Just Sharing Some Great Alberta Home Inspections Links

City of Calgary Property Assessment [ READ MORE ]

Real Estate Council of Alberta: Latent defects [ READ MORE ]

CMHC: Buying a Home [ READ MORE ]

CMHC: Library of publications [ READ MORE ]

CMHC Condominium Buyers Guide [ READ MORE ] 

Buying a house with a Well and Septic tank system  [ READ MORE ]

Condominium buyers advised to examine contracts closely [ READ MORE ] 

Alberta Health Services, Environmental Health  [ READ MORE ] 

Health Canada: Asbestos Containing Materials including Vermiculite Insulation 1920s to the mid-1980s. PLEASE NOTE that this inspection does NOT include Asbestos sampling. A home of this age may or may not contain asbestos. If renovations/demolition is being considered, asbestos sampling is recommended. If Asbestos sampling is required we can arrange to do so but it must be arranged separately from this agreement.  [ READ MORE ]  

What to know about hiring a home inspector in Alberta

Buying a home is the largest investment most consumers will ever make. Before buying, you should know what condition the home is in and what repairs might be needed. Hiring a qualified home inspector to examine a home can help you to make an informed decision about its condition. Some homeowners also have their place inspected so they can get any defects fixed under their new home warranty before it runs out.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM A HOME INSPECTOR?
The home inspector’s role is to tell you the physical condition of the home. The inspector should walk through the home with you and point out any problems. This normally takes at least two hours. The inspector must give you a contract before the inspection and a written report after an inspection.

The inspector must not damage the home during the inspection unless the owner agrees in writing to allow an invasive inspection. If the inspector causes damage during the inspection and the seller has not agreed, the inspector must pay for the damage. For example, this means that the inspector usually can’t drill holes to look inside walls, ceilings or behind tiling. An inspector can look for signs that there might be problems with a home and suggest any areas that should be looked at by an expert. For example, mould and wiring behind walls usually cannot be seen directly, but there might be other signals that a trained eye would notice. Before starting the home inspection, the inspector must give you a copy of the signed contract that includes a list of what will and won’t be inspected.

You and your inspector should also ask the seller and the realtor if there are any problems with the home. The seller and realtor must answer you honestly and not hide any problems that they know about.

WHAT RULES MUST HOME INSPECTORS AND HOME INSPECTION BUSINESSES FOLLOW?

Under Alberta’s Fair Trading Act an inspector must disclose information honestly and openly, and deal with you fairly. The Home Inspection Business Regulation sets out specific rules for home inspectors and home inspection businesses. All inspectors must have completed a minimum level of education. The regulation also sets out the requirements for home inspection contracts and for the inspection report that the inspector provides to the consumer. Home inspection businesses must have:
• a licence from the Government of Alberta,
• a bond or other form of security, and
• errors and omissions insurance. Home inspectors who are working for an inspection business must have a licence. To have a licence, a home inspector must:
• be employed by a home inspection business, and
• be a Registered Home Inspector (RHI) or Certified Master Inspector (CMI), or

• have a degree, diploma, or certificate in home inspection from an approved school, and pass a test inspection by a CMI from the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors Alberta, or a RHI from the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors, or
• hold an approved home inspection designation from an approved industry association, or
• a licence from an approved regulatory body. Home inspectors who are close to getting these qualifications may work with a conditional licence

Click this link to read the read the entire document from the Alberta Government

http://www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/pdf/tipsheets/hiring_a_home_inspector.pdf

Forget about a crash, Conference Board gives housing market clean bill of health

Julian Beltrame, Canadian Press | March 24, 2014 7:18 AM ET

OTTAWA — The Conference Board isn’t buying the notion that Canada’s housing market will suddenly crumble, saying the most likely outlook is for a modest decline nationally and in some specific markets.

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The Ottawa-based think-tank argues in a comprehensive new look at real estate in Canada that the conditions for a crash simply don’t exist, despite numerous reports that the market is overbuilt and overvalued.

Rather, the report argues that with the possible exception of Toronto, housing starts the past three years have been roughly in line with the 20-year average.

Even in Toronto, there is only a “borderline” case that it could be overbuilt.

Related

“At this point in the housing cycle, there is a risk that Canadian housing prices in some market segments are due for a modest correction,” the report states.

