House prices down in Calgary and Edmonton

Resale housing prices in Calgary and Edmonton are down compared to a year ago, according to statistics released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

As of April 2019, the average (seasonally adjusted) price of benchmark homes sold via the Multiple Listing Service in Calgary was $411,000, down 4.6 per cent compared to the previous April and 6.2 per cent compared to April 2014. In Edmonton, the average price was $320,900, down 4.0 per cent year-over-year and 5.9 per cent compared to five years ago. Continue reading

RE/MAX of Western Canada Quest for Excellence 2019

This year we are once again offering (16) $1,000 bursaries for a total of $16,000 to grade 12 students.

This program was established by RE/MAX of Western Canada to recognize the success and ongoing pursuits of Western Canadian students in regards to leadership and community contribution initiatives. Students can enter online at

2019 Quest for Excellence program is open for submissions from September 10, 2018 until midnight March 11, 2019. Only online entries will be accepted.



I am a member of a couple of Interior Design forums and groups. In these groups, we provide each other support, mentorship, and learning opportunities. In one of my groups, a member shared a new renovation company that has recently started up in New York. This company provides bathroom renovation packages. Since I design and manage a number of bathroom renovations, this intrigued me. So what exactly was this company in New York doing?
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9 Home Buying Mistakes First Timers Make

9. Shopping before getting pre-approved for a mortgage.

Many first-time homebuyers decide they’re ready to take the leap, and start touring open houses “just to see what’s out there.” While getting a feel for the market is certainly a good idea, you risk falling in love with a home that is not in your budget. Before you start seriously shopping the market, visit your bank, mortgage broker or lender, and get a mortgage pre-approval. You’ll know the exact amount you’ll qualify for, so when you’re ready to make an offer, you can do so with confidence and no “conditional of financing” clauses.

8. Skipping the mortgage pre-approval altogether.

We’re mentioning this one again, because it’s super important. Getting pre-approved not only informs you of how much you can spend on a home, but it also guarantees the current interest rate for about 90 days, giving you the freedom to shop knowing you’re safe from rate hikes in the near future. With interest rates on the rise, this step is more important than ever.

7. Making major life changes when applying for a mortgage.

Once you’ve filed your application, avoid changing jobs, making big-ticket purchases on credit, or taking out new loans. These can all alter your financial picture, and can impact your ability to qualify for the mortgage or the amount you had originally anticipated. If possible, wait until after you’ve crossed the ‘t’s and dotted the ‘i’s.

6. Not saving enough for a down payment.

It’s true that the minimum requirement in Canada is five per cent, but try to put down at least 20 per cent of the purchase price. Having 20 per cent or more means you won’t have to take out a high-ratio mortgage – and avoid the mortgage default insurance premiums that go with it. If you are unable to save this minimum amount, this could be an indicator that you’re shopping beyond your financial capacity. Consider lowering your budget, delaying the purchase until you’ve saved enough money, and consult a trusted financial advisor for advice tailored to your situation.


5. Not accounting for the “extra” costs.

You can estimate to spend (approximately) between 1.5 to four per cent of the purchase price of the home. This includes costs such as the deposit, property insurance, title insurance, lawyer fees, home inspection fee, moving costs and more. Be sure to budget these into your purchasing plan.

Use this MONTHLY HOME BUDGET PLANNER to get started.

4. Not seeing enough homes.

Before you settle down, make sure you sow your oats, so to speak. Since you’ve never owned a home, and particularly if you’re moving from your parents’ place, you’ll want to tour lots of different home styles and neighbourhoods. Keep an open mind – you just mist surprise yourself! When narrowing down your home’s location, weigh factors such as proximity to work, family and friends; public transit and access to major roads and highways; and things such as shopping, services, green space, and your lifestyle. which will affect the liveability of the home, its current value, and the resale price of your home.

READ: Location Versus Home Style

3. Seeing too many homes.

Don’t get us wrong – it’s definitely a good idea to see what’s on the market, if only for the sake of comparison. You’ll gain a better understanding of what comparable homes are valued at, their condition, and your negotiating power. This is valuable intel, whether you’re buying your first home or your tenth. But buyer beware: particularly in a hot market, sitting on the fence can mean losing the property. A trusted, experienced real estate agent can best advise you on this.


2. Not getting everything in writing.

Under the right market conditions, negotiating may be part of your purchasing plan. Any conditions of the purchase and sale must be on paper. If it’s not in the contract, it doesn’t count. Your contract is your only way of holding the buyer and seller accountable. An experienced real estate agent can help advise you, and negotiate on your behalf.

