Realtor, Real Estate Okotoks, Cochrane, Calgary

      


Big city deals with a small town feel! 

Specializing in Real Estate in Calgary, Okotoks, Cochrane & Area


Call or text 403.700-2532   Email: home@griffinre.ca

Brett Murrell, Realtor Real Estate Agent serving Calgary, Okotoks, Cochrane & areas


Do your research before selling a second home


Owning an investment property can provide useful income, while having a recreational property can provide a great place to spend time with family and friends.

 

But if you are thinking it’s time to sell, some careful research is in order.

 

“There’s a lot to consider when selling your investment property or a vacation home,” said Laura Parsons, the Calgary-area manager for mortgage specialists with BMO Financial Group. “Do your homework.”

A major factor when selling a property that is not your principal residence is the potential for capital gains.
Generally, if you sell the property for more than your original purchase price, half of the capital gain is taxable at your marginal tax rate.

 

However, the Canada Revenue Agency has strict rules on calculating capital gains, and changes do occur, so Parsons recommends talking to your accountant and making sure they are knowledgeable about investment real estate.

 

“The impact of when you sell may have a bearing on how much tax you pay,” she said. “So, it’s really important that you speak to your accountant and make sure that this is a good time for you to sell.”

 

Your accountant can determine if there are ways to reduce your capital gains for tax purposes – any renovations you’ve made to the property of a capital nature, for example.

 

On the flip side, an accountant might caution you against a sale if you are expecting increased income that would bump you into a higher tax bracket.

 

“If you’re in a high-income-earning year, you may not want to have some capital gains on top of that,” said Parsons.

She says if you’re paying a mortgage on an investment property or vacation home, you should also consider the effects on financing if you sell.

“THE IMPACT OF WHEN YOU SELL MAY HAVE A BEARING ON HOW MUCH TAX YOU PAY. SO, IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU SPEAK TO YOUR ACCOUNTANT AND MAKE SURE THAT THIS IS A GOOD TIME FOR YOU TO SELL.” – LAURA PARSONS, BMO FINANCIAL GROUP

“Are you going to have penalties? Are you losing a great [interest] rate? Because sometimes you can port your mortgage if you plan on buying another investment property,” she said.

 

There are also ways to try and maximize the selling price for your property and determine when to sell.

Parsons recommends talking to your REALTOR® to see what the local market is like for the type of property you own, and to get an idea of vacancy rates if it’s a rental property.

 

Find out what’s going on in the neighbourhood, such as plans for improved transit or construction of a leisure facility that might appeal to buyers.

 

“Any time you go to sell, make sure you’re sharing a lot of the knowledge, because it will be more desirable from a buyer’s point of view,” said Parsons.

 

If the property needs fixing up, Parsons recommends highlighting the availability of the Purchase Plus Improvements program that allows a buyer to finance some renovations into a mortgage.

 

“Position it with your Realtor and your banker to do what’s called mortgage staging, where we actually show people coming in to buy the house that they can build the renovations right into the purchase,” she said.

 

Parsons’ final piece of advice is to talk to the experts – your financial adviser, accountant, lawyer and Realtor – before any sale.

 

“Everything matters, especially with investment properties,” she said. “You really want to make a great decision.”

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Brett Murrell, Realtor Real Estate Agent serving Calgary, Okotoks, Cochrane & areas

Moving with pets Okotoks

How to make moving easier on your four-legged family members

 

For Erika Lagyjanszki, a 25-year-old wedding photographer, moving out of her basement apartment was a stressful ordeal for both her and her pets.

Finding a new rental that would allow her two dogs – Bailey, a four-year-old husky border collie cross, and Diesel, a two-year-old shepherd husky cross – while trying to time the logistics of the move added to her exasperation.

And, while Lagyjanszki had moved before and knew what to expect, she wasn’t prepared for the affect the experience had on her pets.

 

“They did not do well with the move at all,” she said. “We had to stay at a friend’s house for a month in between moving and the dogs kept getting into fights. That had never happened before, and it got to the point where I had to get in between them. I’d also come back after a day at work and the place would be trashed.”

Moving is a very stressful event, as any homeowner or renter can attest. But, what we don’t often think about is the effect it has on our furry friends. Both cats and dogs can suffer stress when their world is suddenly changed.

“Moving can be stressful for pets because their whole routine is being uprooted, and you can’t explain to them what’s going on,” said Ashley Barton, certified trainer and general manager of Chasin’ Tails Dog Care Center and boarding facility in Calgary. “Pets rely on the regular flow of their everyday, so now when all their belongings are being packed up and moved somewhere else, it can be extremely stressful on them.”


Boarding can help

When you move, the front doors are usually propped open, and the last thing you need to worry about is your pet escaping while you are packing everything into the truck.

That’s why Barton says sending your pooch or kitty to pet daycare, or boarding them for a couple of days while you move can help with the transition.

