Archive for February, 2013

Calgary MLS Record Sale in Aspen Woods

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

 

 

If you didn’t think the real estate market was crazy in Calgary this might change your mind. On Wednesday, February 27th an Aspen Woods home sold for a whopping $10.35 million. This sets the record for the highest MLS sale price ever recorded in Calgary!

If you want to take advantage of the HOT market, give us a call today and we would love to be the one’s to list your home.

If you want to take a look at the photo gallery of this breath taking home many describe as a “French Castle” follow the link below.

http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/real-estate/Gallery+Aspen+Woods+home+sells+record+million/6988471/story.html

Call this Private Fantasy Island Your Home Today

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Ever dreamt of walking out of your front door, jumping on to your jet ski and going for a short ride to Cuba?

Well then you have a found your dream home. For the minimal cost of $15.8 Mil you can call this island your home. One can dream right?

Take a look at this amazing private island equipped with a breathtaking home, jungle, a local caretaker and an entire island to practice your golf skills!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are interested in looking at a photo gallery of this little piece of heaven, visit http://curbed.com/archives/2013/02/27/jet-ski-to-cuba-from-this-158m-key-west-isle-estate.php#512d2db6f92ea17b54013d56

Home Related Tax Deduction Tips from the HSH Team

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Unfortunately that dreadful time of the year is upon us…Tax season.

To help burden that tax pain we have a few home related tax deduction tips that can help you save some extra moola and help keep the hands out of your pocket this season!

 

1) Sell, make a profit, and don’t pay a nickel in taxes.
Most people are already aware that any capital gain on the sale of your principal residence is considered tax-free profit. But in order to not step out of bounds with the Canada Revenue Agency make sure you and your family unit only designate one property as a principal residence.

A family unit, for tax purposes, consists of you, your spouse (or common-law partner) and any unmarried children under the age of 18.

Ordinarily you have to inhabit a place regularly to call it your principle residence, although there are options to designate a recreational property as a primary residence. This is best done when there’s been little appreciation on your city-home, but a spike in value on your cottage. But talk to a tax specialist to confirm the best way of going about this.

2) Get a 15-year tax-free loan from yourself.
The Home Buyer’s Plan allows you to borrow, tax-free, up to $25,000 from your RRSP for the purpose of buying or building a home. The great news is that each half of a couple can withdraw up to $25,000, tax-free, from their own RRSPs. But you must be first-time homebuyers. And you cannot have owned or occupied your own home up to four years before the year you made the withdrawal.

You will be required to pay 1/15th of the loan each year for the next 15 years. But there will be no interest charges and no taxes incurred.

3) Cash in on being a first-time homebuyer.
In 2009 the federal government introduced a new tax credit for first-time home buyers:
o If you buy a home and you and your spouse haven’t owned a home in the last five years then you are entitled to a tax credit.
o The maximum credit is worth $750 and may be claimed by either spouse, or both, as long as the total doesn’t exceed $750.

4) Live the dream and work from home.
By creating a home-based business—even a part-time business—you are entitled to claim a deduction for a portion of home costs. This includes: mortgage interest, property taxes, utilities, repairs, landscaping and maintenance costs.

Just remember that you have to have a reasonable expectation of profit in order for the business to be legitimate, according to the tax man.

5) Make your home pay you.
Another way to claim a deduction for a portion of home costs is to rent out a room or part of your residence to a tenant.

Your property is still considered your principal residence (even it’s used to earn income) as long as the revenue-generating portion of your home is not the main use of your home.

Also, don’t make any structural changes to your home or claim any capital cost allowance deductions.

6) Move to get a bigger tax deduction.
If you move 40 kilometres closer to work or school and you could be eligible for some serious deductions.

That’s because almost every expense associated with moving can be deducted. This includes the cost of selling your old home and purchasing your new home, including realtor commissions, legal fees, even your mortgage penalties are dollar-for-dollar tax deductible.

You can also deduct all travelling expenses, such as fuel and maintenance for your car as well as transportation and storage costs, including insurance, for your household effects. This includes up to 15 days of meals and temporary accommodation, while travelling to the new home, as well as the cost of revising legal documents, such as driver’s license or utility hook-ups.

But be forewarned: a teammate on my brother’s hockey team, who is also a tax lawyer, confessed that the deductions can be so lucrative that people who claim moving expenses will often get red flagged by the CRA. Of course, if everything is above board, a little scrutiny may be worth it for a $5,000 or more tax deduction.

