rate hikes occur this year. They may be rising again, due to the stronger Canadian economy.

Interested in buying in Elboya?

Only 10 minutes south of downtown, this inner city community has everything to offer: the Elbow River Valley, Britannia Plaza amenities with the new Ghitter Block building, golf, schools, parks and skating rink. Elboya’s vibrant history exhibits homes dating back to the early 1950’s all the way to brand new luxury construction.

620 Crescent Boulevard SW. A fully and professionally renovated like-new raised bungalow with front walk-out and impressive curb appeal, located on a quiet and mature street in sought after Upper Elboya. Classic style boasting over 3,100 sq ft of living space, 2+1 bedrooms, 3 full baths and modern flair with quality finishing and nothing left untouched! The elegant main floor showcases a spacious living room with stylish gas fireplace, formal dining room and an impeccably-equipped fully renovated kitchen finished with stainless steel appliances, glass backsplash, lustrous quartz countertops and extended cabinetry featuring wine fridge in the back entrance. The master bedroom includes a generous walk-in closet and stunning 4 piece ensuite. A second bedroom, 4 piece bath and laundry room complete the main floor. The basement is drenched with natural light from large egress windows and features a family/media room, den area complete with built-ins and barn doors, third bedroom, a 3 piece bath, ample storage and access to the garage and front exterior of the home. Further features that cannot help but dazzle include modern lighting, glass railing, wallpaper accents, painted ceilings, central air conditioning, beautifully refinished vintage hardwood flooring, paneled walls, heated floors, new doors, casings, baseboards and the list goes on. Additional renovations include an entirely new exterior, windows, stucco, eaves, soffits, roof and all new insulation. The double attached heated oversized garage includes full built-ins and epoxy flooring. Also enjoy the large, beautifully manicured backyard that’s perfect for summer gatherings and offers complete privacy and an underground sprinkler system. Sophistication and style embody every part of this home.

Welcome to Elbow Valley Estates

Showcases the idyllic community of Elbow Valley Estates and its features and amenities, as well as our listing at 164 Elbow Ridge Bluffs.

Quiet cul-de-sac & serene setting overlooking the reserve & the sound of absolutely nothing. Welcome to this 2-storey WALKOUT gem with over 5600 sq ft of developed living space, 6 bedrooms, five & a half bathrooms & enough storage to stay a lifetime. A large foyer with den off to the side greets you as you enter this one owner home. Traditional touches escort you into the formal dining room, perfect for large family dinners & formal living room with gas fireplace & ample windows for maximum sunlight. The spacious chef’s kitchen creates an inviting setting. Appreciate beautiful views overlooking this peaceful property as you enjoy breakfast in the bright nook. The vast second floor wrap around deck with pristine view of the backyard creates a perfect outdoor living & entertaining space. Custom touches throughout include a walk in pantry hidden from the kitchen through cabinetry as well as a large mudroom with built-ins & access to the triple garage. A relaxed second floor area has five bedrooms & four bathrooms, two bedrooms with private ensuites. The very spacious master retreat includes an upgraded walk-in closet, custom built-ins & luxurious 5 piece ensuite. There’s also a gym/bonus room off the master accessed from the hallway. The fully finished walkout level features a media room & enormous rec/family room with fireplace, wet bar, built-ins & French doors to the lower exterior patio. Also on the walkout level are the sixth bedroom & another full bathroom. This location is extremely rare to find & pride of ownership will leave you feeling like you want to come back….& stay forever.

Helping Mom or Dad Transition into Assisted Living

This week I heard Jann Arden give an interview on T.V.  that wasn’t one of her usual comical debuts. She was serious and contemplative as she disclosed her experience with her dad passing two years ago and then her mom being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

In her new book “Feeding My Mother” Jann shares tasteful and sometimes humorous reflections on how this has changed her – for the better! Learning just to appreciate her mom when she is cognitive and allowing her to tell the same stories over and over without being embarrassed was cathartic. However, performing all over the country involves the inevitable travel and Jann can’t be taking care of her mom consistently. That takes help from professionals – which prompted this blog.

