Potential Real Estate Scams In Edmonton & How To Avoid Them

Tue, 25 Nov by Terry Paranych

Real Estate Scams To Watch Out For

Despite the large number of trustworthy REALTORS®, agents, brokers, contractors and homeowners in the Edmonton real estate market,  Real Estate scams in Edmonton do happen every year. In some cases, people can be out some money, a project or potentially much worse. Here are the top 4 scams we’ve seen out there and how you can do you best to avoid them.

4. Real Estate Property Investment Seminars and Workshops

We are talking about the Real Estate seminars that sell you on “Getting Rich Quickly”. You go for free, get to eat or drink something, and sit with other folks who know as little about the material as you. They get you in and they sell you without giving you anything of value.

What You Can Do

Avoid them if they seem too good to be true.  If you want to learn about Edmonton real estate investing, be sure to talk to seasoned pros—like our team!

3. Online Rental or Real Estate Scams

You see a deal that’s too good to be true on Kijiji. You check the add and call. The renter says they can’t meet there but books a meeting “off site” to exchange keys and sign off on the agreements. You head to what you think is your new home only to find out that there is still a tenant living there, and it’s not your home.

The way this works is the ads on kijiji are actually “scraped” from real listings and posted to look like ads. Then the scammer pretends to be a landlord, property manager or real estate agent and targets you.

What You Can Do

Be watchful. Any time you see a desperate “must rent now!” with an asking price too good to beat, there is a good chance that it is too good to be true. It is important to always view the rental property prior to renting it out. Be sure to check out Paranych Rentals to view real listings available for rent now.

2. Home Improvement Scam

Not all scams are about purchases or rentals. In fact one of the most common scams throughout Ontario and BC is the door-to-door contractor one. A contractor sizes up a problem with your home and knocks on your door offering amazing deals (and using high pressure sales tactics to win you over). Then they half start your project, take you deposit and run off with your money  leaving a large mess for you to deal with.

What You Can Do

  • If any contractor is eager to work with you, review and sign a formal agreement before any money crosses hands. A contract is good protection against bad work.
  • Check references with any new contractor that you bring aboard. References are your stop gap and they will give you a sense of the type of contractor you have. If they use inflated references, you should be able to tell.

Following up is the key. Ultimately, never agree to anything that gets proposed at your door, no matter how convincing it seems.

1. The “It Could Never Happen to Me” Scam

Technically, this isn’t so much a scam as it is a way of thinking that can lead to being scammed. No one deserves to live in their home paranoid of what lurks out there, but we need to stand guard and realize that real estate scams in Edmonton do happen. You can help to reduce the risk by being cautious, taking your time when deals sound a little too good to be true.

Remember, too that scammers are a small minority of a very active, honest and trustworthy businesses that are here to help.

If you have any further questions about home ownership and how to protect yourself from Edmonton real estate scams be sure to talk to us. The Paranych Team is always here to help you. Get in touch with us today!

‘Skinny Homes’ for Edmonton Real Estate

Tue, 18 Nov by Terry Paranych
Skinny Home, Edmonton Real Estate

One of the many interesting designs available on the market. Image credit: dowsizemyspace.com

Next year might be getting a little busier in the downtown core.

Edmonton City Council’s Executive Committee voted last week on a motion to amend our zoning laws.

In this motion, single-residence 50-foot lots (RF-1) could be subdivided into two smaller 25-foot lots.

They voted unanimously.

But they also asked city council to look at this seriously and prepare a report looking at the possible impacts of skinny homes in Edmonton’s mature communities.

Most of the city’s mature neighbourhoods pepper Central Edmonton. The impact could be huge—especially in areas with higher numbers of historical properties and lands.

But the overall benefit to skinny lots and homes can’t be overstated. Our city suffers from a lack of residential density in its core, and erecting skinny single detached homes or even skinny duplexes would go a very long way. We could see dramatic changes to the inventory of affordable detached homes in our city core within a decade by simply opening up the marketplace to them.

Many of us in the industry are excited by this idea—it strengthens the potential mix of families moving into mature neighbourhoods giving them even more new energy and protecting older schools that may have dwindling student numbers.

