What you need to consider before buying a home with family or friends

By Tania Kohut

As Canadians adjust to hot housing markets and stagnating wages, there’s been increasing buzz around teaming up with friends or family to buy a home.

About a third of Canadians would consider co-buying a home, according to a recent ReMax survey; Capital One research found that nearly half of millennials (46 per cent) would be open to buying a home with family or friends.

“With the cost of housing going steadily up, it’s become out of reach for many,” said Bill Whyte,  senior vice-president and chief member experience officer at Meridian Credit Union.”I think there are new generations that are coming in, looking at it differently.”

Maridian has created a family or friends mortgage guide to help people through the process. Up to four names can be on the mortgage’s title, meaning four owners.

“Here’s an opportunity to pool your resources together, pool your income and still potentially look at home ownership.”

While combining funds with family or friends can result in more square footage, that bigger house comes with unique challenges said James Laird, president of CanWise financial and co-founder of RateHub.ca.

“Economically speaking, more income makes homes easier to afford,” said Laird.

“But you need to be careful that anyone you’re getting a mortgage with are people you think in the long term will be good financial partners for you.”

Before signing on the dotted line along with three of your closest friends, here are some things to consider.

Know all the costs

Home ownership is more than just a mortgage payment.

“It’s important to know all the costs of home ownership … go in with your eyes wide open because it’s much more than just principal and interest,” said Whyte. “Make sure you understand all the moving parts of home ownership.”

You need to consider property tax, bills, repairs, upkeep, one-off expenses — the list goes on.

“Determine how you will share the home,” said Whyte. “Is everybody equal partners in it, is everyone putting the same amount of money into it?”

Be on the same page as your home-buying pals for household costs and emergencies. Will you all contribute to a contingency fund? Try DIY options or immediately call in an expert? These discussions should happen before the basement floods or furnace craps out.

You’re on the hook 100%

“Everyone’s on the hook for the mortgage in its entirety,” said Laird.

If you buy a house with two friends and one can’t pay their share, it falls on the other title holders.

“The remaining people are on the hook for that loan 100 per cent,” said Laird.

Make sure you’re partnering up with people who are dependable — before you’re left with a larger share of the loan.

This involves a fair amount of trust … if it is [with] friends, you should be thinking of them more as family because this is a very close relationship you’re entering into and it’s a long-term one as well.

Get everything in writing

Get an agreement in writing that includes everything from dealing with disagreements to plans for eventually selling the property, said Whyte.

“What happens when you want to sell the house? Is there first right of refusal?”

Should relationships fall apart or one person wants to get out of the mortgage, what are you going to do?

"Even with the best intentions, sometimes things don’t work out and it could be for unforeseen circumstances so you’ve got to protect all parties as fairly and equitable as possible,” said Whyte.
Be prepared for things to get messy, said Laird.

“Whatever the nature of the relationship was entering, when you mix business and money with friendships and family then you’re risking those relationships for sure.”

Global News  http://globalnews.ca/news/3263051/buying-a-home-with-family-or-friends/

Ode to Stuart McLean

Stuart McLean, the host of CBC Radio's The Vinyl Café and an award-winning humorist, died at on February 15th, 2017 at the age of 68.

McLean's trademark blend of storytelling — part nostalgia, part pithy observations about everyday life — and folksy, familiar delivery made him a hit with audiences for more than 20 years. 

A final story exchange: Fans honour Stuart McLean

'A good Stuart story'

We never met, but Stuart McLean was a welcome guest in our house every weekend. If we missed him on Saturday, we caught up with him on Sunday. He was a guest who we all wanted to stay for longer because we felt so good in his company.

Once in a while, crazy things would happen in our own lives and we'd think, "That would be a good Stuart story,” like the time we helped a beaver carry its tree across a road during a family drive. We could hear his voice narrating the absurdity of it all. 

