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Real Estate Blog

It was an interesting year in Alberta. We started off with uncertainty due to a recent collapse in oil prices. This coupled with new political leadership on both Provincial and Federal levels-each of whom respectively did not share the same vision as their predecessors, thus contradicting new policies were to come. We then watched our neighbors down south experience a historical political change (queue same statement as above). We were caught off guard with a major change in mortgage rules and to top it off, we experienced a major natural disaster in Fort McMurray. That is essentially a hurricane of economic factors for one year. Despite (and perhaps IN spite of) this,  Edmonton’s real estate market remained relatively resilient. The statistics are out

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This post rooted from watching on television, a video in the Chamber of Parliament where a small but unusual altercation took place with our Prime Minister and members of the opposition. The world of news media and social media erupted and brought more publicity to something that, in all honesty, nobody really needed to know. Guilty as everyone else, I too was sucked into the useless story, casting judgement where I thought appropriate. Anytime politics make headlines, I begin contemplating the issues of our political system. How incredible would our country be if all parties would give an honest effort to work together as a team- for the greater good of the country- unattached to who gets the credit? In the grand scheme of things, isn’t that what we pay

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In my young teens, I grew up observing my father selling real estate. He was a good realtor, well liked and respected by his peers. But I hated it. I thought it was the worst job anyone could ever have. I was homeschooled for a good chunk of my childhood and because cell phones were not yet popular and they were ridiculously expensive, I had the pleasure of listening to dad make many of his calls from home each morning, as well as in the evenings where he wasn’t out working with clients. He took those calls very seriously and it was forbidden to make any type of noise, so naturally I would just listen to his side of the conversations. He often seemed stressed and anxious. As anyone who has bought or sold a home before can attest, things can go wrong and

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Coming into 2016, a tough economic market was the expectation. Last year’s rapid drop in oil prices would undoubtedly continue its repercussions into 2016. The bigger question was; how tough was it going to be? We’re now past our first quarter and while I can’t comment on the entire economic market, I can certainly enlighten you on how it has impacted Edmonton real estate.

If you’re researching numbers from other sources, most will compare month over month or year over year. This is not indicative of what “normal” numbers would be. It simply tells us which direction the numbers were headed in the short term. For true clarity, I’m using 5 year averages. Here are the cliff’s notes for Q1 in 2016:

New listings are up 14% (2016: 8215/ 2011-2016

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Investors are constantly in search of good real estate buys. The frustration that arises in most buyers is when they are simply looking for a great deal. The common assumption is that a great investment is simply to find a typical property and to pay below market value. While conceptually a great idea, it is extremely difficult to find and quite frankly, that rarely happens. If it’s evident that a home is underpriced, you won’t be the only one to notice. Buyers will drive the price right back up in competing to win the deal. Often times, it will end up selling above it’s market value as human emotion takes over and someone plays simply to win (trust me, it happens almost every time).  If a property appears to have sold below its market value, there’s

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The real estate sales industry is constantly changing. The role of a realtor continues to evolve decade after decade. Each time a new technology, a government regulation or an alternative business model enters the scene, there is a perception that it will disrupt the industry; that technologies like the internet or a discount brokerage would be the Netflix to our Blockbuster. Change certainly happens, however it is an evolution, rather than a revolution. For more detail click here to see my past blog.

Strength in numbers: In a group setting, the better the people work together, the better a system functions. Though Realtors tend to think of each other as competition, whether they know it or not, they’re also team mates. On a hockey team, 2 centermen

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By now, we should all have received our tax assessment letters in the mail. Each year, the city reassesses an approximate value of our homes in order to calculate a new property tax amount.  A common question I often receive is whether that value is truly representative of the potential sale price of the home assessed. The short answer is “not really”. Obviously that leaves room for interpretation so here are 3 points to note:

  1. The assessors are evaluating literally every property in the city, therefore they are not physically viewing each home. Important variables such as upgrades and condition aren’t taken into account. In certain areas, 2 identical homes on the outside, one original and the other with a full renovation can be assessed with the
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Economic pressures are undoubtedly here in Edmonton. The Oil and Gas sector is suffering and it has put a stop to the incredible economic growth that was snowballing throughout Alberta. Through this, Edmonton’s real estate market remained quite resilient over 2015. Though the amount of sales dropped from the previous year, they were equal or higher to each year prior since 2009. And despite less sales than 2014, average selling price rose. During an economic downturn, that’s as good as it gets. Most economists expect that 2016 should be the last year of downturn before we start a slow recovery. The question then becomes whether our real estate market can continue to weather another year of economic challenges.

Before continuing my analysis, I should

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The economy sucks. My students don’t behave. The case can’t be won. They delivered the wrong part. My co-workers aren’t collaborating. My clients aren’t taking my advice. I don’t have enough time.

Sound familiar?

Problems are everywhere. When one goes away, another appears. Some are simple, some more complex. Some are easier to handle than others and some of us simply handle them easier than others. I believe it’s fair to say that most of us would prefer not to have them. I often share that sentiment. As a Realtor, working in a changing market naturally brings more challenges. The situations become more difficult and are also more important for me to bring solutions. It forces me to reflect on my role, not only as a professional, but as a human

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In this era, we are experiencing a world where we are rapidly changing the way we do things. We’re solving problems faster and cheaper than ever in almost every industry, becoming more effective on a day to day basis. The guys at Google talk about exponential growth; where the pace of developing more efficient, less expensive solutions to all facets of our lives is compounding rapidly.

This is very exciting for consumers but frightening for some businesses and employees. Automation tools are replacing many jobs that were once very important for people to fill. Many jobs that still require humans have been globalized by the internet, causing employees to compete with much lower rates from contractors in other countries. Most industries are being forced

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