7) Renovate for medical reasons.
If you have mobility issues and you require renovations you may be able to claim this expense. Just remember that medical expense reimbursements need to fall within a 12-month period ending in the current tax year.

 

Source: http://www.moneysense.ca/2013/02/19/how-your-home-can-save-you-at-tax-time/

Opposing the Trend: Calgary Baby Boomers Looking to Upgrade Homes

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

It used to be a common thought that at a certain time in their lives Baby Boomers would be looking to downsize and move from their single family homes. A recent article from Leger Marketing suggests that this may not be the case.

The poll, by Leger Marketing, found that of the 40.6 per cent of Baby Boomers (born between 1947 and 1966), who do have plans to move to another primary residence, almost half (43.5 per cent) are looking to purchase another primary residence that is a similar size or larger than their current property. Of the total responses from Baby Boomers who intend to purchase their next primary residence, 66.8 per cent said they will do so in the next five years.

“Baby Boomers are the wealthiest generation in Canadian history. They live in large homes with ample space for their many possessions. They love their garages and their yards. This study clearly indicates that contrary to popular belief, most Boomers do not intend to downsize anytime soon,” said Phil Soper, chief executive of Royal LePage Real Estate.

Male Baby Boomers, who are planning to move, are more keen on upsizing their residence than women, with 23 per cent reporting that they plan on moving to a larger residence compared with 12.1 per cent of women. Baby Boomers looking to purchase a condominium prefer less amenities and low maintenance fees (54.5 per cent) over properties that have many amenities (39.1 per cent). Seventy-eight per cent of Baby Boomers currently own their own homes.

Among Baby Boomers who plan to downsize when they purchase their next residence, the most popular reasons are to reduce maintenance (73.7 per cent), free up money for retirement (48.1 per cent) and for travel (30.9 per cent).

Regardless of whether you are a Baby Boomer and are looking to downsize or upgrade, we are specialized in all areas of Calgary Real Estate and would love to help! Give us a call today.

Great time for first time homebuyers!

Monday, February 25th, 2013

CALGARY — Calgary experienced a housing market renaissance in 2012, reaping the benefits of strong provincial GDP and in-migration, which propelled home resales in the area, says a report released Monday by RBC Economics Research.

The latest Housing Trends and Affordability Report listed Calgary as one of the more affordable housing markets in Canada.

“Calgary-area buyers enjoyed significantly lower home ownership costs as a share of income than they faced at the market peak in early 2007 and the bar fell even further in 2012,” said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist of RBC. “In fact, it is the only major city in Canada where RBC measures are lower than their historical averages, suggesting that Calgary is one of the more affordable markets in the country.”

Thanks to improvements in previous quarters, all RBC measures stood below their previous-year levels in the fourth quarter. There was some minor deterioration in the latest period, however, with the measure for detached bungalows rising by 0.2 percentage points. But the measure for two-storey homes remained flat, and that for condominium apartments fell by 0.1 percentage points.

The RBC housing affordability measures capture the pre-tax household income needed to service the costs of owning a home at market values.

In Calgary, the average price of a detached bungalow in the fourth quarter of 2012 was $440,600 and the affordability measure was 38.1 per cent. The average price for a standard two-storey home was $434,700 with a measure of 38.6 per cent and for a standard condominium the average price was $250,100 with a measure of 22.2 per cent.

“It’s an exciting time for buyers, borrowing is very affordable right now. I’m seeing this affect the first-time homebuyer and investor market the most lately,” said Shayna Nackoney-Skauge, realtor with RE/MAX Rocky View Real Estate.

“Last week we listed a house that is in relatively original condition in the Varsity area. Within the first eight hours we had 15 showings and two offers. Buyers are flocking to scoop up new competitively-priced listings and investors are quick to pick up well-priced homes for their lot value in high-demand inner-city areas. It’s definitely keeping us on our toes to keep up with what is coming on and off the market on a daily basis.”

RBC said Alberta’s housing market remained vibrant in the final quarter of last year, buoyed by attractive affordability levels, accelerating population growth, a healthy labour market and a strong provincial economy. Although the pace of home resales slowed in the closing months of 2012, the housing market tightened up as fewer properties were listed for sale, it said.

