According to the 2016 Census, nearly 22% of all Calgarians live in a condo. This is quite higher than the overall Canadian statistic of 13.3%. Condos are becoming more and more popular as more people move into high density housing locations. 

What is a condo, anyway? 

A condominium, referred to as a “condo”, is a housing complex where each unit is owned not rented by an individual. The complex can be managed by either a management company and/or the community itself.

Types of Condos: 

In Alberta there are two types of condominiums, conventional and bare land. We have compiled the key differences between the two of them here for you, as well as information about what condo fees can look like. This will allow you to make an informed choice for your next home purchase. 

Conventional condos are the most well known type of condo. These are many individual units located within a building, such as apartments. In this case, residents purchase the unit (generally) from the walls inward. This means that they are responsible for any maintenance or changes made on the interior of the unit as long as it falls within the corporation’s bylaws. The exterior of the unit is the responsibility of the condominium corporation, including any maintenance or repairs. These areas are called “common areas” and also include things like any parking garages, exercise or party rooms, and elevators. When purchasing a condo, you can check the condo declaration to see what exactly you will be responsible for as a homeowner and what are considered common areas. A housing complex consisting of townhomes can also be condominiumized as a conventional condo, but could be considered the second type of condominium corporation. The condo’s plans or declaration will be able to tell you what kind of condo it is.

The second type of condominium corporation is called a bare land condominium. These are not as well known, and can consist of either townhomes or even single detached homes. In this case the entire home, including the façade, is the responsibility of the home-owner. Generally the common elements of a bare land condo are the roadways, sidewalks, lamp posts, and any clubhouse or large landscaping elements present on the property. Any condo fees paid by the residents will go towards the maintenance and replacement of these items. Even in this case, the corporation’s individual bylaws still would apply to any home in the complex, so there could be constraints on the appearance and maintenance of the home to keep up with the overall feel of the neighborhood. If you are considering purchasing a home that is part of a bare land condominium, make sure to read and understand the declaration and any supporting documentation. 

 What are condo fees? 

Condo fees are monthly fees that each homeowner must pay that contribute to the overall maintenance and repairs of any condo common elements. 

Condo fees are further split into two separate accounts, the Operating Fund, and the Reserve Fund. The Operating Fund is used for regular ongoing maintenance of the building. This could be snow removal, general landscaping costs, or any property management fees. The Reserve Fund is to be exclusively used for large repairs or replacement of common elements. This could be re-paving the asphalt roadway, a major overhaul of the elevator system, or window replacements. According to Calgary condo law, a Reserve Fund Study must be completed at least every 5 years. This is when the condo is physically inspected by a professional, such as an Engineer, and a report is created detailing any upcoming capital expenses for the maintenance and repair of the building in the next 30+ years. Reserve Fund Studies are a useful way to see the health of the condo, and also to be aware of any large capital expenses in the near future. As each condo varies greatly, condo fees can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars per year. 

If you would like more information about purchasing a condo in the Calgary area, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We would be happy to help you with all your real estate needs. 

Read full post

With warm weather around the corner it’s a great time to find out of the box outdoor activities to try out. Horseback riding is a great way to relax, reconnect with yourself and nature, and try something new and exciting. Many people find horseback riding therapeutic, which is a perfect change for most peoples hectic lives. We have put together a list of Tripadvisor’s Top 10 Trail Riding Tours in the Calgary Area. This list will show the company’s rank, location, as well as a blurb the company has written about themselves.

 

Moose Mountain Horseback Adventures 

Location: Bragg Creek, Canada

About:“Located in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies between Calgary and Banff National Park, we offer trail rides, expedition adventures and ranch-stay vacations all year round. We are located 13 kms south of the picturesque hamlet of Bragg Creek, a short drive from Calgary, Alberta. The cozy and comfortable lodge can accommodate 8 guests in 5 rooms. M&M Ranch is the ideal place for adventurous horse lovers that want to explore the beautiful nature that surrounds us on a well-trained horse.”


Willow Creek Adventures

Location: Drumheller, Alberta Canada

About:*Closed at the time of writing this article*


Saddle Peak Trail Rides

Location: Cochrane, Alberta

About:“We offer horseback Vacations along the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies. 1 hour to 5 days, ranch stays, combination trips with whitewater rafting, lodge rides, pack trips, hourly and day rides.Family operated business for over 40 years. Access to over 8000 acres for hourly rides alone. Great family vacations destination and adventure travel packages – suitable for all levels of riding ability.”

