Purrfect Properties Blog

Archive for January, 2016

When will consumers get the relief they need with Condos in Alberta?

Friday, January 29th, 2016

The Importance of Bill 9

Hi Folks, this was such a great article just posted, that I knew I had to send it out directly.  Estefania, thank you for writing this, you clearly articulate what so many consumers have experienced and are working to correct.  Personally, I am involved with the same issues as written in your article and I hope by this reposting that I help to bring awareness to my community and circles.

http://www.sherwoodparknews.com/2016/01/28/the-importance-of-bill-9

  By Estefania Cortez-Vargas, Special to the Sherwood Park News

Thursday, January 28, 2016 11:00:00 MST PM

Bill 9, the Condominium Property Amendment Act, 2014, was passed in the Alberta legislature in December 2014. Since then, Service Alberta staff have been developing regulations and the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is developing licensing standards for condominium managers.

Since being elected in May 2015, I have met with many stakeholders and constituents about their concerns and experiences with this legislation. It has been made quite clear that this review is important, as many have felt the impact of the act as it currently stands.

In consultations conducted with owners and buyers, condo boards and organizations, property managers and developers, realtors and lawyers, we heard concerns about the previous government’s handling of this legislation and their stakeholder strategy. In response, we took the unprecedented step of putting draft regulations online for all to see. We received nearly 300 responses to our survey — 75 per cent coming directly from condo owners. These responses indicate broad support for enhancements to protections proposed by these regulations.

The regulations are intended to improve protection for purchasers and existing owners, enhance board transparency and accountability, allow for efficient governance, raise standards in Alberta’s condominium management sector, and enhance dispute resolution.

Regulations are being drafted and will be rolled out in four phases. Phase 1 focuses on developer obligations and enforcement powers. Phase 2; insurance, repair and maintenance obligations, corporation governance and reserve funds. Phase 3 will be conducted by RECA and will address regulation of the condominium management sector. Phase 4 will create a condominium dispute tribunal.

The bill also aims to raise standards in Alberta’s condominium management sector by giving RECA authority to license and regulate managers. RECA is working directly with the condominium management sector and will consult the condominium community at-large, including owners, to determine the appropriate regulatory framework and cost structure.

Our government is committed to strengthening consumer protection, improving consumer confidence and balancing the interests of stakeholders in the condo market. That is why we will continue to take an open, public, and consumer rights-based approach to completing these important regulations.

More regulations are needed to complete Bill 9. I encourage all stakeholders to visit www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/Consumer-condominiums.cfm for information and updates, and to provide feedback. I can also be reached directly through my constituency office.

I would like to express my gratitude to those of you who have spent countless hours discussing this matter with me. I will continue to consult with you and look forward to future conversations and input as we move ahead.

Estefania Cortes-Vargas is the Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Strathcona-Sherwood Park Constituency. If you have any comments or questions concerning this column or other provincial government issues, please contact Estefania at her constituency office located at #19 – 99 Wye Rd., Sherwood Park, T8B 1M1. Telephone: 780-416-2492 or e-mail: strathcona.sherwoodpark@assembly.ab.ca.

Further resources about licensed property managers and unlicensed assistants in Alberta.

As of December of 2014, Alberta Legislation passed that all property managers must be licensed with and registered to the Real Estate Council of Alberta. https://www.reca.ca/consumers/standards/condominium-manager-regulation.html

A RECA consumer alert regarding unlicensed property managers: https://www.reca.ca/consumers/publications/news-releases/2015/15-01-19-Schuller-Consumer-Alert.html

‘Consumers are encouraged to work only with licensed industry professionals.

Licensed individuals must meet and maintain rigorous licensing requirements, including:

  • providing a Certified Criminal Record Check prior to licensing
  • completing comprehensive pre-licensing education and ongoing re-licensing education, and,
  • maintaining errors and omissions insurance.

In the event of a licensee’s fraud, breach of trust or failure to account or disburse money in accordance with the terms of trust, a consumer may be eligible for compensation from RECA’s consumer compensation fund. Consumers who work with unlicensed individuals are not eligible for compensation from RECA’s consumer compensation fund.’

Humane Society International Top Achievements 2015

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Hi Folks,

I watch the HSI a lot, I watch their request for public support, signature on petitions and involvement within our communities.  I am proud of the work these people do and I can only imagine how much pain and reward their work brings. I am saddened by the dog and cat meat trade, yet when I hear of the work that gets accomplished by downward and upward pressure from our people.  I am saddened by the welfare, transportation and living conditions of Farm Animals, especially when you consider we eat their meat and essentially their ‘feelings’ or ‘tortures’.  So in respect of this great work, this important movement and the future of animals on the planet, I gladly copy and paste from HSI and present to you – their top achievements in 2015.