We will miss his beautiful voice very much. We often heard him joke about his lack of singing prowess, but he hit vocal notes that could pierce your heart and soothe your soul. His stories were wonderful gifts he gave us, and we are very grateful for the gift that was Stuart McLean.

Mariana Southwood

Talking turkey

The first time I heard The Vinyl Café, it was because my friend recommended it, saying it was funny. I was a new immigrant at the time so I wasn't sure I would enjoy Canadian humour, but being the polite Korean, I obliged.

The next thing I remember is laughing very hard for most of the show. 

I didn't laugh out of ridicule: I laughed out of relief and comfort. I no longer felt like the immigrant who didn't know how to cook a turkey and had her also-immigrant friends starving till late in the evening. I was simply one of the many Canadians who had a panic moment with a frozen turkey because it was my first time cooking it. This story that I heard that day was "Dave Cooks the Turkey."

Stuart McLean had that magic: to translate stories into compassion, then into feeling connected as Canadians. He will be greatly missed.

N-Q Chang

Like a letter to Art Gillespie

I actually wrote this in 2010 and never thought I would send this. It somehow seems more appropriate to send it now.

Dear Stuart: I have been listening to you on CBC since at least 1985 on your early years of Morningside with Peter Gzowski. I have been able to escape some not-so-nice times in my life, even if only for an hour or so a week over the years. The loss of a son at birth, a premature daughter, bad business decisions and the usual personal stress that comes along with any family — all were endured and overall we have really had a great life with so many blessings.

My daughter Cassie was born in 1992 ... She came into this world born at 26 weeks weighing a whopping 2 lb. 8 oz! After my wife spent three months in the Grace Maternity hospital fighting to get that far along, that was followed by Cassie spending two months in ICU and incubators. Everything worked out perfect in the end, and we never looked back after we left the hospital. Cass has now grown into a wonderful lady. I am proud to call her my daughter.

Ever since Cassie was a baby, every Sunday we tried to make time to listen to The Vinyl Café. Sometimes, the whole family, sometimes just Cassie and myself, sometimes me alone. You even helped with colic a couple of times. You talked while I drove with a screaming baby in the back seat.

Somehow the stories and music on your show made me dream of childhood memories where a simple piano, talented voices and good stories were all that was needed for entertainment. I always made a point to tell Cassie how special your show is and to pay attention while we can, because someday this show will be no more.

Over the years, I did get a couple of your books and also the Christmas story collection CD. One year, magic happened. My wonderful daughter finally gave me a gift that was totally unexpected. While opening my present from her I could see little tears starting to well up in her eyes and the million dollar smile and look of anticipation was all over her face. My present was a used copy of your book The Morningside World of Stuart McLean. She found it at a used bookstore and urged me to open it up. "It's autographed inside," she said. When I opened the cover, there were two tickets to your March 7, 2010, show in Halifax. I couldn't have asked for a better gift. 

Cassie and I had a special father-daughter evening with dinner and a great show afterward. We enjoyed it even more than we thought we could! If it was possible, we would love the opportunity to meet you next time you are in Halifax, just to say hello and thanks, and have Cassie meet one of the people who I know has helped to shape her personality and taught her to appreciate a great story.     

Dave Hawboldt
Fall River, N.S.

Read many more stories of fans love for Stuart McLean here

16 Backyard Pub Sheds You’ll Want to Drink In

Homeowners turning their unused sheds into cozy hangouts is becoming the latest trend. Pinterest pages and Facebook timelines are brimming with photos of DIY mini-masterpieces. It’s time to get in on the craze and turn your dusty tool hostel into an inviting retreat fit for a quiet evening for one or a backyard neighborhood party. Here are sixteen pub sheds you’ll want for yourself.

1. The Blue Pirate
This shed was a featured design on the new FYI reality show He Shed, She Shed. The seafaring, pirate theme evokes the scent and sense of adventure on the high seas, and the windows are reminiscent of those on an actual pirate ship. Warm colors and little details (like the goblets) round out the theme. There’s even a pirate skeleton bartender! Just be careful he doesn’t cheat you on your doubloons.

