Merry Christmas from Stephen Lau and the Edmonton Home Pros!

December 19th, 2014 by edmontonhomepros

2014 is coming to a close, but it’s been a great year for the Edmonton Home Pros Real Estate Group and we hope it’s been a fantastic year for you, too! As we head into the holiday season, we hope you’ll have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, spent surrounded by friends and family. Our homes are a central part of the festivities of this season, and now is the time when some of our most treasured memories will be made within our walls. This time of year, we all understand what makes a “house” a “home”.

Stephen Lau Christmas Card 2014

We’d like to thank all our new and returning clients who worked with us this year, and we look forward to working with you again on your next Edmonton real estate transaction, whether it be in 2015 or years in the future. If you are considering buying or selling and Edmonton home in 2015, you can access all the information on our website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Check out current Edmonton homes for sale, find out more about our buyer and seller services, or book an Edmonton home evaluation and consult for the new year.

Are Edmonton Homes Becoming More Affordable?

November 25th, 2014 by edmontonhomepros
Edmonton Homes More Affordable

Homes like these energy efficient Oxford area homes are becoming more affordable in Edmonton Photo credit: CTV

This week, RBC Economics released a report that states that overall, Canada’s real estate has become slightly more affordable.

Even with the fast-rising prices in Vancouver and Toronto (and to a degree Calgary), the country is still in relatively good shape.

RBC Economics says that rising household incomes, lowered utility costs and low interest rates are making it easier for people to enter the market.

As you might have seen in our last post, there are many factors at play that can influence affordability and pricing of real estate. The Canadian Real Estate Association quoted a 7.1% year-over-year increase over October 2013. The MLS home price index posted price gains of 5.5% over last year (which is quite a bit lower than CREA’s numbers).

Either way, with the big three markets influencing our national landscape, it may seem easy for some to believe that home affordability is slipping away.

It isn’t.

Across the western provinces, homes have slightly risen in price—once we remove Calgary and Vancouver from the equation. Both cities’ markets have witnessed growth far beyond the national average. In many other markets, we’ve seen only slight to moderate growth at rates that are very comfortable for those markets.

We call the prices respectable because the drop in fixed mortgage rates is keeping the market strong. Also, the gradual rising incomes in the west are also helping to keep homes affordable.

So many of us are preparing to hear panic about the market, but the price conditions of Edmonton homes—as well as other western cities—are robust with a firm foundation.

We have settled into a solid growth trend, and affordability for Edmonton home buyers is improving. It’s never been a better time to get into the market.


If you are thinking about buying or selling your Edmonton home, get in touch with the Edmonton Home Pros team.

We’ve got the experience to help you make sense of the market and find the home that’s right for you and your family.

 

2014 Canada Avg Home Prices and Edmonton Real Estate

November 18th, 2014 by edmontonhomepros
Canada's Average Housing Prices: Edmonton Real Estate

Graphics designed and published by CBC.

It’s been a big year for many of Canada’s hottest housing markets.

The average buying price of a home jumped up over 7% compared to the same time last year, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

At the same time, the actual number of homes sold is almost identical in growth (7%).

With having a soft spell earlier this year, this is welcome news for anyone in the market or looking to get into it.

For one thing, October tends to be a softer month than the busier days in the spring and summer, as people are eager to buy and sell. But having an October that is this active bodes well for the busier housing markets, and this includes Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton.

Additionally, the two hottest markets in the city appear to be lifting the numbers slightly. Taking Vancouver and Toronto out of the equation, the average home price for the rest of the country is $330,596 with a year-over-year rate increase of just 5.4%.

Several of our country’s major cities have seen slight declines in year-over-year pricing. Sherbrooke Quebec saw the most dramatic with a drop of 14%. The remaining 8 cities saw pricing declines between 0.3% and 3.7%, which shouldn’t shake up those local markets too badly.

The Edmonton Home Pros Team has worked for years in the hearts and surrounding areas of these communities

We’ve seen the numerous market changes and forces at play, and we can help you navigate the market whether you are buying or selling your home.

Don’t be alarmed with steady growth. The Edmonton real estate market is strong and continues to follow a path that many in our industry have seen coming. They say a rising tide lifts all boats, and if you are looking to make a move in the marketplace, there is no better time than now.

So get in touch with us and we can have a conversation about making the right decisions for you and your family.

Add Punch to Your Curb Appeal: Paint Your Front Door

October 28th, 2014 by edmontonhomepros
Here are just a few of the limitless colour options available.

