Edmonton Real Estate Blog

Edmonton Home Inspectors to be Regulated!

As a Realtor interested in protecting the interests of my clients, I strongly recommend that every buyer have a home inspection conducted by a professional home inspector.  In one of the largest financial investments they will ever make, I want them to be certain that a qualified ‘third party’ will identify all the major issues they might face if they purchase the property.  Peace of mind one way or the other (My clients have walked away from a potential home purchase based on an unsatisfactory report!) should be an end result. I have tried to steer my clients to inspectors from franchised companies who can demonstrate training and knowledge in home inspections together with ‘Errors and Omissions’ Insurance to cover my client in the event that the inspector misses something in his written report.  I am aware that one of these well-known company stepped in and paid a homeowner over $5000 when it was discovered that the acreage sewage system that they had paid to... [Read more...]

Sellers Have Options When Listing A Property

There are several models that sellers can choose when selling their place of residence in Edmonton.  They can sell by owner, sell with a discount brokerage, sell on the Multiple Listing Service with a mere posting or they can sell with a full-service brokerage.  Some fees-for-service are involved with each model depending largely on the range of services provided. For many sellers, listing their home for sale is a march into unknown territory.  They are unclear about important details like the marketing and sales process, the legal and financial risks, the options along the way, the legal contracts and their wording, the offer presentation, the deposits, the conditions, and so forth.  The questions cascade through their minds: What do i need to do to get my home ready for sale?  What should I do with my valuables?  What is a fair asking price for my property in a fluid marketplace?  How do I know if a potential buyer who wants to view the house is in fact qualified to do so?  If... [Read more...]

Exciting Real Estate Apps for Smartphones!

If you own a Blackberry, a Windows 7 or an Apple I phone, I have some exciting news for you (An Android app is coming shortly!)!   Today, the Canadian Real Estate Association now has an app that ties in directly with REALTOR.ca –the most visited real estate website in Canada.  On any given day, about 350,000 properties from across Canada will be available for viewing!  REALTORS® across Canada –over 100,000 of them–are proud to be providing this service to house hunters. The free REALTOR.ca app is provided at no cost to consumers.  For example, by using the Blackberry’s onboard GPS technology, the home buyer can now search: 1.  Properties Near Me and get up-to-date property information, photos and driving directions; 2.  New Listings Near Me and view recent listings in specified areas; 3.  Open Houses Near Me and find open houses close to a specified location. As well, consumers will be able to contact their agent or the listing agent using My Agent to... [Read more...]

Keys to Selling Your Home In Edmonton, Alberta

On April 21, 2011 in Edmonton proper, there were 4,421 single family homes and condos for sale in Edmonton proper; if the surrounding satellite towns are factored in, the number rises to 6,278.  In the last 30 days, 994 properties have sold in Edmonton and a further 463 in the satellite towns.  Why is it that some properties are selling quickly and others are on the market for an extended period of time in spite of some price adjustments. The answer to this important question is a key to selling your home.  There are a few factors to grasp.  First and foremost, the real estate market is extremely price-sensitive.  With so many homes for sale, buyers have the luxury to look at many homes before they make a final decision.  After viewing a handful of homes, most buyers conclude that there are some inferior homes that are over-priced for the marketplace.  Their opinion is based on location [quiet or noisy, commercial properties or major roadways nearby, etc],  general appearance of... [Read more...]

Another Real Estate Boom Coming?

It has just been reported by the Petroleum Human resources Council of Canada that, if oil and natural gas prices remain strong, Alberta may experience another boom cycle similar to 2007. With the aging population resulting in inevitable retirements and the increased demand for skilled workers, there could be a severe labor shortage on the horizon. Predictions are that 130,000 new workers will be needed. After the massive layoffs and cut-backs following the serious downturn in the oil industry three years ago, there is optimism that the oil industry may be ramping up for some more frenetic activity. What does this mean for the Edmonton Real Estate market? The inventory may get reduced significantly from its recent highs as new workers move in and buy homes. Such a trend will probably force prices upwards as buyers compete for a limited number of available homes. A market again favoring the seller may not be too far off!