2. The Boston Pub
This shed reminds us a bit of an Irish bar you might find in Boston. Something about the exposed brick, the tastefully mismatched stools, even the carpeting makes us think we’ll hear accents and joyous rancor on St. Patrick’s Day from people with names like Kelley and O’Brien. The warm lighting and what look like lists of specials and other menus on the table are nice touches.

3. The Outpost
Okay, we didn’t have to be entirely creative with this name since the pub already has one. The exotic look would be very inviting to people who want an island vacation without the long plane flight and all the shots. The sign is made out of a repurposed boat oar, and the vintage wood stools fit perfectly in with the décor. This is an excellent hint-of-the-islands theme without being overbearing.

4. The Neighborhood Hangout
It does look as if you could fit an entire PTA meeting in here, doesn’t it? This person must have a fairly large backyard and shed to be able to do this, but it works very well. The whole place is inviting, with cool colors and a rustic bent throughout. The rough-hewn wood is especially nice, and the chalkboard on the far wall speaks of a handwritten elegance.

5. The Bar for Two
It’s possible to fit more people in here but not too many. The closeness of the space facilitates natural and unhurried conversation, and the lovely windows between roof levels allow natural light in and the warm glow of the bar’s lights out. This warmth pairs well with the deep red of the siding. Someone has also clearly done a good job with landscaping, which complements the shed nicely.

6. The Outdoor/Indoor
Are we indoors? Outdoors? Yes! Who cares about fine points of precision when you get to unwind in this lavishly modern, streamlined backyard retreat? The drapes are an excellent and weather-proof touch during hot days or rainy nights, and it looks like there’s ample seating in and around this shed. The wood (or made to look like it, perhaps) siding is lovely and coordinates well with the color scheme throughout. As would virgin daiquiris while sprawled on the couch!

7. Fiddler on the Tin Bar
This bar has creatively taken the traditional tin roof of some sheds and used it for the whole thing. One would think this would be unappealing or cold, but it comes off as modern, bright, and durable (and the cool grey of the deck somehow enhances the whole thing. The pops of color in the flower and glassware are just enough to liven up the monochromatic of the siding.

8. The Backyard Wine Cellar
If the whole PTA could fit into number 4, a whole wine-taster’s convention could hold its annual meeting here. There are so many interesting and creative touches in this example. Obviously the bar is well-stocked. The woodwork is warm without being overdone, rustic and log-cabin-esque without being bereft of modern clean lines and minimalism. Our favorite part is the barrels above the bar. Maybe the owner brews his own scotch or whiskey as well.

9. The Ornate Getaway
This has hints of 1920s drawing room in it. Maybe it’s the elaborate metal paneling on the ceiling, which bespeaks Jazz age and lavish parties at the Plaza. Or maybe it’s the ferns strewn throughout, which add an airy lightness to the room. This pub features an excellent blend between warm and cool colors, and it’s positioned nicely so the view from the doors is one of carefully-cultivated foliage. We think Gatsby himself would approve.

10. Colors International
The bright colors of this pub stay vibrant and bold without being garish or overpowering. Flags from many nations line the ceiling trim, and the outdoor-only seating is reminiscent of a walk-up restaurant or even food cart you might find in New York City or LA. The stools swivel, so make sure you have seltzer water if any rambunctious kids (or adults) get nauseous from one too many spins.

11. The One With the Hammock
Yes, this backyard pub really does have an actual hammock inside it, along with lots of other seating. This is perfect for really unwinding and relaxing. With the breeze coming in from the open doors, you just might think you’re on a private getaway to some sunny island. (Just be sure no one is sitting in the chair beneath you while you’re in the hammock. Having you sway back and forth in their face might not be so tropical for them.)

