We finished profiling all the neighborhoods on Calgary's West Side and we have started moving a bit more east to profile a few more. This week's blog update is all about South Calgary! Let's dive in and explore this trendy area and why it is so sought-after in Calgary's real estate market. 

 

A trendy inner city neighborhood, South Calgary is bounded by 14th Street in the east, 26th Ave to the north, Crowchild Trail to the west, and 34th Ave to the south. It was annexed by the City in 1907 but remained largely undeveloped until the 1950's. The map below depicts where South Calgary is located. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we have included with the other zones and communities, we will dissect a little of the demographic information on this community. Looking at South Calgary, the last census of 2014 reflected a population of 3,959 in the community, where 9% of the population is under 15 years old, 83% are between 20-64 years, and lastly 5% of the population is over 65 years. Only forty-eight percent of dwellings in South Calgary are occupied by owners and a variety of dwelling types are exhibited. The majority of homes in South Calgary are apartments, making up 48% of the neighborhood. Duplexes make up 18% of the community, townhomes are present at 6%, and single-detached houses at 26%. 

 

The median age is 33 and is listed as a community that is overwhelmingly english-speaking, since only 1% of the population doesn't speak English. The median household income is $69,620 and according to CREB so far in 2017, 10 detached homes have sold at an average price of $792,100 with a price range of $535,000 to $1,625,000. For attached homes, 15 properties changed title in 2017 to date with an average price of $619,900 where the range low was at $350,000 and the range high was $1,120,000. For more information and as with all our information sources, you can view more concise details by visiting the City of Calgary’s neighborhood profiles, found here.

 

Moving onto crime details, below is a map depicting the crime stats over the last 6 months for South Calgary. As seen on the map provided by the Calgary Police website, in the last 6 months, there have only been 2 reported crime incidents, which is highly attractive and sought after when looking at a community to live and invest in. 

 

 

 

 

 

In terms of placement in the city, South Calgary is well placed if you work downtown but also enjoy having quick access to parks and green spaces. Being inner-city you are able to access any parts of the city by car but there is so much to offer and access on foot in the community too. From the community, a quick drive west along 33rd Ave takes you to Crowchild Trail which connects you north and south and to other fast arteries dispersed in the city. 

 

Located on the southern edge of this community is Marda Loop, a collection of different shops and services offering you literally everything you need. Grocery stores, flower shops, banks, dentists, gyms, coffee shops, pet stores, restaurants, pubs, and more are on offer. Marda Loop is great to wander around in and really take in the community. 

 

Schools representing the private sector are found within a short drive's reach if this is something that is attractive to you. Because they're relatively close, all the private schools we have profiled on Calgary's West Side can still be of consideration:  Webber Academy,  Calgary AcademyRundle CollegeWaldorf SchoolCalgary French & International School, and Edge School for Athletes. To this West Island College, North Point School for Boys, Banbury Crossroads School, and Lycee Louis Pasteur schools can also be added as they are close by. 

 

In the Calgary Public School district, Altadore School, Mount Royal School, and Richmond School are designated elementary and junior high schools. Western Canada High School is the designated high school for this community. 

 

In the Catholic District, St. Michael's School, Holy Name, Sacred HeartSt. Mary's High School and St. Monica School are designated in the separate system. 

 

Being centrally-located, there are many places of worship to access from this point in the city. Click on this link to find the right place of worship for your culture and background.

 

Residents of all the communities in South Calgary are encouraged to join the Marda Loop Communities Association which offers different ways to become a member. The association is very active in organizing monthly and annual events, offering residents plenty of opportunities to get to know one another and get involved in their community. The Marda Gras festival takes place every August and is a popular event where people and events literally spill into the street, bringing the community together. The name 'Marda' originates from the blending of two names, Marc and Mada Jenkins who opened the Marda movie theatre back in 1953. Historically, the area has always been very active because it used to be the turn around point for a street-car that used to run to the community from downtown. 

 

That's a wrap for this week on South Calgary! Tune in next week as we move south from this area and profile Altadore. South Calgary has a variety of beautiful houses and locations for you to pick from to find your dream home, so if there is anything you'd like to see or if you have any questions, I'm always available to talk or meet up. Enjoy the warmer weather which is promised to come our way! 

