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Renovating Your Okotoks Home: Tips for Adding Value and Enhancing Appeal

Introduction

Renovating your home in Okotoks can be a rewarding investment, whether you're looking to increase its resale value, enhance its curb appeal, or simply enjoy a more comfortable living space. In this comprehensive guide, we'll share expert tips and advice to help you navigate the renovation process effectively, ensuring that your project adds value and enhances the appeal of your Okotoks home.

Understanding the Okotoks Real Estate Market

Before embarking on any renovation project, it's essential to understand the local real estate market in Okotoks. Research recent sales data, market trends, and buyer preferences to identify which renovations are most likely to add value to your home. By focusing on upgrades that align with market demand and local preferences, you can maximize the return on your investment and appeal to potential buyers if you decide to sell in the future.

Identifying Renovation Priorities

Begin by identifying your renovation priorities based on your goals, budget, and the specific needs of your home. Consider which areas of your home could benefit most from improvement, whether it's updating outdated fixtures, enhancing energy efficiency, or creating more functional living spaces. Prioritize projects that offer the highest return on investment and align with your long-term objectives for your home.

Budgeting Wisely

Establishing a realistic budget is crucial for any renovation project to ensure that you can complete the work within your financial means. Research the average costs of similar renovation projects in Okotoks and obtain multiple quotes from reputable contractors to compare prices and scope of work. Be sure to budget for unexpected expenses or contingencies to avoid overspending and financial strain during the renovation process.

Choosing Quality Materials and Finishes

Investing in high-quality materials and finishes is essential for achieving long-lasting results and maximizing the value of your renovation. Opt for durable, low-maintenance materials that are well-suited to Okotoks' climate and lifestyle, such as hardwood flooring, granite countertops, and energy-efficient windows. While quality materials may come with a higher upfront cost, they can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for frequent repairs and replacements.

Enhancing Curb Appeal

Improving your home's curb appeal is an effective way to enhance its overall appearance and make a positive first impression on potential buyers. Consider projects such as updating your home's exterior paint, replacing outdated siding or roofing, and enhancing landscaping features such as flower beds, walkways, and outdoor lighting. Simple upgrades like installing a new front door or adding a fresh coat of paint to the porch can significantly improve your home's curb appeal without breaking the bank.

Creating Functional Living Spaces

Functional and well-designed living spaces are highly desirable among Okotoks homebuyers and can significantly increase the value of your home. Consider renovating key areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, and basement to improve functionality, flow, and overall livability. Focus on features that offer both style and practicality, such as custom cabinetry, modern appliances, and efficient storage solutions. By maximizing the usability of your home's interior spaces, you can appeal to a broader range of potential buyers and enhance its market value.

Working with Reputable Contractors

Choosing the right contractors is essential for the success of your renovation project. Take the time to research and vet potential contractors thoroughly, checking references, credentials, and past project portfolios. Look for contractors who have experience with similar renovation projects in Okotoks and demonstrate professionalism, reliability, and attention to detail. By partnering with reputable contractors, you can ensure that your renovation is completed to the highest standards and meets your expectations.

Obtaining Necessary Permits and Approvals

Before starting any renovation work, it's essential to obtain necessary permits and approvals from the appropriate local authorities in Okotoks. Familiarize yourself with local building codes, zoning regulations, and permit requirements to ensure compliance with legal and safety standards. Failing to obtain permits for required renovations can result in costly fines, delays, and complications down the line. Work closely with your contractor and local authorities to navigate the permitting process smoothly and avoid potential setbacks.

Maximizing Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient upgrades not only reduce your home's environmental impact but can also lower utility costs and increase its overall value. Consider incorporating energy-efficient features such as insulated windows, upgraded insulation, energy-efficient appliances, and programmable thermostats into your renovation plans. These upgrades not only appeal to environmentally-conscious buyers but can also enhance the marketability and resale value of your home in Okotoks.

Monitoring Progress and Quality

Throughout the renovation process, it's essential to monitor progress and quality to ensure that the work is completed to your satisfaction. Communicate regularly with your contractor, ask questions, and address any concerns or issues that arise promptly. Conduct regular inspections of the workmanship and materials to verify that they meet agreed-upon standards and specifications. By staying actively involved in the renovation process, you can minimize misunderstandings, ensure accountability, and ultimately achieve the desired results for your Okotoks home.

