up_800Though it may be freezing cold outside, the real estate market in Edmonton is heating up again!

As reported last Friday by the Edmonton Journal, Edmonton home buyers are enjoying a happy combination of: competitive home prices, healthy inventory, strong national sales growth, and historically low interest rates. All of that led to a boost in November MLS sales – the first such increase in five months. 

According to the Realtors Association of Edmonton: 

  •  The average price of a single-detached home sold for $362,657 -- .5% lower than October 2010, and 2.5% lower than October 2009.
  • Condo prices dipped to an average of $229,604 – a 2% dip from October 2009, and a 3% drop from November 2009.
  • The average number of days a house remained…

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 money_800Are you in the market for your first home?


Or, with historically low interest rates and lots of selection to choose from, are you thinking about taking the (smart) step from renting to owning?


If so, then I’ve got some fantastic news for you that will put a smile on your face – it’s called the First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit (HBTC).


Launched by the Federal Government in 2008, the HBTC gives qualifying first time home buyers a non-refundable tax credit based on an amount of $5,000. The exact amount of the tax credit depends on the tax year’s lowest personal income tax rate.


For example, in 2009, this amount was 15%, which meant that qualifying first time home buyers received a tax credit of $750 (15% x $5000). In 2010, the…

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trends_800Earlier this month, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) lowered its resale housing forecast for 2010 by a modest 4.9%. The decline is expected to reach 9% in 2011.


The revised forecast, which is based on the Multiple Listing Service’s (MLS) home sales activity, is due to less-than-stellar national economic growth. Factors such as slow job creation, shaky consumer confidence, and slowly rising interest rates are also playing a role.


However, the overall picture – especially in places like Alberta, which has a relatively strong and growing economy – is not grim. Really, the decline is a realistic correction in the marketplace, which saw massive, record-level activity in 2009 and into 2010. It’s still a “friendly” housing market…

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deal_400For months, real estate professional and home sellers have been closely following negotiations between the Federal Competition Bureau and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

At issue was whether home sellers could select specific services from real estate professionals, and then pay for only those services when selling their home. Historically, sellers were not provided with this choice.

However, under a deal struck on October 24 between the Federal Competition Bureau and the CREA, home sellers will enjoy more choice and selection from their realtors® when selling their home.

Also, among other immediate changes, CREA realtors® will stop blocking so-called “discount agents” from accessing the Multiple Listings Service® (MLS®) system.…

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balance_800According to Dan Sumner, an Economist at ATB Financial, Edmonton’s housing market is continuing to “correct” itself after about year and a half of sizzling growth.

Referring to data recently released by the Realtors® Association of Edmonton, Sumner noted that in October, the average home price in Edmonton fell about $10,000 or 3% vs. September ($327,235 to $317,422).

The decline was noticed across the board among residential properties, including condos, town houses, row houses, single-family dwellings, and rural properties.

At the same time, house sales in October dipped slightly from September, from 1,187 to 1,077. However, Sumner sees this as a normal seasonal shift that typically occurs when fall sets in, and not a trend related to…

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buysell_800Traditionally, the real estate process has, in some ways, resembled a courtroom.


One the one side, you have the plaintiff or the crown. We’ll call them the sellers. On the other side, you have the defendant. We’ll call them the buyers. And both the sellers and buyers have their lawyers; I mean, their real estate agents.


And while this process may not be a roll-up-your-sleeves and come out swinging brawl, let’s face it: it’s pretty adversarial. It’s about not giving “the other guy” an inch, and about getting the most for the least.

Well, that may have been true in the past, but according to Beth Braverman of Money Magazine, both buyers, sellers and real estate professional need to take a giant leap forward and escape from “us vs.…

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graph_400Here’s some welcome news for Edmonton first time home buyers: housing prices are “levelling off” according to industry experts.

Referencing a Royal LePage report, the Edmonton Journal noted that for the third quarter of 2010 (July, August and September):

· Edmonton and surrounding detached bungalows averaged $311,429 – or 0.9% higher than last year

· Edmonton and surrounding two-story houses averaged $338,571 – or 3.4% higher than last year

· Edmonton and surrounding standard condominiums averaged $204,167 – or 3.6% lower than last year

· A standard condo in Clareview averaged $160,000 – or 11.1% lower than last year

· A detached bungalow in Clareview averaged $250,000 – or 9.1% lower than the year before

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I’m a big fan of the older homes you can find in Edmonton and understand why they are often very appealing to a first time home buyer. While it is true that older homes can have a lot more character and individuality than some newer homes, older homes can also have their own problems. There are two common areas where older homes tend to end up costing a first time homebuyer more than they anticipated but a good realtor® can help you avoid these problems and make sure that you get the home you expect.

Due to the climate, a major potential problem area in Edmonton’s older homes is heating and for any first time home buyer this may be a really complex issue. Even 20 years ago, the heating systems in common usage were far less efficient than the…

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It wasn’t too long ago that first time buyers usually started exploring the housing market with a Sunday paper. Today, it’s done online and it’s a 24/7 service. For most Realtors®, the days of advertising in the paper are over. With 95% of first time buyers are starting the home search online, a comprehensive online presence is vital to helping them find what they need.

Good Realtor® websites will have access to all MLS® listings for their area’s real estate directly on the site with a searchable feature. A good listings search will give you different ways you can sort through the listings and explore the houses advertised. There are ways that first time buyers can put these services to good use.

First time buyers can start by looking at …

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Hello, my name is Chris Proctor and I’m a Realtor® in Edmonton, Alberta. I was born and raised in Edmonton and truly love this city. I’ve grown up in a bit of a real estate family, so after finishing my degree at the University of Alberta I was eager to get into the business. My other passions outside of real estate are animals, traveling, sports, food, social media, and enjoying life to the fullest!

As a Realtor®, I’ve encountered numerous clients who come to me with little or no knowledge when it comes to buying or selling a home. They ask me questions like, "Chris, what do the sellers have to disclose to me about the property they are selling?" or "What are my closing costs likely to be?" For the savvy real estate investor these might seem…

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