Calgary Real Estate News from Elke Babiuk September 2019   

It’s easy to "go green" when tackling a home reno as most contractors offer a variety of environmentally friendly alternatives. This month’s article offers a few ideas on how to make your home more eco-friendly.

There are also tips on how to prepare your home in case of a blackout as well as some advice on how to get your lawn ready for the colder months that lie ahead.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general. It'd be great to hear from you!

In this issue...
Calgary Real Estate Market Update 
Sales activity increase led by lower-priced homes.

Increased sales and easing new listings reduced housing inventories in August. Sales were primarily driven by homes priced below $500,000.

“Employment numbers have been improving, but mostly in industries that are traditionally lower-paid,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“This is contributing to the shift that we are seeing in the housing market, with growth being limited to properties priced below $500,000.”

Rising sales for homes priced under $500,000 offset sales declines in the higher price ranges. This caused August sales to improve by six per cent compared to last year.

Sales activity improved for all product types. The growth was largest for apartment-style and attached properties.

Attached sales increased for the sixth consecutive month compared to the previous year. This is also the only property type with year-to-date sales higher than last year’s levels.

New listings continued to ease this month, which caused inventory to decline. This is helping the market shift toward more balanced conditions.

The amount of downward pressure on prices is also easing. At $426,000, the unadjusted citywide benchmark price this month remained comparable to last month, but 2.6 per cent lower than last year’s levels.

Despite improving sales and reductions in inventory, housing market recovery will take time. Inventory levels remain elevated and sales activity is still well below historical norms. The market continues to favour the buyer, with over four months of supply.

The Green House Effect 
Homeowners everywhere are demanding eco-friendly choices.

A “green home” not only helps protect the environment, but it also yields long-term financial benefits. Here are a few environmentally friendly ideas to consider if you’re looking to update your home:

  1. Floor It - Consider naturally durable, environmentally friendly flooring options such as cork, reclaimed wood or bamboo.

  2. No Tanks - A tankless water heater may cost more initially but you’ll save money in the long run as the water's only heated when in use.

  3. Breathe Easy - Avoid using materials that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as they’re extremely hazardous.

  4. Reuse & Repurpose - Using reclaimed building materials will add both character and style to your home.

  5. Sunny Side Up - Solar panels will cut the cost of your electric bill and contribute to the fight against global warming while also adding value to your home.

  6. Window of Opportunity - If you plan on adding an addition, strategically place your windows in order to take advantage of the sun's natural warmth.

When it comes to remodelling, there are numerous environmentally friendly options for virtually any project. Buyers are always looking for greener alternatives, so these kinds of changes will definitely pay off down the road when it comes time to sell.

Don't Get Left in the Dark 
Being properly prepared is critical when facing a potential blackout.

Losing your power can be a scary prospect, especially for long periods of time when the weather turns nasty. Here are a few tips to help you cope if you suddenly find yourself in the dark:

  1. Take Stock - Stock your pantry with water and non-perishable food items.

  2. Request Backup - Purchase a portable power supply to charge essential electronics.

  3. Match Box - Store matches, candles, batteries and a multi-bit screwdriver in a central location.

  4. Let There Be Light - Ensure each family member has a flashlight stored in a designated spot.

  5. Keep Your Cool - Don't open your freezer or fridge unless it’s absolutely necessary.

  6. Stay Tuned - Have a battery-operated radio on hand so you can receive local news updates.

  7. Check Up - Check on residents in your community, especially if they’re elderly or on their own.

  8. Flip the Switch - Turn off the thermostat and all electronic equipment to prevent damage from a power surge when the power’s restored.

Blackouts can catch us off guard as we often take everyday essentials like light and heat for granted but by properly preparing for a blackout, they’ll be no need to panic. You can instead relax and have fun playing board games and telling stories by candlelight.

Don't Let Your Lawn Fall Apart 
Now’s the time to start preparing your lawn for the cold months ahead.

It’s important to properly take care of your lawn in the fall if you want it to look its best next year. Here’s what you should do to prepare for the spring:

  1. Rake It - Remove excess leaves as they’ll block light and trap moisture.

  2. Feed It - Fertilize your lawn in the fall to help repair any damaged roots.

  3. Seed It - Spread grass seed on bare patches to prevent future weeds.

  4. Drop It - Adjust the lawnmower down a level for the last mow of the season.

It may seem pointless to spend time working on your lawn now that summer's starting to fade into fall but if you take the time to do it now, you’ll thank yourself next year when springtime rolls around!

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.