NW Townhouse Options – Nolan Hill, Sage Hill and Sherwood

In this city it’s getting increasingly difficult to get into the housing market – prices have risen well over 10% in the last 2 years, and with population increase of over 40,000 last year (and on pace for over 30,000 this year), finding good home options in the lower price range can be tough.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! If you’re looking for a gorgeous, well-finished option (now or in the future) there is hope!  There is a ton of development in the NW and with the slow-down in the economy, some builders are actually accepting offers or giving discounts of $10,000 or more!

Not planning to move for a while? You can save even more! Builders generally start their pricing low and increase it as the project moves along. There are some great options for possession in 2016 and you can save yourself tens of thousands if you get in early!

Not keen on Condo fees? Don’t worry – there are some (few) exciting new projects where you can buy a townhome and it’s NOT a condo! You own the yard, the garage and the home itself and can manage it the way you like!

These are just some of the great options to buy into the market, have a brand-new home to call your own and save big while you’re doing it. Have a read below to see specifics. If you would like to get more information on these options (or on similar product in other areas of the city), give us a call at 403.366.3130 or email sales@tcgroup.ca.

Here’s some examples of the products that are out there:

NON-CONDO option:  2 & 3 Bedroom units, from $389,000 (1370sq ft) to $426,900 (1550 sq ft).  Option to develop the basement for $29-$35,000 (bedroom, full bath and rec room). All units have double detached garage, all landscaping and fencing will be completed. Possession dates range from Oct/Nov 2015 to March/April of 2016. Only a handful of units left in first (fall 2015) phase.

Standard Condo Townhouses – Quick Possession  – Most units have 2-car tandem garages and ~$175 fees. Possessions vary from April to July 2015. Prices range from $344,000 (1190sq ft 2-bed) to $420,000 (1422sq ft, 3 bed backing onto ravine/ pond). Includes GST and Upgrades.

Plan ahead and save! – A couple builders have just opened new sales centers, so their prices are lower and options abound. Earliest possessions for these are spring 2016. Prices range from $329,900(+gst) for 1200sq ft units with double tandem garage (2 bed), to $369,900(+gst) for 1550 sq ft with double (wide) garage. A third option is $349,900(+gst) for 1260sqft, with a single garage and unfinished (walkout) basement space.  $175 Condo Fees for these units as well.

Something bigger? – There are some larger condo units (around 1600sq ft) remaining for quick possession as well, if your budget is a bit higher. Prices are around the $470,000 range, but along with the extra space and wider units, you are across the street from new amenities and these units left all back onto a beautiful pond with walking paths and have south/west exposure for those gorgeous summer barbecues. All units come with double (wide) garages and very nice finishings.  7 units left, all available for quick possession.

Mortgage Update | Calgary Mortgage and Housing

Approved Mortgage application form with a calculator and penAugust 27, 2013

Surprise! Mortgage rates have increased once again. With the bond market showing strength, a 5-year rate is now in the range of 3.60%. And judging by the looks and rumours, rates are going to continue to increase. With this in mind, PRE-APPROVALS are important to obtain before starting your home search. They are of no obligation to follow through with your lender, and the rate is held for 120 days — it’s like making a reservation at a restaurant.

There has been other changes this past week that took effect immediately.

The Self Employed Program:  The biggest change is the elimination of borrowers who have more than one rental. Three properties in total, max – rental, secondary vacation and primary residence. Additionally, all married applicants require the spouse as co-borrower, and the  spouse must meet minimum credit requirements. Finally, there has also been some changes to the net worth requirements.

Net worth Lending:  The primary change is how they are determining net worth. Liquid asset requirements have been eliminated and replaced with minimum net worth of $ 250,000.  Please note this MUST be proven at the time of the application; however, it should be noted that RSP’s can now be included. This is a nice change because it is more about net worth, not liquid savings.

NewComers:  Gifts are no longer permitted for permanent conventional (Loan to value > 80%)  mortgages.  There also has been some changes to net worth requirements.

