by CREB on December 01, 2014

Calgary’s residential resale housing market posted relatively strong November activity reaching 1,782 units, a three per cent increase over the previous year, and nearly 13 per cent above long term averages.

“Relative to other major centres, economic growth in Calgary remains one of the strongest in the country,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “Employment opportunities and relatively higher wages have encouraged people to move here, supporting the demand growth in our housing sector.”

Meanwhile, new listings growth continues to outpace the gains in sales, supporting a 22 per cent year-over-year rise in November inventories to 3,849 units. While inventories have recorded significant gains, they remain below long-term averages for the month.

“Over the past year, inventories have been low in the city, limiting some of the choice for consumers,” said CREB® president Bill Kirk. “While availability in specific segments and price ranges vary, on the whole, the recent rise in inventories will be welcome news for many buyers.”

As in previous months, November saw double-digit growth in year-to-date sales for all property types. However, the strongest gains were in the condominium apartment and townhouse sectors with a combined growth of over 19 per cent. When comparing year-to-date sales figures, both condominium sectors are currently at record levels.

“Overall, buyers looking for product under $400,000 will find more options in the condominium sector because supply levels have improved,” said Kirk. “In the single-family sector, however, declining supply in that same price range has created much tighter market conditions in that segment.”

Single-family sales totaled 1,181 units in November, a one per cent year-over-year decline. Meanwhile, year-to-date activity totaled 16,481 units, a 6.2 per cent increase over the previous year. New listings, in comparison, increased 5.9 per cent to 23,207 units over the same time frame.

November also showed easing growth in single-family unadjusted benchmark prices, totaling $511,300 in November—an 8.7 per cent increase over the previous year. While year-over-year price gains remain strong, price growth has slowed from the double-digit rates posted earlier in the year.

Meanwhile, unadjusted benchmark prices for condominium apartments and townhouses totaled a respective $300,700 and $338,600. Like the single-family sector, both condominium sectors have seen price growth ease from double-digit levels. However, it was only this past June and September that saw condominium apartment and townhouse prices recover from previous highs.

“Tight market conditions earlier in the year caused significant aggregate price gains,” said Lurie. “It also resulted in a rise in new listings, supporting gains in inventory levels, and a push towards more balanced levels. This has helped ease the upward growth pressure on prices.

“While Calgary’s price gains have garnered a significant amount of national attention, several indicators are pointing toward more stable conditions, easing risk associated with an overheating market.”


Keep it Clean

Look at your home as though you’re seeing it for the first time. Is every room neat, spotlessly clean, dusted and uncluttered? Steam clean carpets and wax floors. Wash walls, heating and A/C vents and light fixtures. Pay special attention to your bathroom and kitchen – make sure that tile grout is mildew free and baseboards scrubbed. Clean the refrigerator and stove as well as the washer and dryer (inside and out).

Lose the Clutter

Have a yard sale or take old furniture, clothing and knick-knacks to Goodwill. Organize shelves, put away items and purge your home of unnecessary items. Make sure that your kitchen and bathroom counters are free of small appliances and personal effects. Make your home seem more spacious by removing excess furniture to make rooms feel more open and replacing any items that are not appropriately sized for the room. Clean and organize your closets and remove excess clutter from all areas of your home. Strategically placed mirrors can also help to create the illusion of more space.

De-Personalize Your Home

Make your home “anonymous,” so that buyers can envision it as their potential home. Put away any family photos, sports trophies, collectibles, knick-knacks and souvenirs. This will also help to remove clutter and create more space.


Adding a fresh coat of paint and laying new carpet will clean and brighten up your home. Ensure that the décor of your home is modern and tasteful. Use neutral tones on your walls and floors and add colour with removable items such as throw pillows or bedding. Steer way from too many personal ouches to create minimalist and contemporary space.

First Impressions Count

Like a first date or job interview, the first impression of your home is the most important. Walking into a home with fingerprinted screen door windows or cluttered entranceways, can influence the potential homebuyer’s decisions. Likewise, strong odours can ruin a sale, so pay close attention to pet, cooking and cigarette smells in your home. Light delicately scented candles or have cookies baking when showing.

Curb Appeal

Homebuyers decide whether or not to look inside a house by the appearance of your home’s exterior. Paint or wash the outside of your home. Check your gutters and chimney and make necessary repairs. Keep your lawns trimmed and flower beds weeded. Use urns to define walk spaces and insure that window boxes are full of healthy all-season plants.