Here are just a few of the limitless colour options available.

There are few things in an Edmonton autumn more rewarding that a welcoming home. We all love that feeling of entertaining friends or family and just watching eyes light up when they walk through your place. Few things in the world provide that much quiet satisfaction.

But there is one thing that is just as satisfying: Making people feel the same way before they walk in the door.

There are ways to make your exterior incredibly welcoming and elaborate, but that takes time and money, and it requires upkeep.

But what if I told you that with a couple hours of planning and execution and about a quart of paint, you can completely transform the look of your front exterior, adding an incredible amount of personality and creating a focal point that will attract eyes from even down the street?

1. Choosing the door is easy. Choosing the colour isn’t so easy.

You might want to avoid picking a favourite colour first when it comes to painting your front door. Instead, take stock of the architecture of your front of house and look at the accents and root colours. Are there bricks? What are the root colours of the wood being used? You could even coordinate with shutters or other accents. This is a great way to highlight those elements, if they are hidden behind brush or trees.

But make sure that you make it part of your style as well. If you just for the architectural match, you’ll end up with something that matches… likely a little too well.

2. Watch the Sun.

When people design the interiors of their homes, the colours they pick look like the colours should, bold and brilliant. When we take these same colour samples outside, they can lose some of that lustre under direct sunlight. So to reduce the chances of getting to soft a shade, test your samples under different lighting conditions. Choose from bright sunny days, cloudy mid days, and even clear evenings. Explore the colour inside the home too. Remember, half of the door will be visible from the inside.

2. Pick the Right Paint.

Picking the right paint isn’t just about picking the longest pasting paint or the right stuff to bind to the surface. You also have to think about the state of the door and its age. If your door has been around and seen more than its share of bumps, a high gloss paint, though attractive, will reveal imperfections with incredible detail. Choose from the matte, low lustre or even semi gloss paint finishes and be sure that they will work well on the surface of your door.

Painting and personalizing your front door is one of the quickest ways to change the look of your home and add a level of punch to your curb appeal. The Edmonton Home Pros Team hugely supports the idea of making a home yours. If you would like to learn more about homes in Edmonton with great curb appeal, get in touch with the Edmonton Home Pros Team. We’d be happy to talk about what options may be available to you.

 

 

Sherwood Park: Warmth, Safety and Lifestyle

October 15th, 2014 by edmontonhomepros
Sherwood Park Alberta

Sherwood Park has a wide variety of homes and properties to suit your lifestyle.

It’s amazing the vibrancy and variety of lifestyles available for people who live in Edmonton’s Capital Region. Whether you strive for outdoor living or bask in the delights of a thriving urban environment, limitless options await you in the Prairies.

But there is one community that has a unique set of qualities, and this place, for the residents that make it home, is unlike any in our region.

From urban parklands to raw farmlands, groomed trails to business parks, this place is large enough to be Alberta’s seventh largest city.

But Sherwood park isn’t a city, not even a town. And this is part of what makes it such an interesting place for residents and visitors alike.

Sherwood Park is actually managed like a hamlet of Strathcona County, which allows the tax and startup process to be inexpensive and easy.

This makes Sherwood Park an incredibly advantageous location for startups and new businesses seeking to break into the Capital Region marketplace. The west end has extensive arterial roadways providing easy access to the north of the province, which has encourages its booming energy services and refining sector.

But Sherwood Park puts families first. The community designs prevent the industrial activity from encroaching on the quiet, safe streets throughout the neighbourhoods. This is an interesting detail, since many of the neighbourhood roadways have lower posted speeds.

But what makes a successful community isn’t just the opportunity or design, it’s the overall quality of life.

Sherwood Park homes offer families incredible choice. There are rural farmhouses and acreages not far from the town centre. Detached homes of all shapes sizes and styles follow treelined city streets. Multi-unit buildings and condos can be found closer to the town centre, enabling multiple means of public and private transportation.

Sherwood Park’s urban centre is filled with recreational and shopping delights including new restaurants, the Festival Place performance centre and a modern library.

With the recent Premier’s announcement on schools, Sherwood Park with be adding one school, and modernizing another. Schools here are remarkably modern and stable institutions.

This housing market in Sherwood Park is seeing stunning growth. In August 2014, nearly 80 Sherwood Park homes were sold. REALTORS® and mortgage brokers are confident that the market will remain strong as confidence in the community’s growth continues.