Tips for Adding Value and Enhancing Appeal

Renovating your home in Okotoks isn't just about updating its appearance; it's about adding value and enhancing its appeal for potential buyers. Whether you're preparing to sell or simply looking to improve your living space, these additional tips will help you maximize your home's value:

Invest in Smart Technology:

  • Incorporating smart technology into your home can significantly increase its appeal and functionality. Consider installing smart thermostats, home security systems, and smart appliances to enhance your daily living experience and attract buyers.

Revamp Your Bathroom:

  • Focus on updating lighting fixtures, installing modern amenities like curbless showers and premium countertops, and enhancing accessibility to create a spa-like retreat that increases your home's value.

Finish Your Basement:

  • Transforming your basement into a functional living space adds valuable square footage to your home. Consider designing a home theater, creating a guest suite, or installing proper insulation and moisture-proofing to ensure comfort and durability.

Upgrade Your Windows:

  • Upgrading to energy-efficient windows can improve energy efficiency, enhance security, and boost curb appeal. Consider installing impact-resistant glass and adding architectural features like bay windows or skylights to enhance aesthetics and increase value.

Conclusion

Renovating your home in Okotoks is an exciting opportunity to enhance its value, functionality, and appeal. By understanding the local real estate market, identifying renovation priorities, budgeting wisely, choosing quality materials and finishes, enhancing curb appeal, creating functional living spaces, working with reputable contractors, obtaining necessary permits, maximizing energy efficiency, and monitoring progress and quality, you can ensure a successful and rewarding renovation experience. Whether you're upgrading your home for resale or personal enjoyment, thoughtful renovation projects can transform your Okotoks home into the perfect living space for years to come.

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The History and Heritage of Okotoks: Exploring Its Historic Homes and Landmarks

Introduction

Nestled in the picturesque foothills of Alberta, Okotoks is a town steeped in history and brimming with heritage. From its humble beginnings as a trading post to its vibrant present-day community, Okotoks has a story to tell. Join us on a journey through time as we explore the historic homes and landmarks that have shaped the identity of this charming town.

The Early Days

Okotoks traces its roots back to the late 19th century when it served as a vital hub for early settlers and traders. From approximately 1892 to 1896, the fledgling community was called Dewdney, after the Lieutenant Governor of the North West Territories. However, it was changed back to Okotoks because there was another Dewdney in the North West Territories. Okotoks incorporated as a village in 1893 and officially became a town on June 1, 1904. The town's name, derived from the Blackfoot word for "rock", pays homage to the distinctive Big Rock glacial erratic that has stood as a natural landmark for millennia. As settlers began to establish homesteads in the area, Okotoks quickly grew into a thriving agricultural community.

Exploring Historic Homes

Today, Okotoks is home to a wealth of historic residences that offer a glimpse into the town's past. From quaint cottages dating back to the early 1900s to stately Victorian-era mansions, each home tells a unique story of the families who once called Okotoks home. Take a stroll through the historic downtown core and you'll discover beautifully preserved heritage homes lining the streets, providing a tangible connection to the town's rich history.

Landmarks of Note

In addition to its historic homes, Okotoks boasts several notable landmarks that are integral to its identity. The Okotoks Erratic, also known as the Big Rock, remains one of the town's most iconic attractions, drawing visitors from far and wide to marvel at its sheer size and geological significance. Meanwhile, the Okotoks Museum and Archives offers a fascinating glimpse into the town's past, with exhibits showcasing everything from Indigenous history to pioneer life on the prairies.

Preserving the Past

As Okotoks continues to grow and evolve, efforts to preserve its rich history and heritage have become increasingly important. Local organizations and heritage groups work tirelessly to protect historic buildings, landmarks, and artifacts, ensuring that future generations can continue to appreciate Okotoks' unique cultural heritage.

Community Event Calendar

Stay engaged with the vibrant community of Okotoks by checking out the Town of Okotoks website's event calendar. Discover upcoming festivals, markets, and cultural events that celebrate the town's heritage and bring residents together in the spirit of community.