“Boarding your pet while you move is a great idea to relieve stress for not only your pet, but for you as well,” she said. “When your pet is used to going to a boarding facility, or staying with a friend, it’s still a regular event for them to go to the sitter. They can be happy on their pet vacation, and you don’t have to stress about them being around for the big day.”


WHEN YOUR PET IS USED TO GOING TO A BOARDING FACILITY, OR STAYING WITH A FRIEND, IT’S STILL A REGULAR EVENT FOR THEM TO GO TO THE SITTER. THEY CAN BE HAPPY ON THEIR PET VACATION, AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO STRESS ABOUT THEM BEING AROUND FOR THE BIG DAY.


For dogs, a doggy daycare is like one big play date for your pooch – one that leaves them tired at the end of the day, which is ideal when you’re introducing them to a new space.

“Moving is taxing on you as much as it is on your dog, so knowing that you are bringing a happy, tired dog into the new home can help lessen anxiety or unwanted behaviours in the new house,” said Barton.

For cats, a vet clinic or friend’s house is ideal, so that when they are brought to the new home they can settle into their new environment without all the commotion typical of a move. Leaving a few moving boxes around will give your feline friend a place to take shelter.


Signs of Stress

While our pets can’t tell us if they are stressed in words, they do give us signs to relay the message that they are feeling anxious, says Tyson Hainsworth, master dog trainer at Dog Squad in Calgary.

Hainsworth says some signs to look for in dogs include panting, whining and drooling. For cats, a lack of appetite can be a sign that your pet may be stressed.

What to do

Dogs present a special case. Hainsworth says if a dog knows he doesn’t need to be the protector of the pack, he will be pretty calm anywhere you take him.

How to show him you’re the top dog? Only give him attention on your terms, says Hainsworth. “Don’t give Fido attention when he demands it through things like pawing, jumping, barking, nipping, etc.”

In addition, Hainsworth also says to teach the dog that you are the leader on walks.

“When it comes to the new neighbourhood, if your dog will walk a half step behind you (on the right), they respect you as the leader and will see that you keep them safe from any new threats in the neighbourhood. It sets everything in motion and gives you the chance for a blank slate at the new residence.”

And once you’re all settled in, make sure to create a safe space for your cat or dog, adds Barton.

“When you bring them into the new house, make sure you have their new area set up with their bedding, so they can begin to feel more comfortable with their familiar scents faster.”

 

Article Courtesy of CREB

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Brett Murrell, Realtor Real Estate Agent serving Calgary, Okotoks, Cochrane & areas


Calgary Real Estate


As we settle into 2017, we are seeing significant improvements to the pace of sales, overall market conditions, and most importantly, consumer confidence. The energy market is the biggest driver of stability as oil prices have now increased by 75% year-over-year to the mid $50 range. This price range offers job security and many positions to be restored. While it is still not pre-2015 conditions, consumers are opening their wallets and starting to make the home purchases they have been putting off.


Calgary is a tale of two markets. Overall, 30-day sales volumes are up almost 30% from a year ago and we are sitting solidly in a balanced market with 3.24 months of inventory (balanced is 2.5mths–4.0mths). The busiest side of the market is in single family detached homes, which are up 32% in last 30 days of sales compared to this time last year. With only 2.34 months of inventory, we are in sellers’ market conditions and some buyers are facing multiple offers in lower prices ranges.


The condo market is still facing a surplus of inventory but is moving in the right direction with a 30%+ increase in sales. At 4.96 months of inventory, buyers still have the advantage but this is trending towards a balanced market with each passing day. A wild card affecting price growth on the condo side will be the number of new buildings expected to be completed, which could increase inventories in the next 12 months.


Overall, the conditions are right for price growth this year. The Calgary Real Estate Board is forecasting 2% increases across the market. For sellers, we expect a great year when priced with the market (overpricing will not work). For buyers, you have lots of great options on the condo side of the market but you may find yourself facing more competition for listings when looking at the single family detached segment.


Source: CIR

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Brett Murrell, Realtor Real Estate Agent serving Calgary, Okotoks, Cochrane & areas

 
 

Most people believe there are lots of reasons that a home doesn’t sell. However, there are actually only five. If you address these five common mistakes, then you will never have a problem getting your home sold. 

Over Pricing and Speculating
We all wish we could ask whatever we wanted for our homes, but unfortunately price is set by comparable properties and market conditions. If you are priced above either of these, then your home will sit for a long time.

Looking at the price of homes currently listed for sale in your neighborhood only tells part of the story. You must research how much homes are actually selling for, and price your home accordingly.

 
Exposure
Even a well priced property can’t sell, if no one knows about it. If you are not marketing your home where the buyers are looking, then you will not sell it. The more of your target market that sees your home, the better chance you have.

