November 2020 - HOUSING TRUTH ~ Calgary housing market from Mark Kolke
FRESH NEWS, TOOLS, and HEADLINES – November 2020
WELCOME from editor/publisher - and agent, Mark Kolke ...
+ when did you last sit down with your doctor or dentist for a check-up? If you are overdue, maybe it’s time to book an appointment ...
+ when did you last sit down with your realtor to discuss the value of your home or your long-term strategy to get you where you want to go?
+ if you don’t have a realtor you work with, call me for a consultation – put the coffee on and we can talk
+ if you are interested in buying, or selling, let me send you a ‘Preparing to Sell’ and/or ‘Preparing to Buy’ packet – information everyone needs to know to buy or sell real estate in Alberta, and customized information about the neighbourhood, style, price range, and amenity influences that matter most to you – let me know and we can meet at your convenience after you’ve had time to review the packet
+ how can you have Condo Board meetings, or rather how SHOULD you have them given COVID-19 guidelines on gathering and old fashioned common sense? And, can you properly blend ‘in person’ and ‘virtual’ meetings to be valid and proper? One of Alberta’s wisest owls on this subject is Robert Noce who wrote this article – worth reading if you have a condo association AGM in your near future
+ with COVID-19 triggering a huge growth in online shopping, management of incoming parcels from Amazon and other online retailers are presenting a challenge for many large condo projects; here’s a great piece from the Toronto Condo News
+ the Government of Canada ‘everything’ page/links
+ COVID-19-related programs for individuals and businesses, but Government of Canada and Provinces – a great summary or them all by the folks as Osler
+ one issue that comes up often in home inspections is Poly-B plumbing pipe (manufactured between 1985-1997); over time the industry has come to appreciate that ‘good Poly-B’ in place tends to be safe and trouble-free. Problems with the product arise from material that was exposed to weather between manufacturing and installation; many homes with Poly-B in place are trouble-free, but lately, we’ve been hearing of more cases where placing new mortgage financing and/or placing insurance is difficult with Poly B in place. Government of Alberta FACT SHEET on Poly-B
+ sign up CLICK HERE for FACILITYCalgary – a weekly e-NEWSLETTER of news, commentary & perspective – financings, deals – commercial real estate, infrastructure, oil & gas; archived issues and archived interviews
+ have you checked our Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors? … do you have Carbon Monoxide detectors? … a reminder that fuel-burning appliances/gas stove and ovens, hot water heaters, BBQs, patio heaters, and fireplaces that aren’t working properly can produce CO, and this more dangerous a risk during the heating season; CO is invisible, odorless, and poisonous – it can harm or kill; also, check out these resources from Enbridge/Union Gas – CO is not CO2
+ COVID-10 impacts on consumer sentiment: Rapidly Evolving Expectations in the Housing Industry article sources and stats from Mortgage Professionals Canada is worth a look
+ mortgage payment deferrals during COVID are higher in Alberta – yet the resale housing market in Calgary remains strong.
+ I live near Fish Creek Park – so I’m walking in the park, or cycling, often. I LOVE the park. I’ll be reporting each month on ‘goings-on’ in the park, but also focusing on issues impacting value and demand for park-edge communities. COVID-times are putting greater emphasis on outdoor safe activities, which has made walking, cycling, and running far more popular. Access to the park is not just a ‘nice to have’ in the area, but it’s a bump-up in value.
+ if you use the park, consider joining/supporting the Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society – they do great work and have fantastic programs for children of all ages to learn about nature
FOR SALE - Calgary downtown - Eau Claire Estates
+ 2 bedroom condo in Eau Claire Estates; 1,740 sq. ft. in one of Calgary’s finest icons, concierge services, 24/7 onsite security - $455,000JUST REDUCED TO $440,000 – email me to arrange a showing:
CLICK HERE for our client's love-letter to the apartment - a MUST READ!
FOR SALE - Sylvan Lake - boat all summer, ice fish this winter!
+ year round lakefront home (48 photo virtual tour) at Marina Bay, Sylvan Lake – 1,388 sq. ft., 2 bedroom, wood burning fireplace, sauna, extraordinary; listing price reduced – $649,900 - $624,900 - email me to arrange a showing:
GLOSSARY - monthly topic
+ in this section I will discuss an industry term/jargon/acronym – this month Radon
+ I chose Radon this month because we are heading into colder weather when we tighten up our homes and are less likely to leave windows open. We don’t need to be afraid of Radon, but it’s good to be aware that’s everywhere on our continent – it’s a factor of earth, radium in our rocks, and goes back to the big-bang (not the TV show). Realize that radon is present just about everywhere there is land on this planet – and Alberta has its share. Why care about radon? It’s one of many causes of cancer and, like any other respiratory issue, we should keep ourselves as safe as we can. It’s good to know where/how radon can impact you. The government of Alberta passed the Radon Awareness and Testing Act in 2017 and subsequently, the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) mandated an awareness course for real estate agents. The impact of Radon as an issue of safety is, in most situations, minor. Risks are higher in low areas (i.e., poorly ventilated basement suites) or where homes are too-airtight or inadequately ventilated with fresh air and combustion air for furnaces – so it’s not a good idea to put young children, frail elderly or respiratory-compromised people in basement bedrooms. If you are buying or selling your home, you might hear about Radon as a term or condition in Offer to Purchase documents, as an inspection condition to be satisfied or as a representations and warranties term of the deal. These are, on the face of it, not tricky to deal with – but testing for Radon is done ‘over a time-frame’, so the testing time-window and the inspection/report time-window need to be in sync. If you want to learn more about Radon, there is an online webinar on November 19th (11AM Calgary time); details/register