Conclusion

From its earliest days as a trading post to its present-day status as a vibrant community, Okotoks has a storied history that is reflected in its historic homes and landmarks. By exploring these treasures of the past, we gain a deeper appreciation for the town's rich heritage and the generations who have called it home. Join us in celebrating Okotoks' history and preserving its legacy for years to come.

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Buying in Okotoks as a 50+ adult

Relocating the 50+ crowd to Okotoks from other parts of Canada is a very exciting part of my business. I am seeing more and more grandparents moving provinces to be close to their grandchildren. This demographic tends to want to avoid stairs and have all their living on one floor. They’re also not interested in snow removal or lawn care. It is often difficult to determine which neighborhood, street or complex is best suited for them. I hope you find this post useful.


Types of properties in Okotoks

Whether a property is suitable for empty nesters/seniors or not depends on 2 things: The type of property and whether there are restrictions due to age. And yes, age restricted condos are still allowed and will continue to be allowed for the 55+ age group. Here’s the most up to date information from Alberta Human Rights commission. Most of the 50+ crowd are looking for single level or bungalow/villa living. Many apartment style condominiums offer single level living with elevators. For those wanting more outside space, there are houses that are better suited to the older crowd. If you’re looking for more of an assisted living type property, there are options! Any costs and prices mentioned are based on sales as of January 2024 and are not guaranteed to be the same in the future.

Apartments

If you’re interested in an overview of all apartments in Okotoks, click here.

Mesa at 92 Crystal Shores Road

The Mesa is not age restricted and therefore anyone of any age can live there. However, the average age of the residents of the complex seems to have increased over the years. This complex does not allow dogs. Prices for a one bedroom unit start at around 250K. Larger units are more expensive.

Calvanna at 200 Community Way

The Calvanna consists of 3, 3-storey buildings, all of them have underground parking. There is also a community room where residents can meet for crafts, cards and coffee. The basement of the community room has some exercise equipment. Expect to pay 250K for a 1 bedroom and closer to 300K for a 2 bedroom.

Heritage Heights at 102 Centre Court

This building is a mixture of single floor units (first and second floor) and 2-st units (third floor). Most units have 2 titled underground parking stalls.

Tower Hill at 280 Banister Drive

Tower Hill Condominiums are located on the north end of Okotoks with fast access to Highway 2A. It is an older, quieter building with outdoor stalls. There are no elevators and very few units have insuite laundry. The common/shared laundry is on the main floor. This is an 18+ building.

7 and 15 Lineham Ave in downtown Okotoks

These 2 apartment buildings are smaller with only 6 units per floor. They have a common room on the main floor for coffee, cards and birthday celebrations. They have covered parking.

Bungalow/Villa style condominiums

Tucker Hill in Westmount

Tucker Hill has a combination of bungalows and 5-level split units. All units have attached garages- mostly single but a few of the larger units have double garages. The bungalows are desirable to the 50+ crowd but the complex doesn’t actually have any age restrictions. The 5-level split units do appeal to young families. If walk-scores were still a thing, this complex would rank highly!

105 Elm Place

Located at the east end of downtown, Elm Place properties were built in the early 1990s and have a 45+ age restriction. They have attached double garages but not direct access from the garage to the house.

Sheep River Villas at 100 Sheep River Drive

If backing onto a park with a view of the Sheep River is on your list- this complex is for you. Twelve of the 18 units are walkouts with the most amazing views! These properties are close to 1400 sf on the main floor and all have double garages.

Sheep River View in Sheep River Cove

You need to be patient if you want to live here! These units don’t seem to come on the market often. Built in 2008, most are over 1400sf and all have double garages. They appeal to the older crowd but I’m not actually sure if there are age restrictions!

Drake Landing Square

If you’re looking for a brand new build in an already established neighbourhood, these might be worth looking at. They’re priced in the high 600s and they are beautiful. They have attached rear garages and most of them back onto a greenspace/park.

Dakotas at Air Ranch

These villas are located on the west side of the runway in the NE community of Air Ranch. They have double attached garages and almost half of them back onto a natural park/pond area. The larger units are almost 1500sf on the main floor. They don’t seem to come up for sale often and currently sell in the 600s

Bungalow/Villa style NON condominium

Sheep River Ridge Villas on Sheep River Mews

These properties are not a condominium and therefore do not have bylaws. They do however have a Home Owners Association of $120 per month that covers lawn care and snow removal. They all have garages and range in size from around 950sf to 1250sf.

