Earth, wind and fire

Alternative power sources for off-the-grid acreage living

Alternative energy sources like wind and solar were once viewed as novel concepts that would never become practical for the average homeowner. Alternative energy sources like wind and solar were once viewed as novel concepts that would never become practical for the average homeowner. However, for many acreage owners and other rural residents, going off the grid – living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities – is catching on in a variety of forms.

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Adjusting expectations

Adversity in condo market to continue in 2018

If you’re a condo owner in Calgary, you may be telling yourself that “what goes down must come up,” but it’s a fine line between thoughtful analysis and wishful thinking.

“The condo-apartment sector is still facing a lot of challenges,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“While sales improved in 2017, it wasn’t enough to keep pace with new listings, so we still had price declines.”

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Building progress

2017 brought positive news for the new-home market, but there’s still room to improve

Will 2018 bring good news or bad news for Calgary’s new-home market? As with many aspects of the real estate market, it depends on your focus.

“Looking at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. data, we saw an improvement in starts in both the single- and multi-family sectors in 2017,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

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Living on the edge

New developments in surrounding areas limited price growth in 2017

When it comes to Calgary’s housing market, there’s a lot of activity on the outskirts and in surrounding areas.

“We have a number of new communities and areas with many new developments offering competing products for the resale market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

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Mission possible

Renovations on a $5,000 budget

At first glance, doing meaningful home renovations for $5,000 is akin to those travel guides for “Europe on $10 a day”: easier said than done. Yet, like the backpacker who squeezes every penny from their budget to travel the globe, affordable renovations are not out of reach if you spend your nickels and dimes wisely.

According to Bob Weir, vice-president of operations with Calgary’s Reborn Renovations, making improvements with $5,000 certainly narrows your options, but it can be done.

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