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Stories Tagged - YYCRE

Dec. 22, 2015 | Joel Schlesinger

Writing on the wall

Homebuyers still cautious in signing mandatory agreements

Get it in writing – that's now the industry standard governing the relationship between buyers and their real estate professionals.

Yet while buyer's agreements have been a regulatory requirement since July 1, 2015, many buyers are still taken aback when presented with what are considered to be legally binding contracts, and often reluctant to sign even though these agreements are beneficial for consumers and the industry alike, said Charles Stevenson, director of professional standards at the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA).

Six years ago, Matthew Said Morley underwent open-heart surgery - a moment he says changed his perspective and encouraged him to help others in need through efforts such as his fifth annual coat drive. Photo by Michelle Hofer/for CREB®Now

Dec. 22, 2015 | Shelley Boettcher

From the heart

Life-changing event sparks local real estate professional into action

Mathew Said Morley's good deeds come from the heart. Literally.

Six years ago at the age of 26, the Calgary real estate professional had open heart surgery. Born with some heart issues, it wasn't his first surgery – and it may not be his last.

But this particular operation changed his outlook on life — in a beautiful way.

"It really made me think about how fragile life is, and how many people could use just a bit of extra help," he said. "It motivated me to get involved in the community in different ways."

CALGARY ALBERTA - December 12th, 2015; Jeff Taylor, President of MYHEAT is photographed in his office in Kensington on December 12th, 2015 (for ) (Adrian Shellard for CREB)

Dec. 21, 2015 | Andrea Cox

Seeing red

Developing technology being used by Okotoks to reduce homes' carbon footprint

As the holiday season approaches and homes light up like Santa's workshop, energy costs will spiral to top of mind for budget-conscious homeowners.

"Certainly, energy efficiency is always on the radar, but even more so during this economy and at this time of year," said Dawn Smith, sustainability co-ordinator for the Town of Okotoks.

The good news is hope is on the way for homeowners who want to manage their energy costs thanks to ongoing research at the University of Calgary.

Dec. 18, 2015 | Cody Stuart

Mortgage changes expected to slow housing demand

Local housing industry experts say a change that governs the amount buyers are required to put down when purchasing a home will significantly impact Calgary's already sluggish market.

Effective Feb. 15, 2016, the change announced by the federal government in early December will raise the minimum down payment for new insured mortgages from five to 10 per cent on the portion of the house price above $500,000.

"The intent of [the change] is to pull back demand, and they're slowing demand in a market where we're already seeing demand slow," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie, noting resale residential sales in Calgary have already dropped nearly 20 per cent from the 10-year average.

Christmas lights

Dec. 15, 2015 | Cody Stuart

How to .... hang Christmas lights

OK, so the weather outside may not be frightful but that just means there's still time to add a little holiday cheer to your home before the snow begins to fall. With a few simple steps you can be cosily ensconced in your home bedecked with colourful strings of Christmas lights during the long winter evenings.

For those DIY homeowners, here are a few simple steps and tips to make your home merry and bright:

Ultimate Renovations president Danny Ritchie says he's familiar with the highs and lows of Calgary's economy, particularly as it relates to homeowners electing to “stay put” during a downturn. Photo by Adrian Shellard/For CREB®Now

Dec. 15, 2015 | Rose Ugoalah

The allure of staying put

Canadians are choosing to invest in home renovations over new home purchases

Canadian renovation activity is on the rise as the economic lull in the real estate market has left some homeowners reluctant to move, instead opting to update.

In a recent report, Scotiabank senior economist Adrienne Warren found spending on home additions, new installations and replacement of equipment rose six per cent year-over-year through the first half of 2015, with renovation spending up in most provinces and outlays on track to total $53 billion this year.

Warren said current homeowners looking to upgrade are seeing renovations as an attractive option, as industrial price inflation for many renovation-related construction materials, equipment and household goods – such as kitchen cabinets, appliances and furniture – remain consistent.

Dec. 15, 2015 | Giselle Wedemire

Lay of the land

The dish on real property reports

Lost in the lexicon of real estate transactions, a real property report can paint a picture that, in many cases, is worth much more than a thousand words.

An RPR, which is an essential part of real estate transactions, provides a visual and written assessment on the current state of affairs on a given property.

Performed by licensed land surveyors – and ranging in cost from $800 to $1,000 each – this report will disclose essential information such as the property line of a plot of land, recent improvements made to a property and details on any permanent structures (such as sheds, decks, houses, and garages) built on a property.

Redline Real Estate Group Inc. owner Brett Turner says not knowing the rules and the proper protocol of being a landlord can be costly in the long run. Photo by Michelle Hofer/For CREB®Now

Dec. 15, 2015 | Andrea Cox

Rental market feeling the pain

High rents, job losses contributing to lease breaks, defaults

As the torrential storm of job losses in the province escalates, Calgary's rental community is beginning to feel the fallout.

Rental management groups in the city are reporting a higher incidence of lease breaks and defaults on rent this year as energy sector woes reverberate throughout the economy.

"We've certainly had to do a lot more of this recently than in years' past," said Brett Turner, owner of Redline Real Estate Group Inc., which manages a multitude of rental properties from single-family homes to small apartment buildings.

"We've seen significantly more lease breaks and defaults on rents than ever before."

Bare land condos like those at Villas at Watermark often appeal to buyers who want to spend their free time doing things other than yard work, said Ian Macdonald, director of sales and marketing for Macdonald Development Corp., which is behind Watermark at Bearspaw. Photo courtesy Macdonald Development Corp.

Dec. 14, 2015 | Alex Frazer Harrison

The re-emergence of bare land

Development standard finds its way back into the Calgary region

When is a detached home still a condo? When it's a bare land condo, an under-utilized development standard that is once again sprouting up in the Calgary region.

Developers in new areas such as Watermark in Bearspaw and Shawnee Park are designating some or all of their respective developments as bare land condos as part of a more collective approach to building and maintaining communities.

Bare land condos have previously popped up in other area communities such as Tanglewood Estates, The Lake at Heritage Pointe, Okotoks Air Ranch, Elmont Green and Lott Creek Grove.

Dec. 12, 2015 | Cody Stuart

5 things about Canada's middle-class tax cut

They say only two things are certain in life: death and taxes. But for once, the government is scaling back its share. With around nine million of Canadians set to see their tax burdens lessened in 2016 thanks to the Canadian government's newly introduced tax cuts, CREB®Now breaks down some of the small print included in the changes.

$3.4 billion
With around nine million Canadians making between $45,282 and $90,563 set to see their tax bills decrease in 2016, the total cost to the Canadian government will be $3.4 billion. Single individuals who benefit will see an average tax reduction of $330 every year, and couples who benefit will see an average tax reduction of
$540 every year. The maximum tax reduction will be $679 per individual and $1,358 per couple.

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