“While homes are not particularly cheap in the province, Albertans boast the highest household incomes in Canada, which helps ensure that the share of their budget taken up by home ownership costs is easily manageable,” said Wright. “Barring an unexpected shock to the economy, housing market conditions in Alberta should remain positive in 2013.”

The RBC housing affordability measures for the province fell across all three housing types tracked by RBC. RBC’s measures for the benchmark detached bungalow and the standard two-storey fell by 0.2 percentage points to 32.1 per cent and 34.7 per cent, respectively. The measure for condominium apartments fell by 0.1 percentage points to 19.7 per cent. Average prices were: bungalow, $357,900; two-storey, $378,800; and condo, $213,300.

Nationally, affordability measures dropped by 0.2 percentage points for both bungalows (42.1 per cent) and condos (28.0 per cent) and by 0.3 percentage points for two-storey homes (47.8 per cent). Average prices in Canada in the fourth quarter of 2012 were: bungalow, $363,400; two-storey, $410,600; and condos, $237,600.

mtoneguzzi@calgaryherald.com

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Calgary+listed+more+affordable+housing+markets+Canada/8011636/story.html#ixzz2LwqfNefh

Century 21 Leading Brokerages in Brand Recognition

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Century 21, Re/Max and Coldwell Banker are the most recognized real estate brand names used by brokerages, according to an online survey of U.S. homebuyers and sellers commissioned by Century 21 and conducted by Millward Brown, a global brand research company.

The multiple-choice survey, which polled 1,204 randomly selected U.S. adults who have either bought or sold a home in the past two years or plan to buy or sell a home in the next two years during two separate two-week periods in 2012, showed that 96 percent of respondents had “seen or heard of” Century 21.

Re/Max, Coldwell Banker and Prudential rounded out the top four with 91 percent, 86 percent and 70 percent of respondents, respectively, indicating that they had ever “seen or heard of” the brands.

A similar survey by Millward Brown last year showed Century 21, Re/Max and Coldwell Banker retaining similar leadership positions in brand awareness.

Other brands in the poll, which was conducted Feb. 5-19, 2012, and Aug. 12-26, 2012, were Keller Williams, ERA, Real Living, Realty Executives and Weichert, Realtors.

 

Source: Millward Brown 2012 real estate brand research study

HSH Open House – #206 2417 17 ST SW, Calgary

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Have plans for Saturday, February 23rd? You do now!

Come check out our open house at a trendy condo in Bankview from 1 pm – 4pm. Call Jeff Leblanc at 403-542-6926 for the property details and access to the building.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

When is the Best Time to Buy or Sell a House

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Do you believe there are better times than others to buy or sell houses? Here’s an article that offers some timing tips that can save home buyers and sellers some money:

The best month to make an offer on a house is January. Fewer buyers are willing to house-hunt during cold, nasty weather, so there’s less competition and few, if any, bidding wars. Sellers also tend to be more motivated than they will be in the spring, when there are more buyers. Why? They may have just received their credit card bills that reflect Christmas spending and may be feeling financially insecure. And their decision to try to sell their houses in the winter means they’re willing to risk listing during a time of the year when properties tend not show particularly well.

The best day of the month to make an offer on a house is the first Tuesday. Why early in the month? Because the homeowner just wrote a mortgage check for a house he no longer wants – or needs to sell — and he doesn’t want to write another one. Why Tuesday? Because by Tuesday he’s starting to worry that he won’t get any offers from house hunters who saw the house the weekend before.

The best time of the year to sell a house is the spring. Buyers come out of the woodwork during the spring, and with tax refund checks in the bank, spring buyers more often pay full price. In fact, sales peak in the spring, helping to explain why about 60% of those who move do so in the summer. Tip within a tip: Don’t price your house with a zero at the end. Studies show that people perceive a precise price, such as $282,284, as lower than rounded ones, such as $280,000, even when the rounded prices are actually lower. Real-life sales show that one zero at the end of an asking price lowers the final sale price by .72% and two zeros lower it by .73%. That may not sound like much, but it can add up to thousands of dollars.

The best day of the week to list your house for sale is Thursday. This is more true during a sellers market, but if you list your house for sale on a Thursday, it will be available right away for weekend showings and by Saturday — the most important day of the real-estate week — your house will have shown only two days. That’s important because the fewer days on market, the better chance the home will attract a full-price offer. Even if your house doesn’t sell by the next Saturday, it will still show only nine days on market, benefiting from the psychological advantage of a single-digit number.

