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Anne Barnes


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 18

Your home as an investment.

by Anne Barnes

Your home as an investment.
 Long term your home is clearly an outstanding investment and one of the very few avenues for increasing your net worth tax free.
 Things to keep in mind location,type of home,effective use of leverage,asset improvements time.
Think of the resale when buying a home in a certain location.
What makes locations more desirable. Schools, close recreational facilities parks etc.
 Type of home.
Single-family homes are the best for improving Financial appreciation over other types of property.
Effective use of leverage.
A home is a good debt. In Canada all capital appreciation on your primary residence is tax-exempt. 
Asset improvement
We all know someone who's made a lot of money by buying old homes in good locations and upgrading them to enhance the property to add  value. You can do the same.

Just since I've been in real estate in 2003 till now.prices on homes have gone up more than 60 percent. Buying a home is good investment.

Communication is the key to successful home purchase

by Anne Barnes

Communication is the key to successful home purchase. This is where the benefits of a Realtor’s come in. They should discuss the type of size style location and kind of home that you are interested in purchasing. After e research on the type of property you want and can afford, the agent will prepare a property value study, present properties on MLS and for sale by owners. Through constant communication and the benefit of the newest technologies homes can be emailed to you as soon as they hit the market. Realtors should promote and protect the interest of the buyer at all times. Advise the buyer even if it means pointing out reasons not to buy the property. Disclose all research about the properties history (drug house, murder in the home, crime in the area, etc.) Disclose if the property has liens or if it is in foreclosure. Negotiate best price and terms in favour of the buyer. Recommend they get the home inspected. It is to make sure the biggest purchase of their life is in good repair and no surprises after purchasing the property.    

What does the new mortgage rules mean to you?

by Anne Barnes

What does the new mortgage rules mean to you?

 If you qualified for $200,000 a week ago next week you will qualify for $160,000.
 Will be interesting to see how the new rules will affect the market.

 Will it drive the prices of homes down? Or will this stop real estate selling in your area?

 It will mean that the first time home buyers will be buying starter homes.

 Lots of starter homes on the market have not been selling as most first time homebuyers are going straight for a destination home. With the new mortgage rules coming in making it lot harder to qualify for these prices. This might get a lower priced and homes selling. Making this home buying a two-step a beginner home and a destination.

 Time will tell.

The pros and cons of condos

by Anne Barnes

Condominiums offer an affordable option to single family homes in most areas. But consider the facts before you buy.

1. Storage. Some condos have storage lockers, but there are usually no attics or basements to store belongings.

2. Outdoor space. Yards and outdoor area are typically smaller with condos, so if you like to garden or entertain outdoors, this may not be a good fit. However, if you hate yard work, this may be the perfect option for you.

3. Amenities. Many condo properties have swimming pools, fitness centers and facilities that would be expensive in a single- family home

4. Maintenance. Many condos have onsite maintenance  personnel  to care for common areas, do repairs in the unit and let workers in when you are not home.

5. Security. Many condos have keypad entries. Plus, you will be closer to other people in case of an emergency.

6. Reserve your funds and condo fees. Although generally help pay for repairs, you will have to pay the fees agreed to by the condo board.

7. Resale. The ease of selling your unit is more dependent on what else is for sale in your building, since units are very similar. Single family are usually more individual.

8. Freedom. Although you have a vote, the rules of a condo association can affect your ability to use your property

REMAX donations make miracle's happen

by Anne Barnes

 It has been a long time since I have wrote on my blog.

I received an email the other day which I felt I should share. It is from a Realtor in our office.

 We at REMAX all put a portion of every home we sell to the CMN,  Children's Miracle Network.

Sometimes you just don't know what you are doing makes a difference.


