South, AB Real Estate News

By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
One of the local Lethbridge law offices that I always recommend to my clients who live in Southern Alberta is Milne Pritchard Law Office.  Their staff of lawyers has a wide breadth of experience and expertise and I have relied upon them for many important legal needs over the years.  If you are a small business, a farm or agricultural operation, a corporation, or just need help with wills, estate planning, or a real estate transaction, then they are Lethbridge Lawyers that I would be please to recommend to you. Their contact info is:  Milne Pritchard Law Office 400 4 Ave S #807, Lethbridge, AB 403-329-1133   https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Milne+Pritchard+Law+Office/@49.693592,-112.8411151,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x941a522a563ed7d?sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj1zMq11K_WAhXIwlQKHWCEAP0Q_BIIcTAN   Th...
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
Fee Simple Law LLP Wins Lethbridge Herald’s “Best of the Best” Law Office Award  Lethbridge, AB: In the recently announced “Best of the Best” local business awards for 2017 conducted in Lethbridge, Fee Simple Law LLP was pleased to have been voted the winner by public online voting. This award is a great milestone for this brand new legal firm who focuses their business model upon all things related to residential, commercial, and agriculture real estate law. The partners, Matthew McHugh and Michael Gabriel, are excited to be recognized by the community. “Having both come from larger Lethbridge law offices, we knew that a smaller niche focused firm that did only real estate was something that the market needed.” stated McHugh. Gabriel added, “By focusing our attention to only residentia...
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
Cheapest House in Lethbridge Are you looking for an inexpensive property? Are you just searching the internet and looking of the cheapest house in Lethbridge?  Well cheapest is not always the best value, but lets look at what you can get for a cheap price. Mobile homes - a mobile home is a self contained dwelling which was built in a factory and moved onto its site.  Formerly, everyone referred to them as "trailers", they still struggle to shake off that old image depsite the fact that they are much better than they used to be.  you can buy a mobile home for price ranging from $20,000 up to $200,000.  Keep in mind though, you still need to rent a pad to park it on, which is often another $400/month. Condos - you can buy a cheap bachelor or 1 bedroom condo for about $120,000 these days. ...
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
How to Flip a House      With the many television shows showing people who buy old houses and fix them up to sell at a profit, there are an endless number of people who wish they could do that.  It looks like easy money on tv.  Heck they buy a house that is half price because it is dirty, they hire slave labour to pull out the carpets and cupboards, the hire a cheap contractor to put it all back in new, then they grind that contractor and try to pay him only half of what they agreed to, then they put a coat of paint on it and host an open house before it is even dry, selling it for a $50k profit!   What could be easier????      The reality is that flipping a house is nothing like that at all.  First off, every seller will try to get maximum dollar for their house and not be anxious or e...
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
Coaldale Real Estate     The little town of Coaldale is located just a short drive East of Lethbridge.  As a result many families consider it as an option when looking for real estate in the Lethbridge area.  Here is quick snapshot and description of what you get there.      Coaldale historically was a little rural town, a bit too far to drive from Lethbridge, however it has grown and the 2 towns are not that far apart anymore.  Coaldale real estate traditionally has been mostly older homes, and some newer infills.  In the past decade also a few new home subdivisions have been developed too.  The one thing they all have in common is that the lot size is generous.  In fact, on some of the older homes the lot size is double what you get in Lethbridge.      One of the complaints about Coal...
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
Lethbridge Law OfficeThere are several law offices in Lethbridge who are willing to work on real estate transactions.  In fact, the majority of our offices will do these transactions.  The reality is though that many of them really do not want to.  They only take that business because the do not want to lose clients to other firms. Soon, there is a new law office opening in Lethbridge, one which will specialize in real estate only.  This new office will be able to close a real estate transaction quicker and more efficiently due to specializing in only real estate closings.  I expect that I will send a large amount of my business to this specialized office once it is open.  I will share more details and the link once it is open.