Doggie Don’ts

“Love me, love my pets,” doesn’t apply when selling your home. Take your pets with you when your house is being shown, or at least keep them outside. Pets under foot will quickly put a damper on an otherwise positive showing. While making sure that our house is odour-free and spotless applies to everyone, pet owners need to take special care.

Beautify Our Backyard

Don’t forget about your backyard. A house showing doesn’t always end at the backdoor. Beyond size and layout, potential buyers can also be influenced by the state of your yard. Keep the lawn, hedges and flowerbeds manicured. Buy exterior storage containers to hide gardening tools, kids toys and pool supplies. Lastly, interested buyers may decide to look inside your shed, so make sure that it is organized and clean.

Leave the Home

Go somewhere during the showing. It can be an uncomfortable situation for both the buyer and the seller so it is best to take a walk or go out for the day. If you cannot leave, stay in one room and do not follow the buyer around. Let their agent answer any questions for them unless you are specifically asked. Following these simple tips will help make your home more desirable than your competition’s. If buyers see that you take pride and care of our home, they’ll love it just as much as you do.




Ammolite is a gem found right here in Alberta. Formed in beautiful spirals, they are the fossilized shells of the giant mollusks (Ammonites, just to be confusing) which once lived here. Shaped like huge nautilus shells they look like brilliantly colored mother of pearl – on steroids!

All gems and crystals are believed to have healing qualities. Their strong link to the Chi of the Earth and of the stars makes them a source of inspiration and many would agree, powerful healing. Each type of stone has properties unique to its color and often to the way that it is formed, or its shape. Ammolite is no different, and in Asia prominent Masters are using ammolite for Feng Shui.

Because of the brilliant spectrum of colors in a high quality ammolite, it is said that

“This gemstone promotes the flow of “Qi” (pronounced chi) throughout the body, enhancing well-being and reducing the body’s toxicity. Ammolite’s rich colours stimulate creativity, energy, wisdom, intellect and wealth. Not only does it bring balance to a person’s body, but also to a person’s surroundings. When the stone is placed in the home, it promotes a happy family, and when it is placed in the office, it promotes good business dealings. In essence, anyone who finds or possesses ammolite is entitled to wondrous prosperity and fortune.”

The spiral pattern of these fossils reflect a Universal pattern found throughout the cosmos, radiating Earth’s chi and the colors of the rainbow out into the environment enhancing health, wealth and abundance.

Ammolite is rare – and valuable. They are graded according to the spectrum of their color and their shape, much like other gemstones, and a 12-13″ specimen could easily set you back around $20,000!

Wearing one on the body could be a great way to increase your personal flow of Chi and jewelery made from these firey stones is readily available throughout Southern Alberta.

It’s funny how we don’t appreciate what is right in our own back yards and in Alberta the story with ammolite is no different. While Asians are buying up these special fossilized gemstones like mad, we believe them to be worthless trinkets sold in Banff tourist traps.



Heritage Park’s eerie abodes (exerpt)

The Airdrie House, although smaller in stature than some of the more well-known haunts at the park such as the Prince House and Canmore Opera House, is included in our tour of the park Built by Samuel John Bushfield in Airdrie in 1906 and donated to the park in 1964, the modest Airdrie House makes up in spectres what it lacks in size.

“Whereas a lot of these other houses have stories associated with them, we can’t really find out anything about Airdrie House. But staff don’t like going in there,” said Munro, who recalls the time the park had a visit from a local clairvoyant. Before the group could even enter the home, Munro said the clairvoyant felt an evil presence emanating from within.

In recent years, several incidents have taken place in the home, including Christmas decorations that refuse to stay upright, items that appear to relocate themselves between visits, the sound of locked doors slamming shut and an even more chilling tale involving Munro herself.

“Last year, I brought some people to the house because I wanted them to investigate it. It was about midnight and we all walked up and we opened the front door. As we all walked in, every single one of us heard footsteps from upstairs, including me,” she said. “It was very freaky.”

The dimly lit rooms and dusty hallways of Prince House provide another stop on our tour, and is the basis for many eerie occurrences at the park

Built in 1894 by lumber magnate Peter Anthony Prince, the home was once host to Prince and his succession of wives, three of whom met with untimely ends while living in the house. Prince’s fourth wife, Emily, survived him by 19 years, eventually passing away in 1944.

“Everybody always says, ‘there’s the presence of a woman here.” Everybody – hands down,” said Munro. “It’s not an unwelcoming presence, but you can definitely feel a presence.”

Stories at the stately manor home include sightings of a woman, dressed in a flowing white dress, tending to a child in the home’s upper-floor nursery; as well as third-floor lights turning on, despite the fact the only working light in the home is on the main floor.

