The City of Calgary Planning and Development office is making some great changes this year. The biggest changes that will affect most sellers in Calgary relate to the Real Property Report (RPR).

The first change is a huge step forward in a world that’s more and more paperless. RPRs can now be submitted for a Certificate of Compliance online. This change will be a massive time saver, as we have all spent many hours waiting at City Hall with surveys in hand.

The second big change is the introduction of the the “Selling your Home” service. This service dovetails into the online RPR submission by taking the compliance one step further – any required relaxations will automatically trigger a transfer from one process to the other at no additional cost. This is another huge time savings in the process of preparing your home for sale.

Visit the City of Calgary website for more details.

We’ve had a productive start to 2018, and are extremely happy to announce the newest Associate on our team – Mike Stante! As a native Calgarian, Mike has the knowledge and experience to help you find the right property, and get you top dollar for your home. His tireless commitment to client service speaks for itself, and his knack for creative deals puts Mike ahead of the curve. If you haven’t had a chance to meet Mike yet, we urge you to call, he’s more than happy to discuss your current and future real estate needs.

secondary suite design calgaryKey points about the SECONDARY SUITE application and re-designation process in Calgary


Your Property

The first thing you need to know before applying for a secondary suite re-designation is how your property is currently zoned. The city will accept re-designation applications (often called re-zoning) for any property but you’ll want to set yourself up for success by knowing the current zoning and what zoning you’re looking for. If you don’t know about the zoning, city hall will allow pre-application inquiries where you can find out more.  Call us if you would like some advice on Calgary zoning and re-designation for secondary suites.


For re-designation applications in particular zones, the city is waiving the application fee of approx. $5000:

Applications still go through the full re-designation process however the fee is waived. Don’t take this to mean that an ill-prepared application will be successful, this initiative is meant to encourage application where an owner might not otherwise risk the investment.


Don’t underestimate the time it takes to collect all the required information, and the resulting re-designation process. It may take up to a month to assemble & submit your application, and expect the following rough timeline for the process to run its course:

  • 1 month for internal review & follow-up questions;
  • 2 week advertising period with “Re-Designation Application” sign on the property, with 2-3 additional weeks to receive public input;
  • Administration presentation and review to Calgary Planning Commission at the next scheduled meeting;
  • If approved at CPC, another 2 week advertising period with “Land Use Bylaw Amendment” sign on the property, with 2-3 weeks following to receive public input;
  • Application presentation and review with Calgary City Council at the next scheduled public meeting.

It will be important to demonstrate that you’ve made a concerted effort to contact and discuss your application with your neighbours. It’s been suggested that at a minimum you should contact any adjacent neighbours, and any directly across the street or alley.  I would suggest doubling or tripling that effort and requesting your neighbours sign a letter stating their name, address, and indicating support for your application. It wouldn’t hurt to show a summary on a map – who doesn’t love graphics!

Your Story

When you present your application, keep in mind that there are many perspectives from which one might view the application. You can make your case from a planning, financial, personal, and/or social perspective. It may be wise to touch on all of these perspectives so your application appears complete and well thought out.


The Calgary Real Estate Board has just released their 2017 Economic Outlook & Regional Housing Market Forecast.  Highlights from the report for the 2017 Calgary Real Estate Market include:

  • Overall economic stabilization in 2017;
  • Marginal but positive net migration expected for the coming year;
  • Increased number of sales over 2016 figures, approximately 3%, will still be below normal levels;
  • A year of slow transition in the real estate market;
  • Stiffer lending rules and higher mortgage rates will have minor impacts on affordability;
  • Oversupply still a driving force in the market.
Our Thoughts

We interpret the “transition” mentioned above to be a flattening of the downward trajectory in overall pricing. We will not likely see the bottom of the market this year though the negative year over year change in pricing may return to zero before 2018.

The apartment sector will remain the housing type with highest level of inventory through the coming year. Some projects that began digging in 2014, 2015, and 2016 have not all come to market.  When they do, they will continue to saturate the apartment sector and put downward pressure on pricing.

Anticipate affordable single family detached homes to be the shining star in the market as it has been in the past.  Homes in this sector have fared best in the market correction and should maintain their position as best (relative) real estate investment vehicles.

Have more questions about the 2017 Calgary real estate market? Contact us to find out more.

buying a home in Calgary
Initial Perspective

We’ve worked with countless buyers over the years who have been looking to buy a house in Calgary, and have had the opportunity to counsel them on a proven strategy to discover their best home.  When we first sit down with home buyers, we like to first get their perspective on how they envision finding a home. The thing is, it’s not always an intuitive process. Most have a list of features they want in a home, but don’t know how to best translate their wants and needs to a systematic home evaluation process. This is the start of the home buying process.


Real Estate BUYING 101

In addition to answering questions about real estate, we get our clients’ initial thoughts on what they’re looking for, we engage in a thorough ‘Calgary Real Estate 101’ to identify various aspects that enhance value in properties, specifically in Calgary. The concepts are abstract though intuitive and by the end of the session, the drivers of value in the local real estate market are easily understood.


What about market conditions?

Market conditions are an important factor in any decision to buy a home, and we ensure that the past, current, and future market conditions are explained in a simple manner.  Knowing where we sit in the real estate cycle allows our buyers to make better decisions about timing and their investment.


The Process

Combining basic real estate concepts with market analysis, we’ve developed a process which enables our buyers to make intelligent and informed decisions about where they live and how to best invest their hard earned money. This approach has led to countless buyers making the best decision possible to achieve their goals, and gain and retain as much equity as possible during every swing in the market.


Your Search

Now that our clients understand the value and the market, and we understand their needs and wants, we mesh these concepts with a systematic process to produce a unique home search for our clients. If you would like to begin your search early you can visit this great property search tool.

If your worried about the costs of using a Realtor as a buyer, don’t be, it’s free! Here you can find more information.


Calgary real estate market

The current decline in the 2016 Calgary real estate market is well documented, yet in every market cycle there are always opportunities to be discovered. Here is where we suggest you focus for opportunities in the 2016 Calgary real estate market and beyond: Continue reading ..

Have you ever wondered if living near transit routes affects the price of your home?  We’ve compiled a list of the major travel routes throughout Calgary, as well as C-Train routes, and the upcoming proposed Green Line route.  With benchmark housing prices included, you can see how your home/neighbourhood stacks up to the rest of the city, or if you’re looking at buying/selling you can see neighbourhoods that will meet your price points.


C-Train Map Website


Calgary MLS® Community Map
Effective on January 5, 2016 the Calgary Real Estate Board will be updating their Calgary MLS® community boundaries and names to align with the existing City of Calgary communities.  The changes have come about in an effort to increase database integrity and eliminate naming communities that do not formally exist as  formally recognized by the City.  This will enable both CREB® and the City of Calgary to better share, compare, and analyze housing data.  Generally speaking, the ‘estate’ communities have disappeared and are incorporated into the surrounding communities. Continue reading ..

kensingtonClassified the ‘Village in the city’ and trending as #outsidetheordinary, Kensington is a hot spot for Calgary’s young and diverse cultural population.  Located in the inner-city on the border of the Bow River and the foot of the escarpment beneath SAIT and ACAD and bounded by Sunnyside and West Hillhurst. This small community is rebuilding itself, working hard to promote art, culture, cuisine and more. Kensington appeals to the young, creative, and the foodies of Calgary with it’s new developments creating more retail opportunities and adding new shops. Kensington is always electric and full of new life. Just one of the many reasons why Calgary is such a #coolcity to live in.