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
Rent To Own - Is It A Scam?      I have been asked many times in my career if "rent to own" real estate purchases are a scam or if they are legitimate means in which a tenant can become a homeowner.  So let me share with you my experience, which may not be reflective or representative of everyones experience, but it should shine a bit of light upon this subject which seems to always be something that tenants are curious about. Is it a scam?  Sometimes.  Due to the fact that so many poor renters dream of home ownership, they are frequently targeted by scammers who prey upon this motivation.  These scammers use various tricks and techniques to weasel money out of these dreamers.  The most common scam I have seen is attempting to sell the property for more than its real value.  The second ...
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
Jeff Reimer - Royal Lepage Jeff has been in real estate since 1993.  He joined the industry about 6 months before I did and started his career at Royal Lepage in Lethbridge, Alberta.  When I entered the profession, I basically was sitting in the next cubical over from Jeff and we got to know each other very well.  In fact, after about 6 months of working next to each other we combined our efforts and became a real estate team. Jeff Reimer and I teamed up and worked together for probably about 6 years until I left Royal Lepage to work at another Lethbridge real estate brokerage.  Well it is now 23 years since we started as REALTORS, Jeff Reimer is still at Royal Lepage South Country in Lethbridge, and I still own and operate my own little brokerage serving a botique group of customers.  ...
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
West Lethbridge Real Estate The part of Lethbridge which is located on the western bank of the Old Man River coulee banks is commonly referred to locally as "the westside".   Development there really started in about 1970 with the construction of the iconic University of Lethbridge.  This large concrete construction built into the side of the hills was a monumental development and has been the primary catalyst for growth nearby and the driver of the popularity of West Lethbridge real estate. With the construction of the University came the demand for housing.  Specifically demand for student housing as well as employee housing within commuting distance.  As a result, the first properties build nearest to the University of Lethbridge are multi family units, rental properties, and higher ...
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
Lethbridge Duplex Properties     A duplex is a type of residential buildling which has 2 seperate dwellings in it.  These 2 units can be upstairs vs downstairs or more commonly side by side.  The side by side duplex is the most popular and common style of attached property that you will find in Lethbridge real estate.  Essentially, it is just like 2 single family houses built next to each other but sharing 1 wall between them.     The reason that a duplex is built instead of 2 single family units is most always to increase the density of the residential units in a subdivision or also perhaps to lower the construction costs per unit.  By having 2 units attached on a common wall (or a party wall as it is known), it eliminates the need to seperate the units by 8 feet (as traditional homes ...
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
Lethbridge Condos      Most people truly do not know what a condominium is.  This is because the first condos that we all became familiar with in our region all looked the same or possibley you moved to Canada and never encountered them previously.  These original condos were all 2 storey townhouse units, joined together in rows of 6 or 8.  These attached row housing hence became commonly referred to as condos, a term which was and still is incorrect.  Let me clarify this a bit.CONDOMINIUM IS A TYPE OF OWNERSHIP, NOT A STYLE OF CONSTRUCTION!A TOWNHOUSE IS A STYLE OF BUILDING, NOT A FORM OF OWNERHSIP!     When you see a bunch of 2 storey units which are joined together in a row, this style of building is properly referred to as a "Townhouse".  It is a2 storey townhouse style unit.      T...
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
 Waterton Lake - the weekends in southern Alberta are best spent out exploring the nearby scenery like Waterton Lakes.  The park is a fantastic place to hike and climb and you will never spend a day there without seeing wildlife.  Bear season is upon us and the black bears and grizzley bears have woke up from winter.  If you are hiking there this week, be careful and look out for them.
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
 Stay Within Your Expertise      I recently did an evaluation on a commercial property for a client.  During the physical tour of the building I took pictures of various parts of the building, the services, the design and layout.  The client asked me several questions about real estate, the market, and property values.  All of these questions were easy for me to answer, provide relevant facts and information on, and give evidence to things that are happening and have happened recently in our city.  This is an area of information of which I would consider myself an expert.      However, while we were looking through the building the client insisted I take a look at this electrical service.  Now I happen to know more than the average person about electrical services.  I have viewed hundre...