There are only a couple of lenders that have started to make these changes; therefore, it is beneficial for clients to use a mortgage broker, as we still have several options available for these clients.

Lindsay Labrecque, BA, AMP

Senior Mortgage Broker

GOLD REIN Member

Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Excellence

Mobile: 403.703.3019
Fax: 1.866.651.9084
www.LindsayLab.ca

 

Tips for Selling your Condominium

We recently provided you with some important tips for selling your home. Since there are two additional things that need to be considered when selling a condominium, we thought it important to highlight those for you too.

1. Gather important documents

Your condo board has likely provided you with several documents that pertain to your unit. Find those. If you are unable to locate them, talk to the condo board. Typically, condo boards charge for each of these documents, so you may want to call in a favour with a friend that you’ve made on the board.

If you’d prefer not to chat with the condo board, The Chamberlain Group (TCG) will take care of getting all the documents you need. Simply give us what you have; we will ensure to gather the rest.

2. Locate your Real Property Reports (RPR)

If you own a bare land condominium, or the land that the condo resides on, you will need a RPR. When you purchased your property, your lawyer will have provided you with the Real Property Report. This report looks like a site plan, highlighting property details, including: decks, patios, permanent sheds, etc. If you made any improvements to your property, you will need to update your Real Property Report. (Also noteworthy, the RPR must be provided for single family type homes.)

Not having an RPR can hold up the sale of your property, so we encourage you to get this done as soon as you decide to sell.

Questions? Leave a comment below, or contact TCG by emailing sales@tcgroup.ca, or phoning 403-366-3130.

Selling Your Home in Calgary for the First Time?

Couple with sold signBuying a home for the first time can be a daunting and intimidating task, which is probably why REALTORS® seem to invest a great deal of time and website space educating the public about what you need to do when purchasing a new place.

But what about first time SELLERS? Selling a home for the first time can also be an intimidating and daunting task, eliciting all sorts of questions.

Should I sell my current property before buying a different one?

What should I do to get my house ready to list?

How much is my house worth?

Should I list my house myself, or use a Real Estate Expert?

Needless to say, we think it’s important to discuss the first time selling process. Here are a few tips from TCG’s Real Estate Experts.

1. Make a plan: Buy or sell first?

The decision to buy first or sell first is a personal one that’s usually circumstantial. Consider the following:

  • Can you afford two mortgages? Not sure? Talk to a mortgage broker or banker.
  • Do you want to move to a specific neighborhood in Calgary?
  • Are you relocating? If so, do you have a specific departure date?

Knowing the answers to these questions will assist you in developing a timeline; a timeline will help you avoid stress. It’s also beneficial to speak with one of TCG’s Real Estate Experts. Why?  Because we know what communities in Calgary have the most listings, the least listings, and where there the highest demand is, assisting you in establishing a realistic timeline.

2. Get your property ready to show.

 Make your home look like a show home by:

  • Thoroughly cleaning it inside and out.
  • De-cluttering. This includes:

– Packing up family photos, stacks of paper, as well as shoes and clothing you’re not currently using.
– Cleaning/reorganizing your closets.

  • Cleaning your yard, front and back. Think of this as “staging” your yard.

3. Show your home at its best.

When showing your home:

  • Open the blinds and leave the lights.
  • Remove all garbage and stinky items.
  • Bake something. Seriously, who doesn’t love the smell of cookies or bread or cake?
  • Make your home readily available for showings, meaning don’t ask buyers to wait 24-48 hours before they can see it.

4. Use The Chamberlain Group to list your property.

Why use The Chamberlain Group to sell your house?

  • A professional stager comes to your home, providing you with a list of suggestions to make your property as desirable as possible.
  • Our unique, digital marketing platform ensures the right buyers see your listing.
  • We utilize video to market your property.
  • We only use professional quality photos, as well as professionally measured floor plans.
  • We are nice people. Really, really nice people.