 With significant operations in 20 countries, and a presence in three dozen more, HSI has made a difference on a wide range of issues: working to combat the dog meat trade, pressing for 21st-century methods in animal testing, persuading corporate giants to adopt humane food procurement policies, ending the commercial slaughter of marine mammals, aiding animals in disaster, fighting trophy hunting and the wildlife trade, and eliminating spectacles of cruelty — from bullfighting to animal sacrifice to dogfighting and cockfighting. Since January, we’ve had a torrent of accomplishments, demonstrating that HSI has become a dominant and powerful force for animals on the international stage.

1. Taking on the dog meat trade

We are exposing the dog meat trade in southeast Asian nations, where the practice is often conducted in open-air markets and where tens of millions of dogs, who look just like the ones in our homes, are butchered for human consumption. In South Korea, HSI shut down several dog meat farms and rescued hundreds of dogs — treating them as ambassadors for the millions still at risk. In China, we set up a new China Animal Protection Power task force and command center, and supported partner groups as they pulled over dog meat traders’ trucks (leading to more rescues and delivering the animals from purgatory to safety). We’ve also been instrumental with partner groups in exposing the barbarism at the Yulin dog meat festival, holding it up as a symbol to the world that this trade must end.

Help us do even more for animals in 2016.

2. Seal trade ban

Last year, the World Trade Organization once again upheld the European Union’s right to ban seal product trade, a ban we helped to achieve and defend against all challenges. In 2015, the EU strengthened its ban even further and the EU market will remain closed to the products of cruel commercial seal slaughter — a vindication of the right of nations to restrict trade on animal welfare grounds. This has been perhaps the signature victory in our relentless 10-year campaign to keep the sealing boats in Canada at the docks. In 2015, the number of baby seals killed was the lowest it has been for more than two decades, continuing a rapid downward trend that started when the EU closed its market to seal products in 2009.

3. Ending animal testing

Strong campaigns by our #BeCrueltyFree team led New Zealand to ban cosmetics testing on animals, South Korea to make government-approved non-animal alternatives a legal requirement for cosmetics testing, and both Canada and Taiwan to propose legislation to end cosmetics cruelty. Brazil and India heeded our call to remove a year-long dog-poisoning test protocol and other cruel studies from its safety testing requirements for pesticides, while the EU has taken up a number of animal testing alternatives championed by HSI that could spare millions of animals from suffering and death in chemical poisoning tests over the coming years.

4. China steps up to combat wildlife trafficking

In a surprise but very welcome move, aided by Prince William’s appeal to President Xi Jinping and a host of organizations around the world working against wildlife trafficking, China pledged to ban the ivory trade. China has the largest ivory market in the world and is a substantial driver of the poaching of elephants. With a similar U.S. pledge, the potential shrinking of the world’s top two ivory markets offers the prospect of diminishing the incentive for poaching to kill elephants in Africa.

5. Airlines join the campaign against trophy hunting

After the killing of Cecil the lion set off a worldwide campaign against trophy hunting, HSI pressed for action on the part of major carriers and airlines. Some airlines had already prohibited shipment of certain animal trophies before the killing of Cecil, but many more took this step immediately after. So far, 45 airlines, including nearly all the major airlines like Delta, United, and American Airlines, have stopped shipping hunting trophies of the Africa Big Five — African lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, and Cape buffalo.

6. Taking our anti-confinement campaigns for farm animals global

We are pressing globally for an end to gestation-crate and battery-cage confinement, and we’ve had tremendous success in Brazil, one of the world’s biggest agricultural nations. There, following discussions with HSI, JBS – the world’s largest animal processing company and owner of SEARA, Brazil’s second largest pork producer — announced its commitment to a complete phase-out of the use of sow gestation crates. JBS will transition to group housing systems for breeding sows in its entire supply chain by 2025. We also convinced Grupo Bimbo, the world’s largest baking company, to announce a commitment to go 100 percent cage-free globally. Our campaigns led to a ban on the production of foie gras in the Brazilian cities of Blumenau and Sorocaba. Sorocaba also banned foie gras sales.

7. Ending the world’s largest animal sacrifice

In cooperation with Animal Welfare Network Nepal and People For Animals in India, HSI helped secure a pledge to end, once and for all, the Gadhimai festival, the world’s largest animal sacrifice, where hundreds of thousands of large and small animals were butchered. This barbaric spectacle has occurred every five years starting in the 18th century. At the most recent festival in 2015, thanks to volunteers at the Indo-Nepal border and appeals to the courts and administrative authorities, the number of animals reaching Gadhimai to be butchered was greatly reduced, lowering financial returns for the temple and merchants involved. The Gadhimai Temple Trust decided that they would make the festival a celebration of life moving forward. Nepal was also the site of our largest international disaster deployment in 2015, as team members provided emergency veterinary aid and care for animal survivors after a massive earthquake rocked the nation.