12. The Mini-Great Room/Man Cave
This really does look like a marriage between a nicely-decorated great room (the suede and tile pull in those themes) with a higher-end man cave (the tasteful bar and the Marilyn Monroe print on the back wall). Surprisingly, you could fit at least four people in here (five counting the bartender). And there’s even a flat screen TV—for watching He Shed, She Shed, of course.

13. The King’s Shed
Castle touches abound in this shed that looks like a chess piece writ large. The stained-glass choices are truly pub-like (perhaps the most of any of these), and the fact that there isn’t a traditional bar nor seating other than the benches makes this example stand out. Simple, unassuming, a tad mysterious (why is it called a ballroom?), this one just might be the talk of the neighborhood.

14. The Good Doghouse
Every man would want to do whatever it took to get sent here! The chicken wire on the windows and doors is an ingenious touch. Blond wood pairs well with the dark irons and metals, and a diverse bar would doubtless meet any man’s fancy. There’s even a jukebox in the corner!

15. The Cozy Spillover
We love all of the seating in this pub, and how it gracefully cascades down the steps into the rest of the yard. Lots of little details make this pub inviting and aesthetic, including all the plants and the lamppost-inspired lighting (as well as the mini-lamppost near the step’s edge). The attentive landscaping and gardening adds to the loveliness of the entire place.

16. The Brewer Shed
If you’re into brew-making, this Brewer shed will be absolutely perfect. Many backyard pubs lack the streamlined traditionalism and simplicity of the metal shed. This version capitalizes on it. The difference here is while the other sheds are formatted to be bar-like, this one becomes your own personal distillery! Just make sure you do it justice by making something other than moonshine.


Want a place to hang out with friends and family that’s a bit unconventional, creative, and cutting-edge? These fifteen pub shed ideas just might spark your own imagination and allow you to join in on the latest DIY craze. Happy pubbing!

Thanks to our source article providers http://americansteelspan.com/blog/index.php/16-backyard-pub-sheds-youll-want-drink/

From buyer beware...to buyer prepare - Full Home Buyers Guide

From buyer beware...to buyer prepare. Our Home Buyers Guide will help you get ready for every step of the home-buying process.

Congratulations! You’ve decided to buy a home.

Maybe this is your first home, maybe you have a growing family and are moving into something bigger, or maybe you’re about to retire and become an empty-nester. Regardless of your stage in life, buying a home is a significant financial commitment. This Guide will help you get ready for every step of the home-buying process.

Are you Financially Ready to Buy a Home?

Are you financially ready to buy a home? Get a sense of your current monthly expenses and think about the following: More...

Finding Professionals to Work With

If you believe you’re financially ready to buy a home, your likely next step is to find the professionals to assist you. In many cases, this will be a mortgage professional (a bank employee or a licensed mortgage broker) and a licensed real estate professional. More...

Working with a Mortgage Broker

Most buyers need at least some financing (a mortgage) to purchase a home. The two most common sources of a mortgage are directly through a bank or through a mortgage broker. Typically, banks only offer their own mortgage products while mortgage brokers can source mortgage products from different lenders. More...

Understanding and Securing Financing

Your mortgage broker has tools to help you in your home search. Before you go house shopping, you want to know how much of a mortgage your income will support, and what affect your current debt load will have on a possible mortgage amount. You can find this out by getting a mortgage prequalification. More...

Working with a Real Estate Professional

It’s always a good idea to use a licensed real estate professional in your home search. When you interview real estate professionals you’re considering hiring, these are the kind of questions you should ask them: More...

Conflicts of Interest

In rare situations, you may run into a conflict of interest. It arises when there is a real or apparent incompatibility between a real estate professional’s interests and your interests. Some examples of common conflicts that may arise in a real estate transaction: More...

Finding the Right Place

Now the fun part begins. It’s time to find the perfect home. More...

Making an Offer

You’ve found the perfect home, you have your deposit, and you’re ready to make an offer. There are a few things you can do to prepare: More...


There will likely be some negotiation between you and the seller after you submit an Offer to Purchase. Sellers can outright accept or reject your offer, make a counter offer, or ignore your offer completely. More...