I have had occasion, where clients come to me needing help when the time comes to relocate mom or dad into assisted care. I thought I would offer my two cents on some things to know here in Calgary when it is time to make alternative living arrangements for your parents or loved ones.

For some, the option of buying a home with a ‘mother-in-law’ suite is the ideal answer. What may have been used as Nanny quarters when children were young, can usually be easily converted into a suite for aging parents so that they are close-by while maintaining some independence.

Some communities in Calgary offer properties with ‘Carriage Homes’ which is the development of a small bachelor suite above a detached garage. If zoning allows, this can be another option if parents do not require medical support.

There are two options for professional care; either publicly funded or private. If your parents are on a low income and/or having serious medical challenges, their Doctor will be involved with instigating the alternative care process with family. In the public sector there can be wait times up to two years, and although there is government assistance, the senior still must pay for their level of service, either with their pension or savings. On the Canadian Government website, the average cost of a bachelor unit that includes one meal a day is $2,210.00/month.

When the privately-owned facility, Maison Senior Living, was being built on Elbow drive I stopped in during construction and was told that the average age adults move into residence is 88 years, however, they have seniors in their 70’s moving in! This private facility has occasional wait lists but the waits so far, have not been too long. With private care there can be all sorts of variables such as professional chefs, customized activities, group outings, movie nights, even beauty salons. However, for a private care facility you will be responsible for the total costs which begin at double the cost of public care centres.

I know from personal experiences that some facilities (public or private) cannot care for seniors should they become in serious need of increased medical services, where others may offer palliative & hospice care in-house which means not having to inconvenience an already suffering adult.

As with all changes and challenges in life, knowledge is key. Unfortunately, we are so often busy and consumed with family and work, we don’t think to research our options until forced to because of an untimely health diagnoses or accident.

Please have the difficult conversations with your parents to learn what their wishes would be and what options are available, so that if the time comes to transition it has been thought out and planned to the best of everyone’s ability. You will be thankful that you did!

If you would like more information connect with me anytime~

Thinking of buying in Bridgeland?

Thinking of buying in Bridgeland? It has lots to offer! An ideal work/life location with downtown only a short 10 min walk away, or buy a condo zoned for business and residential. The history of this community adds to the charm and appeal, with an eclectic collection of original bungalows alongside custom built homes, single family infills and multi-family condominiums. There are schools, parks, amazing locally owned shops, restaurants and easy access to transit. An original community that stands the test of time, honoring history while opening it’s arms to new ideas and trends.

How to Have it All – Behind the Curtain of a Boss Babe!

I have always been very open about building and running my business and I feel it is part of my role to help mentor others who are trying to start their own success in the real estate industry.

My phone rings about once a week, from other REALTORS®  asking how I do it? Well, I will tell you!

I work my butt off! I started like everyone else, trying any idea that I could think of. I cold called people out of the white pages (boy, I am dating myself!), I knocked on doors, I advertised, I built a website.

It has been an evolution over seventeen years of driving my business towards success – first in my mind, and then in the real world. Yes, I have made mistakes, trusted the wrong people, spent money on things that didn’t work, but I have also had good luck, timely opportunities (like when a new lead emails you out of the blue and buys a property you have listed), and amazing support!

Three key points I would advise anyone looking to have a break-through as a real estate agent, would be these:

1. Always reach beyond your capabilities- then you will challenge yourself to grow.

2. Hire a business coach, seek out mentors, ask for advise so you can fast-track your results.

3. Surround yourself with support! I have a team in my office that has my back and helps build the business and fill in for my shortfalls and time limitations. My amazing husband, Chad, provides an entrepreneurial sounding board from another industry that gives me a big picture view. Our nanny, Zen, has been a God-send in the care of our two girls so that I can rest assured they are in the best hands when I am away from home. And my clients are connectors and openly send their contacts straight to me when they hear those two special words ‘real estate’!