Crystalridge Terrace/View

Tucked away in the community of Crystal Ridge, you will find 2 streets of attached homes. A handful are 2-storey units but the majority are bungalows. My favorite ones are the ones that back onto the ravine.

Sandstone Ridge

There is a small collection of villas just off of Sandstone Gate behind the NoFrills grocery store. These properties don’t have an HOA and homeowners are responsible for their own lawn care and snow removal.

Crystal Green Rise

These units all back onto Crystal Ridge golf course. Most are bungalows but the occasional one has a second storey where the primary bedroom is located. They have a HOA fee of $110 per month which covers lawn care and snow removal.

Feel free to reach out to me if you’re interested in learning more about any of these areas. And if you have a property to sell, I can help you find a buyer.

If you’re thinking about making a move to Okotoks (and there are plenty of reasons as Okotoks is a great place to live) and are unsure as to where to live, I hope this helps. 

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Okotoks is a charming town in Alberta, Canada, known for its unique blend of small-town charm and modern amenities. Okotoks is named after the glacial erratic that is located SW of the townsite. “Okatok” is a Blackfoot word which means rock. In 2015, Okotoks hit the National stage with what some thought was the “world’s saddest tourism slogan”: There are a number of things to do in Okotoks. The hashtag #thingstodoinokotoks went viral and by the end of the year, a lot more people knew about Okotoks!

Here’s a list of reasons why Okotoks is a great place to live:

Table of Contents

1. Locations & Accessibility

2. Quality of Life

3. Economic Opportunities

4. Safety & Crime Rate

5. Natural Beauty & Environment

6. Community & Social Dynamics

7. Amenities & Services

8. Education & Learning Opportunities

Location & Accessibility

Proximity to Major Cities

Okotoks is a short 15 minute drive from the south end of Calgary. And as long as you don’t hit traffic you can be at the Calgary International Airport in under 40 minutes. Yes Okotoks has an airport but it’s a “bring your own airplane” type of airport.

Transportation Infrastructure

For traveling around within Okotoks, there’s the on demand Transit that will take you from driveway to driveway. If you’re feeling really adventurous you can rent an e-scooter that you can use to take around town and you will definitely appreciate an e-scooter if you’re going UP 32nd Street!

Commuting Options

If you don’t feel like making that drive into Calgary you can always hop on the Okotoks commuter bus which is provided by on->it Regional Transit. The commuter bus stops at almost 12 places before heading directly to downtown Calgary. No coffee service onboard but I’m sure they have cup holders.

Quality of Life

Housing Market and Affordability

Okotoks has a variety of housing types. There are apartments, townhouses and single-family homes. Older communities offer larger yards with established landscaping. Newer communities offer more modern floor plans. As of September 2023 average price for an apartment was $270,000, a row townhouse approximately 320,000 and a single family detached home 610,000 compared to Calgary with an average price of $727,000, Okotoks is very affordable.

Education and Schools

There are publicly funded public and separate Catholic systems and within both you have the option of English or French immersion. There’s even a francophone school for French speaking families. Okotoks also has a large homeschooling community and if you choose private education there are two schools close to Okotoks. In most cases, the location of your primary residence will determine which school your children will attend. There are of course exceptions and this is best discussed with the principal of the school you’d like your children to attend. Options are good.

Healthcare Facilities

In addition to the typical medical clinics, dental, chiropractic, massage etc there’s also a Urgent Care Center that’s open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The nearest major hospital is the South Health Campus in Calgary and that’s a full-service hospital with 24-hour care located about 15 minutes away. There are two smaller hospitals south ( High River) and west (Black Diamond) of Okotoks The High River Hospital is the birthplace of many little Okotokians!

Parks & Recreational Activities

Okotoks is the proud home of the WCBL Dawgs team If sitting in the stands drinking beer and eating hot dogs is your type of activity, you can get a season pass for less than $500! If you’re feeling more adventurous there are numerous Parks, recreational facilities and clubs for both athletes and wanna be athletes alike. Oh and golf courses, we have so. many. golf courses.

