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Calgary Real Estate Law Blog

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.

Hidden costs to consider in real estate transactions

There are plenty of pros and cons to weigh for someone considering entering or re-entering the real estate market. For those who are looking at this as a purely financial decision, often this means comparing the overall cost of purchasing a property to how that same investment might perform if invested elsewhere. When doing this math, it is important that prospective buyers in Alberta consider the costs associated with real estate transactions outside of the sticker price of the home.

The first cost people should consider when purchasing a home are professional services related to the purchase. Before finalizing a purchase, people often undergo home inspections, property appraisal and surveying, all of of which cost money to have performed. Additionally, costs are involved with having a lawyer draw up and validate the paperwork needed to secure the sale. 

Why would a landlord sell rental residential real estate?

Knowing when to purchase a rental property can be difficult, but choosing when to sell it can be just as challenging if not more so. There are many different reasons why Alberta landlords might choose to put a rental property back on the residential real estate market. Here are just a few of the factors that may make it worth selling a rental property.

Since rental properties are purchased for investment purposes, the most common reasons for selling are financial. For example, a landlord whose property has gone up in value since purchasing it may choose to sell in order to "cash in" on the investment. This can be a particularly good idea if the rental market compared to the cost of ownership make it difficult to turn a profit on the home, though long-term gains should be considered if this issue is faced on a new buy.

Considerations for residential real estate buyers with pets

Many people are know that they need extra space and friendly neighbourhoods when buying a home for a family with children. But what should Alberta homebuyers with pets consider when purchasing a place to live? Here are a few questions residential real estate buyers should ask when seeking a space for themselves and their furry friends.

Location is important when it comes to buying a home for pets. Not only are spaces to walk or proximity to the vet worth considering, but bylaws and other regulations may have an impact. Those buying condos or properties associated with a housing association may find that their furry friend is not welcome at their new home. Additionally, reviewing the municipality's regulations regarding issues like licensing, noise from barking and registration of pets is a good idea before committing to a home in the area.

Residential real estate research shows affordable Alberta areas

Prospective homebuyers and sellers can often benefit from paying attention to trends in their local markets. Recently, research was released showing the least and more affordable residential real estate markets in Alberta. The figures were calculated using the price-to-income ratio in each major market in the province.

According to the research, the least affordable housing markets in the province of Alberta are Canmore, Camrose, Calgary, Okotoks and Edmonton. Fort McMurray topped the list of most affordable markets, followed by Cold Lake, Grande Prairie, Fort Saskatchewan and Airdrie. In Fort McMurray, the median dual income is $221,425 and the median single income is $106,912 while the average housing price is just $439,664. This makes the price-to-income ratio only 2:1 for a dual income household.

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