There is no better time to look at Sherwood Park property. And if you have a Sherwood Park home to sell, the market is ready with eager buyers.

We’d be happy to help! Get in touch with us, if you are looking to buy or sell your Sherwood Park home.

Villas at Lacombe Park: St. Albert’s Newest Over-40 Community

September 24th, 2014 by edmontonhomepros
Villas at Lacombe Park

Comfortable Living for the over-40 seeking convenient, enjoyable living spaces. Photo Credit: Edmonton Sun

Central Alberta has a lot going for it. A thriving economy that is the envy of the country, growing population and amenities spread throughout the few dozen communities here.

But the demographics of our cities and towns is changing. The number of retirees and seniors is on the rise and is expected to climb leading into 2020.

And this is good news! Our aging population is the most active in recorded history, and the lifestyle they seek is something that developers have been working towards for over a decade. Building over-40 communities that appeal to the active and energetic lifestyle of the Boomer generation is an important way for our communities to grow sustainably.

One such community is the Villas at Lacombe Park in sunny St. Albert. Offering numerous home options for empty nesters, this community caters to those families who may be experiencing a change in the size of the family in a household. With bright floor plans from 1235 to 1530 sq. ft., residents will easily discover the right St. Albert home for them.

Some of the many features you will find in Villas at Lacombe Park homes include:

  • Soft-line corners
  • Galliano levered door handles
  • Banjo top bathroom counter with full length mirror
  • Soaker tub
  • Three coats of paint
  • Professional Interior Design Consultation
  • Finished basements
  • Hardwood and ceramic flooring
  • 6 Appliances
  • Window coverings
  • Energy Efficient windows for ultimate temperature control
  • Bright, open floor plans from 1235 to 1530 sq. ft.

 

Living in St. Albert affords you all of the amenities you might find in a small city, but the close proximity to Edmonton ensures that you never have to go without. In the Villas at Lacombe Park, access is abundant, whether you prefer auto travel or public transit,

You can find St. Albert homes for all types of families on our Edmonton Home Pros St. Albert Page.

And feel free to get in touch with us whenever you have questions about buying or selling a home in St. Albert.

 

Edmonton International Film Festival’s Two Weeks Away!

September 10th, 2014 by edmontonhomepros
Edmonton International Film Festival

There’s a lot of excitement in store for this year’s festival.

It’s that time of year again.

As the leaves turn and the first signs of winter arrive, we get to witness that very special time of year… Film Fest!

The 28th Edmonton International Film Festival (EIFF) runs for ten days from September 25 to October 4, 2014 at various locations throughout the city.

Each year, the festival gathers movie buffs from across central Alberta and brings compelling directors, producers, writers and actors to screen their films. A celebration of cinema takes place that helps to unpack the process of making a movie from page to screen.

But EIFF also gives these creatives a forum for conversation about the issues that drive movie creation. From social to religious, governmental to personal, the diversity of types of films and the great roster of moviemakers puts EIFF on the map in western Canada.

In its 38-year history, EIFF has earned a reputation for being one of the countries warmest and friendliest festivals on the Canadian landscape. Despite the fact that there’s snow on the ground, the festival’s ten days brings a collective magic to Edmonton’s city centre and south side.

Edmonton International Film FestEvery year, EIFF gives Edmontonians a taste of the world’s best contemporary, independent, documentary and short films. Both the world cinema and film short shows attract huge audiences, but there is a new thirst for our locally grown filmmakers brewing.

But one program that has caught the attention of many schools is EIFF University. This is a program that target junior high and high schools with “a thought provoking and relevant series of films.” These events are open to other groups, too, but the specific programming for youth has had a solid impact on the Edmonton community.

Edmonton’s rich diversity is bolstered by the programs and screenings of the EIFF. It’s reputation and quality continue to drive passionate conversations about our world and how we can make it better. We hope to see you out enjoying some of their events in the coming weeks. We definitely look forward to seeing you out there.

If you would like to have a conversation about Edmonton, its communities or buying/selling a home in our fine city, get in touch with us. We’d be happy to talk with you about your needs.

Edmonton Second Language and Bilingual Schools

August 26th, 2014 by edmontonhomepros
Edmonton Bilingual Schools

Edmonton’s diversity is varied and colourful.

Back to school season is here! Stores are filled with excited parents (and maybe a few disappointed children) as they prepare for the new school session.