Cultural & Community Events

Okotoks has a vibrant arts and culture scene including art galleries, theaters and cultural events that showcase local talent. The Okotoks art gallery offers classes to all age groups and all talent (or non-talent) levels, and Dewdney players group offer a variety of productions featuring award-winning performers. Even the high schools offer performances that are open to the general public.

Economic Opportunities

Employment Rate & Industries

In addition to healthcare, retail and tourism, Okotoks has a thriving entrepreneurial community!

Business Environment & Entrepreneurship

Many small business owners operate out of their homes and with the new Coworking centre , you can get out of the house and meet other likeminded business owners.

Safety & Crime Rate

Crime Statistics

Statistically people feel safe in Okotoks and they have reason to feel that way as we have a low crime rate. You’re probably more likely to have an issue with deer than a criminal

.

Community Policing & Safety Measures

Okotoks is policed by the RCMP and there’s also the Okotoks bylaw enforcement. If you’re zipping on the highway you may meet a provincial Sheriff. There’s also the local Facebook groups featuring doorbell cameras and observant neighbors.

Natural Beauty & Environment

Scenic Beauty & Green Spaces

The North End of Okotoks is the best place to watch a Chinook Arch come over the mountains! Even when we’re not experiencing those beautiful warm winds, the view of the Foothills with the mountains in the background is stunning. In addition to the kilometers of man made/community walking paths, there is the beautiful Sheep River Valley pathway system that cyclists, runners and walkers use year round. And according to Elliott Salmon, the paths are bikeable even after snow as the town does an amazing job keeping them clear.

Environmental Sustainability Efforts

There is just simply so much to say about the environmental initiatives that Okotoks has implemented. I’d encourage you to reach out and check out the https://www.okotoks.ca/your-community/green-living This is so much bigger than recycling and composting.

Community & Social Dynamics

Diversity & Inclusivity

Yes, Okotoks is a small town but we are heavily influenced by Calgary so our values are progressive and inclusive. Everyone is welcome.

Social Services & Support Systems

For the most up to date information, check out the Okotoks website.

Community Engagement & Volunteering Opportunities

We have the happiest, friendliest citizens.

Amenities & Services

Shopping Centers & Retail Options

Heed my advice: Don’t go to Costco on Saturdays. People from Calgary have discovered our friendly little Costco and Saturdays appear to be field trip day to the Okotoks Costco for them. So yes we have a lot of the big box type stores but we also have a charming main street (Elizabeth) with local stores.

Restaurants & Culinary Scene

Similar to shopping we’ve got the big franchise restaurants but we also have the really cute independent ones, Mostly on Elizabeth Street of course , and if you’re looking for amazing Pizza we probably have three of the best independent pizza restaurants in Southern Alberta!

Entertainment & Nightlife

Despite what you may believe based on Social media, Okotoks does have a nightlife beyond Hubtown Brewery. Although Hubtown really does embrace everything small town with their many, many fun evening activities. Big Beaver Brewing is also a great place for live music and beer!

Education & Learning Opportunities

Higher Education Institutions

In September of 2022 Bow Valley College opened a newly expanded regional campus in the new Okotoks Arts and Learning Campus. Many Okotoks high school graduates choose Lethbridge University due to the small size and proximity (approximately 90 minutes south so it’s easy enough to come home on weekends!).

Lifelong Learning & Skill Development

Depending on what you’d like to learn, there are options. Bow Valley College, Okotoks Art Gallery, Okotoks Rec centre all offer a variety of in person learning. Online- well as long as you have decent internet (which Okotoks has – check out Shaw or Telus), you can learn on any campus in the world!

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BEST APARTMENTS IN OKOTOKS

Housing prices in Okotoks are crazy and the rental market is nuts! If you’re looking for a place to live you might want to consider purchasing an apartment. Prices are typically lower than any other type of housing so the down payment and mortgage approval could be more achievable. Now yes there are pros and cons to living in an apartment: Pros you don’t have to look after the exterior and cons you don’t have exterior space such as a yard and there may be limitations on pets.

Here are some of the options available for apartment living in Okotoks and which ones have age or pet restrictions. If you’re in the 50+ age range, here is a list of age restricted places to live. If you are thinking about renting, your landlord may have further limitations to pets regardless of what’s in the Condo ByLaws and rules.