As many of you already know, at noon on Christmas Eve our little Grandson Oliver Billyard (6 years old) was MRI ‘ed in the Lethbridge Hospital and diagnosed with a brain tumor. At 5:30pm the same day he was admitted to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary and medications were administrated to reduce swelling in preparation for surgery. His parents and brother Isaiah moved into the Ronald McDonald House and his little brother Jack moved in with Katie and me. On Thursday the 27th at 8am the neurosurgeons determined he was ready for surgery and he underwent 6 hours of intensive surgery during which time they successfully removed a 4 cm tumor. By 7pm the same evening Oliver awoke and displayed full physical and mental functions, remembering everyone and everything that had happened. An MRI on the 28th showed that better than 95% of the tumor was removed and the surgical team was satisfied with the result. Since then our brave little boy has recovered remarkably making great progress every day, with the last of the extensive network of tubes and connections removed on New Years’ Eve. On New Years’ Day the neurosurgeon determined he was strong enough to go home and he was discharged in the afternoon. While the pathology of the tumor is not completed yet, we are given reason to be optimistic about the results.

The Children's Hospital is a remarkable facility and the Ronald McDonald house is an unbelievable asset for families under these circumstances. Our family could not be more thankful to the RE/MAX organization and especially to everyone in the Lethbridge office for their generous donations that made this Miracle happen.


Thank you all!


Jim & Katie Saunders



‘Wild card’ props up Canadian housing markets

by REMAX Western Canada



‘Wild card’ props up Canadian housing markets

over past decade


Inventory remains key to stability in 2011


Tighter inventory levels helped to make the last decade one of the healthiest periods on record for Canadian real estate, insulating markets in major centres from the peaks and valleys characteristic of past decades, according to a report released by RE/MAX.


The RE/MAX Housing Barometer Report measured monthly sales-to-new listings ratios in 18 major centres across the country from January 2000 to December 2010.  The report found strong seller’s/balanced conditions prevailed for much of the time frame, prompting significant gains in housing values.   The lone exception was when the market dipped into buyer’s territory during the latter half of 2008 and early 2009.  However, fewer listings served to offset diminished demand and provided greater stability. Average price increases from 2000 to 2010 ranged from an annually compounded rate of return of 4.82 per cent in London-St. Thomas to a high of 9.56 per cent in Regina. The national average was 6.82 per cent.  By far the tightest market in the nation was Winnipeg, where seller’s ruled the roost for 85 per cent of the decade, followed by Hamilton-Burlington (67 per cent), Regina (63.6 per cent), Kitchener-Waterloo (59.8 per cent) and Edmonton (57.5 per cent).


While population growth, pent-up demand, and a strong economy also contributed to the run up in activity, inventory played a major role in price growth.  The recent recession was case in point.  Supply remained largely in check, keeping prices on the upswing despite softer demand.  That is expected to continue, given an improved global economic picture, lower unemployment rates and rising consumer confidence—all of which have buoyed home buying activity since November.  While sales figures are expected to be slightly off 2010’s heated pace, housing values are forecast to continue to climb in Canadian real estate markets in 2011—with most a direct result of lower listing levels.


A number of city centres are already reporting stronger than usual housing activity out of the gate, with first-time buyers comprising the vast majority of purchasers and move-up buyers in close pursuit.  Demand and supply are on relatively even keel at present in most areas, but the traditionally busy spring season is expected to keep the market at a perfect equilibrium in the days and months ahead.  However, there may be some exceptions to the rule.  The country’s largest markets—Greater Toronto, Greater Montreal, and Greater Vancouver—are expected to head into the second quarter with fewer listings overall.  Two centres—Newfoundland & Labrador and Kelowna—are still firmly entrenched in buyer’s markets.


Inventory has always been the wild card.  Its influence is remarkable, but a number of other factors will serve to bolster Canadian real estate moving forward including land scarcity, intensification, immigration, continued infrastructure and capital spending, improving money markets and the rebounding economy.  The threat of rising interest rates and the changes to mortgage lending may also prompt a flurry of activity affecting price growth in the weeks ahead.  Yet, overall, gains in 2011 will be more moderate than those noted in the past decade.



RE/MAX Housing Barometer…2



Western Canada experienced some of the highest rates of return for real estate over the 11-year period.  While values in Regina posted the greatest percentage increase (9.56 per cent), Edmonton, (9.25 per cent), Saskatoon (9.2 per cent), Winnipeg (9.01 per cent), Kelowna (8.42 per cent), Greater Vancouver (7.8 per cent), Calgary (7.7 per cent) and Victoria (7.59 per cent) all outperformed the national average. 