Do you have any more questions pertaining to the selling of your home? Comment below, or contact us by emailing sales@tcgroup.ca.

Calgarians Anticipate 9 New Schools by 2016

Alberta announces plan to construct additional suburban classrooms by 2016

Residents of Calgary are sure to be excited with the province’s plan to build 9 new schools by 2016. Built for suburban communities in the southeast, northwest, and northeast of Calgary, the schools will add approximately 7,550 student spaces.

“Calgary is a growing city, and we need to ensure we build the schools today that Calgary will need in the future,” said Jeff Johnson, the Education Minister in Calgary.

Over the next three years, Alberta’s high-growth communities will receive $503-million in total from the Redford government to build these schools. Through a combination of public and private partnerships, the schools will be built using traditional methods.

What the citizens of Calgary — especially the benefiting communities — can look forward to are the advanced technological systems that will be used in each school. Large windows, providing natural light and increased ventilation, will surely improve air quality and circulation within the schools as well.

It doesn’t end with just 9 schools. Operated by separate, regional school division, Christ the Redeemer, a 10th school will be built for Davisburg, a community just south of Calgary. It will occupy 600 students from Kindergarten to Grade 9.

The New Calgary Schools:

1. Auburn Bay

Calgary Roman Catholic School District

Kindergarten to Grade 9

Opening/final capacity: 900/900 students

Anticipated completion: 2016 

2. Copperfield

Calgary School District

Kindergarten to Grade 4

Opening/final capacity: 600/600 students

Anticipated completion: 2016

3. New Brighton

Calgary School District

Kindergarten to Grade 4

Opening/final capacity: 600/600 students

Anticipated completion: 2016

4. Northeast Calgary

Calgary School District

High School, Grades 10 to 12

Opening/final capacity: 1500/1800 students

Anticipated completion: 2016 

5. Martindale

Greater Southern Public Francophone Education Region

Kindergarten to Grade 6 (replacement for Ecole La Mosaique starter school)

Opening/final capacity: 300/350 students

Anticipated completion: 2016 

6. Saddle Ridge

Calgary School District

Grades 5 to 9

Opening/final capacity: 900/900 students

Anticipated completion: 2016 

7. Evanston

Calgary School District

Kindergarten to Grade 4

Opening/final capacity: 600/600 students

Anticipated completion: 2016

8. Evanston

Calgary Roman Catholic School District

Kindergarten to Grade 9

Opening/final capacity: 750/900 students

Anticipated completion: 2016

9. Royal Oak/Rocky Ridge

Calgary School District

Grades 5 to 9

Opening/final capacity: 900/900 students

Anticipated completion: 2016

Red Tape Hindering Suite Housing Deals

Calgary’s gone through its share of growing pains when it comes to affordable housing.

The problem was readily apparent a few years ago, with the arrival of thousands of new Calgarians causing the monthly rate of apartments to soar into the thousand-dollar range for a one-bedroom suite.

Still, as is the case across Canada, new residential developments consisting solely of rental units are few and far between.

News reports last month indicated that despite vacancy rates dropping everywhere in the country, economic conditions are making it more palatable for developers to build condos instead of rental units.

Investors are also more interested in purchasing existing apartment buildings than to put up new ones.

This means one of the few sources of growth will be from the willingness of individual homeowners to develop a secondary suite.

In Calgary, it’s easier said than done. Just take a look at the city’s information brochure on the topic.

Flip to Page 2 to find an unfriendly looking flow-chart that helps determine whether a homeowner can build a suite or not, and what kind of application process to expect.

Sometimes it’s even necessary to appear before city council to request a zoning change to allow for a secondary suite.

The red tape is unreal for the homeowner and for the city.

The process is so arduous, it’s no wonder some have chosen to develop secondary suites illegally or not to develop them at all.

Perhaps Calgary can look for inspiration from Edmonton’s straight-forward secondary suite policy:

• Only for fully detached single-family homes on lots of a certain size.