Table of Contents

1. Crystal Shores

2. Downtown Okotoks

3. Calvanna Village

4. Cimarron Commons

Crystal Shores

Two bedroom, two bathroom apartment in Okotoks

On the north end of town, in the lake community of Crystal Shores, at 92 Crystal Shores Road and 32 St, we have the Mesa. This is an incredibly well run building and a very involved Condo Board. This complex attracts a lot of older people that have chosen to down size and enjoy the lock and leave lifestyle. Often they’ll take off and go south for the winter. There is no need to worry about cutting grass or snow removal and most units have underground parking. There are 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and larger corner units. There are four, four-storey buildings and an amenity building. The amenity building has a gathering space, pool tables, a little gym room and a hot tub (open during the winter). Community is very important at the Mesa and there are regular get togethers for the residents. The disadvantage, or perhaps for some, the advantage of the Mesa is it doesn’t allow dogs. Pets in the Mesa are limited to 1 cat , up to 2 caged birds or fish. So if you have a dog you might want to head over to the Penncross at 1 Crystal Green Lane . The Penncross is a four-story building that has a beautiful courtyard, underground parking and a really nice gym. It does allow small dogs and you should always make sure your dog has approval before you purchase.

There are a few other smaller buildings on the north end. There is an older complex (1977) called Tower Hill at 280 Banister Dr near Good Shepherd School. Even though it is close to an elementary school, it is an adult only building (21+). It is a 3 storey building and it doesn’t have underground parking or elevators. Another disadvantage is the lack of insuite laundry (although the occasional unit has been retrofitted). Dogs, spiders, snakes, reptiles, livestock or fowl are not allowed in this building. The other larger building is located on Veterans Way called Heritage Heights. This is an adult only building (45+) that has an interesting combination of single floor units on the first and second floors and lofted third floor units. The loft is accessible via a spiral staircase inside the 3rd floor units or from the common area hallway on the 4th floor. The movers will be thankful for this design detail. It has elevators, underground parking and a common space where residents can get together. This building also doesn’t allow pets.

Downtown Okotoks

In downtown Okotoks there’s a variety of apartment complexes. Some of them are mixed use where there’s a business on the main floor and people living above. There are a couple of smaller buildings on Lineham and Poplar that are quiet with 15 Lineham Ave catering to the 45+ crowd. The larger complex on North Railway appears to have a lot of units for rent.

Calvanna Village

Calvanna Village is at 200 Community Way, close to where the old Safeway was located. This complex consists of 3 4-storey buildings with elevators and underground parking. There are one bedroom and 2 bedroom units as well as large corner units. It is an adult only building (55 plus), has a community room for gatherings, and doesn’t allow pets other than birds or fish and you will need board approval.

Cimarron Commons

Cimarron Common a point of view apartment complex in Okotoks

The last complex I want to talk about is the one at 12 Cimarron Common. This complex consists of two buildings and only one (Building 2000) has title underground parking! The biggest advantage of this one is that it is within walking distance of the shopping mall where the Canadian Tire, Sobeys and Walmart are located. And it’s right across the street from urgent care! If you happen to work in one of these 2 locations and you’d rather walk than drive then this is a fantastic place to live. This building is pet friendly (with approval) and there are a lot of young families living here.

There is a new complex being built on Northridge Dr in the community of Wedderburn called Lawrie Park. If you can wait a year or so and have a healthy budget, this complex might be an option.

Something else to keep in mind when it comes to affordability, depending on the complex, in addition to your condo fees, you may have to pay heat, electricity and cable/internet.

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POSSESSION DAY- WHEN WILL YOU RECEIVE YOUR MONEY?

The timing of when you receive your money after a real estate sale closes can vary based on several factors, including the terms of the sale, the processes of the involved parties, and any potential delays.

Here’s a general outline of what you can expect:

1. Closing Date: The closing date  (also known as the possession date) is the day when all the necessary paperwork is signed, funds are transferred, and ownership of the property is officially transferred to the buyer. This is the earliest  you can expect to receive your money.