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
It is friday of a long weekend here in Canada.  Lots of people take off and go camping, lots of others travel.  For me, I am planning on sitting at an open house tomorrow and sunday, then if I am lucky I will be able to sneak in going to the horse races and watching the preakness. Long weekends are always work weekends for me.  If you need help on a long weekend, only the most dedicated agents tend to be around it seems.
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
Are you thinking about moving to Lethbridge? I get phone calls and emails from people who live in various parts of the country asking about retiring to Lethbridge, or moving here to attend school or for employment relocation.  Our city is attractive compared to many other cities.  Our weather is superior, our economy a bit stronger and more diverse, our community friendly, and our real estate prices are affordable.  A basic single family home in Lethbridge will cost a buyer only about $250,000, which is about $1250/month mortgage payment. 
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
In some places in North America, real estate transactions are handled differently than here in Alberta.  In some States and Provinces, the escrow, title transfer, and mortgage registrations are handled exclusively by lawyers, while in other areas things can be handled by a notary or other methods.  I have always wondered why we don't have a Lethbridge real estate closing office as an option for completing the sales and purchases of real property. I know that there are closing offices in other places, but am not entirely familiar with what services they provide and which services they are prohibited from providing.  Are there specific real estate closing offices in your area?  Can they complete the entire transaction, the sales contract, mortgage and encumberance registrations, title tra...
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
Every few months I get contacted by a National or Internationsal media source looking for information about real estate or mortgage industry trends or activity.  It is commonly someone who is writing a piece which is comparing or contrasting statistical data or opinion on my market here in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada with the market in some other region. Because of my many years in the industry and my experience as a competant author on these subject matters, I am a reliable source of information, content, or even quotes.  I also enjoy providing content on these subject matters too. http://www.remonline.com/fighting-the-stigma-agents-say-working-in-real-estate-rocks/ Here is a recent article which was published in the online version of REM Magazine, the leading real estate publication i...
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
 Lethbridge real estate lawyerUsing a good real estate lawyer can save you lots of money but also make the closing process on your real estate transaction quicker and smoother.  I often recommend a select few law offices in Lethbridge who specialize in closing real estate transactions in an expediant and efficient manner.  There is nothing worse than having a lawyer involved in your real estate sale or purchase who is more interested in litigating and fighting with the other party than they are in a smooth and peacefull escrow. If you need a law office in lethbridge to help you with your land titles, title insurance, real property report, easements and right of ways, registering caveats or mortgages, or just processing a title transfer, then you can contact me and I will help you find a...
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
Lethbridge Real Estate - Student Housing Photo: University of Lethbridge at sunset by Robert May   University of Lethbridge and the Lethbridge College attract thousands of students to the city each fall.  I believe the total number of students enrolled now is around 15,000 and I would estimate that at least half of those come from outside of the Lethbridge and move here just to attend school.   With this new influx in population the Lethbridge real estate rental market is strongly affected.  Rent prices shoot up and vacancy rates drop to absolute zero.  Literally every basement suite, duplex, apartment, house, or rooming house is full by the end of August.   For those who are arriving in Lethbridge at this time of the month they are probably already finding that the choices of accomoda...
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By Robert May, Real estate consulting
(Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate)
  Anyone who is thining of becoming a homeowner and is needing to borrow money from a mortgage company to complete their purchase is going to have to face the reality of their credit report.  For those who have managed their finances and credit well in the past, this is no obstacle.  However for anyone who has had interruptions to their income, employment, or even their marital status, they may have some challenges on their credit report that make it more difficult or impossible to qualify to borrow mortgage money to purchase a lethbridge house. From 2007 to 2016 I have held an Alberta mortgage brokers license in addition to my real estate brokers license.  This has allowed me first hand access to the lenders and to learn their policies and procedures.  If you are thinking of buying, th...
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