 

Alpine Stables

Location: Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta

About:“See wildlife, alpine habitat and wildflowers galore, meander through wooded trails, or climb to the tops of the mountains on a good horse. Our guided rides provide western adventure for the whole family with hourly, half-day, full-day and overnight pack trips. We offer group rates as well as single hourly rates. Our friendly guides enjoy sharing stories of local history, and identifying wildflowers and wildlife habitat. Alpine Stables is a family operation established in Waterton since 1969. Dee and Lorna Barrus and their young family began with 25 to 30 good ranch horses and a desire to show visitors the splendors of the Alberta Rockies.”


Old Entrance Trail Rides

Location: Hinton, Alberta

About:“Guided horseback trail rides along the scenic Athabasca River valley near Jasper National Park. Ride gentle horse on trails over a variety of terrain; along river valley onto open foothill ridges with spectacular mountain views and through mature evergreen forests.” 


McKenzie Trails West

Location: Abraham Lake, Nordegg, Alberta 

About:“Explore the Canadian Rockies on horseback by the hour, day, or week. Our horses are well trained and gentle, our guides are friendly and knowledgeable, and our scenery is magnificent. Fun for the whole family. No experience necessary. We are a multigenerational family outfit with over 50 years in business. Come experience some genuine family hospitality as you explore the areas outside of the national parks. We are located just off of highway 11, minutes away from epic Lake Abraham.”

Waterton River Trail Rides Ltd.

Location: Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta 


About:“Nestled adjacent to the Waterton Lakes National Park, on the UNESCO Waterton Biosphere Reserve is Waterton River Trail Rides LTD. Here at Waterton River Trail Rides LTD we offer guided horseback adventures for the entire family. Whether you are riding for your first time or are an experienced rider, we have the right horse for you. From the refreshing Waterton river to the sensational panoramic views from the Elk Ridge summit, you can experience a unique & isolated vista that most visitors miss when traveling to the hidden gem of the world, Waterton Lakes National Park. We cannot emphasize enough to remember to bring your camera – trust us, you will want it. We love this beautiful part of the world and what we do, and we cannot wait to share the adventure with you. We are located right outside the park boundary – a 15 minute drive east of Waterton village on hwy 5. Our exact location can be found on Google Maps and Apple Maps. All rides are by reservation only.”


The Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies

Location: Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta 

About:“The Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies is an experienced non-profit registered society celebrating 96 years of taking people from all over the world into the back country of Canada’s Rocky Mountains. Honouring our distinctive western cowboy culture, our six-day adventure trips include excellent tent accommodations, (with raised cots) four-star food, professional guides in our “rustic wilderness camp” which is complete with hot washing water. Over 50% of our guests are over the age of 50, and 75% of our guests are female, many returning for as many as ten, twenty, and a few over thirty years with us! Riding experience ranges from beginners to the experienced and we can accommodate everyone’s abilities. Families are common on our rides including grandparents with their grandkids! Talk about “bonding time!” Experience backcountry vistas rarely seen and wildlife only seen in the backcountry.”


Sources:
Trip Advisor: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attractions-g154909-Activities-c61-t62-Alberta.html
Stables in List Order:Boundary Ranch: http://boundaryranch.com 
Moose Mountain Horseback Adventures: https://packtrips.ca 
Saddle Peak Trail Rides: https://www.travelalberta.com/ca/listings/saddle-peak-trail-rides-3933/ 
Banff Trail Riders: https://horseback.com/home-2020/ 
Alpine Stables: https://www.alpinestables.com 
Old Entrance Trail Rides: https://www.oldentrance.ab.ca/trail_rides/index.html 
McKenzie Trails West: http://mctrails.com Waterton River Trail Rides Ltd.: https://www.watertonrivertrailrides.com 
The Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies: http://trailridevacations.com 
Read full post

The commercial real estate and housing markets move in a four-phase wave pattern known as the real estate cycle. Recovery, expansion, hyper-supply, and recession are the 4 phases of the real estate cycle. Whether you're a homeowner, renter, real estate investor, landlord, or real estate agent, knowing the real estate cycle will help you forecast future trends and make wise financial decisions.