Equally strong gains were posted in Quebec.  While solid balanced market conditions prevailed for much of the decade, housing values in Quebec City and Montreal rose 9.2 and 8.48 per cent respectively on an annually compounded basis. 


Increases were more moderate in Ontario and Atlantic Canada—with the exception of Newfoundland & Labrador, where values escalated 8.14 per cent on average.  Ottawa led in terms of price appreciation in Ontario at 6.78 per cent, followed by Hamilton-Burlington at six per cent, Kitchener-Waterloo at 5.69 per cent, the Greater Toronto Area at 5.35 per cent, Moncton at five per cent, and London-St. Thomas at 4.82 per cent. 


There’s no question that price growth has been solid over the past decade, but history tells us that exceptional growth supported by sound fundamentals is healthy.  Concern is only raised when the underpinnings are insufficient to justify the trajectory.  By all accounts, Canada’s real estate market measures up to conventional wisdom, and the faith in homeownership has not been misplaced.


While the statistics are impressive, they alone cannot tell the tale.  The gains realized over the past decade speak to the tremendous resiliency of the Canadian residential housing market.  Considering catastrophic events, both natural and manmade, that occurred throughout the period—SARS, forest fires, ice storms, 9/11, a recession—the performance of the real estate sector proved that much more significant.  It remained a consistent bright spot supporting economic growth and ancillary spending, and subsequently helped lead the nation out of the greatest downturn in recent memory—its hardy nature heightening its appeal as a long-term investment.

Residential Average Price - Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) by Market

2000 - 2010



Avg. $

Avg. $










Newfoundland & Labrador
















Quebec City




London-St. Thomas












Greater Toronto




































Greater Vancouver
















Source: CREA, TREB, Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board, RE/MAX





















































RE/MAX Advantage

by Remax Westen Canada

RE/MAX Advantage

RE/MAX professionals lead the industry in terms of experience, education and sales. In Western Canada, they average about 16 years of experience, and across the network, hold a higher number of professional designations than associates of any single competitor.

RE/MAX Premier Market Presence,Premier Quality Professionals

RE/MAX professionals lead the industry in terms of experience, education and sales. In Western Canada, they average about 16 years of experience, and across the network, hold a higher number of professional designations than associates of any single competitor.

Premier Brand Name Awareness

The RE/MAX hot air balloon trademark is one of the most widely recognized trademarks in North American business and is now a global brand. No other real estate organization has the level of brand recognition and definition of RE/MAX. The brand draws buyers and sellers and as a result no one in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX.

Premier Customer Satisfaction

Repeat and referral clients are the lifeblood of the real estate business. Approximately 70% of RE/MAX business comes from repeat and referral clients, a testimonial to the high caliber of service RE/MAX customers have come to expect from their Sales Associates.

A survey completed by RE/MAX found that 95% of RE/MAX customers report overall satisfaction with their RE/MAX Sales Associate, 92% say they will use RE/MAX again and 93% will recommend RE/MAX to others. This is, by far, the highest rating in the real estate business.

Premier Community Citizenship

RE/MAX is a front-runner in terms of giving back to the community, often devoting endless support to countless charities and local causes. The RE/MAX sponsorship of Children's Miracle Network is a great example of RE/MAX community citizenship. Since 1992, RE/MAX has been a major contributor to the Children's Miracle Network; a North American fund-raising organization dedicated to generating funds and awareness programs for the benefit of Children served by its over 170 associated hospitals. RE/MAX across Canada raises over $4 million annually on behalf of 14 Canadian children's hospital foundations.

As well, RE/MAX of Western Canada created the "Quest for Excellence Program". This bursary program was established to recognize the success and on-going pursuits of Western Canadian students. A "Quest for Excellence" involves any student in Grade 12 who demonstrates passion, commitment and dedication, positive attitude and enthusiasm for on of the 6 categories. RE/MAX presents 24 cash bursaries of $500 each. The categories are Leadership, Sports, Technology and Trades, Fine Arts, Performing Arts and Community Service. RE/MAX is proud to recognize students, in the very communities in which we live and work, for their outstanding achievements. Education is the building block of our future and if the children we hear from every day are any indication, our future has never been brighter.