More and more, people are using the internet as their primary source of research. Be sure your home is easy to find in the most common places that people look.

 
Poor Marketing
You have to make buyers want to look at your home. If your marketing makes your property look like every other listing, then you are simply “rolling the dice” and hoping for the best. Is your marketing truly compelling?

A great question to ask is... Why should someone buy my home, versus any other home in the neighborhood or city? If you don’t believe that you have a compelling reason, then the buyer won’t either.

 
Presentation
So now you’ve got someone to look at your home, but it’s a mess, smells bad, or simply shows poorly. If a buyer doesn’t feel comfortable in your home, you can forget about the sale.

If you can, don’t be around for showings, keep the house clean, and do some research on staging your home for sale. A small investment can make or save you thousands.

 
Lack of Buyer Confidence
Purchases fall through every day because sellers cannot confidently answer the buyer’s questions; provide accurate paperwork, or verify important details. If you are not organized before you sell, then you may watch all your hard work go to waste as a potential buyer walks away due to a lack of confidence. 

Do Your Homework
You need to be very realistic with your goals when you are selling and you must do your homework. As the marketplace changes so must your strategy. Too many people spend thousands of dollars, hours of their time (not to mention stress) and miss the best opportunities to sell or don’t have the proper information to make a sale possible.

Gather all the information that you need and get the advice of experts when you can. At the end of the day, hiring a professional to ensure your sale is done properly may be one of the best investments you can make.

 

Source: Courtesy CIR Realty

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Brett Murrell, Realtor Real Estate Agent serving Calgary, Okotoks, Cochrane & areas

11 Ways To Get Your House in Tip Top Shape Prior to Selling It!
And Maximize the Most Income!
 

Many people want to know what the secret is to getting the most out of their real estate and to appeal to most consumers looking for real estate today. This report will guide you through doing many of those things to help get the most dollars when selling your property. 

1. Paint the interior!
Most buyers appreciate a good fresh coat of paint and this will help enhance your properties value. It will also help brighten your rooms by giving them a new clean appearance. Stay away from bold and bright colors and focus more on lighter and softer earth tone shades. This will also help make the rooms feel larger and appeal to a bigger group of potential buyers. 

2. Paint the exterior!
Curb appeal is important and there is nothing worse for a Real Estate professional to try and market a home that has peeling paint or is in desperate need of painting. Of course depending on the time of year and the weather conditions you might not be able to paint the exterior but if at all possible paint the exterior. As noted with the interior suggestion of using soft lighter neutral colors do the same for painting the outside of your home. Stay away from bright colors that others may not like. 

3. Pick Up Any Outside Debris, Trash or Clutter!
First impressions make a huge impact on potential buyers. Should your property have unwanted clutter at the initial greeting to consumers when your property is shown it will not help in the marketing and selling of your home. A few hard hours of raking cleaning and picking up odds and ends could add “thousands” to the sales price of your home. 

4. Reduce Extras and Odds and Ends From Your Home!
Rooms with too much furniture or decorations can often detract from the showing of your home. Usually too much décor can make the rooms look smaller and hurt your chances of selling your home. Store unneeded furniture or items that you can do without during the marketing stage of your property listing. Your goal is to make your property look spacious and comfortable. Buyers also want to see rooms that appear and look spacious to them. 

5. Be sure and Open Blinds and Draperies!
This is a great idea to help aid the salesperson sell your home. When your property is in tip top share and ready to show having as much light as possible helps brighten your home and give it a good feel. 

6. Avoid Playing Music!
Although you may like the music playing in the background it can be a deterrent to the agent and buyers while looking at your home. Keep music off while your home is being shown. 

7. Price Your Property Right From The Beginning!
Many buyers take the approach and attitude that they can always come down on price. This can be a bad thing to do. Many buyers feel if a home has been listed for a long time that there is something wrong with it. Most agents will tell you that the best activity occurs during the first two to three weeks of the listing begin date. After a few weeks the activity will begin to taper off and showings will cease. If your home is priced incorrectly from the beginning it will not get a lot of showings and the longer your home is on the market the more buyers will feel that it’s tainted or something’s wrong with the price. 

8. Have Your Carpets Cleaned!
It’s a good idea to have your carpets cleaned or your hardwood floors polished or waxed. This is normally not too expensive and can usually add a lot of appeal to potential buyers. 

9. Hire a Home Stager
If possible hire a staging company to help show you ways to maximize room appeal and value to your residence. Many real estate firms have a staging company or people on staff who can aid in this service. Feel free to ask me about how I can help with staging too 

10. Look Outside
The exterior of your home is the first impression buyers will have, make sure you clean up debris and keep the sidewalks and entry clear of clutter. Consider your curb appeal. 
 
 
 

Edited with Source from John D. Mayfield ABR, ABRM, GRI, e-PRO, CRB

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