“Nevertheless, we believe that continued population growth, additional employment gains and modest mortgage rate increases will limit potential price declines in 2014 and 2015.”

There is a case for more dramatic price adjustment further out if higher mortgage rates start crimping affordability, the Conference Board says, but even then it is likely to be a soft rather than a hard landing.

In recent years, some economists and international organizations such as the OECD, the IMF, Deutsche Bank and The Economist magazine have described Canada’s housing market in stark terms, characterizing it as among the priciest in the world based on historical averages and other metrics.

But the consensus of economists within Canada has tended to be more subdued. Last week, the Canadian Real Estate Association also predicted a slowdown as mortgage rates start edging up later in the year, but it still saw the market overall growing in 2014 and 2015.

The Conference Board says fears of a housing bubble about to burst in Canada are exaggerated.

It says some of the evidence cited by correction hawks, including comparing home prices as a multiple of rental costs, don’t take into account historically-low mortgage rates that keeps affordability steady. Citing Toronto, it notes that in 2013 mortgage payments consumed less than 20% of average household income, the same as in 1993.

“Mortgage costs, not just house prices, are the principal deciding factor for potential homebuyers,” says Robin Wiebe, the think-tank’s senior economist.

Even when mortgage rates do start rising, the Conference Board believes it will happen gradually and over an extended period. For instance, it forecasts rates with only a gain of 200 basis points — two percentage points — by 2017 or 2018.

But at current low rates, the typical homeowner on a posted five-year rate will have paid down $42,104 principal on a $100,000 in mortgage debt, so affordability won’t be seriously impacted once it comes time to renew at a higher rate.

The Conference Board provides an outlook on six major cities:

  • Vancouver: Moved back into balance last spring. Recent price gains will give way to slower advances in 2014.
  • Calgary: A approaching sellers’ conditions, noting strong price gains last year.
  • Edmonton: Balanced, with brisk resale and price growth activity last year.
  • Toronto: Balanced with healthy price growth. A major correction is difficult to see given solid employment and population growth.
  • Ottawa: Market cooling due to falling employment from the government sector, flatter sales and tempered prices.
  • Montreal: Flirting with buyer’s market conditions with sales and average prices having dropped somewhat last year.

CBRE Calgary Real Estate Report - March 2014

Calgary, March 3, 2014 – Following double digit gains last month, sales growth in the city of Calgary totaled 1,854 units, or an 8.68 per cent increase over the same period in 2013. Slower sales growth resulted in a reduction of listings in the single family sector. However, single family sales still totalled 1,230 units, a 1.9 per cent increase over the previous year.

“Demand growth in the single family sector has been restricted by the availability of product,” says CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “New listings in this sector fell for the second consecutive month, causing further tightening in an already undersupplied market.”

Despite the pull back in the single family sector, condominium sales continue to surge. After the first two months of the year, both condominium apartment and townhouse sales increased by 28 per cent compared to last year.

“Consumers who are in the market for single family homes priced below $300,000 do not have many options, and when product does become available, it typically does not stay on the market for long,” says CREB® President Bill Kirk. “However, nearly 54 per cent of the new condominium apartment listings this year are priced below $300,000, which is providing options for consumers looking for affordable product.”

The condominium market benefited from significant gains in new listings. Year-to-date, condominium apartment and townhouse listings improved by a respective 17 and 4 per cent for a combined total of 1,737 units.

“As we move into the spring market we expect that listings will improve in all sectors,” says Kirk. “The rise in listings will help ease some of the tightness in the market, with price growth impacts varying by community and property type.” 

With no significant additions to the housing supply, resale prices continued to rise. 

The unadjusted single family benchmark price totalled $482,800 in February, a 1.28 per cent increase over the previous month and a 9.1 per cent increase over the previous year.

Meanwhile, condominium apartment and townhouse prices totaled a respective $283,400 and $309,700. Condominium apartment price increases remain at double digit levels this month with a year-over-year gain of 12.4 per cent.

Despite the strong gains in condominium prices, overall benchmark prices in both the apartment and townhouse sector continue to remain below peak records set back in 2007.

“Resale market conditions have favoured the seller, and this has translated into price gains, which is strongest in the condominium sector,” says Lurie. “However, it is important to note that condominium prices have not yet risen above previous highs, whereas single family prices recovered last year."

http://www.cbre.ca/o/calgary/Pages/market-reports.aspx