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Three Space-saving Upgrades That Will Give a Smaller Home a More Roomy Feel

Mon, 13 Nov by tonysankovic

Making Your Space Feel Bigger

Smaller rooms can create a decorating challenge for homeowners. While some may be dealing with a space that is smaller overall – such as an condo or apartment – others may have just a couple of smaller rooms that look and feel cramped. While enlarging these rooms may not be an option, there may be a few upgrades to consider that can give these rooms a more spacious and open feel.

Light Paint Colours

Dark colours can add dramatic flair to a room, and they certainly will make a bold statement. However, they also can create the feeling that the room is smaller than it is. It is best to paint with light paint colours on the walls or even to choose a lighter colour for the ceiling. In addition to these colours, a lighter floor colour can also add the feeling of depth to the space. If the use of bolder, brighter hues is preferred, consider adding a pattern in combination with lighter colours to the ceiling. Another idea is to use stripes with alternating darker and lighter hues on the walls to create the illusion of space.

Shelving Installed Close to the Ceiling

Storage space is often a concern with smaller rooms, and cabinets and bookshelves can take up valuable floor space in any room. A smart idea for smaller rooms is to install shelving or even cabinetry closer to the ceiling. This can enable the space below it to be kept open or to be used for other purposes, such as for other furnishings that must be kept on the floor.

Recessed or Flush Lighting

Lighting is an important element in any room, and brighter lighting can make a space look larger in many situations. Darker shadows cast about a room can make the space feel closed off. More than that, overhead lights that hang down, such as pendants or chandeliers, can create a visual illusion that makes the room feel smaller than it is.

To achieve the goal of casting light throughout the room more evenly while removing these hanging light fixtures from the space, install recessed or flush lights into the ceiling. These can be combined with small table lamps if necessary to brighten up any areas that may still be dark or shadowy. Avoid tall, imposing lamps when decorating a smaller room.

Decorating a smaller room is rarely easy to do, and there are many things that homeowners can do when decorating that actually may make a smaller room appear to be even smaller. These are a few tips that can be followed to make the space appear to be more roomy and spacious, but there are also other ideas for decorating as well as built-in upgrades to consider. Ideally, the fully decorated room will be stylish and functional as well as appear to be spacious.

With proper research and planning, a homeowner can achieve the desired results. 

Market Update to Oct 31 – Red Deer Real Estate Stats

Wed, 08 Nov by tonysankovic

Red Deer Market Update – The Red Deer market showed signs of improvement in October with sales up from September and a lower active listing count, although there are still 120 more active listings today than there were a year ago. The sales to listing ratio shows the market getting closer to balance but a sales to listing ratio of 25 ‐ 30% would be ideal, where neither Sellers or Buyers have the advantage.

The economy continues to show signs of improvement which should contribute to eventual gains in the housing market, although there are still some headwinds. In an effort to curb rising house prices in Toronto and, in anticipation of higher interest rates, the federal government has once again tightened mortgage rules for all Canadians. Buyers with more than 20% down will now be required to qualify for financing at the Bank of Canada’s posted rate of 4.95% or 2% higher than the actual rate on their mortgage (whichever is higher) effective January 1, 2018.

Home buyers who will be affected by the new rule should consider whether buying before Jan. 1st is in their best interest. Home sellers will also be affected by the new rules as those buyers will now qualify for lesser mortgage amounts.

More details available in the following article sourced from TMG The Mortgage Group Inc. –  http://www.mortgagegroup.com/site/ab/news.asp?id=982

Today’s market favors the Buyer.

RD STATS Oct 2017

*For current STATS on additional central Alberta locations, see bottom of website’s Home page.

You Ask, We Answer: When is the Right Time to Upgrade to a Larger Home

Mon, 06 Nov by tonysankovic

Upgrading to a Larger Home – Are you ready?

Many homebuyers face the question of size when looking for their next home. Do they downsize, stay the same, or upgrade to a larger home? To help answer this question, here are some factors to take into consideration when determining if you should upgrade to a larger home.

 

Affordability

With larger homes come more financial responsibility. Typically larger homes will come with a larger mortgage, repair/maintenance, utilities, and insurance payments as well as increased property taxes. Are you ready financially for these larger expenses? Take into account these estimated expenses when going over your household budget. Remember, ideally you’ll want to be able to maintain a comfortable quality of life and still be able to save for the future when these larger expenses are taken into account with your budget.

 

Down Payments

There is a need in most cases during the property buying process to make a down payment and to pay for closing costs. You should include these expenses in your estimations while keeping in mind that selling the existing property and accessing equity will yield most or all of the funds that are needed to make a new purchase. Working with a real estate professional and a mortgage broker will help you to get more information about these two factors before making a sound financial decision.

 

When the time is right for you to upgrade to a larger home, you should consider working with an experienced real estate agent to sell your existing property and help you in the process of buying a new home!