READ: 7 Questions To Ask An Agent Before Your Commit

1. Biting off more than you can chew.

You’ve likely heard the term “house poor.” Buying a home is a huge financial commitment, so ensure you can afford it. As a first foray into home ownership, condos are a popular choice, thanks to their lower price point, smaller footprint (read: less maintenance and lower operating costs) and their central locations. But condos are a lifestyle choice as well as a financial one. Consider your purchase from all angles.

READ: Buying A Home Without Breaking The Bank 

Article by RE/MAX
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MAX transit: A detailed look at three rapid bus routes launching on Monday

The city’s MAX transit service launches Monday with three rapid transit bus routes, dedicated bus-only lanes, larger platforms and heated shelters.

The new routes represent the largest expansion of Calgary’s bus rapid transit network to date, requiring almost a complete redesign of transit routes, the city said at a ribbon-cutting event Thursday.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the MAX service will allow transit customers to get around the city efficiently without always having to head downtown to transfer to another CTrain or bus line.

“The system we had built around the amazing CTrain was really shuffling people in and out of downtown in a ‘hub-and-spoke’ model,” Nenshi said.

“The MAX network, which when fully built out will have seven or eight different lines, is really about getting people from school to work to home in a much more efficient way.”

The city has budgeted $304 million for the entire network, which will include heated shelters, next-bus arrival time displays and dedicated bus lanes to bypass traffic. A fourth MAX route in southwest Calgary is still under construction and will open for service in 2019.

The launch of the MAX Purple, MAX Teal and MAX Orange lines will also mean big changes to more than two dozen other bus routes, leading city officials to urge transit commuters to plan ahead to ensure they catch the right bus on Monday.

“Leave early on Monday, everyone’s going to be confused about what buses they’re going to take,” the mayor said.

The service will benefit from dedicated lanes, signal priority for buses at traffic lights and fewer stops.

Calgary Transit director Doug Moran said he doesn’t expect a big effect on traffic when the system rolls out Monday. He said bus drivers have been training on the transitway for the past two and a half weeks.

“It’s gone very well. Calgarians have managed the changes very well,” Morgan said. “Monday we’ll be ready to go.”


MAX Orange, the northern crosstown route, will link Foothills Hospital, University of Calgary, SAIT, Peter Lougheed Hospital and the Genesis Centre. It will also link CTrain stations in the far west and east, so riders don’t have to go downtown to transfer.

MAX Teal, the south crosstown route, also hooks into the CTrain and links Mount Royal University, Rockyview Hospital and the Douglas Glen park and ride.

MAX Purple will serve Forest Lawn, International Avenue, Inglewood and downtown.

This post is originally from the Calgary Herald.

“Quest For Excellence” Bursary Program Now Open!

This year we are once again offering (16) $1,000 bursaries for a total of $16,000 to grade 12 students.

This program was established by RE/MAX of Western Canada to recognize the success and ongoing pursuits of Western Canadian students in regards to leadership and community contribution initiatives. Students can enter online at

2019 Quest for Excellence program is open for submissions from September 10, 2018 until midnight March 11, 2019. Only online entries will be accepted.

We would appreciate your assistance with communicating this program to Western Canadian students.

Together we can make a difference in the lives of our students by touching on their passion and spirit.


A CREB® 2018 Calgary Economic & Housing Outlook Mid-Year Update Summary

Stricter lending conditions, a rise in interest rates, persistently high unemployment and slow economic recovery have weighed on housing demand so far this year.

Home sales have eased more than anticipated so far in 2018, as economic conditions did not improve enough to offset changes in the lending market.

By the numbers, Alberta had the fastest growing economy in 2017, employment started to improve and recent net migration numbers are positive. So, why is the housing market still struggling to recover?

  • The economy has not yet reached the levels of pre-recession activity.
  • The type of job growth has shifted, as employment gains have not occurred in traditional sectors.
  • Higher lending rates and stricter qualifications are preventing some first-time buyers from transitioning to the ownership market. This is also impacting the ability of some existing homeowners to consider moving up to a higher price point.
  • Two years of recession left us with excess supply in all aspects of the housing market.
  • Consumer confidence continues to be impacted by concerns about Alberta’s prospects and how much more this circumstance could impact housing prices, particularly now with elevated inventories.


Article by CREB now.