The Origin

The term initially appeared when experts started researching housing market movements about a century ago. The federal government's regulation of national policy over the past few decades has led to a gradual evolution of the real estate cycle into the four stages we now know. Different real estate experts can utilize this cycle to forecast the ideal moment to buy, hold, or sell. Investors frequently use the real estate cycle, but it may also be helpful to agents, buyers, tenants, and others in the industry.


Phase 1: Recovery

The real estate cycle is circular; hence the recovery phase comes after the recession, even though the recovery phase is frequently referred to as the first phase. Since the vast majority of the public will still suffer from the impacts of a recession and have a gloomy outlook, identifying the cycle's recovery phase can be complex. To determine when the recovery cycle has started, experts look at trends like steady occupancy rises or increased demand. Investors in real estate must pay close attention to this stage and take immediate action when signs of recovery appear.

During this phase, many property owners will suffer from economic distress and may decide to sell their assets at a bargain. In order to take advantage of this recovery phase, investors tend to acquire these bargain-priced assets and hold them for future capital gains after the recovery phase is over. This is a great time to seize properties listed below market value. 

Additionally, many investors implement the value-add approach to boost capital gain. The value-add strategy is when investors decide to renovate and upgrade their properties to add more value. Although risky, both methods can be advantageous, especially as market rent increases, which accelerates after the economy enters the expansion phase.




Phase 2: Expansion

The general public's confidence in the economy will start to recover during the expansion phase. As a result, there will be greater demand for homes and other spaces, rising occupancy rates and rental prices. Furthermore, there will be a steady increase in job growth and new real estate developments.


As prices and rents peak in this period, investors who purchased properties at a bargain during the recovery phase can collect their capital gains by selling those assets now. Interest rates will presumably be low, and funding will be easily accessible because of the positive economic sentiment. Strong leasing momentum can help investors achieve their targeted returns; therefore, many will take advantage of the low-cost financing and spend their time and energy constructing or renovating properties. Considering that there is a less perceived risk during the expansion phase, this is also a suitable period to obtain value-added investment properties.

 

Phase 3: Hyper Supply

The hyper-supply phase commences when demand and supply no longer are in equilibrium, and the supply exceeds demand. The enthusiasm to develop or redevelop properties has caused an oversupply in the market, and the prices gradually start to decrease due to insufficient demand. Strong economic factors may cause rental rates to remain high, but vacancy rates will increase. As long as market inventory is high, the growth in new developments will gradually decline. 

During this phase, some investors with short-term holding objectives may be eager to sell because they are worried about the approaching recessionary phase. To survive the following stage, one must adopt an opportunistic approach. Many investors implement the buy and hold approach. Locating properties that could withstand the impending storm, then selling them when the storm has passed, and the timing is appropriate, is a common and effective strategy. 

Before the economy eventually enters the recession phase, the hyper-supply period often lasts for a very long time.




Phase 4: Recession

The early 2000s severe financial crisis, followed by a protracted recession, left the entire country in chaos for several years. During a recession, the supply of available properties outweighs the demand, which causes a sharp decline in real estate prices. The majority of landlords will experience difficulties due to increased vacancy rates, decreased rents, and a decline in rental income. The economic downturn will also result in higher unemployment rates, and tenants may seek rent breaks or reductions to stay. Consequently, some landlords are obliged to offer lower rent in an attempt to attract or keep tenants who are also experiencing the effects of the recession. 

Investors can benefit from the low real estate prices during a recession and purchase homes at a bargain. Due to a lack of market liquidity and demand, investors should be aware that this phase is considered high-risk and will likely have to wait for a considerable and indefinite length of time until property values reach a peak. 

Once the downturn has passed, the real estate cycle circles back, and the market starts to recover and eventually expand.

Read full post

With summer approaching, hiking is a great way to enjoy the warm weather and get your exercise in while social distancing. The City of Calgary has lots to offer for its residents with over a 100 amazing hiking trails located not too far from the city. There’s endless options of hiking trails for individuals looking to do easy, moderate, or difficult trails.

With gyms and indoor recreation spaces being closed due to the pandemic, outdoor activities are the new best thing for the summer while still following Covid-19 safety guidelines.