8. Passing and using animal cruelty laws throughout the world

In a strong test of our commitment to expanding legal protection for animals in other nations, Honduran lawmakers approved a new animal welfare law that criminalizes the intentional mistreatment of animals, among other provisions. In Costa Rica, where we’re highly active, The National Animal Health Department (SENASA) attended nearly 2,000 complaints about animal welfare issues, including animal hoarding, puppy mills, and dogfighting in 2015. The Court of La Unión de Tres Ríos for the first time convicted a person for breeding dogs in a puppy mill. In India, HSI sought and won judicial intervention to stop cockfighting in Maharashtra, a large western state.

9. Putting street dog programs in place to help tens of thousands of dogs

In India, where we’ve long been active on the ground, the Supreme Court ordered the implementation of an Animal Birth Control program (spay/neuter) — rather than culls — to control street dog population in all states of the country. We have several major street dog projects in India and, at the beginning of the year, we signed an MoU with the State of Haryana to vaccinate 350,000 street dogs against rabies and to sterilize at least 65,000 in the next two years. That program is now underway. In Bhutan, we are working with government officials to draft an omnibus animal cruelty bill following our six-year partnership with the Royal Government which has resulted in the sterilization of 63,000 street dogs. We also are supporting active street dog programs across the globe, including in the Philippines, American Samoa, Guam and Saipan, Bolivia, Chile, Puerto Rico, Panama, and Malawi. Our Canadian affiliate is also providing care to the dogs of aboriginal communities in northern Quebec.

10. The UK sticks it to glue traps

In the United Kingdom, the Booker Group (202 stores), British Garden Centres (nine stores) and leading online wholesaler MX Wholesale stopped selling glue traps as HSI’s campaign against cruel glue traps, mostly targeting small rodents, got underway in October.

We are winning the biggest of battles, making real change happen for animals. With your support, in 2016, we will continue the fight to help them around the world. Please donate now to help.

Edmonton Listings continue to Surge, Bargain Sales now Timely.

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Hi Folks,

Welcome back from holidays! Did you create some resolutions for yourself?  Each year, throughout the holidays I take the time to write down my goals for the upcoming year.  They generally alwas include some sort of exercise, and mental conditioning as well. For the first time in my history; I am actually considering a new type of resolution; to love myself just as I am, no changes.  Wouldn’t that be the Cats’ Meow?  To love yourself, exactly the way you are.  Consider it, I know I am.  While some folks are considering what kind of goals or resolutions they wish to set for themselves, others are moving confidently in the direction of their dreams.  A lot of Edmontonians were looking to change homes in 2015 and the trend is set to continue in 2016.

If you, your friends or family are looking to buy or sell Real Estate, please keep me in mind.  Your referral is the best compliment I can receive; other than the Miss Universe crown. lol

And now the stats:

Last December (2014) we had 3,059 listings for sale.  December of 2015 ended with a total of 5,088 properties for sale in the Greater Edmonton area.  Far too many properties than what is being bought up and the result is a Buyers Market.  This is the strongest buyers market that I have seen in a few years, at 7.14 months of inventory. Last month we only had 5.47 months of inventory and it was still a Buyers Market.

Last December (2014) a total of 1,165 homes sold in the Edmonton area.  This December 713 sold.  About the same number of sales.

Last November (2014) a total of 1,416 new listings came on the market, this year 1,914 new listings arrived.  Compared to last year there are 35% more new listings, and I predict new listings are going to keep high in numbers all through 2016.

Average Days on Market – 62, down 11.3% from last year

Odds of Selling – 713 out of 5,088 listed, down 46.49% from last year

Average Selling Price:

Condo: $248,956, down 2.2% from last month and up 1.5% from last year.

Townhouse: $374,217, up 5.3% from last year and 10.7% more than last month.

Single Family Dwelling: $424,629, down 1.2% from last year and 1.2% from last month and the

Average selling price in the City of Edmonton is $366,221, up 2.3% from last year and down 2.2% from last month.

Home Sales by Price Range: The highest percentage of properties are and have the tendency in Edmonton to sell in the $300,000-$399,999 price range, and this year 34.15% of homes have sold in this price range. Second position goes to the $400,000-$499,999 price range at 20.53%.  Third place is the $200,000-$299,999 and 20.28%. These haven’t changed very much from month to month as this works in with Edmonton average earnings per family.

54 Years average of price increase for the City of Edmonton is 6.98%.

Prices have not gone down in Edmonton since 2011, when we saw a decrease of 1.40%. Prices are up by 1.49% this year.

Want market information about listings in your area or a free market anaylsis for your home?  Sign up here:

Cheers,  Jeanine

Modern Caveman shocks world with his Weird, Refurbished Home.

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

I love this creation.  Seriously, who thinks of taking a cave and turning it into a modern home.  In fact, this is a recreation property and he doesn’t live there all the time.  I imagine he’s working on getting his permits, that can always take a lot of time. lol  He built a lot of this by his own hands.  Impressive.  There’s so many details I see through the tour of his home, that show the depth of the thought process at hand.  This is taking the outdoors and putting it inside the home in such a unique way that I have nothing to say but wow, now that’s the Cats Meow.  The best part – can you say rental?!?

Oh and – check out his shower…

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