 

Market Update to Sept 30 – Red Deer Real Estate Stats

Wed, 04 Oct by tonysankovic

Red Deer Market Update – September MLS sales in Red Deer didn’t keep pace with the strong performance in August and it turned out to be the slowest month since March of this year. We aren’t sure what triggered the slowdown except that maybe the extra activity in August was in anticipation of higher mortgage rates coming in September.

The Alberta economy certainly does appear to be improving, with oil prices hovering over $50US and stories of oil companies having trouble hiring. We know it isn’t like the good old days but some improvement is certainly welcome.

One major factor that impacts the real estate market in a large way is migration into or out of Alberta. According to TD Economics, Alberta had a net gain of 131,669 people from other provinces between July 2010 and July 2015 and then lost 30,239 between July 2015 and July 2017. When they all came, we built housing to accommodate them, so now we have a few more homes than we have people to occupy them. Supply and Demand are the single largest influence on real estate prices and demand is down as a result of the loss of those people. Alberta’s total population has grown over the past two years as a result of international migration and natural births. The problem is that a lot of that growth won’t contribute economically for a few years.

RD STATS Sept 2017

Today’s market favors the Buyer.

*For current STATS on additional central Alberta locations, see bottom of website’s Home page.

Market Update to Aug 31 – Red Deer Real Estate Stats

Sat, 09 Sep by tonysankovic

Red Deer Market Update – August sales in Red Deer hit the highest single monthly total so far this year, while the number of active listings fell slightly compared to last month, bringing the market close to balance. Sales across central Alberta were also better in August, bringing year to date sales in line with the same period last year.

One month doesn’t make a market, but the improvement certainly suggests we are turning the corner. There haven’t been any highly visible events that point to the change, but strong GDP growth in both the Canadian and Alberta economies suggest there is potential for continued recovery. Unfortunately, a strong Canadian economy may cause another bump in the Bank of Canada rate which will trigger another jump in mortgage rates. Tougher mortgage qualifying requirements imposed by the federal government combined with a rate increase would be detrimental to our fragile housing market recovery.

Oil prices remain subdued, moving up and down just under the $50US benchmark, but seems to be just sufficient to keep activity up in the energy sector. Capital investment budgets in that sector are likely to be trimmed a little going into fall and winter and only the most cost efficient projects are moving ahead. We are cautiously optimistic.

RD STATS Aug 2017

Today’s market favors the Buyer.

*For current STATS on additional central Alberta locations, see bottom of website’s Home page.

Market Update to July 31 – Red Deer Real Estate Stats

Mon, 07 Aug by tonysankovic

Red Deer Market Update – Sales in Red Deer in July fell slightly when compared to June while the number of active listings continued to rise. The market
remains in buyer’s territory, while year to date sales are down 14.7% when compared to the same period in 2016.

Some price ranges in the Red Deer market are doing better than others. The supply/demand ratio in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range is close to balance and most advantageous for sellers at the moment. Activity in the $100,000 ‐ $200,000 price range also picked up substantially last month and may be the first sign of a resurgence.

There is good news! The Canadian dollar has gained quite a bit of ground against the US dollar in the past few months and oil prices briefly broke the $50 US barrier this week. The Canadian economy is performing very well and most reports indicate that the Alberta economy has turned the corner. Business optimism is up and the future is definitely looking brighter.

While we don’t expect a quick improvement in the central Alberta market from a seller’s perspective, we do see things gradually picking up moving into next spring. This summer and fall may be the best opportunity buyers will have from a price, choice and interest rate perspective before the advantage starts to turn back to sellers.

RD STATS July 2017

Today’s market favors the Buyer.

*For current STATS on additional central Alberta locations, see bottom of website’s Home page.

Market Update to June 30 – Red Deer Real Estate Stats

Sat, 08 Jul by tonysankovic

Red Deer Market Update – The Red Deer market continues to struggle with year to date sales down 16% when compared to the same time in 2016. In spite of lower activity levels, the market remains very close to balance and the Alberta Treasury Branch says recovery is on the way.

Despite signs that the provincial economy is turning a corner, ATB Financial’s most recent Business Beat survey suggests a full economic recovery will still take time. Optimism about the economy is up compared to last year but the latest round of surveying shows a slight decline in the number of small‐ and medium‐sized businesses that believe Alberta’s economy will be stronger in six months. ATB’s Economy Index slipped from 58.4 in the first quarter of the year to 54.1 in the second quarter. (A value more than 50 means more business owners are more optimistic than not).

The latest reading of ATB’s Business Index was 64.6, down by 1.5 points from the first quarter. Despite the moderate dips in the two indices, both economic and business optimism levels are above 50 and show that economic sentiment in the province is far better than last year.

We are of the same opinion when it comes to the housing market ‐ there are signs of improvement but the real recovery may be a while coming. In the meantime, there’s still tremendous opportunities for buyers.

RD STATS June 2017

Today’s market favors the Buyer.

*For current STATS on additional central Alberta locations, see bottom of website’s Home page.

