This is a 2015 Residential Property Tax and Utilities Survey that was compiled by the City of Calgary. The report is based on the 2015 taxation year using information from participating municipalities. The report includes information on Okotoks, High River, Airdrie, Cochrane and Calgary.
Light Up Okotoks November 18 2016 5.30pm to 9pm
- Downtown Plaza Live Shows from 5.30pm to 8pm
- Santa will arrive at 6.50pm
- Christmas Tree Lights will be turned on at 7pm
- Fire Pits 5.30pm to 9pm
- Food Trucks 5.30pm to 9pm
- Wagon Rides 6pm to 8.30pm
- Late Night Shopping to 9pm
- Fireworks at Lineham Park 9pm
Dont forget to support those in need:
- Okotoks Food Bank 18 wheeler
- Fire Department BBQ
- Western Wheel 50/50
- Decorate the Tree of Warmth fpr loca charities
- Food donations for the veterans
2016 housing market outlook, Okotoks house prices.
When the economy is struggling I am often asked what impact will this have on house prices in Okotoks and will I be able to sell my home. The short answer is house prices in Calgary and Okotoks typically follow oil prices. When oil prices are down, the Alberta housing market is down and we enter a buyers market and when oil prices are up, demand for housing is up and we enter a sellers market.
If you are looking to sell your home in Okotoks or Calgary in 2016, price will be the ultimate sales tool. The golden window to sell a home is within the first 4 weeks and setting the correct price will be key to this success. If you want to know the current market value of your home I can provide you with all the market information you need and a suggested list price.
So how do you set the correct list price?
Market research, experience and measuring your home against similar homes that have sold recently is the secret. You need to work with a Realtor who monitors the market on a daily basis and keeps you up to date on every movement. Success in a slow market comes from staying ahead of market trends. This approach does work and I sold every home that I listed in 2015. Adopting a lazy strategy of simply following what everybody else does can be risky and you end up missing active the buyers.
What are the experts saying ?
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) believes the average price of a home in Alberta, will fall 2.5% next year due to struggling oil prices. In November 2015 the average Calgary home sold for $445,800 which is down 1.99% from November 2014.
On a positive note, it is widely predicted the Bank of Canada may cut interest rates in January and this would help boost struggling home sales. However a recently announced federal reforms to mortgage lending will have a negative effect on homes that sell for $500,000 or more. The new mortgage lending rules come into effect on February 15th and are intended to target the heated Vancouver and Toronto markets which are the most expensive markets in Canada.
- The minimum down payment will increase from 5% to 10% for the portion of a home purchase above $500,000
- This rule change will likely impact approximately 10% of all home sales in Calgary and Okotoks.
So what does this all mean for the Calgary and Okotoks housing market in 2016?
At the moment the housing market is performing as expected given the scale of the oil price slide. The number of people migrating to Calgary and the surrounding areas is slowing and the demand on both rentals and resale homes will decline over the next quarter. The bargain hunters will remain active and most resale activity will be in homes priced in the lower third of the market.
- If you need to sell your Okotoks home, don’t panic we can sell your home.
- If you want to buy, there are some great homes for sale and although the market may go down history shows us it always comes back and we have to live somewhere.
Light Up Okotoks November 20 2015
Don’t miss out on Okotoks most popular family event “Light Up Okotoks” this coming Friday, November 20th. The family fun will start at 5.30pm in Elizabeth Street, North Railway Street and McRae Street.
This is my favorite family event of the year and it looks like the recent snow fall will mean it will look very Christmassy. Light Up Okotoks is not the same without snow and it feels like Okotoks is transformed into Winter Wonderland.
Starting at 5.30pm you can wonder up and down the streets that are closed to vehicles and enjoy the Christmas spirit. You will find Santa and his helpers waiting to see the children outside the Okotoks Art Gallery.
The lighting of the Christmas tree lights will be at 7pm and you can enjoy festive music being played at the Plaza with live performances. Throughout the night you can catch a ride on a six horse drawn sleigh and take in the sights of Elizabeth Street. You will be able to spot the three food trucks that are on standby to receive food donations. You can also donate money for the Okotoks food bank.