Here is our list of 10 trails near Calgary for all levels to help you get started this summer.


Glenmore Reservoir Trail 

Level: Easy

Length: 15.3 km

Elevation gain: 293 m

Route type: loop

Bow River Pathway & Prince Island

Level: Easy

Length: 5.1 km

Elevation gain: 45 m

Route type: loop

Grotto Canyon

Level: Easy

Length: 7.1 km

Elevation gain: 395 m

Route type: out and back

Ptarmigan Cirque

Level: Moderate 

Length: 3.5 km

Elevation gain: 258 m

Route type: loop

Grassi Lake Trail

Level: Moderate 

Length: 4.3 km

Elevation gain: 203 m

Route type: out and back

Jewell Pass via Prairie View Trail

Level: Moderate 

Length: 15.9 km

Elevation gain: 823 m

Route type: loop

Sikome Lake and Lafarge Meadows Pathway Loop

Level: Moderate 

Length: 10.5 km

Elevation gain: 173 m 

Route type: loop

Mount Yamnuska

Level: Hard

Length: 10.1 km

Elevation gain: 939 m

Route type: out and back

Ha Ling Trail to Ha Ling Peak

Level: Hard

Length: 7.2 km

Elevation gain: 748 m

Route type: out and back

Mount Smutwood

Level: Hard

Length: 20 km 

Elevation gain: 961 m

Route type: out and back

Read full post

Calgary-based YYC Real Estate Advisors (Re|Advisors) launched specialized advisory services for trading and managing properties around Calgary and neighboring areas. YYC Real Estate Advisors are full-service, boutique real estate advisors licensed with CIR Realty, specializing in buying and selling homes within Calgary and the area. YYC combines top agents, cutting-edge technology, and a better way of doing business to serve our clients. 

YYC Real Estate Advisors (Re|Advisors) was founded by Kamil Lalji after extensive experience working in real estate for 16 years. Kamil provides consultation and mentorship for properties that include luxury homes, multifamily properties, property management, foreclosures, investment properties, and residential development, to name a few. Re|Advisors is now working with a team of 4 people including Kamil, all with extensive knowledge of the real estate business and providing advisory services in a dynamic market. 

“Trust is a core part of who we are at re|Advisors. Creating long-term relationships with our clients is essential. Advising them to make the right choices and giving them an easy seamless real estate experience is our top priority", said a top official from the company.

Re|Advisors has an immaculate foundation for all real estate-related aspects, be it property management or broker deals, Re|Advisors does it all. Commercial properties, Residential properties, Luxury Homes, Attached and Detached properties, Re|Advisors features and deals in every kind of property.


The Canada Real Estate industry is a tricky one. Its highly dynamic nature makes it difficult for buyers and sellers with less market knowledge to get the best prices for their properties. The volatility of the market owes to the forces of demand and supply. There's not much supply according to the demand and that makes the prices soar. On top of that, how lenders and interest rates react to those changes in the economic forces of the market, increases the buyers' troubles even more.  Re|Advisors aims to help its clients get the most affordable properties with its expert advice and extensive knowledge of the market.


To learn more, contact the media outlets below:

Media Contact
Company Name: YYC Real Estate Advisors
Contact Person: Kamil Lalji
Email: Send Email
Address:#100, 707 10 AVENUE S.W.
City: Calgary
State: AB, T2R 0B3
Country: Canada
Website: https://yycreadvisors.com/

Read full post

Why Should You Build a Fence on Your Property? 

Fencing can add a range of benefits to your property such as: 

  • Aesthetic Value 
  • Pet Protection
  • Noise Barrier
  • Home Protection 
  • Privacy
  • Ability to add a pool

Determining why you want to build a fence will help you decide on the size, materials, colours, and style of your fence. If you are trying to block out noise, then a high solid wood fence is best. To improve the aesthetic value of your property then a smaller fence would work well. If you would like to still see through the fence, but keep out unwanted guests (or pets inside the barrier), then a wrought iron fence may work well for you. 

Once you have decided on what type of fence you want, you can then lay out a budget and timeline. 

Common Challenged for Building New Fences

Here are some of the most common challenges people have faced when dealing with new fencing projects. 