2. Distribution of Funds: The funds from the sale are typically distributed among various parties. First, any outstanding mortgage balance is paid off. If the mortgage company hasn’t sent the lawyer a final payout statement, there will be delays! Then, other fees and expenses related to the sale are deducted, such as real estate brokerage fee, legal costs, and any other agreed-upon expenses. The remaining amount is the net proceeds from the sale, and this is the amount that you will receive.

3. Method of Payment: The method of payment can also impact the timing. Most commonly, the funds are deposited directly into your bank account. This deposit is not instantaneous even if done electronically and it may in fact take one or two business days. Some transactions might involve a physical check, which you may need to pick up from your lawyer.  Regardless of the source of funds and method of payment, your bank may still put a hold on the funds.

4. Possible Delays: While most real estate transactions go smoothly, there can be unexpected delays. These delays might be related to issues with the buyer’s financing, unexpected hold-backs due to non-compliant RPRs, or other unforeseen circumstances. It’s a good idea to work closely with your real estate agent and the professionals handling the transaction to ensure a smooth process.

5. Local Practices:The timing of fund disbursement can also vary depending on local practices and regulations. Different regions might have different customary practices when it comes to disbursing funds after a real estate sale.

To get a more accurate estimate of when you’ll receive your money after your real estate sale closes, it’s best to consult with the professionals involved in your transaction, especially your lawyer. They will be able to provide you with specific information based on the details of your sale.

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IS CONDO LIVING RIGHT FOR YOU?

As single family home prices continue to increase, condominiums such as apartments and townhouses are becoming the choice of many first time home owners but is condo living right for you?. 


Condo living isn’t for everyone.  Some people prefer the privacy of a single family home, need the extra space and aren’t crazy about sharing a common area with their neighbours.  It comes down to deciding what works for you.

If you are on the fence, there are four important advantages to consider:

You don’t need to think twice about leaving town. 

If you travel often, condo living is a great option.  There is no need to worry about who will collect the mail or mow the lawn.  Seniors, in particular, can head down south when the winter strikes without worrying about who will maintain their home while they are away.

Your ideal location is probably within your budget. 

Do you love living near shops and restaurants?  Finding a single family home in a highly sought after neighbourhood is tough for first-time buyers, but condo developments often offer the next best thing.  Developers generally choose areas that are close to transit with easy access to highways and recreation.

You don’t need to worry about costly exterior maintenance.

 Replacing a driveway or roof is a significant cost associated with home ownership.  Condo fees vary by development, but in most cases, they cover all exterior maintenance.  A well-managed condo association will make sure the building is properly cared for.

You get to enjoy the social aspect of condo living.

 Living alone doesn’t have to feel lonely, when you are surrounding by like-minded people.  Certain complexes are ideal for social young professionals, while other buildings cater more towards retiree. The best way to see if condo living is right for you is to go see a few properties for yourself.  An online listing will show you a home’s best features, but seeing a few condos in person will really give you an idea of what the experience is like.

For more information about purchasing a condominium, check out this useful guide by CMHC

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I’m sure our neighbours were so happy when the for sale sign went up on our “lawn” in Calgary. We weren’t good lawn people. If you didn’t water and fertilize your lawn, you didn’t need to cut it. Simple! Our neighbour’s lawns grew so well that they had to cut it twice per week and at different angles.

The traditional suburban lawn has long been a symbol of beauty and status. However, as we become more aware of the environmental challenges we face, it’s crucial to reevaluate the impact of our choices on the planet. Surprisingly, lawns, which seem harmless at first glance, can have a significant environmental footprint. In this blog post, we will delve into the reasons why lawns are not environmentally friendly and explore alternative solutions for our outdoor spaces.

1. Water Consumption

Lawns require vast amounts of water to maintain their lush appearance. In many regions, watering lawns contributes to excessive water consumption, especially during dry seasons or in areas prone to drought. In Okotoks, there are restrictions and schedules that you need to be aware of. This high demand for water depletes local water supplies, stressing ecosystems and creating water scarcity issues. Considering that water is a finite resource, it’s important to question whether maintaining a lawn is the best use of this precious commodity.

2. Chemical Dependency

The quest for perfect lawns often leads to a heavy reliance on pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers. These chemicals can have adverse effects on both human health and the environment. Pesticides and herbicides can contaminate water bodies, harming aquatic life and disrupting fragile ecosystems. Synthetic fertilizers contribute to nutrient runoff, which can lead to harmful algal blooms in lakes and coastal areas. Additionally, the overuse of chemicals can degrade soil quality over time, making it less fertile and reducing its ability to support diverse plant life.