The evening ends at 9pm with the traditional firework spectacular that is created by John Collins.
A detailed map and itinerary for the event can be found here at www.okotoks.ca and you can pick up a print copy at the Okotoks Recreation Centre
Five of my favorite places to grab a cup of tea or coffee in Okotoks
Every now and then I like to take a quick break from Real Estate. When I decide a break is needed, I love to head out into the Town and grab a nice coffee or a cup of specialty tea. Okotoks is an amazing place to live and we have a great selection of places to “hang out” according to your particular mood. I really enjoy grabbing a coffee in a place that has a great atmosphere that helps me think, be creative and to people watch! Fortunately, I really don’t have to venture far in order to get my “fix”. This is my top five coffee shops however there are a number of other places in Okotoks that offer similar services.
Brown Sugar – #109, 235 Milligan Drive, Okotoks
This little gem is situated between 32nd Street and Milligan Road Okotoks behind the 7-11. The hours are fantastic between 7-5 Monday to Friday and 9-5 on a Saturday. Brown Sugar offers everything from fresh baked bread to cupcakes, sandwiches and pretty much any munchies in between. I am particularly partial to their Apple Cheddar muffin! Convenient and reasonably priced you must pop in and try their delights. Oh yes and wifi access! brownsugarbakeshop.ca
Tribal Connections – 41 McRae St, Okotoks
You can find this great coffee stop in the old down towne area of Okotoks. Close to other stores so you can have a browse around at the local offerings and end up here for a well deserved break. If I had to have a favorite, then this would be it. Love the fact that the store has lots of jewelry, clothes and more. With a cozy seating area and amazing food and drink I love to sit back and relax and take in the atmosphere. Tribal also has a front and rear patio area which is fantastic in the summer. Love, love having access to their free wifi which is always a bonus if I am working or meeting a client over coffee. I have two favorites, the London Fog and the Matcha Latte, oh I am spoilt for choice!. Opening hours are 9.30-5.30 Monday to Saturday and 11-5 on a Sunday.
Homeground Coffee and Roasting House – 22 N Railway St, Okotoks
Homeground is literally across the street from Tribal connections. With an outdoor patio area and a small but cozy main floor area, Homeground has a great atmosphere that is hard to beat. The smell of the roasting coffee is also very tempting! The coffee is roasting on site by Rebel Bean Coffee and they have some fantastic organic blends, which are available to purchase from the coffee house and throughout the area. If you are a die hard coffee drinker then take a look at their website and get ordering! http://www.rebelbeancoffee.com. My favorite to eat here is the white chocolate and berry scone which is light and very delicious and I am sure very good for you! HomeGroundCoffeeRoastingHouse
Starbucks – #110, 201 Southridge Drive, Okotoks
A staple in a town is the Starbucks. We do have two and this one is the larger one, the other is located in the Safeway store. Offers a drive through, which is always convenient when I am in a hurry, and appears to be well run and clean. I do have a couple of favorites, green tea matcha latte with coconut milk, and unfortunately the caramel pretzel which is extremely delicious and I am sure low calorie! With wi-fi access and a steady stream of people this is a great place to work. Starbucks Okotoks
Tim Hortons – #10, 18 Southridge Drive, Okotoks
Love Tim’s for a quick stop or meeting up with clients before we go and view properties. With the recent upgrades it feels a little more up market with the couches and fireplace, it definitely has a good atmosphere. I really have to be careful and limit myself to one Boston Cream ..
Free wi-fi access and easy to find Tim’s is definitely a Canadian staple which is great value in any town. Tim hortons
This is my top five, however there are a number of other places in Okotoks that offer similar services. Where do you like to hang out? If you are interested in finding out more about the Okotoks real estate market why not text me and lets meet for coffee! 403.605.7200
Nobody likes a house full of bugs. With summer quickly approaching, without the proper stop gaps in place you will have a house full of unwelcomed guests. In the last blog we looked at utilizing screens and filling any cracks or gaps on the outside of your home to keep the bugs outside where they belong. We at Okotoks Real Estate would now like to offer the following indoor tips for keeping you house bug free.