+ next month I’ll discuss mortgages … stay tuned
HOME SEARCH APP - shop all MLS via this phone APP
+ a cool tool: I’ve got a new on-your-phone MLS search tool. Drive-by any sign, or find properties anywhere surfing from your phone, check it out – contact for more information or to book a showing. Get it here. By the way, you don’t have to drive – do your ‘virtual searching’ from the comfort of your easy-chair, check out listings in Calgary and anywhere your fingers want to wander - with quick links to get further information or to set up a showing.
+ home insurance rates are on the rise, with significant increases in cost for condos in Alberta and BC; chatting with your agent is a good place to start; for unbiased information on a wide range of issues, check out the Insurance Bureau of Canada website
+ condominium associations are wrestling with increased premiums on insurance, so many condo owners have to carry more coverage where the ‘low deductible’ usually means a higher premium; this article discusses the spike in premiums from an Ontario, BC, and Alberta perspective
+ Alberta population growth up 1.4% this year (only PEI doing better)
+ in Calgary, prices were strong in October – up 23% over last year on a lower inventory – so new listings are selling; single-family prices are up
+ Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB)3rd qtr. 2020 report for Calgary and region – better than expected! Sales activity up 12% over last year’s levels …strong number in all categories except for apartment condominiums
+ CREA 1-page market snapshots for September 2020
+ the national picture mixes more highs and fewer lows than you might expect; home sales and prices set records again in October
+ the City of Calgary by-law changes aren’t just for public places like stores and shopping malls, the apply to Open Houses too – realtors MUST post notices and risk fines if they don’t comply; and, signage is required for all Open Houses, indicated the city bylaw and the requirement to wear a mask
+ most realtors in Canada are currently reacting to recent strong recommendations by our associations to curtail Open Houses until COVID-case spikes subside, and then to gingerly return to carefully scrutinized visitors, one party at a time AND masks, AND declarations on health/out of country travel in accordance with our industry association protocols
PROPERTY LINES - monthly news
+ sign up CLICK HERE for PROPERTYlines monthly newsletter focused on commercial real estate both locally and across Canada in industrial, commercial, investment, multi-family, hospitality, and infrastructure real estate; NOVEMBER issue - archived issues
REAL ESTATE LICENSING and regulatory news
+ regulation and control of licensing in real estate in Alberta is handled by the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA), an NGO delegated by the Government of Alberta to enforce the Real Estate Act and regulations; in the course of renewing licenses, all agents are required to renew their errors and omissions insurance (E&OE) which is handled by REIX – which means, in practical terms, your agent cannot renew his/her license without having their ongoing educational requirements in place AND having their professional insurance in place. Licensing for brokerages and agents they employ is renewed at September 30th every year; you can find your agents/confirm licensing under the Find A Professional tab
+ this year the Government of Alberta amended the Real Estate Act [Real Estate Amendment Act 2020] and made significant changes to the role of RECA, and installation of new officers and board members following an external review and industry consultation; the new legislation has been proclaimed and goes into effect December 1, 2020
+ expected in the coming year: condominium project managers, not currently regulated by RECA, might be. Government, RECA, and industry-wide discussions are ongoing …
REALLY COOL HOUSES in other places
+ the world recently lost 007; Sean Connery died recently at 90 at his home in The Bahamas; check out where he used to live – a villa in the south of France
+ and if it’s Bond’s you like, check out Pierce Brosnan’s US$100.0 million Malibu beachfront home
+ save the date – the Calgary Renovation Show is scheduled for Jan. 15-17, 2021 at the BMO Centre
+ real estate appraisers have been under the same umbrella as real estate industry professionals for a number of years; this year they are no longer under the RECA umbrella, and will now be regulated by the Appraisal Institute of Canada
+ November is Financial Literacy Month – and the folks at the Appraisal Institute of Canada published 10 Financial Tips to Property Owners; a quick read/reminder for us all, and helpful to first-time buyers and newcomers to Canada
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In my work in this industry, and in this publication, my communication with clients and customers is predicated on the notion that more information is better than less information, and answers are important. A lot of the time people aren’t sure what questions to ask --- so hopefully, this publication will fill some gaps.
In my experience, both buyers and sellers want information and transparency; I can’t remember anyone saying they wanted to best salesman. In fact, industry surveys show the number one complaint buyers and sellers have about agents is that they don't return phone calls promptly! Who knew? ... we all do, and right now we are more aware than ever that staying in touch and working together, being on the same page in our desire for the best outcome, is to work together.

People tend to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Buying or selling a home is, for most people, their most valuable asset and there are plenty of emotions attached to every decision. In our 2020 environment, those emotions seem to be cranked up a couple of notches for everyone …
WORK WANTED! .... listings, buyers, sellers - I want to talk to you!
+ my license is renewed – residential, commercial, rural and property management, under contract to MaxWell Capital Realty
~ call me to discuss your requirements: Mark Kolke, 403-444-6939
~ or email me:

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Mailing address is: c/o Mark Kolke, 6204B Burbank Road SE, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2H 2C2

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