3. Energy Consumption

Maintaining a manicured lawn requires a significant amount of energy. Lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and other equipment rely on fossil fuels and emit greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The collective impact of millions of lawns being maintained with gas-powered equipment should not be underestimated. Transitioning to more sustainable landscape maintenance practices, such as using electric or manual tools, can help reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change. There’s also the beer to think about if one has a ride on mower. One needs an entire extra fridge for that!

4. Loss of Biodiversity

Lawns typically consist of a single type of grass, providing a uniform and monotonous landscape. This uniformity eliminates habitats for native plants, insects, and wildlife that are crucial for biodiversity. By replacing diverse natural ecosystems with manicured lawns, we disrupt the delicate balance of local ecosystems, reducing the availability of food and shelter for a variety of species. Embracing native plants and creating natural, wildlife-friendly habitats in our outdoor spaces can help restore biodiversity and support local ecosystems.

5. Opportunity Cost

The large expanse of lawns often means missed opportunities for other land uses that could be more environmentally beneficial. Transforming lawns into productive vegetable gardens, native plant habitats, or even rewilded areas can provide multiple benefits. Vegetable gardens promote local food production, reduce food transportation emissions, and encourage sustainable consumption. Native plant gardens attract pollinators, improve soil health, and enhance local biodiversity. By reimagining our outdoor spaces, we can contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future.

Maybe we were on to something… although I’m pretty sure the weed killer would have come out if planted anything other than grass seed.

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Hey there, savvy home buyers, sellers, and real estate investors! Karen here, your go-to real estate expert, ready to drop some serious knowledge bombs on you today. Today, we’re diving into the often overlooked but crucial aspect of real estate transactions: the timing between condition removal and possession. Trust me when I say that having a comfortable two-week gap between these two milestones is an absolute game-changer. Let me break it down for you.


First things first, what exactly do we mean by “condition removal” and “possession”? Well, condition removal is the point in the transaction when all the contingencies and conditions outlined in the purchase agreement are met and satisfied. It’s like crossing the finish line – you’re almost there! On the other hand, possession is the magical moment when you officially take ownership of your new property. It’s the key to your dream home being handed over to you, and it’s oh-so-exciting.


Now, here’s why having a two-week gap between condition removal and possession is a stroke of genius. It gives you the breathing room you need to tie up any loose ends, make necessary arrangements, and ensure a smooth transition into your new abode. Let’s break it down further:

1. Time for due diligence: Before you close the deal, you want to make sure that everything is in order. Having those extra two weeks will allow you to conduct a final walkthrough, check for any unexpected issues, and ensure that the property is exactly as it should be before you make it your own.

2. Finalizing finances: The two-week gap provides an excellent opportunity to finalize all financial matters. You can ensure that your down payment and closing costs (check with your lawyer regarding the final fund amount you need before running to the bank to get that final bank draft), coordinate with your lender, and take care of any outstanding paperwork. This way, you can avoid last-minute stress and enjoy a seamless transition into your new home.

3. Scheduling logistics: Moving is no small feat, my friends. It requires planning, coordination, and a touch of strategic genius. Having at least two weeks between condition removal and possession not only gives your lawyer time to gather the documentation for your file and find a convenient time to meet with you, but it alsp allows you to line up your moving trucks, cleaners, and schedule utility installations. BTW, best practice is to arrange these for mid to late afternoon on possession day. 

4. Contingency cushion: Life happens, vacations happen and sometimes unexpected circumstances can arise. Having at least a two-week buffer between condition removal and possession gives you a safety net. If any surprises pop up, such as last minute document requirements from the lender, you’ll have the flexibility to address them without feeling rushed or pressured.

So, my friends, there you have it – a solid argument for why having at least a  two-week gap between condition removal and possession is a no-brainer. It’s the secret ingredient that ensures a stress-free and seamless transition into your new home. Remember, timing is everything in real estate, and this strategic move will undoubtedly give you the upper hand.

As always, if you have any questions or need guidance through your real estate journey, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to help you ace this game and make your dreams a reality.

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Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.