RE/MAX is committed to help raise awareness of the ongoing need for organ donation. CA of T assists Canadians in making informed decisions regarding organ, tissue and bone marrow donation. The [1] site provides some national information regarding organ and tissue donation, but more importantly acts as a portal to the many provincial organizations that are mandated to oversee organ and tissue donation programs across the country.

Yard Sale for the Cure

As a national presenting sponsor of Yard Sale for the Cure, RE/MAX associates support the need to raise funds to find a cure for breast cancer. This one-day event, held the last Saturday each May, is dedicated to hosting yard sales accross the country, with the proceeds going towards breast cancer research and treatment. 

Premier Market Share

In large part, our community minded top producers who provide industry leadership, experience and excellent customer service under a respected company banner add up to leading market share. RE/MAX dominates virtually every market in Canada, in terms of market share. On average, RE/MAX outsells the competition 3 to1 across Canada. RE/MAX is supported by over 35 years of brand name development, referral services, promotional support and other benefits that today are an integral part of the RE/MAX network of over 100,000 Sales Associates in over 7,000 offices in 65 countries worldwide. RE/MAX has the network to provide the best real estate experience throughout the world.


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6 Mistakes Buyers Make

by remax westeren canada

6 Mistakes Buyers Make

Mistake #1.  Not Getting Pre-Qualified

Before looking for your next home take the time to get pre-qualified by the bank or mortgage broker you choose.  This can save you hours of searching for homes in the wrong price range or worse, purchasing a home and then finding out you don’t qualify for financing.  Pre-qualifying gives you peace of mind, helps narrow your search criteria and most importantly, gives your RE/MAX agent a negotiating edge by being able to alleviate the sellers concern over financing. The latter is especially important should a competing offer surface.

Mistake #2.  Not Shopping For Mortgage Terms

Rates are negotiable! Banks will sharpen their pencils to get your business especially if you have a good credit rating and bring other business to them e.g. RRSP’s, general account, savings etc. Posted rates should viewed as a starting point. You need to know what the best rate is and this is usually done by get competitive quotes. Also, ask whether the bank will cover appraisal fees, and about buy-out fees, penalties, payment options, portability etc.  The time spent can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage.

Mistake #3.  Not Getting Professional Inspections

Nobody wants to purchase a home only to find out later there are defects, latent or otherwise.  Ensure you obtain inspections where needed e.g. home inspection, structural engineer, insect, radon etc.  If the inspection identifies deficiencies you may be able to negotiate the purchase price to cover required repairs or make your satisfaction of the inspection subject to the homeowner remedying the problem. Your RE/MAX agent can advise you on inspections you should consider.

Mistake #4.  Not Using A Professional Agent.

Your RE/MAX agent can help you make a purchase with the least amount of problems.  He or she can ensure the price you pay is market value.  They can offer expert advice on what to look for, conditions to include, negotiation strategy etc. After all, they work for you.

Mistake #5.  Buying First Before Selling

If price is important you should always sell your present home before buying another.  It has the advantage in letting you know exactly how much money you will have available for your next purchase.  Selling your home first allows you to place fewer conditions on your purchase which makes your offer more attractive to a seller.  They often will demand more money to take a “subject to” offer which takes their home off the market.  The other advantage is if you find a terrific house, chances are others will also find it attractive and you stand to lose it if you can’t make an unconditional offer.

Mistake #6. Not Knowing The Full Cost Of Buying

Know all the costs associated with your purchase.  Consider the following costs:   legal fees, transfer tax, property taxes, new home landscaping, fencing, appliances, window coverings.

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Housing performance expected to accelerate in 2010,

by REMAX Western Canada



Housing performance expected to accelerate in 2010,

as economic stability returns to Canadian markets, says RE/MAX


Fifteen markets to set new records for average price in 2009


In the midst of one of the most tumultuous economic periods in recent history, residential real estate has proven to be a safe harbour, with sales and average price expected to post gains in most major Canadian cities in 2009, according to a report released by RE/MAX.


The RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook for 2010 examined residential real estate trends in 23 markets.  The report found that sales are forecast to recover in almost all major centres by year-end 2009, led by an anticipated 45 per cent increase in Greater Vancouver. Two markets --Ottawa and Quebec City -- are expected to hit historic highs in the number of homes sold.  Average price should post new records in 65 per cent of markets surveyed this year.   As economic performance ramps up across the country, so too will residential real estate.  Eighty-three per cent of markets (19/23) are expecting sales to increase over 2009 levels while housing values are forecast to escalate in 91 per cent (21/23) of Canadian centres in 2010.  The remaining markets will match 2009 levels.


Approximately 465,000 homes are expected to change hands nationally in 2009, a seven per cent increase over one year ago.  Canadian housing values are forecast to close the year at $318,000, up five per cent from $303,594 in 2008. By year-end 2010, the number of homes sold is predicted to climb another two per cent to 475,000 units.  The average price of a home is also expected to experience an uptick, rising two per cent to $325,000 – the highest level in Canadian history.


Some of the greatest percentage gains were reported in Western Canadian markets in 2009– demonstrating the higher the peak, the lower the valley.  That said, the recession barely registered on year-over-year activity in most major centres.  The economic fundamentals in place going forward ideally position the ten provinces, and the sector overall, for further growth.


The upswing in residential housing values speaks volumes.  By year-end 2009, average price is expected to increase in 15 of the 23 markets surveyed, led by St. John’s, NF (15 per cent); Quebec City, QC (eight per cent); Regina, SK (seven per cent); Saint John, NB (six per cent); and Winnipeg, MB, Ottawa, ON, and Greater Toronto, ON (five per cent). Other noteworthy developments include shattered price benchmarks in Greater Vancouver at $600,000; Toronto at $400,000; Ottawa at $300,000; and Quebec City and St. John’s at $200,000.   St. John’s will once again lead the country in terms of percentage increase in average price in 2010 with a projected upswing of 11 per cent.  Quebec City and Regina are expected to experience escalation of six per cent, while Calgary, Kelowna, and Victoria are forecast to climb five per cent next year.  Victoria, Kelowna, Edmonton and Calgary – all down marginally in 2009 – are all positioned for growth in 2010.

2009 was without question the year of the house.  Real estate not only defied industry and analysts’ predictions in 2009—it’s performance went well beyond the realm of expectation by boosting consumer confidence levels and ultimately kick starting the national economic engine.  While low interest rates were a principle factor driving home buying activity, no one can discount the value that Canadians place in owning a home.


The major frontrunners in terms of unit sales appreciation in 2010, are all located in Western Canada, including Kelowna with an anticipated upswing of 10 per cent in housing sales; Calgary with an expected increase of eight per cent: and Victoria, which rounds out the top three with a seven per cent hike forecast for unit sales. 


Canadians continue to demonstrate their commitment to homeownership – regardless of the economic climate.  No where in Canada is that more evident than in Quebec. The province, with one of highest percentage of renters in the country, is well-poised for an escalation in homeownership levels as renters enter the market en masse to take advantage of ideal market conditions. Prices remain well under the national average, making ownership more attainable and leaving more room for appreciation that’s been long overdue.


A number of factors will help prop up activity going forward, including improved economic conditions, continued low interest rates, rising consumer confidence and solid capital spending which will buoy employment.  Inventory will once again assume the wildcard role, with any decline placing upward pressure on prices.  Multiple offers will remain the exception in most markets, more commonplace on quality entry-level product which remains in tight supply. 






Canadian housing markets buck recession and trend upwards

by Anne Barnes

Canadian housing markets buck recession and trend upwards, says RE/MAX

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 18




Contact Information

The Barnes Team
RE/MAX Real Estate Lethbridge
107 - 50 AVE. WEST
Anne Barnes 403-393-1922
Fax: 403-328-2221