By keeping a clean home, you are less likely to attract any bugs. This is especially true in the kitchen. Where there is food and water, there is surely to be bugs. Make sure you are not leaving crumbs, scraps or food packages around. Also do not leave dishes overnight and remember to regularly vacuum and wipe down the stovetop. Remove any clutter in your home such as recycling, and keep a generally tidy home to prevent any bugs from setting up home in your home. Do not forget to take out your garbage as frequently as possible. Insects are far more sensitive to smell than we are so they may be attracted to the smells in your garbage far before it starts to smell.
If you own pets, make sure that you are keeping them clean as well. Certain bugs love dog or cat food and the water dish is always a great place for insects to get a quick drink of water. Make sure that your pets feeding station is cleaned regularly. Clean cat litter frequently and do not forget to wash your pet’s blankets to keep unwanted pests away.
Seal and Scrub
Do not leave food out on counters or the table. Instead, seal or put away all perishables. Leaving fruit out can quickly attract fruit flies. Instead, put all fruit in the refrigerator, and pull it out only when needed. Put all open foods in sealable containers to be stored either in the refrigerator, cupboards or the pantry. This also applies to all pet food as well. Store all pet food in a sealable container to avoid attracting bugs.
When you are taking out recyclables or the trash, take the extra time to scrub out all recyclables to remove any excess waste from the containers and scrub out the garbage can itself. By scrubbing out your garbage can, you will eliminate any smelly or sticky substances that may attract insects. These two quick steps will take almost no time at all but will have a large impact on keeping your home bug free.
A clean home will keep the bugs away. Remember that next time you are asked to take out the garbage or clean up after dinner. By taking out the garbage regularly, cleaning up after yourself and putting all food away in its proper place, you should enjoy a bug free summer.
With the recent heat wave and the longer days, it seems that summer is finally here. After a long winter and spring, the season for backyard barbecues, shorts and swimming is getting into full swing. Perhaps it’s because the Albertan summers are so short, but most people would agree that the summer months are some of the best months of the year. These months also tend to bring some unwelcomed guests into the home as well. What would summer be without mosquitoes, fruit flies and other pesky insects? Here are some tips to help bug proof your home during the summer months. So break out those short sleeved shirts and sandals and get out on a deck to enjoy some sunshine because the summer season is here; just don’t forget to close the screen door to keep out the bugs!
If you do not want unwelcome guests buzzing around inside your home, the quickest solution to solve that problem is to make sure all of your windows and doors are covered with a screen when they are open. If you do not have screens on every window and door, install them. If you have any rips or tears, mend them or replace them as soon as possible. If you are installing screens, find screens with as fine of mesh as you can to keep all but the tiniest of bugs from finding their way into your home.
Look for any cracks between the bottom of all of the doors and door sweeps in your home. If you can see light then bugs can get in. Either install new door sweeps or use door seals to fill in any gaps around the door. While you are looking at your doors, also inspect the outside of your home looking for any cracks in the foundation, fascia boards or exterior walls. Also be sure to check for gaps around your dryer vent, or any other lines that may enter your home such as a gas line or even a telephone line. All of these places can be entry points for bugs. Make sure to seal any of the cracks you may find with a multi-purpose caulking from the outside and think about filling any gaps with a spray foam on the inside.
A quick check around your home for any cracks and an inspection of all of the screens in your home will quickly assess what the next step is for keeping the summer bugs outside where they belong. Again, if you do not have screens on all doors and windows, install them before opening the windows. Using screens and filling any gaps and using sealant are a few quick tips from us here at Okotoks Real Estate to help bug proof the outside of . Next we will look at tips to help you bug proof the inside of your home.
Have you ever looked at a home and tried to figure out how you would fill up all of the space? Fast forward a year or two and you are suddenly swimming in clutter as all of that space has now been filled and then some. The solution, if you , is to move all of the extras out into the garage. A great plan, but, unfortunately, your garage also has limited space and now, there is no room to park your car or even get to the back of your garage. The solution? Here are some tips from Okotoks Real Estate to help you organize your garage space.