 

 

Mark

 

 

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The provincial government is turning up the heat on incentives to turn down emissions with their new Home Improvement Rebates program, taking effect today.

Homeowners can now apply to receive money back for installations of eligible home improvement products. These rebates will make energy efficient products more affordable for homeowners and lower their power bills after installation.  


Program details: 

Energy Efficiency Alberta, a new Government of Alberta agency, created the Home Improvement Rebates program to promote efficient energy consumption and reduce Alberta’s carbon footprint. The program is designed to support homeowners with the installation of energy-efficient appliances and products to reduce household emissions.

Rebates of up to $3,500 will be granted for eligible products including insulation, water heaters (ENERGY STAR® certified) and triple glaze (low-e, argon) windows. 


Rebate eligibility: 

To receive a rebate for the installation of an eligible home improvement product, homeowners must select an Alberta-based registered contractor from the list provided at efficiencyalberta.ca. The contractor will then guide homeowners through the application process and rebates will be sent directly to homeowners after the completion of each project. 


Rebate program types: 

The Home Improvement Rebate is just one of three rebate types offered by Energy Efficiency Alberta. Below are the different rebates available to Alberta’s homeowners through the Residential Retail Products Program:

  1. Home Improvement Rebates: Rebates for home improvements will be granted to homeowners who buy eligible products installed by a certified Alberta-based contractor. 
  2. Online rebates: Homeowners who buy qualifying refrigerators, smart thermostats and clothes washers can apply for rebates online. 
  3. Instant rebates: Homeowners can receive instant rebates when purchasing eligible home efficiency products at participating retail locations in Alberta. Eligible products include LED lights, programmable thermostats, water-saving devices, smart power bars, and heavy-duty timers. This campaign runs from April 28 until June 11. 

Visit efficiencyalberta.ca for more information on Energy Efficiency Alberta and the Home Improvement Rebate program.


By CREB

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Next week is the Federal deadline to submit your personal taxes and then in June, is our municipal deadline to pay our property taxes. Hence, this week we thought we'd look into our property taxes, how they're calculated and where they go.

 

Everyone groans at property tax time simply because parting with our hard-earned money is always hard to do. But, there is good reason for these payments.  In Alberta, our property taxes are collected both provincially and municipally, where about sixty percent of the collected levy stays within our City and forty percent goes to the Government of Alberta. The collective sum is used to fund a variety of things in the City, such as snow removal, street cleaning, street maintenance and repair, garbage collection, management of parks and green spaces, bylaw services, fire, police and emergency services, recreational and arts programs, events and festivals, protection of historical resources and provide access to our 311 information system. Naturally, everyone has an opinion as to how the funds should be spent and hence disagreements arise, however below is a visual breakdown of approximately how property tax dollars are spent every month (City of Calgary, 2017): 

 

Below is another display of how we compare for Calgary's Municipal rate to other cities. Granted, this statistic is from 2012, but it does show that at the time, our municipal contributions were one of the lowest in the country (City of Calgary 2017):

 

In terms of how our property taxes are calculated, every calendar year, our City council determines what funds are needed to run City services. From this calculation, they then remove revenue sources such as business tax, user fees, provincial grants, and licence fees. The amount left over is the amount needed to be raised through property taxes. A tax rate is then established and this is the rate charged for every $1 of assessed property value. In 2017, the combined tax rate is set to be 0.0065008 / $1 assessed value. In 2016, the rate was 0.0061738. 


Lastly, when it comes to assessing your property, the notice you receive in January from the City depicts the amount it would have sold for on July 1st the previous year, as well as includes any improvements to its physical condition as of December 31st. Factors such as age, location, additions, lot size, renovations and sales of similar properties in the vicinity over the last three years are included in determining the assessment of your property. You can of course challenge the assessment you receive by contacting the City before the start of March of each year. 


So, that's your Property Tax bill in a nutshell. As is always the case, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about property taxes and your property. We always enjoy hearing from you! 

 

Mark 

 

 

 

 

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As you start to replace winter sweaters in all your closets with summer tank tops, and as ice skates and toboggans are thrown into storage after their Winter shift, it is easy and natural to focus on the interior of the house for the Great Big Spring Clean. This annual event indicates that we can collectively bid a farewell to colder and shorter days and this is truly something to be excited about.