Fencing Size

Knowing the fencing size will help determine your project’s timeline and budget. Larger fences will require more time and more materials while smaller fences require less time and materials. 

When deciding to build a fence, you should also keep your neighbours in mind as to not pose a potential hazard to their property. Depending on where your house was built, you may have neighbourhood regulations regarding the type of fence you are allowed to have. As well, many times the cost of fencing between two homes can be split between neighbours, and built between the property lines. This conserves the most amount of yard space for both sides of the fence. It is a good idea to check with your neighbours and see what their thoughts of building a new fence would be if this is applicable for your property.

Materials 

Choosing a material is one of the most important steps because you have to keep Calgay’s climate in mind to make sure it can fare well in our winters. The following are some common fencing materials: 

Wood is a popular fencing material and stands up well to Calgary’s climate. It also comes in a large variety of sizes and designs so it can be very customizable to match your properties aesthetic. To keep up its durability, make sure you use a waterproofing sealant. Without sealant the wood will rot and weaken faster. As well, depending on if the fence is painted or stained, it could require yearly maintenance to keep up its appearance. 

Vinyl, unlike wood, won’t fade or rot over time. It has great durability, very little maintenance, with no paint or stain required. Since it doesn’t hold paint very well, there are however a limited number of styles to choose from. Vinyl can also be more expensive than wood. 

Wrought Iron fencing is a great option if your main purpose is to improve the aesthetic appeal of your yard. It has high strength, durability, and good security with the iron points at the top. This material is more expensive than others, as it has to be custom made. This type of fencing also gives minimal privacy, and is not the greatest for keeping small pests like rabbits or foxes out of gardens as they can slip through the pickets. 

City of Calgary Bylaws

There are four steps laid out by the city for when you are planning on building a fence on your Calgary property: 

Step 1: Review the Rules for Your Fence

  • Typically a permit is required if any of these conditions apply:
    • In the rear yard higher than 2 m 
    • In the front yard higher than 1.2 m 
    • Inside a corner visibility triangle and higher than 0.75 m
    • Gate higher than 2.5 m
  • In most situations a fence doesn’t require a building safety approval (building permit). If your design or location does not meet land use bylaw specifications you will require planning approval (development permit) 
  • Any new fence construction is not permitted to extend onto City property. 
  • If you are planning to have a pool/spa/hot tub on your property additional features must be added in order to comply with the Alberta Building Code 
    • Height of fence should not be less than 1.8 m above the ground
    • Any opening to the fenced area must feature a gate that is the same height of the fence and has a self-closing, self-latching device and can be locked. 
    • The distance between fencing pickets is limited to 10 mm

Step 2: Prepare Your Application 

  • Using this Fence Permit Checklist you can determine the requirements for your application 
  • This checklist explains what needs to be written up on your site plan and elevation sketch which includes: address, property lines, location of fencing, fencing material, outline of any other structures on the property,etc

Step 3: Apply 

Step 4: Inspections and Managing Your Permit Application

  • Your permit won’t be given until your project has passed all the required inspections which verify the building safety or approval standards 
  • To book an inspection with the city visit Residential Inspections
  • If you want to change or cancel your permit visit manage your permit application

Always make sure you plan well ahead. Building a new fence on your property requires certain steps which must be followed for your safety. It also may take longer than you expect, so if you are serious about this type of project take your time and make sure everything is in order.

Read full post

If you’re a pro mountain biker or just love the thrill of adventures, Calgary is the city for you!

The trails in and around Calgary have some of the most amazing views that you can’t miss out on this summer. 

For over 20 years, the Calgary Mountain Bike Alliance (CMBA) has been maintaining sustainable singletrack trails to provide a safe and world-class experience for the mountain bike community. 