• Established minimum and maximum suite sizes.

• Requirements for parking.

• Garden and garage suites allowed in certain situations.

No neighbourhood restrictions, no flow charts, no re-zoning, no appearances before city council.

Calgary would benefit from such a simple, uniform policy for secondary suites.

Detractors have always pointed to lower neighbourhood property values as a reason to discourage the development of secondary suites.

That just might have been a side-effect of this city’s parcel-specific policies on the matter, because the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) cautions homeowners that adding a secondary suite will likely cause a slight increase in property value.

Safety has also been used by opponents of secondary suites as an argument against their development.

But really, there should be no cause for extra concern.

Provincial fire safety and building codes have covered the construction of secondary suites since 2007.

In fact, Alberta is one of only two provinces to have a fully developed set of such building code requirements. (The other is British Columbia.)

Our rules are so stringent that the CMHC uses them as an example of good practice to be applied countrywide.

Calgary desperately needs a coherent, uniform policy covering the development of basement, garden and garage suites.

Keeping the system we currently have will needlessly curtail the growth of rental housing stock in the city.

It also inadvertently encourages the development and use of illegal suites.

Because these fall outside of the law, there’s a good chance there are compliance issues when it come to safety regulations, too.

With the economy improving day by day, there is a chance Calgary will once again face a crunch for rental housing.

Streamlining the way we handle secondary suites is the best way to make sure there will be enough legal housing to satisfy our needs.

Read more: http://www.calgarysun.com/news/columnists/ricky_leong/2011/01/11/16837621.html

FIRE IN MEDICAN CONDO BUILDING – CANVAS

Below is a statement from the Developer which was posted on their Website.

March 18, 2010:

Fire at Canvas at Millrise News Release

Medican Supports Residents Impacted by Fire

Calgary, AB – (March 19, 2010) – Medican says it will offer its support to the residents who lost their homes in a devastating fire Thursday. “This has been a terrible loss for hundreds of people,” says Bob Montgomery, Manager of Wellness Health and Safety for the Medican Group of Companies. “Although it’s been over a year since the condominium board took ownership and responsibility for the development, we’re ready to do what we can to help out.”

The fire started at 23 Millrise Drive at the Canvas at Millrise at about 12:00pm. The fire destroyed about half of the 159 units. The other half, suffered water and smoke damage. The building was about 90% occupied. About 400 people have been directly impacted by the fire.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. Investigators are on scene and we are providing our full cooperation. Many of our staff spent the day working with residents, first responders and social service agencies. Other buildings in the complex were not affected by the fire and following a thorough inspection, residents at 11 Millrise Drive were allowed to return home starting at 11:00pm Thursday.

“Despite the terrible damage done to this building, we feel very fortunate that at this time , no serious injuries have been reported,” says Bob Montgomery.

All residents were safely evacuated from the building after the fire broke out. Many residents watched as their home and belongings were destroyed. Regretfully some pets were lost in the fire.

“We at Medican are saddened by this disaster and our hearts go out to all of the residents,” Montgomery says. “We will continue to assist wherever possible.”

For more information:

Bob Montgomery
Manager – Wellness, Health and Safety
Medican Group of Companies
Mobile: 403-660-8421
bobm@medican.com
2March 18, 2010:

Statement with Respect to the Fire at Canvas at Millrise

Members of the Calgary Fire Department and Calgary Police Service are tending to a serious fire at the Canvas at Millrise condominium located at 23 Millrise Drive S.W., Calgary. Our thoughts and prayers are with these first responders and the residents of the building. We will have further comments as the investigation into this fire proceeds.

New Interactive Pathway and Bike Map

If your one to be biking around Calgary, this is a great interactive tool that you can use to find out maps and open pathways.  You can go to the layered map to get a full taste of what it does…  There is over 1,000 km’s to navigate through… Have fun and remember to wear your helmet!

