+ the federal government electricity procurement process – with Alberta solar emphasis, is a government program full of complexity just to apply … for a great dissection on ‘how-to’, check out this paper from Osler
+ Insurance Bureau of Canada survey indicates 20% of condo owners don’t understand two insurance policies cover their property; survey results
+ a proposed land transfer tax hike in Toronto was unsettling – TREB worked hard on this issue – and they were successful …
+ Service Alberta is exploring outsourcing Land Titles and other registries – they’ve issued a call for expressions of interest; word is they plan to grant a 35-year concession to provide the service, and a decision by the government is expected by summer 2021
+ I live near Fish Creek Park – so I’m walking in the park daily. 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. Birders are busy too. 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
+ map of the park
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 - email me to see great properties like this one ... email@example.com
GLOSSARY - monthly topic
+ in this section, each month I will discuss an industry term/jargon/acronym – this month GST in real estate transactions – what/when/how/ouch!
+ most people understand GST as a value-added tax on most goods and services. Its applicability to housing is not widely well understood. Housing costs (residential rent, mortgage interest) are exempt of GST as essential services, like water, and groceries. The sale of residential real estate from one individual to another is also not a ‘taxable supply’ under GST regulations. The purchase and sale by companies and the purchase of new homes are not exempt. If you are buying or selling the property where buyer and/or seller are corporations, whether or not they are GST Registrants, can get tricky – the declarations should be done with the help of lawyers and accountants before closing … + next month, I’ll discuss CONDO BYLAWS … stay tuned
GOVERNMENT ACTIONS/programs IMPACTING HOMEOWNERS - Canada
+ a cool tool: something more binge-worthy than some Netflix offerings - try our 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. Seriously - all you need is your fingers and phone - you can see any MLS listing in the country including virtual tours. Check out anything you are curious about - for your next home, for your vacation home, or to compare your home to others - it's a great way to validate your sense of values and quality. Any 12 yr. old can do this, so if you don't have a 12 yr. old, give me a call and I'll help you with it.
+ 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; JANUARY 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
+ RECA held elections pursuant to the new act: elected and appointed Board and Industry Councils members announced
+ REIX (formerly AREIX) will be celebrating its 30th year in 2021; a job well done! I served on the REIX advisory board for five years and the claims committee for three years – and I’ve been watching the REIX program as a practitioner for that whole. The industry has reliable E&OE coverage and our clients and professionals rely on that strong foundation. Most notably, REIX staff help agents get better, which results in fewer mistakes, fewer disputes – and fewer claims.
+ 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 went 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 …
+ realtors renew their license at September 30 each year; the numbers are now in – 1,108 new realtors joined the industry, 589 did not renew/left the business – as of October, 2020 there were 14,857 licenced agents serving Albertans
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!
~ call me to discuss your requirements: Mark Kolke, 403-444-6939
~ or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org