The best time to stop renting and buy a house is when it costs less to buy than to rent. Makes sense, but how do you figure that out? Find two similar houses – one for sale and one for rent – and divide the asking price by the annual rent. The difference is called the rent ratio. During the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, the nationwide rent ratio stayed between 10 and 14, then rose to nearly 19 in 2006, when the housing market topped out. A rent ratio of 20 or more usually means that it costs considerably more to own than rent after you factor in the mortgage, taxes, insurance, repairs and other expenses. It makes financial sense to buy when the rent ratio is a lot closer to 10 than to 20.

For example, my listing at 46 HIDDEN RANCH CR and a similar home found on Kijiji, let’s call it RENT. My listing’s asking price of $419,900 divided by RENT’s annual rent (at $2500 per month PLUS utilities) of $30,000 equals 13.9 rent ratio showing that it is VERY affordable to buy than rent.

Sources: http://business.time.com

Famous Rafter Six Ranch Resort Outside of Calgary For Sale

Monday, February 11th, 2013

 

CALGARY — An iconic piece of Alberta history, nestled near the Kananaskis River, is available for purchase.

The Rafter Six Ranch Resort, where movies have been filmed and where famous Hollywood stars have stayed, is listed for sale at $12.5 million by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

“We’ve had it listed for under six months. We’ve had some pretty good institutional interested investors. We actually have quite a few buyers who are interested in it. It’s definitely a property for somebody who is looking at running a business out of it. It could definitely be a strong business,” said Daren Gull, realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada in Calgary.

“In Sotheby’s, it’s definitely one of the Sotheby’s premier ranches right across North America … It’s actually really put Calgary on the map as far as ranching communities internationally. It’s so unique.”

The property is currently owned by a bank. The resort currently is still operating.

It sits on 30 hectares of land that is bordered on the east side by the Kananaskis River, just minutes south of the Highway 1 and the Seebee turnoff, about 90 kilometres west of Calgary and 20 kilometres east of Canmore in the Municipal District of Bighorn.

The Sotheby’s listing says the purchase price includes a 19,116-square-foot, three-storey guest lodge that has 18 guest rooms, a dining room, a coffee shop and two meeting rooms. A 6,326-square-foot hall is utilized for a variety of group events that can hold up to 400 guests. A 2,430-square-foot church was built in 1996 for about 100 guests and incudes a choir loft, fireplace, and finished basement.

The barn and tack shop is 5,041 square feet surrounded by corrals. There are eight guest cabins, and four chalets ranging from 368 square feet to 1,266 square feet. There is also a 2,700-square-foot Quonset. The property includes a 3,400-square-foot, two-storey, owner’s residence, and various out structures.

The property has a rich history. According to the Rafter Six Ranch Resort website: “In the 1880s Colonel James Walker of the Northwest Mounted Police (NWMP) established a rough line shack, and pastured and bred horse’s on the land that today is Rafter Six Ranch.”

The website says that in the 1940s a location scout for Walt Disney Pictures discovered the Rafter Six Ranch.

“Walt Disney visited Rafter Six Ranch, and was so taken with the stunning scenery, that soon a steady stream of Disney Productions were using the Ranch. A cabin was specially built for Walt Disney — and still carries his name,” says the website.

“River of No Return, was Marilyn Monroe’s first movie, and many of the scenes were shot on and around the ranch. Rafter Six Ranch has been the backdrop for many wilderness themed Movies and TV Shows. Productions like, Grizzly Adams, Wilderness Family, Wolf Boy, and Across the Great Divide … have all been shot at the Resort.”

In 1994, the television movie, How the West Was Fun, using the ranch’s name, starred Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and was filmed on location.

The website says some of the guests and visitors over the years have included: Charles Bronson; Paul Newman; Martin Mull; Robert Logan; Lee Marvin; Kevin Costner; Robert Mitchum; Stuart Margolin; and Hardy Kruger.

Over the years, the ranch has been used for a variety of activities including: weddings; corporate retreats and meetings; lodging; horseback adventures; whitewater rafting; treetop ropes and zipline; entertainment; winter adventures; and dining.

mtoneguzzi@calgaryherald.com

Twitter: MTone123

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Calgary Homes and Lands Magazine- February Edition

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Take a look at our ad in this months Homes & Lands magazine.

If you are interested in any of our listings or any other Calgary properties, please give us a call!

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Calgary Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
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