Now that school is just about started, a lot of our conversations among the team has been about language schools, and in particular, bilingual schools—schools that may offer immersion or second language education in central Alberta.

One of the greatest things about raising a family in or around Edmonton is the diversity of cultures and perspectives we encounter here. People from all over the world wind up settling in Edmonton, Spruce Grove, Leduc Sherwood Park or Stony Plain. This has been the tradition here for hundreds, if not thousands of years. But today, we see this diversity blooming in our education system, which now provides bilingual education in 8 international languages.

And for our children, learning a second language has incredible health, communication and advancement benefits. Children who learn multiple languages have well-exercised minds, develop high communication skills and can achieve great advancement opportunities in the future.

So we wanted to list the Edmonton schools that offer second language and immersion classes so you can have an idea what languages are available and where you might find those classes.

Being a real estate team that provides service in many of these languages (and some languages that are not taught in the current school system), Edmonton Home Pros understands the importance of language and culture in making buying decisions that support our families and communities. We hope that if you are considering buying or selling a home in Edmonton or any of the above communities, get in touch with us.

 

Chinese (Mandarin)
ELEMENTARY JUNIOR HIGH SENIOR HIGH
CAERNARVON SCHOOL14820 118 Street NW LONDONDERRY SCHOOL7104 144 Avenue NW M.E. LAZERTE SCHOOL6804 144 Avenue NW
DOVERCOURT SCHOOL13910 122 Avenue NW OTTEWELL SCHOOL9435 73 Street NW MCNALLY SCHOOL8440 105 Avenue NW
KILDARE SCHOOL7525 144 Avenue NW PARKVIEW SCHOOL14313 92 Avenue NW ROSS SHEPPARD SCHOOL13546 111 Avenue NW
MEADOWLARK SCHOOL9150 160 Street NW ROSSLYN SCHOOL13215 113A Street NW
MEYONOHK SCHOOL1850 Lakewood Road South NW
German
ELEMENTARY JUNIOR HIGH SENIOR HIGH
FOREST HEIGHTS SCHOOL10304 81 Street NW ALLENDALE SCHOOL6415 106 Street NW STRATHCONA SCHOOL10450 72 Avenue NW
RIDEAU PARK SCHOOL10605 42 Avenue NW
RIO TERRACE SCHOOL7608 154 Street NW
ASL: American Sign Language
ELEMENTARY JUNIOR HIGH SENIOR HIGH
ALBERTA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF6240 113 Street NW
Arabic Arabic Flag Symbol
ELEMENTARY JUNIOR HIGH SENIOR HIGH
CALDER SCHOOL12950 118 Street NW KILLARNEY SCHOOL13110 91 Street NW
GLENGARRY SCHOOL9211 135 Avenue NW QUEEN ELIZABETH SCHOOL9425 132 Avenue NW
MALMO SCHOOL4716 115 Street NW
French Immersion
ELEMENTARY JUNIOR HIGH SENIOR HIGH
BRANDER GARDENS SCHOOL14865 56 Avenue NW AVALON SCHOOL5425 114 Street NW HARRY AINLAY SCHOOL4350 111 Street NW
DELWOOD SCHOOL7315 Delwood Road NW DICKINSFIELD SCHOOL14320 88A Street NW ROSS SHEPPARD SCHOOL13546 111 Avenue NW
DUNLUCE SCHOOL11735 162 Avenue NW MCKERNAN SCHOOL11330 76 Avenue NW
GREENFIELD SCHOOL3735 114 Street NW KENILWORTH SCHOOL7005 89 Avenue NW
GREENVIEW SCHOOL5904 38 Avenue NW
HOLYROOD SCHOOL7920 94 Avenue NW
J.A. FIFE SCHOOL15004 76 Street NW
LAURIER HEIGHTS SCHOOL8210 142 Street NW
LENDRUM SCHOOL11330 54 Avenue NW
MCKERNAN SCHOOL11330 76 Avenue NW
RICHARD SECORD SCHOOL4025 117 Street NW
RIO TERRACE SCHOOL7608 154 Street NW
Hebrew
ELEMENTARY JUNIOR HIGH SENIOR HIGH
TALMUD TORAH SCHOOL6320 172 Street NW
Spanish
ELEMENTARY JUNIOR HIGH SENIOR HIGH
MCKERNAN SCHOOL11330 76 Avenue NW
MILL CREEK SCHOOL9735 80 Avenue NW
SWEET GRASS SCHOOL11351 31 Avenue NW
Ukrainian
ELEMENTARY JUNIOR HIGH SENIOR HIGH
M.E. LAZERTE SCHOOL6804 144 Avenue NW

Why Buy or Sell a Home in Spruce Grove?