Nearby, Livingston House (built in 1883) has provided the setting for even more sightings, as visitors have reported spotting the ghost of Sam Livingston – Calgary’s “first citizen” – perhaps looking for his farm, which now lies beneath the waters of the Glenmore Reservoir. Guests have been known to hear footsteps from the unoccupied second floor, and have even seen the home’s rocking chair gently sway to and fro all on its own.

Livingston has also been spotted at the Canmore Opera House, perhaps awaiting a performance from the park’s ensemble of apparitions.

Even at the less-than-historic Sandstone House, constructed in the early 1970s to represent the sandstone homes built in Calgary following the great fire of 1886, staff members have reported unsettling stories.

“There’s a story about a security guard going in to check on the house and there was an ‘orb’ floating in the kitchen,” said Munro. “And right at the time he saw it, another security guard radioed to see if he was OK because he’d heard the voice of a young girl come across the radio.”

Whatever your experience at the park may be, it’s safe to say the stories surrounding its many historic haunts provide visitors with the perfect amount of curiosity and consternation leading up to Halloween.

Although the park is now closed for winter, Calgarians hoping to check out the stories for themselves can head down to the Ghouls’ Night Out. Taking place from Oct. 23 to Oct. 26 between 6 and 9 p.m., the annual multi-day event is perfect for families with little ghouls, aged three to nine, who are looking for a fun and safe night out.



Thanksgiving in Canada

Thanksgiving in Canada

Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday in most jurisdictions of Canada, with the exceptions being the Atlantic provinces of Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, where it is an optional holiday.

Companies that are regulated by the federal government (such as those in the telecommunications and banking sectors) recognize the holiday regardless of its provincial status.

As a liturgical festival, Thanksgiving corresponds to the English and continental European Harvest festival, with churches decorated with cornucopia, pumpkins, corn, wheat sheaves, and other harvest bounty, English and European harvest hymns sung on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, and scriptural selections drawn from biblical stories relating to the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot.

While the actual Thanksgiving holiday is on a Monday, Canadians may gather for their Thanksgiving feast on any day during the long weekend, with Saturday being the least common. Thanksgiving in Canada is also often a time for weekend getaways.

Similar to the United States, traditions such as parades and football can be a part of Thanksgiving in Canada. The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest parade is the most widely known Thanksgiving Day parade in Canada, and is broadcast nationwide on CTV. The Canadian Football League holds a nationally televised doubleheader, the Thanksgiving Day Classic. It is one of two weeks in which the league plays on Monday afternoons, the other being the Labour Day Classic. Unlike the Labour Day games, the teams that play on the Thanksgiving Day Classic vary each year.

Though the holiday enjoys statutory status in Quebec, French-speaking Quebecers do not typically consider it an important holiday and think of it as simply a day off, like Labour Day. It is common for people to take a weekend getaway to nearby tourist spots or, for those who have cottages, Thanksgiving is the last long-weekend they have to enjoy the cottage before closing it up for the winter. In any case, a festive meal with turkey and all the trimmings is customary.

Incidentally, Canadian Thanksgiving coincides with the U.S. observance of Columbus Day and has done so since the United States implemented the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1971 (most countries in the Western Hemisphere fix Columbus Day to October 12). As such, American towns with high levels of Canadian tourism will often hold their fall festivals over Thanksgiving/Columbus Day weekend in part to draw and accommodate Canadian tourists.

Border towns also often experience an uptick in shoppers at grocery stores, as Canadian shoppers take advantage of lower taxes and commodity prices in the United States over the long holiday.



Buying Homes in Calgary with Sue Chorney

Hope you find this interesting and useful – don’t forget to contact me for individual advise …..


Welcome to Sunday’s with Sue

When you are deciding to sell and re-purchase – make sure you take off your rose-colored glasses!!!! Unlike the experience of buying a first home, when you’re looking to move-up or down and already own a home, there are certain factors that can complicate the situation. Not only is there the issue of financing to consider, but you also have to SELL your present home at exactly the right time in order to avoid either the financial burden of owning two homes or losing the one you have an offer an offer on – You should plan to sell before you buy – JUST A FACT! This way you will not find yourself at a disadvantage at the negotiating table, feeling pressured to accept an offer that is below-market value because you have to meet your purchase deadline. Get your finances in order so that you know where you stand when it comes time to buy

  1. make sure about any penalties against your mortgage won’t hinder your decision to sell
  2.  how much do you qualify for your next home – sometimes a job change can alter your qualification

Once your home has sold, you can buy your next one with no strings attached. If you do get a tempting offer on your home but haven’t made significant headway on finding your next home, you might want to put in a contingency clause in the sale contract which gives you a reasonable time to find a home to buy. Remember  sometimes those rose-colored glasses can distort your intention .. Contact Sue – 403-860-7400 until next Sunday – have a GREAT week!  