How do I Sell an Estate Property?

When the hard times land in your lap and your family is tasked with the sale of a loved one’s cherished property, there are a few important things to know. I hope this article is clear and answers your questions. If you have anything additional that you would like professional advice on, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly any time.

Family and Executors. It is good to know how many decision makers will be part of the process – even if there is only one official Executor. Sometimes the process can be more lengthy and complicated if there are several active parties. Decisions must be agreed upon, documents must be signed, and time is often of the essence when dealing with real estate. For smooth transactions, ideally, there would be one Executor who is able to make decisions on behalf of everyone involved.

Should we renovate? Often times, estate properties are sold for land value or to have a significant renovation done. Therefore, investing a lot of money in renovations or updating would most likely not be the best return. The most important thing to help a timely sale will be to ensure the property is clean and all the debris and personal items have been removed.

What is Probate? Probate is a judicial process in which a will is provided to the courts as a valid public document regarding the deceased’s last true testament.

Ensure probate has been granted and there is an Executor as point of contact for the transaction. This will assist in an easier sale once you have come to an agreement on price and terms with a purchaser. If probate has not been granted, there will have to be a condition added to any sale document to allow time for probate to be granted and this can deter a purchaser from writing if they have to wait to long for their offer to be considered or approved.

It is important to contact a REALTOR® to understand the value of the property and the processes in selling. Many times, families dealing with estates may not have an understanding of the property’s current value. City tax assessments are not realistic indicators of market value!

As a professional REALTOR® I am able to do in depth research and I also have access to service providers that assist in dealing with estate homes and preparing them for sale.

 

When Divorce is the Reason for Selling Your Family Home.

What happens when divorce is the reason for the sale?

I understand that when a family comes to the decision to part ways, they certainly do not feel like announcing their break-up to the world. Celebrities like Brad and Angelina may have to endure the tabloids – but you do not.

One of the most important qualities of carefully navigating the sale of a home because of divorce is discretion. There is no benefit to you if potential buyers know that your family is separating and may be under terrible stress.

Here are three ways we help during divorce

Continue reading

The Best Smell to Sell!

First thing in the morning, when I park my vehicle and walk across the parking lot to my office I often catch a hint of the smell of baking coming from the local ‘Rustic Sourdough Bakery’ at the end of the block. As soon as the warm smell hits my senses I am almost compelled to go buy a cinnamon bun or fresh loaf of bread!

There is something irresistible about smelling delicious baking.

It makes us happy, nostalgic and in some cases, it can create a desire to buy your home!

Now, there are lots of foods we love, and for the most part love to smell, like coffee, bacon, garlic, sautéed onions, turkey….. but just because we love to eat them doesn’t mean smelling them in your home will help.

Our noses are highly judgemental! An article on www.everydayhealth.com tells us that “the sense of smell is the oldest, most ancient sense, and also, women have a better sense of smell than men.”

Keeping that in mind, try these smells to encourage a faster sale!

The top three smells to sell your house, in my opinion are these:

3. Apple Pie

Starting at number three, the smell of apples in pastry symbolize everything good! An apple a day, Johnny Appleseed, an apple for a school teacher, a homemade treat for a happy home; it’s just perfect!

2. Cinnamon Buns

A luscious reward for when we need a treat. A pat on the back, a shout out, a quiet nod of a job well-done, yes! Who can resist the smell of cinnamon, brown sugar and warm dough, lol!

1. Fresh Bread

Winner by a nose, and I am sure you can imagine why! The feel-good memories that come from the scent of bread in a hot oven! We imagine our grandparents kneading the dough, the apron tied just right, happy conversation and a world where everything is just right. Yes, fresh bread smells like it can make our dreams come true – and “maybe this house is just right to make our dreams come true”…. You can’t deny the connotations of fresh bread.

Excuse me now, I can’t resist running over to the bakery and satisfying a craving