Market Update to June 15 – Red Deer Real Estate Stats

Thu, 22 Jun by tonysankovic

Red Deer Market Update – The central Alberta real estate market has been following similar trends for many years – slower in the winter, strong in the spring, a little slower in the summer and busy again in the fall. There are some reasons for those trends. The spring market probably has been the strongest because that’s when oil workers came home at break-up and had some extra time to look at houses and make a move before going back to work.

December and January are slow for obvious reasons – most people don’t have time to move during the Christmas season and many don’t like to move in the winter.

The last half of June and the summer months are also times when many people have other things on their minds – the end of the school year, summer holidays etc.

September, October and November can be quite busy, although rarely as busy as the spring market.

This year, the spring market has not reached levels seen when oil prices were high and the economy was booming. We have now experienced two and a half years of low oil prices and a slower economy and it shows in the real estate market. Sales are lower and the number of active listings is higher, which leads to softer prices.

There is evidence that the economy is turning. Alberta is projected to lead all Canadian provinces in growth this year with GDP predicted to increase by 3%.

So, when can we expect to see a stronger real estate market? Obviously, it depends on oil prices to a large degree, but the real estate market in the last few downturns has always taken at least a year to recover.

That would mean that we could see a return to more normal sales numbers in the spring of 2018. In the meantime, we expect to see sales and the listing count keep pace with last year and maybe even do a little better.

Again, the good news for those buying and selling in our market – sell low, buy low. If the house you are selling goes up, the one you buy will go up as well. Now is the time to take advantage of the large inventory of homes and the vast choices available as well as very favorable interest rates.

Real estate has always been a great investment. It provides a place to live while growing in value and best of all, the profit at the end is realized TAX FREE! There just isn’t a better place to put your money.

Market Update to May 31 – Red Deer Real Estate Stats

Thu, 08 Jun by tonysankovic

Red Deer Market Update – May sales in Red Deer were up compared to April but were down compared to May of last year. The number of active listings is up substantially from last month and is also higher than last year at this time. In spite of the increasing spread between supply and demand the market managed to stay just inside CMHC’s definition of “balanced”.

Sellers who are wondering why their properties aren’t selling only need to look at the 21% sales to listing ratio. That means only two out of ten properties for sale on MLS sold last month. The price of real estate is dictated by the relationship between Supply and Demand just like the price of oil or lumber. When there are only two buyers for every 10 homes on the market, those buyers will naturally turn to the one that offers the most value for the money.

No amount of slick or aggressive marketing can overcome a price that is obviously too high when the property is compared with others on the market. It is understandable that homeowners expect their property to be worth more than they paid for it, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case. The one thing to remember is that prices in a local market are almost always relative ‐ if you sell low, you will also buy low.

RD STATS May 2017

Today’s market is Balanced.

*For current STATS on additional central Alberta locations, see bottom of website’s Home page.

Market Update to May 15 – Red Deer Real Estate Stats

Mon, 22 May by tonysankovic

Red Deer Market Update – Red Deer sales in the first two weeks in May were up from the same time in April, but down compared to the first two weeks of May 2016. Year to date sales in Red Deer continue to lag behind the same time last year while overall central Alberta sales are up 7.5% year over year.

There have been many reports that the Alberta economy is improving after two years of recession. Several leading economic indicators are referenced in support of that theory. Oil prices have spent most of 2017 hovering over US$50, just recently dropping under that magic mark. Ramped up production in the US and Canada have increased supplies again, driving prices down. Recent news that OPEC has stated they are willing to do whatever it takes to keep prices stable has pushed the price back closer to US$50 in the last few days.

No matter what the politicians tell us, the strength of the Alberta economy is still heavily reliant on energy. There is no doubt that higher prices have increased activity in our energy sector, and more economic activity in any sector helps boost all the other sectors. But to assume that will change the housing market overnight would be a bit of a stretch.

Many people employed by the energy industry are back at work, but at reduced incomes. Energy company profits are still thin, but those still in business have become much more efficient and able to survive in the new lower price reality. It will take some time for their employees to get back on their feet and start thinking about investing money in new homes.

In the meantime, the housing market has survived based on activity by those not as affected by energy prices. Those families have an amazing opportunity to take advantage of more choice, less competition, lower prices and very low interest rates. Those with 20% down payments are in the best position to take advantage.

Buyers with less than 20% down require their mortgages to be insured and the federal government made that much more difficult with rules that require buyers to qualify at a high artificial rate as opposed to the actual rate they can borrow at. The purpose of that program was to slow down heated markets in Toronto and Vancouver. Unfortunately, the policy was applied across Canada and has had a very negative effect on markets already affected by low energy prices.

In a nutshell, the central Alberta real estate market has survived and will continue to do so. Ample supply and low demand in virtually every price range have moved prices off their highs reached in 2014. Smart buyers will take advantage now if they can. It is difficult to go against the flow and easy to think that prices may still go lower, but once those economic indicators start to turn, it is likely real estate prices aren’t too far behind.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Central Alberta REALTORS® Association. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.