Oh No – A Panic Purchaser

The most frightening thing for me when I’m with a purchaser is that they may become a panic purchaser!

What do I mean about that? ..

Well – sometimes a purchaser becomes frustrated if their house search becomes longer than they anticipated – and some have good reasons and others not – but the issue about that is that they get discouraged and just buy for the sake of buying because they are getting tired …

It may be a time constraint so they settle for any home because they are afraid of being homeless

Another may be because the market is fast and homes are being sold quicker than normal and the purchaser is afraid of losing the next home ..
Whatever the reason – Stand back and take a deep breath – nothing is worse than making a decision out of fear

I truly believe that things happen for a reason and that you will NOT be left homeless or wind up living in a home that you truly don’t love! – in the years I’ve been in the business – I have yet to have a client be left homeless!

You decisions become so skewed that anything becomes justifiable – as an experienced realtor I can spot this panic immediately and I really try and reel in my clients who become unravelled – sometimes it works and sometimes not – if your realtor suspects you are heading that way – please listen to their suggestions to calm down

You may have to take a day off and NOT peruse the internet – remember that your realtor has ALL the information at their fingertips – you searching the ‘net’ won’t uncover something that your realtor hasn’t discovered already for you – UNLESS you change your criteria and NOT tell them. Honestly – your realtor is NOT HIDING information from you

I once had a client actually admit that she thought I wasn’t showing everything to her – now what is the logic about that? Your realtor is your confident during this process – work as a team and KNOW that your chosen real estate agent wants only the best for you – after all – we want you as a repeat customer AND to refer business to us as that is a very flattering compliment to have a client refer your services!

Calgary Raised Bed Gardening

Calgary Raised Bed Gardening

 Calgary Raised Bed Gardening

  • Have you ever wanted to grow your own herbs, vegetables or even fruit?
Buying Homes in Calgary

Yum – Home Grown

  • Do you worry about food production in the near future?
  • Do you question what is in the food you consume or the unsustainable growing techniques used?

I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting the “Dirt Boys” when I participated in the Hillhurst/ Sunnyside Farmers Market last month (featuring my Fanciful Watercolors Cards and Cosmetic Bags)
I was interested in their offering as I know most of my Calgary Real Estate clients aren’t professional gardeners but would like to have something that they can participate in without much effort on their part and yet reap the benefits of growing their own foods.
An Excerpt from their site …..“Dirt Boys’ mandate is to change our city one yard at a time. Grass is too much work and resources for what we get out of it. Why not convert that yard to a thriving, productive vegetable, fruit or herb garden?”

Buying Homes in Calgary

Raised Garden Beds in Calgary

How Awesome is that!!!! – The out of the box Green Yard Garden starter package includes:

  • An onsite Free inspection to make sure your yard is viable for a raised bed garden
  • 1 8×4 raised bed garden complete with soil
  • 1 rain barrel connected to your downspout with the attractive Water saver downspout
  •  diverter, raised enough to easily get your watering can underneath.
  • 1 compost heap custom constructed and placed on site
  • Site cleanup
  • Location must be in Urban Calgary.

I hope that you enjoyed this little bit of information from “Buying Homes in Calgary” with Sue Chorney and, if you have any Calgary Real Estate questions that I can address, please go to my contact page and leave me your query and contact information

Until next time …Keep Smiling!

The Value of a Home Inspection

Buying a home in today’s Calgary real estate market comes with some conditions – one of which is a Home Inspection.

A Home Inspection is NOT to find a reason to adjust the offer price …

A Home Inspection IS so that you know what maintenance YOU have to do in order to keep your investment valuable.

In most cases, the Seller isn’t trying to slide things under the carpet in hopes that you don’t find out anything that may be of a concern. Most Sellers are advised by their Realtor to either
a) Fix items they know about that MAY cause an issue, or
b) Have a ‘pre-sale’ inspection to address any issues a Home Inspector may find pre listing

You want to make sure that your inspector is currently Licensed in the province of Alberta

So remember that a home inspection is to the benefit of the home buyer so that you can schedule maintenance throughout the year to keep your home in the best condition possible for selling in the future.