The Green Advantage

Here’s another post from my “News You Can Use” Client newsletter…


Making eco-friendly improvements to your house is obviously good for the environment, but what’s in it for you? Here’s what you stand to gain by going green.

Saving your money.
Beefing up your insulation; swapping single-pane windows for double-panes; replacing your outdated appliances with new ENERGY STAR®-rated models; swapping out old lighting for energy- efficient lighbulbs and fixtures and installing low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets will help lower both your energy and water bills – that means that over the long run, more money stays in your pocket each and every month. Plus, certain energy efficient improvements may even qualify you for tax break, saving you even more money.

thegreenadvantageMaking your house a healthier place to live.
Traditional paints and carpets, for example, off-gas volatile organic compounds, contributing to indoor air pollution. By applying low-VOC paint and opting for eco-friendly flooring alternatives (such as bamboo, cork, linoleum, or low-VOC carpeting), you’ll improve your home’s air quality. The results? Sleep better; breathe easier; have fewer headaches; and experience less risk of any associated nausea, dizziness, and ear, nose, and throat irritations.

Boosting your home’s resale value.
Homebuyers are increasingly seeing the value in a more eco-friendly house, precisely due to the lower utility bills and health benefits discussed above. Green improvements both big and small can increase your home’s attractiveness to potential buyers (who are themselves concerned with resale value), helping sell your house faster and for more money.

///…CP

Stay For A While

Here’s another post from my “News You Can Use” Client newsletter…


stayforawhileThe less time buyers spend in your home, the less likely they’ll be to purchase it. Create a welcoming atmosphere – one that encourages buyers to linger long enough for a good look around your home – with these tips.

Make sure the temperature inside your home is comfortable – not too hot, not too cold. This is especially important at this time of year, when the mercury is spiking and air conditioners are put to the test.

Lighten and brighten your home’s interior. A dark home doesn’t exactly exclaim to buyers, “Welcome! Stay for a while!” Not to mention a home is more difficult to navigate in the dark, potentially causing accidents. So replace those burnt bulbs, turn up those dimmers, flick those switches, and open those window treatments.

Have some low-key music at the ready – soft jazz, classical, or ambient, for example – so you or your real estate representative can just press play (volume set to low, of course) before potential buyers arrive for showings.

Leave out some refreshments. Freshly baked goods have the added benefit of making your home smell, well, homey – exactly the goal. And some chilled water bottles or pitcher of iced tea will be particularly appreciated this time of year and help you stand out in buyers’ memories.

Lastly, don’t be home. Few things make buyers more uncomfortable than the homeowner’s presence during showings; feeling they’re intruding, buyers are more likely to rush through the showing so they can leave. Have an exit strategy planned for last-minute showings, be it going for coffee or taking Fido for a walk.

///…CP

The Gist: September 2014

“The Gist” is adapted from the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton Monthly MLS® Report and Press Release. Every month I review, dissect, and post “the gist” of the MLS® data for Edmonton and area real estate activity.

PilgrimSoldSignThe average*** single family detached price in the service area of the Edmonton Multiple Listing Service® was up 1.90% to $435,430.
The average condominium price was up 3.10% to $262,273.
The average duplex/ row house price were down 2.70% to $349,590.
The average days-on-market in August was up 3-days to 49-days.

The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton releases month-end and year-end results for sales through the local Multiple Listing Service® and includes all residential sales for the City of Edmonton and surrounding communities and counties. ***Average prices indicate market trends only. They do not reflect actual prices, which vary from house to house and area to area. Prior period figures have been adjusted to include late reported sales and cancellations and therefore reflect a more accurate view of the period than previously reported at month end. For information on a specific area, contact me directly***
Activity (for all residential sales on Edmonton MLS® System)

August 2014

Change from
July

Change from
August 2013

SFDaverage selling price – month

$435,430

1.90%

4.30%

SFD median4 selling price

$402,750

1.70%

5.80%

Condominium average selling price

$262,273

3.10%

7.50%

Condominium median selling price

$228,500

-4.40

-0.60%

All-residential5 average selling price

$368,597

2.00%

5.00%

All-residential median selling price

$348,900

1.10

5.70%

# residential listings this month

2,305

-15.2%

4.20%

# residential sales this month

1,552

-22.4%

-6.00%

# residential inventory at month end

5,334

-4.90%

-4.00%

# Total6 MLS® System sales this month

2,037

-6.80%

-6.90%

$ Value residential sales this month

$647 Million

-17.6%

-2.20%

$ Value of total MLS® System sales – month

$751 Million

-4.50%

3.30%

$ Value of total MLS® System sales – YTD

$6.70 Billion

13.8%

15.0%

1 Census Metropolitan Area (Edmonton and surrounding municipalities)
2 Single Family Dwelling
3 The total value of sales in a category divided by the number of properties sold
4 The middle figure in a list of all sales prices
5 Residential includes SFD, condos and duplex/row houses.
6 Includes residential, rural and commercial sales

///…CP

Best Ignored

Here’s another post from my “News You Can Use” Client newsletter…


No property is perfect – each one you come across will have its flaws, but while some are justifiable grounds for crossing a home off your list, others aren’t.

Below are four things that shouldn’t be dealbreakers.

Unappealing Décor
Outdated or ultra-modern: whatever the reason you’re turned off by a potential property’s décor, keep in mind that this is a cosmetic flaw – in other words, it’s a problem that’s easily solved. If you can’t look past the gaudy wallpaper, stained carpeting, and/ or shabby cabinetry, you might just miss out on a property perfectly suited to your needs.

bestignoredMinor Repairs
A home in need of significant (read: costly) work is one you’d be justified in walking away from. But problems of a “leaks and squeaks” nature – faucets, cupboards, and drawers needing a little attention, for example – are minor, and relatively easy and inexpensive to repair; as such, they shouldn’t put you off an otherwise sound property.

Odours
Certain odours – the smell of mold for instance – are always cause for concern, and you wouldn’t want to live near a factory that produces a foul smell, of course. But odours from cooking, smoking, or pets, while unpleasant, can be dealt with; walls can be washed and repainted with odour-eliminating paint, and carpets can be steam cleaned, for example.

The Listing
Sometimes, buyers write off a property before they even see it due to the listing itself – perhaps the photos are unflattering, the price seems too high or low, or it’s been on the market for a long time. Consider that if your real estate representative shows you such a listing, there must be a reason – give it a chance.

///…CP

Come Home To: EDMONTON

Interested in moving to Alberta’s capital?

Come home!

///…CP