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.

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~

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 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

Paint Colours with Pizzazz – Sell Your Home for More Money!

As I did some research last week I came across a recent CBS News ‘Moneywatch’ report which may have some information that is relevant for you if you are thinking of selling your home. The report claimed that certain colors in rooms resulted in higher sale prices on average.

Want to know what those colors are?

#1 Living Rooms of soft beige cashmere are most attractive, and who can argue with that!? The news report said that for the most money in 2017, freshen up your walls with a taupe or oatmeal, ie: something in a warm and squishy color, LOL!

#2 Kitchens featuring a light blue or soft grey gave buyers an appetite for a higher price. For that matter, blue in the bedroom also yielded similar increased values.

#3 Master Ensuites that wrap you in soft robin’s egg blue or periwinkle came out ahead! Of course, I do love a tastefully done spa-like retreat – and you know that my favorite color is purple!

When it comes to one of the easiest and least expensive improvements you can do to your home, consider updating the colors on your interior walls to help you get the most money for the least cost. If you don’t like the news recommendations, reach out and connect with me anytime for personal advice for your own home 🙂

Top 5 Things to Look for in a Rental Investment Property

Many of my clients wonder about owning revenue property. If you have equity built up in your home, this may be something you are considering too! Real estate is one of the few investments where you can borrow based on VALUE rather than physical cash!

If this is something that has crossed your mind let me go over a few checkpoints that I discuss routinely with my clients before we go on a search for the perfect income generating property.

  1. If this is your first revenue property you might find it advantageous to buy near your own home. The convenience of being able to drive by and check on your property can help with your peace of mind, and should you get that call from your tenant saying the toilet has stopped working, it’s a quick pop over to assess the damage. To ensure that you are prepared for ongoing repairs it is very important to work out the ‘cap rate’ on your house to determine what price you can pay to buy the home versus how much you can ask for rent. I have a formula for this, so just ask if you would like to know!

  2. Each dwelling is commonly referred to as a “Door”. So, if you purchase a unit in a condominium building then that’s one ‘door’. If you buy a duplex that is an up/down or side by side that can house two families then that is 2 ‘doors’. Depending on your budget you may want to consider purchasing as many doors as possible in one dwelling unit. Many investors start with a condo unit, but then may branch off into a duplex, 4-plex or six-plex. The more doors you own, the more income you can look forward to.

  3. Know WHO is going to purchase and own your investments! It is VERY important it to speak to an accountant to understand whether a revenue property should go in your personal name or corporate name and any tax implications that can affect your investment.

  4. Becoming a Landlord can be a big road block to potential owners. I get it! The horror stories around bad tenants, vacant properties, tax implications etc. Whenever we try something for the first time it can shake our nerves. But, just like starting any kind of business, investing in your own revenue properties is something to be researched, learned about, and it is of utmost importance to get professional help. An ideal resource is the Alberta Landlord’s Association ( and whenever my clients think about moving on to this next step of property ownership, I consider it my responsibility to guide them with my own years of experience and expertise.

  5. If you think you might have enough equity in your primary residence, the first step would be to call your mortgage broker and have them go over the numbers you would need to invest. There are different benchmarks for revenue properties so find out the details before you start looking for new homes. If you need any recommendations, I am here to help!

I have owned several rental properties over the last seventeen years and if you are wondering what becoming an investor might look like for you, let’s sit down and chat over coffee.

Connect with me today, about your real estate needs for tomorrow ~

6 Tips to Help You Prepare for Moving Day!

Yes, it’s so much fun moving in to your dream home – but it’s also so much work! I share these tips with my clients all the time and thought you might like to get the inside scoop for your next move.

  1. Call Utilities Ahead of Time – confirm and re-confirm so that everything is ready for the transfer of accounts on your big day. In fact, consider any subscriptions you have as well such as lawn care or snow removal.
  2. Packing – Label all boxes with the ROOM they go in to. This way it won’t matter who is helping you move, all the items will be in the right place. Also, pack a big cooler with bottles of water and snacks for moving day, that way they are all in one obvious place.
  3. Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse – I know you are anxious to get in to your new property and make it your home. However, unforeseen challenges can hinder your best laid plans and possession time – so, as a rule, I always caution my Buyers about trying to move in too fast. If you have your home contents in a moving van, do not schedule it to meet you at your new home at noon on possession day! I advise to wait until you have confirmed that possession is verified, the cash for closing has arrived at the lawyers and keys have been released to you.
  4. Organize Help! If you do not hire a moving company to do the heavy listing, organize moving day help well in advance. Make sure you have a dolly, lay down cardboard over your flooring to avoid dirt and stains and definitely order in dinner!
  5. First Things First – After the house contents are all unloaded into your home, the best thing to set up first is your master bedroom bed! I highly encourage you to get your bed set up and made as soon as possible (while you have the energy) and if there are children’s beds then do those too. Believe me, you will thank me for it as you lay your head on your own pillow, tucked in to your soft cozy bed to get re-energized for the work that lies ahead tomorrow!
  6. Bonus! Who can survive a day without WIFI? Lol, DO go ahead and schedule your internet provider as soon as possible, Lord knows we can’t survive without being connected!