We’ve searched for some of the best mountain bike trails in and around Calgary for all levels from beginner to pro. Here’s a list of some of our favourites to get you started this summer

1. Baker and Bowmont Park Loop

Location: Baker Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Level: Easy

Length: 12.7 km

Elevation gain: 239 m

Route type: loop


2. Edgemount Ridge

Location: Nose Hill Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Level: Easy

Length: 9.7 km

Elevation gain: 158 m

Route type: loop


3. Fish Creek Loop

Location: Fish Creek Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

Level: Easy

Length: 10.1 km

Elevation gain: 199 m

Route type: loop


4. Nose Hill

Location: Nose Hill Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Level: Moderate

Length: 12.7 km

Elevation gain: 258 m

Route type: loop


5. Paskapoo Slopes Eastlands Loop

Location: Canada Olympic Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Level: Moderate

Length: 4.3 km

Elevation gain: 137 m

Route type: loop


6. Bow River Pathway

Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Level: Moderate

Length: 33.8 km

Elevation gain: 580 m

Route type: out & back


7. Braggin Rights and Merlin View Loop

Location: West Bragg Creek Provincial Recreation Area, Kananaskis Improvement, Alberta, Canada

Level: Moderate

Length: 13.4 km

Elevation gain: 519 m

Route type: loop


8. Cox Hill via Jumpingpound Ridge Trail

Location: Kananaskis Improvement, Alberta, Canada

Level: Difficult

Length: 14.5 km

Elevation gain: 930 m

Route type: out & back

Read full post

In a survey commissioned by North America Van Lines, 45% of participants reported that moving was the most stressful event in their lives. Moving alone or with a family can evidently be challenging, but moving with a pet can increase the stress for all parties – pets included. 

We’ve compiled some helpful tips on how to go about moving with your pets and how to keep them happy and healthy along the way. 

Start preparing early for your pet’s transition. This will look slightly different depending on what kind of pet you have, and how long the move will be. If you plan on driving with your pet to your new home, make sure to familiarize them with the car and any traveling bag or crate they will be in. You can introduce their carrier into their home environment early so that they become accustomed to how it smells, and any noises it could make. This will ease their stress on the day of as they are already familiar with it. If your pet is not accustomed to traveling in a vehicle, you can also do short ‘test runs’ with them to make them more familiar with what driving in a car is like. Some pets love riding in vehicles, but for some this can be very stressful! If you have a longer drive to your final destination, make sure that you book pet friendly hotels.   

Pack your pets a bag just for them before the big move. This can be their very own bag full of everything they would need for a couple days as you unpack in your new home. You can include both their regular food they would need, as well as any of their favorite treats or toys. If you are traveling longer distances, make sure to have a plan for feeding and making sure your pets drink enough water on the drive! You can also include favorite toys and blankets for them, as they are another familiar scent for them in this new place. 

Keep them out of the action, both on moving day and as you pack. Moving is stressful, and your pets will pick up on this from you. Making sure to stay as calm as you can in the process can keep them more at ease. If you have friends or family close by that can look after your pet on moving day, this can also really help them. If this is not possible, do your best to keep them in a safe place in your new house. Moving day means the doors in the house are wide open as people are coming in and out, and the last thing you would need is an escape of your pet! Whatever room or space you keep your pet on the day of, be mindful to make sure they have familiar things in the space, like toys or their bed or favorite blanket. Making sure to stick to their normal routine can also be helpful, be it walking them frequently, or feeding them at the same time as normal. 

Update their tags with your new address, as well your address with their vet. If you have not moved too far away from your vet, you will want to update your address, and possibly phone number, with them once you have moved. You will also want to update your pet’s collar tag with their updated address, so that if they get lost in the neighborhood they can be returned to the right home! 

Acclimate them to their new place of residence. This can look different depending on what kind of pet you have, but a new home comes along with new smells and noises for your pet. Letting them sniff or walk around your home can help them adjust as they take in this new environment. Being there with them when they explore for the first time can be helpful as it adds some familiarity to the space already. If your pet enjoys going for walks, taking them outside and exploring the neighborhood together can also make them more at ease. This also lets you have a chance to explore your new area! 

We hope you find these tips and tricks helpful as you move into your new space! Let us know what you think. 

Read full post

 

Buying a Waterfront Property: You Mean a Cabin? 

So you are thinking of buying a waterfront property? When you mention the expression: waterfront property, the archetypal connotation invoked is the imagery of a cabin or cottage. Boats, fire pits, s’mores, and a relaxing time. However, what many fail to realize — given their mental assimilation between the two — is that a waterfront house can and is more than just a cabin. 

By definition a waterfront property either “has direct access to a natural or man-made waterway such as a lake, river, channel or canal” or “it is separated from the water by a right-of-way, private road or unopened road.”

