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Are you ready to invest in a franchise?

Franchising is like getting a jumpstart into entrepreneurship. Food, fitness, pets and countless other retail and service industries offer franchise opportunities for those who wish to be business owners but want the support and name recognition of an already established company. Thousands of companies are franchised in Alberta and across Canada, and there are many options that go beyond the fast food model.

If you are thinking about starting or expanding your own business by buying into a franchise, you should know that you will experience both advantages and disadvantages. It may be helpful to obtain solid financial and legal advice from skilled professionals before you sink your money into this type of venture.

Online auctions becoming popular for real estate sales in Alberta

There's a new way of buying land and it seems to be working out well. With things the way they are right now in the world, people have had to think of new ways to do things and that also goes for the sale of real estate in Alberta. People interested in buying land usually have a walk around it, but on-line auctions for acreages in the province are taking off like wildfire.

To put things into perspective, in May a brokerage company based in Calgary auctioned off two parcels of land online -- 22 acres in total -- for more than $2 million and the sale happened within hours. This month, the same company will be putting a 2,651-acre parcel and 320 leased acres online for auction. The land also includes a 5,628-square-foot mansion.

Alberta real estate regulator gets overhaul

The province is doing some restructuring of its real estate regulator, less than a year after it gave the former regulating board the heave ho last October. Bill 20 is on the table and it sets out reforms to the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA), which licenses and regulates realtors in the province. It is hoped that with restructuring RECA will have improved transparency, accountability as well as a better governance system in general.

An interim administrator was appointed when the province fired the last board after an independent audit showed the board to have broken down. This bill will restructure the entire entity. There will be four industry councils: residential brokers and real estate salespeople; commercial real estate brokers and salespeople, and commercial property managers; mortgage brokers; and residential and condominium property managers.

Commercial real estate sector in Calgary shows impressive numbers

First quarter office sales in Cow Town are looking pretty positive. The overall real estate market in the province and around the country has taken a pounding amid a global pandemic, but the first numbers in from the office sector in Calgary look pretty encouraging. Commercial real estate sales rose about 17% in the city in the first three months of 2020 compared to the same time in 2019.

Leading the way in sales was the Stampede Station office complex which sold for $35 million. Office buildings were most in demand, followed by industrial warehouses and land. Office sales in Calgary nearly tripled year-over-year reaching investments of more than $174 million. In addition fo the Stampede Station, other high-end commercial sales included 110-12th Ave., SW for $50 million and the $27.5 million sale of 6807 Railway St.

Items often overlooked in comprehensive estate planning

No one likes to sit down and come face to face with their eventual death. But death is a part of life and turning a  blind eye to the inevitable will ultimately only cause added pain and suffering for grieving family members if a late loved one did not have an estate plan. Comprehensive estate planning is necessary for Alberta residents, as well as for their loved ones. 

What is included in an estate plan is also important and that means having more in place than just a will. In fact, there are some things that are overlooked by many estate plans such as personal loans given to loved ones. These types of issues could cause problems in the will and it should be noted what is to become of such a loan should the estate owner pass away -- whether the loan should be forgiven or should come out of that person's share of the estate. 

Experts cautiously optimistic about Alberta real estate market

Despite the beating the economy has been taking, the housing market is slowly rallying. For the second consecutive month, real estate sales have improved in Alberta. That's partly due to numbers coming out of Calgary and Edmonton. Even with those gains, however, activity is nearly 3% lower than at the same point last year.

Larger centres are seeing some growth in demand, helping to reduce a large oversupply in the market. Analysts are cautiously optimistic that prices will become more stable again and conditions, more balanced in the overall market. For the first time since 2017, listings have declined in most parts of the province. But these only dropped in Calgary, Edmonton and the central and south eastern parts of Alberta.

Oil industry problems top charts in corporate news in Alberta

The oil industry continues to take a beating. Corporate news sites have been heating up with information regarding the current state of the oil industry in Alberta whose arms have far-reaching effects on other areas of the economy. The industry has always had its ups and downs, but analysts say the financial strain caused by the current global climate is leading the the industry into uncharted, dangerous waters.

Oil continues to be produced, but the supply has diminished considerably over the last couple months. Experts suggest that the rest of the year may continue to put a strain on the oil industry's profits and higher-up executives are hashing out plans for surviving as they move into the end of 2020. On the upside, Canadian oil companies will likely show a profit for the first three months of this year, before things crashed in March. 

Real estate industry continues to take a pounding in Alberta

The economy continues to take a pounding. There are many variables affecting the Alberta economy at the moment and the real estate industry has not escaped any of them. Office buildings stand empty in Calgary and other areas of the province, and homes that have been on the market for months still aren't seeing any action. Landlords are taking a pounding and analysts can't say when things might change.

There are predictions that more than 30% of office buildings in Calgary's downtown core will be vacant by early next year. Falling rents and declining property values are also on the horizon and all this will spill into other areas including local government. It's a far cry from the boom years ago when office Calgary office space was hard to come by in the downtown area. Four large buildings in Calgary's centre are already completely vacant.

Alberta real estate market struggles amidst many hurdles

Home sales are being dampened by even more hurdles these days. With things like social distancing in place along with falling oil prices, the real estate market in Alberta continues to take a hit. Lower inventory, weak activity, job layoffs and a lax oil market haven't done the market any good and things aren't likely to change drastically over the next while, according to analysts.

A chief economist with the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) says the market could see slower sales even with new listings. But some vendors are even deciding to take their homes off the market in light of current conditions. Many realtors are now offering deferred listing options rather than having a vendor break a listing contract.

Estate planning: Keeping the peace over end-of-life wishes

Taking about end-of-life plans with loved ones is not the most pleasant of conversations, but it is an important one. Alberta residents who are looking to do some comprehensive estate planning most likely don't want their plans to cause any family disagreements, so speaking with loved ones about end-of-life wishes is a discussion that needs to happen at some point. A discussion should be compassionate, honest and a testator should be able to explain the reasons behind his or her decisions and to have loved ones weigh in on them.

Having a designated executor for an estate plan who can devote the time to the task is necessary. Administering an estate is not always easy and loved one should know who that person will be. An executor should be someone who is comfortable communicating with beneficiaries as well as being a trusted individual who can make some difficult decisions if the need arises. It may also be wise to discuss funeral arrangements with loved ones, which may cause less confusion or hurt feelings when the time comes.


Lintott Law
2913 Centre St N.W.
Calgary, AB T2E 2V9

Phone: 403-879-1613
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