Shelves and Racks
Garage organization does not have to be difficult nor expensive. Rather it needs to be efficient and is essential if you want the ability to move around in your garage. The quickest way to utilize the space in your garage is to build or purchase shelving. Wall shelving allows you to reorganize whatever clutter you have in your garage by stacking it against the wall and utilizing the length and height of the wall. Think about making shelves that are part of the ceiling as well. That way any large items can be stored out of the way. Think about using bins and boxes with labels to store multiple items and then storing them overhead to help reduce the clutter in your garage. If you use your shed to store garden tools, think about storing these tools in a rack on the side of the garage. This rack will not only make your tools easier to find, but again, it will also help organize and compartmentalize the different items in your garage.
Boxes, Bins and Hanging
As mentioned previously, think about grouping similar items such as pool toys or winter clothes for instance and then labeling them and packing them away in a box or bin. This will not only help you cut back on clutter, it will also help you relocate items when you need them again. A box or a bin is far easier to locate than individual items and they are very easy to store on a shelf. Many people use a garage to store various recreational goods as well. Bicycles take up a lot of room in a garage and depending upon the size of your family can quickly make your garage look and feel very cluttered. Think about hanging your bikes as a way of saving floor space and decluttering your garage. If hanging bikes is not an option, think about using a bike rack of some type to help reorganize your bikes.
With a little bit of creativity and a few hours (or days), you can declutter your garage and hopefully make that space more functional and far more organized. A few shelves, racks, boxes and bins should help transform your garage into a neatly organized and efficient space and with a little luck, you may even be able to park your car in your garage again.
Mold and mildew are unfortunately a very common occurrence in most of our homes. Living in a damp environment can further exacerbate these problems and create not only an unsightly problem but if left unattended, mold and mildew can be a health concern as well. We at Okotoks Real Estate would like you to maintain and offer the following tips to help you remove any mold and mildew that you may encounter in your home.
Causes and Concerns
Moisture is the key cause of both mold and mildew. Although mold spores are naturally occurring in our environment, they are generally not a problem until they begin to reproduce in damp areas of your home. The most common area that you will see mold and mildew growth is in the bathroom. Look for black spots in the corners of the shower or in the tile grooves. Once mold has begun to reproduce in any areas of moisture, it can quickly become a health hazard. Molds have the potential to cause different types of allergies and irritants. Common symptoms of mold exposure range from hay fever type symptoms to rashes. Because of these health risks and the fact that those black spots on your shower tile or in the corners of your windows are unsightly, it is best to remove any mold you may find in your home as quick as possible.
The amount of mold you have in your home will quickly determine the method of removal. If you encounter large areas of mold it is best to call in professional help to get rid of the problem. If the extent of mold is a few sports in the shower, scrubbing it off with bleach and water may be all that is needed. Unless the root of the problem is fixed however, the mold will just come back. Remember to wear gloves when scrubbing the mold as you do not want to be touching the mold spores. Because mold tends to grow around areas of high moisture, ensure that once the mold is removed, the humidity in the area is also reduced. In a bathroom that will mean that you run the fan longer or open a window to allow the extra moisture to escape. If you do not deal with the excess moisture, the mold will grow back time after time.
Moisture can quickly lead to larger problems in any home. Remember to deal with any water damage or excess moisture quickly in order to keep any mold or mildew growth to a bare minimum. Keep on top of any mold and mildew growth to keep your family healthy and your home mold free.
Are you a homeowner considering placing your property on the spring market? As the seasons shift and the earth heats up, so does the real estate market. Spring is arguably the best time of the year to sell a home, and houses in Okotoks are selling quickly. Newly listed homes are snatched up fast by eager buyers, often drawing multiple offers.
As the homeowner, deciding to place your home during this “seller’s market” could get you an excellent profit. Make the most of your investment by taking advantage of the spring real estate market. Here are 5 things homeowners should know about selling this spring.