What to Consider: Necessary Assessments 

At YYC Real Estate Advisors headquarters in Calgary, there are various local neighbourhoods where you can find waterfront properties. Lake Bonavista, Mahogany, Coral Springs, Sundance, Mckenzie Towne, and various other communities have man-made or natural lakes allowing for not just a waterfront property but a home. This further disassociates waterfront properties from cabins given many residents of these communities reside in these properties calling them their waterfront homes.

Intended Uses 

When assessing a waterfront property it is essential to determine your usage intentions. Will it be your dream home that you retire and live in, a family home sustained for a long period of time, a temporary pleasure house, or recreational property? If your decision resides with the latter two options, consider price as a stronger determination. Since it is not your forever home, deal hunt. Shop around and compare prices rather than getting a fantasied dream estate. It is still important to factor in location and the physical building itself, but do not let these override your decision-making shrewdness. On the contrary, if your answer resided in the two former scenarios, hone in on the variables of property location and water quality access. These two variables operate conjointly and should be prioritized over the price. While we still encourage you to find and get a great deal, if a waterfront home comes up and it fulfills all your desires, do not let it slip away without an offer. Consequentially, vacation house or dream home you will always be constrained by your finances. 

Budget 

Budgeting for a waterfront house is mainly dependent on your intended uses. If this will be your aspirational home, expend more capital on it. It is more warranted to reach the upper limit of the recommended gross debt service (GDS) ratio (gross monthly income divided by monthly housing costs) which is considered no more than 32% as instituted by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. For temporary and vacation waterfront properties, this percentage will be lower if it is a secondary residence. Taking into account your primary place of residence, you will be able to determine what percentage can be allotted to this recreational house. This can also be used as a guide to see if it is even feasible to finance another house. If your primary place of residence has dropped in overall GDS ratio through the years, you can take your primary residence’s GDS ratio and subtract it from the guided 32% to realize the means you have to work with. Either way, if you are fortunate enough to deploy a handsome amount of money, the aforementioned points in Intended Uses applying to temporary pleasure houses or recreational properties become insignificant. In this idealistic scenario, you can treat the property as if it were a dream home and prioritize location and waterfront access in comparison to price hunting; still abiding by an adequate GDS ratio. Even though this standard 32% GDS ratio is beneficial to follow, you may be able to stretch this rule given you are buying a waterfront property.

Waterfront Housing and Property Appreciation (Inflation) 

Using CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) housing statistics, we reveal lucrative information for potential waterfront buyers and owners. Typically, waterfront properties appreciate at a higher rate when compared to non-waterfront properties. For context, accounting for 2022, Q1 (first quarter) transactions, CREA found the median for residential non-waterfront properties appreciated merely over 26% year-to-date. This can be contrasted to waterfront properties which saw their values increase by nearly over 32% year-to-date. This almost 6% increase is a sufficient amount to consider when appraising a waterfront property. Accounting for this added property inflation, we believe you could justify spending 3% – 6% over the 32% recommendation. Given this added property inflation, even if finances do not go accordingly, you know that the property can be liquidated for a respectable return. However, although on-average waterfront properties appreciate more than their non-waterfront counterparts, it is vital to thoroughly investigate the property’s area before purchase. 

Investigating the Area and Body of Water

While you may often hear about a lake, beach, or another body of water being touted as a great place, this is not always fully applicable. Some property locations might not be as vibrant in comparison to the other offerings surrounding the water. It is important to consider factors such as shoreline, sand erosion, sand-/beach-terrain, quality of the water, common water debris, and other idiosyncrasies not forecastable until further inquisition. Another notable variable pertaining to the land is if there are any easements. In particular, some properties may have an easement to allow for shared water access with other neighbouring properties. If seclusion is important, make sure to inquire to see if the property has an easement of this nature. Conversely, it may be beneficial to look for a property with this type of easement that is not directly on the waterfront. This would grant you access to water usage without having to pay the premium of being on the water. Upon acquisition of this information about your potential property candidates, you can more accurately determine which property will have better resale value and be more enjoyable in usage. Fire pits, boats, patios, and a personal beach are all factors that add to this enjoyability variable, however, you must weigh their costs.