August 13th, 2014 by edmontonhomepros
Spruce Grove Grain Elevator

Spruce Grove is a town with limitless natural charm and history, including the Grain Elevator Museum.

There are few cities in Alberta that can boast an active lifestyle, booming industrial and retail business, big-city amenities and environmental sustainability. Spruce Grove is definitely smaller than Edmonton, but families discover numerous advantages when they consider buying or selling a home in Spruce Grove. Situated 11 km west of Edmonton along Highway 16A, Alberta’s 9th largest city mixes small-town community spirit with enough nature to get lost in it.

Spruce Grove has been seen as a desirable settlement since 1879, when homesteaders first settled and tilled the land for crops. Today, just under 30,000 people call Spruce Grove home, which is a 20% increase over 2010 population levels. This upswing in growth could further bolster homes in Spruce Grove as sound investment properties.

One possible factor influencing this growth is the outcrop of modern industrial parks and zones. These new facilities have attracted new medium and large businesses to the area, drawing in new homebuyers that seek short commutes to work. Transport, engineering and infrastructure companies enjoy the competitive rates, Trans Canada Highway access and railway infrastructure.

At the same time, Spruce Grove’s rustic character encourages families to develop an outdoor lifestyle, one that remains active all year long. The TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre and the West District Park provide families and youth indoor and outdoor activity.

But one of the most memorable attractions is Spruce Grove’s Heritage Grove Trail, which is a network of trails that run throughout the city and city limits. Over 30 km of trail is available year round for activities like snowshoeing, biking, running and cross-country skiing. Even with widespread use, Heritage Grove never feels overcrowded, and any business adds a friendly dimension to winter activities. Find out more about Spruce Grove homes and family-focused activities here.

As one of Alberta’s fastest growing cities, it makes sense to consider buying or selling a home in Spruce Grove. The active lifestyle, growing population and thriving industrial sector have made Spruce Grove an attractive investment option for people seeking big city advantages with opportunities to get captivated by nature.

If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions about Spruce Grove or any of our other communities, please get in touch with us. Thank you!

 

Servus Heritage Festival: A Celebration of Diversity

July 30th, 2014 by edmontonhomepros
Heritage Days Festival Dancers

Pavillion dancers are just one of the many draws of the Heritage Days Festival. Photo Credit: Edmonton Tourism

It isn’t hard to be proud of Edmonton. The capital city has a lot of great things going for it: Active communities, a growing economy, and Alberta’s creative spark.

But Edmonton has something else that is sometimes forgotten about, and because of our city’s size, we sometimes forget just how great and important it is.

We’re talking about Edmonton’s unique multicultural spirit.

Throughout the summer, it gets easier to see people at events and cultural celebrations, but it’s during the August long weekend that our city’s multicultural vibrancy comes to life on stage, in our bellies and throughout the William Hawrelak Park grounds.

Servus Heritage Festival

This year’s Heritage Festival looks like it will be the biggest yet.

The Servus Heritage Festival runs from August 2 to August 4, and this year it turns 39, which is no surprise, since it draws nearly 350,000 people over three days.

People from all walks of life and from all areas of central Alberta flock to the food, performances and craft market in a weekend-long gesture of sharing and neighbourly spirit.

This year, the Heritage Festival boasts more than 60 food pavilions from all over Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South and Central America. Every year, this festival has new additions and a whole host of culinary surprises. There are also a cluster of stages for cultural dance and live performances, and several pavilions have craft markets attached for light shopping.

Edmonton’s multiculturalism is one thing that we are especially proud of. Edmonton Home Pros has been expanding the languages of our home listings services in order to improve the offerings available to various communities in Edmonton. From Cantonese to Chinese to French to Tagalog to Arabic to Korean, we work hard to make sure that people can find what they need when it comes to buying and selling Edmonton Real Estate.

And as more new Edmontonians join our communities, we hope that the Servus Heritage Festival becomes the food and cultural highlight for them that it is for our team. In the meantime, we hope to see you on the festival grounds!

And be sure to get in touch with us if you have any questions about our multilingual services, or if you would like to buy or sell a home in Edmonton.