End of Edmonton House Price Spikes

RE/MAX reported yesterday that ‘the dramatic, decade-long run-up in house prices’ may be over.  This will be a big shock for Edmonton homeowners who have enjoyed  a compound annual growth rate of 9.25% over the past decade.  The Canadian Real Estate Association has revised its house price projections to 1.3% growth in both 2011 and 2012!  Those who saw real estate as a surefire investment may be in for a major shock in the days ahead! Does it still make sense to own your own home?  Absolutely!  It is better than paying rent.  Besides mortgage rates are still very affordable –even though they are now creeping above 4% for a 5 year term. Even in a static market, selling and buying again still amounts to an equity exchange.  As well, there will always be motivated sellers who need to sell and price their homes accordingly.

Imminent Changes Coming to Current Mortgage Rules

Jim Flaherty, Federal Finance Minister, announced some significant changes coming March 18, 2011 and April 18, 2011 [HELOC] to existing mortgage lending rules: Reduce the maximum amortization period to 30 years from 35 years for new government-backed insured mortgages with loan-to-value ratios of more than 80 per cent. This will significantly reduce the total interest payments Canadian families make on their mortgages, allow Canadian families to build up equity in their homes more quickly, and help Canadians pay off their mortgages before they retire. Lower the maximum amount Canadians can borrow in refinancing their mortgages to 85 per cent from 90 per cent of the value of their homes. This will promote saving through home ownership and limit the repackaging of consumer debt into mortgages guaranteed by taxpayers. Withdraw government insurance backing on lines of credit secured by homes, such as home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs. This will ensure that risks associated with consumer... [Read more...]

Edmonton Real Estate December 2010 Report

2010 is now in the history books! It is a time to reflect on the real estate events of the past year. There were some interesting developments: 1. Prices rose for the first half as buyers entered the market ahead of changes in the mortgage lending rules. 2. Prices fell off in the second half as the number of listings mushroomed and a ‘buyer’s market’ forced sellers to adjust their asking prices downward to stay competitive. 3. Only 45% of the listings on the MLS listings sold in 2010. 4. The average days of listings on the market was 50, down 3 days from 2009. 5. The average sales price for December for homes was $355,271 and for condos was $223,454. 6. The average Year-to-date sales price for homes was $377,340 and for condos was $240,891. Compared to 2008 prices, home prices were virtually unchanged while condos were lower by $13,000. 7. The most active price range was $250,000 to $299,999 with $200,000-$249,999 coming in second. 8. 73 $1,000,000+ homes sold... [Read more...]

2010 Edmonton Real Estate Update

As one year draws to an end, forecasters try to lay out the major trends for the New Year. Targeted subjects include oil, gas, gold and copper prices; bank interest lending rates; federal and provincial government deficits; and, certainly, real estate trends. Forecasters are not omniscient; nevertheless, they try to be as accurate as possible. Steve Davidson has written that ‘Forecasting future events is often like searching for a black cat in an unlit room that may not even be there.’ In other words, this sage believed that future events, like cats, can prove to be very elusive! Winston Churchill would wholeheartedly agree with this assessment. He once said, ‘I always avoid prophesying beforehand because it is much better to prophesy after the event has already taken place.’ Some of the forecasters of the 2010 Edmonton Real Estate market might want to take Churchill’s advice. One reliable source (CMHC) told us a year ago to expect an annual average price increase of about... [Read more...]

Tips for Homeowners in Edmonton

If you own a home in Edmonton, there are some simple steps you can take to save you money and ensure your safety. First, once a year have your furnace, hot water heater and gas fireplaces inspected by your gas supplier. It is a free service that must be scheduled in advance. If there are any difficulties, they will be identified to you. It is a good idea to pre-purchase a couple of 36 inch Honeywell Thermo-couplers (about $9 each at Home Hardware) and have these available. If one is needed at the time of inspection or later when an appliance shuts down, the gas company technician will replace it at no additional charge. Without it, you will face a $75 charge! Obviously, it is a good investment. Second, ensure that your smoke alarms are in working order. Test them frequently. It could save your life! Third, make sure that you have a carbon monoxide detector properly installed near any gas appliance. CO is the ‘silent killer’ and you don’t want to be another victim. Fourth,... [Read more...]

Edmonton Real Estate Blog