Additional Costs 

In addition to customary housing expenses, waterfront properties can have extra costs that tend to be measly overlooked. The most overlooked expenses are in the form of added insurance policies. These can include wind insurance, water insurance, flooding insurance, and general hazard insurance. Further expenses to consider are the costs of a dock, boat, increased property tax, and increased water and sewage rates. Amalgamating these costs, you will be surprised at how quickly they add on to the totals of your monthly housing costs.  

Your Decision: Summing Up the Categories 

After reading this article, we hope it helped you make a more informative decision when you are ready to buy a waterfront property. These are unique property types that always amass a large interest. Their scarcity makes them appreciate generously and they provide a unique utility that non-waterfront properties cannot match. This uniqueness also makes them susceptible to eccentric factors and added costs. These variables should never go unchecked and we hope our illumination of these components will be of consideration for your waterfront property … or are you buying a cabin? 

Read full post

 

How to Value a Real Estate Property

In real estate, the terms “price” and “value” are frequently interchanged. However, there is often a distinction between the two. As billionaire investor Warren Buffet once said, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” In this article we will go over some common factors that affect the market value of a home, as well as three ways used to value a real estate property. 

What Is Real Estate Value?

Real estate market value – also referred to as fair market value or FMV – is the price that a property would sell for on the open market under usual conditions with arm’s-length parties. At a given point in time, it is the price a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to take.

Factors that Affect Market Value 

Location

You’ve probably heard that the three most important rules in real estate are location, location, and location. Things like crime rate, school district, and near-by amenities will affect the market value of a property.

Property Characteristics

External

The external characteristics create the first impression for a home buyer. The lot size, architecture of the home, front yard, the street, neighboring homes and the general condition of the home. As well, any recent renovations or replacements of exterior components of the home can be attractive to home buyers. 

Internal

The inside of the home is what most people are focused on when house hunting. The floor plan, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, age and quality of finishes, type and appearance of flooring, condition of the heating and cooling system, and energy efficiency are all factors that might affect a home’s value. 

Supply and Demand

The market value of a property might fluctuate depending on the overall demand for real estate at any one time. A market is described as a seller’s market when demand for real estate is high and there are more buyers than homes available. Market values tend to rise in a seller’s market.

On the other hand, there are sometimes more people trying to sell homes than there are buyers. The market is described as a buyer’s market when there is more supply than demand. Market values tend to decline in a buyer’s market. Currently in 2022, it is generally viewed that it is a seller’s market due to the high demand of homes, and increased inflation.

How to Determine Market Value 

There are three methods used today to determine market value for a real estate property.

  1. Comparable Sales Approach

This method is used mostly for land and single family homes. When using this method, first determine characteristics of the property like square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, construction date, lot size, and recent upgrades. Afterwards, you’ll want to search for recent sales of homes with characteristics most similar to the property of interest. You will need to make adjustments to the values of the various characteristics of the similar homes to get them equivalent to the property of interest. For example, let’s say you found a property with the exact same characteristics as the one of interest but it has an extra feature – a cooling system. In this case, you would take the price of the property and subtract the cost of the cooling system to retrieve an accurate market value for your home. 

  1. Income Approach

The income approach determines the market value of a rental property based on the current or net operating income (NOI) generated by using the cap rate formula:

Cap rate = NOI/Property value

For example, an investor determines that the market cap rate for a multi-family rental home is 8% in a specific real estate market. The rental home currently generates an annual rent of $18,000, has annual operating expenses (excluding any mortgage payment) are $6,200, for an NOI of $11,800. 

The property value is calculated by rearranging the cap rate formula, and solving for the property value:

  • Cap rate = NOI/Property value
  • Property value = NOI/Cap rate
  • $11,800 NOI/8% cap rate = $147,500 property market value
 
  1. Cost Approach

This approach is used to determine market value based on the current cost to construct a similar home, using today’s materials, design standards, and construction techniques. When using this method, you must account for the remaining useful life of depreciable assets, such as the home itself. A frame house typically has a useful life of 100 years. Additionally, you must add the value of the land itself (use comparison approach) as it is not a depreciable asset.  

Conclusion 

There are several methods for determining real estate market value. But, at the end of the day, current fair market value is the price that a buyer and seller willingly agree to at any particular time. If you have questions about how much your home is worth, we offer complimentary home evaluations. Reach out to us today if this interests you or if you have any real estate questions.

Read full post
Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.