Pre-Listing – Test Reports & Property Inspections

If you live on an acreage and plan on selling in the near future if at all possible you should have & provide current well and septic tests. Having both will ensure current, accurate information is provided to potential buyers and improve the marketability of your property. There is nothing more frustrating than handling enquiries about the pumping rate or condition of an acreage water supply as it is usually the first question that comes up and it is of top concern to prospective buyers.  So why second guess what the status is, or worse yet, not have any information about your well, water chemical makeup and condition of your septic system. Even though a buyer may still do their own tests (at their expense), by you having up to date reports on these systems, you can then list your acreage and have your property promoted with confidence about the accuracy of the information and additionally improve and speed up the decision process by prospective buyers.

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Foothills Visual & Noise Bylaws – How they can impact acreage owners & property values

Municipal governments have numerous and detailed bylaws regarding property development such as  development, home acreage construction, home business operations and Dark Sky lighting guidelines to name just a few.  They are too extensive and detailed to cover in an article such as this, but as a point of interest as it pertains to how certain bylaws may affect property values if not adhered to, I am just highlighting some of the Community Standards Bylaws adopted a few years ago by the MD Foothills as they are the day to day obvious things one can be impacted by. These bylaws were developed to help create order and respect for each other’s privacy and right to both quiet and visual enjoyment of one’s property.

Over my career on my visits to a wide variety of properties for either evaluations purposes, listing of properties or representing buyers looking at acreages and land, it has been interesting and troubling to see firsthand how in several cases property owners and their neighbours are not adhering to several of the MD community standard bylaws. Whether one is affected by bylaw contraventions as a neighbour or whether what you may be doing or not doing may be affecting your neighbour, I felt it useful to include in this article a summary of these bylaws in case some readers are not aware of them or need a reminder about them.

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When preparing to sell your home, the goal is to sell it as quickly and at the highest price possible within the current market conditions, while investing as little as possible in renovations and updates.   You don’t need a $150K+ renovation to sell as likely you won’t necessarily get the value back anyway unless, for example, if you own an older home that requires significant work such as required electrical and mechanical systems major updates.

Below are some of the lesser expensive ways to improve your look and presentation applicable to city & small town homes and country acreages alike. Even if you are not selling in the very near future doing many of these things will help you enjoy your home and property more and also be more prepared for a possible future sale!


Tip #1:  Refresh the Exterior

Many buyers will not venture out of their car if they do not find the exterior of a home appealing.  Painting trim, pressure washing vinyl siding and windows, painting worn steps or decking and replacing damaged eaves troughs are some ways to simply improve the exterior look.  Also repair exterior siding if needed and paint any outbuildings to tie them to the home and reflect overall property care.

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Why pricing is still King when selling Real Estate.

Pricing is a very close second or equal to the property location factor when selling property. We have all heard the adage – location, location, location when referring to real estate selling and purchasing! And it is certainly true that it is one of the top considerations when buying a property. But after my 24 years of dealing with sellers and buyers, analyzing numerous trends and statistics and moving through various ups and downs in the market, I know firsthand that pricing is certainly one of the top considerations as well, if not the top one, no matter how well you home shows or its location, to attaining a successful sale in any market condition. Continue reading

Tips for Buying an Acreage

A new year often means that city folk dream about what life in the country might be like.  But now, more than ever, it pays to do one’s homework before heading out to stake one’s claim.  Here are some tips on buying an acreage that you could suggest to those you know who are thinking about a move this spring or wanting to start looking.  And this is a good list to take note of if you are already an acreage owner and want insight as to what a country realtor recommends to his potential buyers and issues buyers grapple with. Continue reading


Like the saying “What comes first: the chicken or the egg? There is no generally correct answer to the classic real estate problem of whether it’s better to buy first or sell first.

Moving from one house/property to another involves the financial risk of carrying two properties simultaneously or at worst ending up on the street and having to move twice. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of both alternatives for you to ponder. Of course your decision in this regard will be affected by your risk quotient and financial resources. Continue reading

Real Estate Truisms (Proverbs) – Inspirational, Wise & Humorous

In this issue I will be covering 2 topics:

  • First, a very brief review of activity for the last 2 to 4 months in the MD Foothills & Rocky View reviewing the pricing & sales averages given our new realties in Alberta, reflecting  the continuing market challenges in the ‘higher end’ segment & luxury type acreages sector and slower activity generally across all sectors.
  • And on a lighter side, a list of some Real Estate sayings (Proverbs) that are actually quite true in most cases and good food for thought for us all in considering various aspects of real estate. I’ve added a few of my own I’ve penned after 28 years in Real Estate with exposure to so many circumstances & observations.

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Contemplating the purchase of a new home? – Tips for Buyers

A new year has begun and If you have been writing your goals for 2015 and the plan is to find a new home or property, may I suggest that there are a number of things one can do in advance of that purchase to make your transition a smooth one. Not only that, but being prepared and ready to make a “clean” offer , particularly as it relates to financing, will put you ahead of other prospective buyers who are looking at the same properties you are, but who do not have their affairs in order and are not armed and ready to go.
Astute home buyers will begin their preparation well in advance of visiting prospective properties by undertaking the following steps. Continue reading