Real Estate

Chaulk Talk – Wayne Chaulk – Sep 2020

Lower Priced Acreages Selling!

Despite the very slow months of March & April, it was interesting to review the number of recent sales from May onwards in the $550K to $700K range in Foothills, Rockyview and Wheatland counties. There were 70 sales in this price range across the 3 counties which is somewhat encouraging. I know personally from some of our clients and those of some colleagues that many of the buyers were younger families deciding to move out of Calgary, and in many instances a long way out, to get a property they could afford! It would appear that some of these buying decisions are driven by the COVID-19 situation with the desire to get space and feel safer, supported by the opportunity and ability to work at home which more companies are offering their employees. This may be the beginning of a new trend towards acreage living??

There were also 82 sales in the $700K to $950K across these 3 counties. Certainly not as strong as last year, but reasonable. So all in all not a bad result given the late start to the selling season and prevailing conditions. I suspect these sales have been further supported by the current very low interest rates. Given the constant level of concern over COVID-19 and how long this new way of living may be with us, along with the uncertainly in the job & financial markets, this trend may bode well going forward for sales in these price ranges.

Additionally, there were a total of 56 sales above $1M across the counties. Certainly not as strong as last year this time but not bad. Generally this price range is a little slower than under $1M anyway and has been so for a few years.

So overall, not the sales numbers at this point compared to last year, but certainly better than many expected after COVID-19 set in and things almost came to a standstill!

Our team has been fairly active in both the country and city with a healthy number of sales in the city, in particular under $500,000. In fact our brokerage has recorded sales almost equal to last year this time, so despite COVID-19, city sales in certain city sectors are positive.

Improve Your Acreage Sale

So going forward for those planning to sell your acreage, or if you are currently on the market, your goal should be to make the selling process for buyers as efficient and information driven as possible to improve positive buyer reaction to your property, speed up the due diligence process and improve your chances of selling. Below is a checklist I developed to help you prepare and improve your property presentation. These are many of the questions buyers will ponder and bring forward. The more of this information you have available up front, the greater confidence a buyer will have in your offering.

  • Is there a real Property Report (RPR) with compliance to review?
  • Is this property on a co-op water system or an individual well?
  • What is the water like? Flow rate and quality? Is there a report I can review?
  • Where is the well located? (Place on RPR copy or sketch)? How deep is it?
  • What water processing equipment is in the home? (labelling the equipment is useful)
  • Has there ever been any water damage in the home?
  • How large is the septic tank and where is it located? (a diagram is useful)
  • Is the septic system tank and field (pumped to the field) or a gravity system?
  • Has the septic system been maintained and are there records to prove it?
  • Are there Home Owner Association fees? Who manages it?
  • Are there any restrictive covenants and caveats on the property? What are they?
  • Who was the builder of the home? How old is it?
  • How old is the roof and what is its condition?
  • Are there any hidden defects that need repair?
  • What renovations have been done? (Back-up info is helpful)
  • Are there permits for any additional work done?
  • If your basement is preserved wood, is there an engineer’s report? (This is really important to give a comfort level as many people are nervous of wood vs. concrete)
  • Would I be able to build another outbuilding on the property? (MD bylaws)
  • Does the school bus come by this location?
  • What country schools would my kids go to? What grades in each?
  • What are driving times to closest shopping/amenities?
  • Where are the boundaries of the property? (staking is helpful)
  • Can I further subdivide the land? (MD bylaws?)
  • What are the monthly utility costs?
  • What are the annual taxes?
  • Has the property been recently appraised?
  • Who are the neighbours?
  • How many horses/animals can I have on the property? (MD guidelines)
  • Who does garbage pick-up?
  • Who ploughs the roads and when?
  • Age of furnaces and hot water tanks?

Wayne Chaulk
Real Estate Agent

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