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Calgary Real Estate Law Blog

Real Estate Transactions: Pot Shortage Affects Store Licencing

The Wild Rose Country has only received about 20 per cent of the cannabis it ordered because there seems to be a shortage of the herb. Since the legalization of marijuana on Oct. 17, many entrepreneurs have been wanting to get on the bandwagon to set up cannabis shops. But Alberta has put a stop to issuing store licences because there's nothing to sell, which is affecting commercial real estate transactions.

 

Positive outlook for Alberta real estate transactions to 2020

The future looks bright for the real estate market over the next few years. Analysts say Alberta has a sunny future where residential real estate transactions are concerned and things will really start to roll in the housing market come next year. A Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) senior analyst said the market was left listless due to low investment levels and unemployment since 2015, but that is all changing.

New housing starts are beginning to rally and will really see an upswing by 2020. This year the forecast for startups is estimated at 18,500 at the low end and 19,300 at the high end. Supply and demand are starting to be better balanced and inventory plays a large role in the overall market outlook.

Cold Lake on the map for affordable residential real estate

It may have the word "cold" in its name, but Cold Lake is pretty hot where real estate is concerned. In fact, the northern Alberta town is one of the top places in the country for affordable residential real estate. A leading real estate website in Canada figured out home prices to income ratios for all significant Alberta markets and used that data in a comparison to single or dual median household incomes in that area.

What those calculations show is how long in years it would take a home owner to pay off what is considered to be an average priced home in that market figuring that 100 per cent of total household income is put towards paying down the mortgage. Data shows that Cold Lake is second only to Fort McMurray when it comes to Alberta residential real estate affordability. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) suggests that believes that the ratio should be three or less for a home to be considered affordable.

Real estate transactions: Western Canada hot investment market

Western Canada seems to be where it's at in terms of investment real estate. Two of the top five areas for investment real estate transactions are located in Alberta. Okotoks and Leduc round out the top five communities and are on the rise population-wise as well.

Numbers one, two and three on the list are the B.C. communities of Kitimat, Terrace and Abbotsford-Mission, respectively.  Those who are thinking of investing in the west may get more bang for their buck outside of the major cities. Okotoks and Leduc make sense for a number of reasons, aside from the fact they're two of the most rapidly growing cities in Alberta.

Courts have authority to revamp foreclosure redemption time

The court has the authority to reduce the six-month period of redemption for payments owed on a mortgage. An Alberta property owner has that amount of time to bring the mortgage up to date before foreclosure proceedings begin. That time can be reduced if there is very little or no equity in the property.

A judge will look at several factors when reducing that time limit. Those can include whether the owner has the ability to pay, whether the property has been abandoned, how much the property is worth, what the mortgage entails and the earning capacity of the individual who owns the property. There is no redemption period when it comes to mortgages issued by corporations or those mandated by the National Housing Act.

Mistakes that cause residential real estate sellers to lose money

It's well-known that buying a new home can be a difficult experience, but selling can be just as challenging. Homes often carry a lot of emotional value, not to mention often being the biggest asset Alberta families own. According to residential real estate experts, there are a few common mistakes sellers can make that cost them money in the sale.

The most critical mistake is putting the wrong price tag on a home. It can be difficult to nail down a price in the ever-changing world of residential real estate, so researching multiple sources is a good idea. Look at competing homes showing in similar areas as well as comparable homes that have recently sold. This is data a real estate agent can often provide those getting started with their price.

Residential real estate in Calgary increasingly a buyer's market

Calgary's real estate market has been on the lips of many across the province, as sale rates continue to decrease through 2018. While a slowdown was expected by the Calgary Real Estate Board, sale figures have dipped lower than projected. From Jan. to Sept. 2018, less than 13,000 properties changed ownership in the Alberta city. This is a decrease of 14 percent in residential real estate sales from the same period in 2017.

The slowdown marks a 10-year low, after summer failed to bring the expected sales boost seen in years prior. The trend comes after a few years of slowly decreasing sales, suggesting that this may be somewhat of a new normal for the city's market. The biggest boom in the market took place in 2014, after which things began to slow. 

Should people with debt purchase residential real estate?

Buying a house is a major financial decision. Naturally, the amount of debt and assets one has when taking on a mortgage is an important consideration. Is it a good idea for Alberta families to purchase residential real estate while they are facing debt from other sources? Unsurprisingly, the answer to this question can vary depending on the particulars of the financial situations.

The first thing to consider is the amount of outstanding debt to repay. Smaller debt loads with shorter payment periods are more manageable when paired with a mortgage. Consider how payments compare to overall household income as well, in order to see how much is left to cover the housing. This is called debt-to-income ratio.

Residential real estate tips for condo buyers

When looking for a home, buyers have many options to choose from. Those who are seeking a location closer to one of Alberta's city centres may find a condominium to be a more affordable or convenient option than more traditional residential real estate. Those who are considering the purchase of a condo should consider a few specific things when making their choice.

Condo owners often have a few extra things to think about, such as regulatory boards, fees and condo-specific rules. Fortunately for condominium buyers, online reviews can often help them to identify buildings with a bad reputation or past issues. Doing some online searching and, if possible, asking questions to a current or past resident can help to clarify any issues that exist in the location.

Buying verus renting residential real estate in Alberta

Many people who are considering purchasing a home have considered the pros and cons of buying versus renting. Although there are some objective factors such as the housing market that may influence this decision, overall the choice comes down to personal preferences and financial situation. Here are some things Alberta individuals and families should consider when choosing between buying or renting residential real estate.

The first thing that should be evaluated is a buyer's lifestyle. For example, those who don't think they will be living in the same area for more than a couple of years may be better off renting than buying. Job security and financial priorities may also be a factor here.

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