 

However, care and attention should also be given to the exterior of your home because while we are inside keeping warm from the cold, the outside of our home battles all the elements and frost on our behalf. So, here are some of our tips on things to check into on the outside of your home and yard as you prep for that first inaugural BBQ of the season:

 

Check the exterior of your walls for chipped paint, mold, or splitting wood. To prevent anything from being damaged further, deal with these issues right away. If you have brick on your house exterior, check for mold and mildew and remove them by mixing a simple solution of bleach and water, (1 cup of bleach commands 4 L of water).

 

Clear all your gutters. So many leaves and twigs naturally fall into these lengthy pockets on your roof and this seasonal souvenir needs to be dealt with so not to clog your downspouts and cause water damage to your roof when the rain comes. If heights aren't your thing, there are many companies in the city to help you out.

 

Wash your windows. Grime and dirt will build up throughout the winter season so using warm soapy water (and not just window cleaner) will get the job done. Spring is also a good time to check the lubrication of all moving parts on your windows as well as the condition of your window frames, especially if they're wooden. Give your screens a proper cleaning too-they also get quite dusty and filthy throughout the winter months. 

 

Check your driveway and sidewalks for cracks. If moss is appearing through them already, spray some vinegar and scrub them away. 

 

Once the snow has melted off your roof, it should be checked for any loose shingles or damage, however, that's best left to a roofing company simply because it is safer for you.

 

Warmer weather commands you entertain not in your living room, but on your deck. Oxalic acid, which can be found in any hardware store, can be used to kill any microorganisms on your deck. After 24 hours, you can apply a stain to your deck to get it BBQ ready. Once the floor of your deck is refreshed, you can take out your patio furniture and prep it by wiping it down with soap and water, checking all the screws and fluffing your pillows.

 

Lastly, take some time to remove the layer of dead leaves and grass from your garden. A little of bit of weeding and gardening to expose the lush layers beneath will go a long way in making your yard and garden look spring-ready. Sharpen the blades of your lawn mower and perhaps change the oil too-mow low to remove the dead grass tops before you put out the picnic blankets and anchor in the soccer nets. Here comes the sun (George Harrison was right!), so grab your shades and enjoy the splendor of your Spring-ready yards and homes.

 

Mother Nature gifted us a particularly cold and bitter winter this year, so it truly feels great to be out in the sun in fewer layers. If you have any other tips to share about taking care of the exterior of your home, we'd love to hear them and pass them on to all our readers.

 

 

 

Mark

 

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Housing market set for favourable lead into spring

Detached prices stabilize as city-wide inventory trends down


After a long period of disconnect between supply and demand, Calgary's detached housing sector is firmly in balanced territory. Sales were still 10 per cent below long-term trends in March, but above levels seen in recent years, while average inventory declined compared to last year, supporting price stability in the detached market.

"It's not so much that demand went through the roof in March, but that we had less supply come onto the market, which is really helping to balance things out," said CREB® president David P. Brown. "These changes are lifting the cloud of uncertainty for housing consumers and nicely positioning our market as we move into the more active spring season."

Unadjusted detached benchmark prices totaled $503,900 in March, 0.4 per cent above last month and similar to levels recorded last year. Meanwhile, Apartment and attached prices continue to remain well below levels recorded last year.

"Market conditions are quite different in the apartment sector," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. "The additional supply coming from the new home sector is not easily reversed and the added competition is continuing to weigh on prices in the higher density sectors of the market."

City-wide inventory levels totaled 5,114 in March, 16 per cent below last year's levels. This is primarily driven by the 25 and 17 per cent contraction in the detached and attached markets. Inventory levels in the ownership apartment sector remain three per cent higher then levels recorded last year.

"The housing market transition in the first quarter appears to be consistent with trends in the labour market," said Lurie. "However, the way the rest of the year unfolds will be largely determined by what happens in the next two quarters, as nearly 60 per cent of all housing sales typically occur in that time frame."

 

Click here to view the full City of Calgary monthly stats package. 

 

Click here to view the full Calgary region monthly stats package. 

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Data supplied by CREB®’s MLS ® System. CREB® is the owner of the copyright in its MLS® System. The Listing data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by CREB®.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
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.