Satisfying and Waiving Conditions

If your accepted offer was conditional, you need to try to satisfy your conditions. More...

Preparing for Possession

You will need to find and meet with a real estate lawyer. Your lawyer will go over the legal documents with you, including the RPR and the title. They will also highlight any possible restrictions or caveats registered against the property, discuss closing costs and disbursements, and have you sign the documents to transfer the property’s title to you after your lawyer advances the purchase funds to the seller.  More...

What to Expect on Possession Day

Typically, possession occurs – and you’ll get the keys – around noon on possession day. If you included a pre-possession inspection as a term in your Offer to Purchase, your real estate professional will arrange that through the seller’s representative.  More...

View the full guide or download it. 

Love Quotes

“I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.”
― Marilyn Monroe

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
― Dr. Seuss

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
― Elbert Hubbard

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”
― Bob Marley

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”
― André Gide, Autumn Leaves

“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.”
― Elie Wiesel

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
― Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”
― William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

Let's Buy a Property - Part 2 of 2

Step 4: Craft an Initial Offer

  • What are the differences between Terms and Conditions
  • When will we need our deposit (s) and in what form
  • How prior sales history and seller ownership data can influence negotiations
  • Am I getting the best deal 
  • What help is there to work through all our conditions
  • When is the deal firm
  • What are competing, multiple and back-up offers
  • What if the Seller is represented by the same Brokerage
  • Apply for mortgage funds with known borrowing now in place

Step 5: Due Diligence

Means all the Conditions that you and your Agent team feels are necessary to protect your best interests moving through the Purchase process

  • Property Inspections
  • Lawyer review
  • Appraisals
  • Financing
  • Joint Venture Financials and Obligations for Vacation Property
  • Review of condominium documents

Step 6: Firm Sale

  • Second deposit may be due
  • Interim accommodations and/or storage of goods may be necessary
  • Lawyer will need to be hired if not already
  • Utilities need to be switched over from home to home
  • Packing and moving arrangements made
  • Meet with lawyer and ensure mortgage in place and cash to close is available
  • Organize insurance either for a structure and contents or in the case of a condo, just the contents
  • Set up property tax account and other obligations such as condo fee payment

Step 7: The Big Move

Plan ahead and yes, again make a checklist

  • Label boxes as you pack and consider where that box will end up in the new home.  Set aside items for disposal or sale
  • Inform key contacts like Canada Post, your employer, doctors, dentists, CCRA for important address change
  • Talk to friends, family about the move.  If kids are involved then appointments may be needed at new schools
  • Follow-up with lawyer after the sale to ensure you have all the transfer documents, understand them and place them in safe-keeping for future use
  • Ask your CanmoreRealEstateTeam for ideas on how you can get quickly oriented to this fabulous community of the Bow Valley

When purchasing a home in Canmore/Banff, you are faced with a multitude of decisions!
For an in-depth consult on how we guide you every step of the way, contact Jim or Jordy today.

One Third of Investors Unprepared for Buying Process

by Jennifer Paterson - CanadianRealEstate

It is a cardinal sin for investors not to be prepared or knowledgeable about the home buying process, but new figures point out that a third (32 per cent) of first-time investors admit to just that.

The survey, published by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), also found that 26 per cent of investors wished they had a better grasp of the buying process, 21 per cent wished they had looked at more properties and 14 per cent wished they had a better understanding of the contracts involved.

Other findings include:
• 43 per cent said there were sections of the real estate contract when they bought or sold a home that they did not fully understand.

• 36 per cent mistakenly think that after a real estate contract is signed, a buyer or seller has a trial period during which they can cancel it, and an additional 33 per cent said they do not know.

• 55 per cent incorrectly believe that if you place a conditional offer on a home and the deal doesn't proceed, you automatically get your deposit back.

"Signing your name on the dotted line is not something to be taken lightly when you're dealing with binding contracts for significant values, so we encourage home buyers and sellers to be comfortable with the details before they sign anything,” says Joseph Richer, RECO registrar.