The Worlds Largest Olympic Torch Will Be Flickering For 2010 Olympics

The cauldron atop the Calgary Tower will be burning bright tonight from 7 – 9 p.m. to celebrate the opening ceremony celebrations for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

The Tower cauldron will also be lit from 5 – 6 p.m. each day a Canadian Olympic athlete wins a medal during the 2010 Games.

2010 Property Tax Assessment is in The Mail…

property-tax-snoopyAs you may or may not be aware of, on January 4, 2010 your property tax assessment was mailed to you. If you haven’t received it yet, you will soon get it. I wanted to let you in on some of the options that you have if you feel that the value of your home is too high on your assessment. If you feel that your assessment is too low, you have two options, leave it where it is or ask them to raise the value and then you get to pay more property taxes. I’ll leave that one up to you.

Here are some interesting stats and findings that came from the 2010 Tax Assessment:

  • On Jan. 04, 2010, The City of Calgary mailed approximately 439,000 property Assessment Notices to Calgary taxpayers, which is an increase of 8,000 from 2009.
  • The 2010 median single residential assessment (excluding condominiums) is $374,000 compared to $427,500 in 2009. The 2010 median residential condominium assessment is $233,000 compared to $278,500 in 2009.
  • The total value of the 2010 Property Assessment Roll is $218 billion, a decrease of $27 billion from last year.
  • As a result of the 2010 Assessment, the typical assessment change between the 2009 and 2010 Property Assessment Rolls is -13% for residential properties and -15% for non-residential properties.
  • This year, approximately 92% of residential properties’ revenue neutral taxes will stay within plus or minus 10% of last year’s taxes.
  • 70%, or just over two-thirds, of residential properties will experience a revenue neutral tax decrease due to the 2010 assessment, while 30% or, just under one-third, will experience an increase in their taxes due to the 2010 assessment only.

We have had the question multiple times before on how the city calculates what the tax rate will be… Here it is…

Tax Rate Calculation

Each year City Council approves the amount of expenditure needed to support City services. To get the amount of revenues required from property taxes, The City takes the overall expenditure and subtracts all other sources of revenue like business taxes, license fees, user fees and provincial grants. The balance is the amount to be raised through municipal property taxes.

In order to calculate taxes, a tax rate is established. The tax rate reflects the amount of taxes to be paid for every $1 of assessed value.

Municipal Tax Rate =  Total revenue required by The City of Calgary from property tax / Total Assessment
Provincial Tax Rate =    Total revenue required by The Province of Alberta from property tax / Total Assessment

Tax Bill Calculation

Your property taxes are calculated by multiplying the assessed value of your property by the tax rates:

Property Tax bill =  (Assessment x Municipal Tax Rate) + (Assessment x Provincial Tax Rate*)

*The Provincial Tax Rate is set once The City receives the annual requisitions from the Government of Alberta (Alberta Learning) and the Calgary Catholic School District. The amounts of the requisition are not subject to review or approval by City Council. The City of Calgary bills and collects this tax amount for the Province of Alberta.

Your annual property tax bill covers the period of January 1 to December 31.

Now… what are your options if you feel that your tax assessment is too high.  Many people don’t look into this, however this can save you a good chunk of change each year if you are on top of it.  Here are the steps that you will want to take.

  1. Check to see what the City has on your property by going to their Property Assessment Search
  2. Once you know what the city has on your property, they have provided a page on their site that you can search out your neighborhood and download a pdf of all the most recent sales that have happened in your community that the city knows about.
    – For all Single Family Dwellings (not condo’s) you can Search Here
    – For all Condo’s you can Search Here

One last thing… Here is a brochure for you to download from The City of Calgary that they give out for more info on Property Tax Assessments.

2010 Property Tax Notice Brochure Download

I hope this gives you a good idea of what you can do about your assessment and gives you a great start on making sure that your are paying the proper amount of taxes.

All Information given here is from The City Of Calgary Website