Courageous conversations

Candidates spar at CREB® mayoral forum

Calgary’s top three mayoral candidates discussed a variety of issues on Sept. 21 at CREB®’s Courageous Conversations, an exclusive forum focusing on housing-related issues critical to REALTORS® and the city.

Candidates Andre Chabot and Bill Smith joined incumbent Naheed Nenshi in CREB®’s W. Frank Johns Auditorium as the candidates took verbal jabs at each other over several issues.

The forum was hosted and moderated by CREB® CEO Alan Tennant. (more…)

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Bungalow buyers

Single-level homes are in high demand among retirees planning for their future

For active senior JoAnn Fetzner, who golfs three times a week and travels widely, one-level, bungalow living was an obvious choice for the rest of her life.

For empty-nester Patti Clarkson, 54, who is easing her way into retirement, her recently purchased bungalow villa will be the perfect “forever home.”

For both women, finding a single-level home was a priority – part of their long-term planning for possible mobility issues down the road.

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The upside of downsizing

Popularity of condo living among seniors is on the rise

When it comes to choosing a home later in life, age often brings thoughtful consideration of what really matters. More and more in Calgary, that wisdom is leading seniors to choose condominiums as the place to live out their golden years.

“Five years ago, when we tracked inner-city demographics, you saw maybe 1-2 per cent of seniors purchasing condos,” said Oliver Trutina, vice-president of Calgary-based builder Truman.

“Today, that number is around 20 per cent. Since this is often their third or fourth home purchase, they know what they want and are asking for it.”

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Come on in

Open houses are still an important tool in the REALTOR®’s arsenal

Open houses remain a valid and valuable way to sell properties, even in this day and age of virtual reality.
While the technological tools available today to give maximum exposure to a listing have made it easier for potential homebuyers to window shop from anywhere, the physical presence of an open house still can’t be replaced.

CREB® president David P. Brown says opinions about open houses are often divided. Some REALTORS® love them, while others can’t stand them.

“But how we do it has changed a fair bit I believe,” said Brown. “Social media has got to be the biggest thing. Before, if we were going to have an open house we might hand deliver a few flyers or something around the neighbourhood – put up some signs and that was it.

“Now, we post it all over.”

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Future leaders

Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies is developing tomorrow’s real estate professionals

While interest accruing on a mortgage balance is rarely a welcome sight, the growing interest in the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies at the University of Calgary is a different story.

Part of the Haskayne School of Business, the Westman Centre was founded in 2012 with $7.6 million in funding from the real estate industry, which included a $5 million endowment from Jay Westman. Its mission is to be a catalyst for the development of real estate professionals and a leading centre of excellence for real estate studies through its teaching, research and community engagement activities.

“Industry saw a need for a program where graduates would have a firm grasp of the real estate sector and the career opportunities it could offer,” said Jessica Abt, the centre’s director.

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