Are you looking to invest in property?
Give Jim & Jordy a call and they can guide you home and beyond.

Let's Buy a Property - Part 1 of 2

We Guide You On Your Exciting Journey

Like hiking up a mountain and coming back down again, a real estate transaction requires careful planning, an awareness of timing considerations, care and attention to detail plus a big picture view. We are here to guide you along the way with a transaction flow that is professionally managed from start to finish!

Step 1: Deciding to Buy

To Buy a Home you need to be prepared and we are here to help.  Here are a few things to consider.  Set your budget and investigate mortgage options.  Plan out how much money you have put aside for your down payment, including cash savings.  If this is a first time home purchase you will be able to use RRSP’s if you have them.

How much are closing costs for a typical transaction?  Will you have additional funds to redecorate, renovate or undertake necessary repairs to your home purchase?

Define your needs and wants – make a list.

Brush up on types of home ownership – Canmore’s unique marketplace offers freehold, leasehold, co-op housing, perpetually affordable housing (PAH), Employee Housing (EHD), Tourist Home and Visitor Accommodation Zoning, to name a few.  We’ll help you get it straight.  Understand market conditions.

Step 2: Hire a Professional Agent Team

Buying a home is personal and emotional, so the relationship with your real estate agent has to be built on expertise, trust and mutual respect. Realtors are licensed by the Real Estate Council of Alberta.

Your Royal LePage Agents discuss with you the relationship that you will have with your new advisor, your Realtor Team.

They will explain the Buyer Brokerage Agreement and Consumer Relationships Guide, and:

  • Educate you about the current market conditions
  • Discuss and analyze your wants and needs against your budget
  • Guide you to homes that fit your criteria
  • Coordinate the work of other professionals you’ll need during the process
  • Negotiate with the seller on your behalf
  • Make sure all the required paperwork is fully completed, accurate and that deadlines are met
  • Work with you to resolve any challenges that may arise

Step 3: Finding Your Home

It’s time for the fun part!

Before you go look at homes, take some time to consider exactly what you want and need from your home, property and neighborhood.

A checklist is a great start to keeping track of all the options you will see.

  • Are you going to need an office?
  • Do you need all bedrooms on one floor for young children?
  • Will you prefer one level living to accommodate for health issues now in the future?

How close are amenities to your prospective home and ease of getting around the community?

If an investment property, what may be some of the hidden costs of ownership
What is the potential for resale, should you want or need to sell in the future; is there a viable exit strategy?

For recreational property, will insured mortgages be allowed or will only cash purchases be possible?

When purchasing a home in Canmore/Banff, you are faced with a multitude of decisions! For an in-depth consult on how we guide you every step of the way, contact Jim or Jordy today.

Calgary real estate sales rise 24% in January but still below long-term averages

Activity up from same month last year, which was 'one of the weakest on record,' 

 CBC News Calgary Posted: Feb 01, 2017 1

The city's real estate market showed signs of increased activity in January compared to the year before, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Calgary Real Estate Board.

A total of 947 units sold in January, marking a 24 per cent increase over the same month in 2016.

But that mark is still well below the 10-year average, CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie cautioned.

"While housing conditions continue to favour buyers, a slow transition toward more balanced conditions is helping to ease downward pressure on home prices," she said in a release.

"Conditions have improved over last year, but people need to remember that last year's market was one of the weakest on record. Despite the appearance of a major shift in activity, the transition in the housing market is going to be a slow process."

The detached market showed the most improvement, with 584 units selling in January, up from 466 the year before.

"This past month showed how the market never stands still," CREB president David P. Brown said in the release.

"The market isn't expected to be as unpredictable in 2017, but it's early in the year and there are still lots of unknowns that will shape decision-making for consumers."

City-wide benchmark prices were $437,400, which is 0.16 per cent lower than last month and 2.82 per cent lower than last year's levels.