Skinny Home: Edmonton Real Estate

Another fabulous Skinny Home design from Oregon

Thousands of residents would love to make Central Edmonton home. We know this because they’re already moving here. Building skinny homes is but one of the ways to get that sustainable mix of families and homebuyers into the city core without having to put maturing in-laws into seniors care.

We think it’s a win-win for the city, and we hope that the rest of our fine city understands how good it will be for us.

If you’re keen to get involved in the conversation, here is the list of council and committee meetings throughout the year.

If you have any thoughts or questions about the city council motion, you can read more about it here and here.

Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home in the Edmonton real estate market, the Terry Paranych Team is always happy to have a conversation with you. Get in touch with us to get things started.

Outdoor Edmonton Home Ideas for Fall

Tue, 28 Oct by Terry Paranych

Outdoor Edmonton Home IDeasYes, it’s October, and in Edmonton, we know what the fall can be like here. From one minute to the next it could be 15 degrees, or it could be -15 degrees!

But we don’t let a little thing like a number slow us down in Edmonton. October is sweater weather—and if it calls for a second sweater, we just make it happen.

Which is why the Paranych Team thought that now is the time to talk about great last-minute ideas for Edmonton outdoor living, the things that will keep us and our friends and families outside as the days get shorter—even as the snow starts to stick.

1. Lights

Outdoor Edmonton Home TrendsKnowing that our daylight is dwindling, it’s a good idea to have ample lighting. Night comes quickly at a barbecue that runs a little after supper. Tea lights might be nice touches when the weather is gentle, but balanced lighting is important for dining and for safety. Think about how you can mix string lighting and soft patio lanterns with ballast lighting to create the right atmosphere.


2. Seating

Outdoor Edmonton Home Ideas

Benches and installed seating have really made a comeback. Gone are the days that outdoor furniture comprise of a series of the same style chairs and a 42” high table. Ottomans, love seats and recliners have become friendly for outdoor lounging and even dining, so know that it’s safe to mix and match.



3. Edible Plants and Gardens

Outdoor Edmonton Home IdeasPeople are often amazed when they ask about the number of edible plants that can grow into September, October, and even November. From flowers to tubers and even leafy greens and cruciferous plants, there are dozens of edible plants that can give your garden an extra month or two of use.


4. Grills

Outdoor Edmonton Home Ideas: GrillsIn Canada, grills are a year-round thing. If this surprises you, you might want to go to more hockey and football games. Seriously, though a sensible workspace is as important for summer grilling as it is for winter grilling. Access and safety should be considered whenever you grill, but it’s especially important in the season where frost first settles on surfaces.



5. Fire Pits

Outdoor Edmonton Home IdeasThe fire pit is the saviour of the outdoor evening when the temperature drops too quickly. There are limitless designs and types to choose from, and the source fuel is another choice to consider. Some prefer wood for simplicity, others might prefer natural gas (or even running a line from the home to a permanent fire pit. Either way, if you get one your family will thank you for it.

Edmonton really is a great autumn city for those who take the time to think about extending their outdoor living a few months. It’s well worth the investment for many of us who love being able to take the time to sit with our families in the crisp early evenings.

And if you’re hoping to buy or sell your Edmonton home this autumn, or you just want to figure out if now is the right season to buy or sell, get in touch with us. We’d love to have a conversation about how we can help you.


Buying a Home in Edmonton: Real Estate Trends for August/14

Tue, 26 Aug by Terry Paranych
Edmonton Real Estate Market Trends

Getting to this place is getting easier in Edmonton.

We know that Edmonton is an amazing to place to live. But the process of buying or selling a home can seem impossible. And for those who look, it can be difficult to make sense of the numbers.

Fortunately, the new statistics that came out this August paints a pretty good picture for people looking to buy a home in Edmonton. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, Alberta’s housing average sits in the top three provinces in terms of housing prices. It might look like rising prices are a challenge for buyers, but there are unique advantages for homebuyers in this market, too.

Locally, The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton report that the current average price for all residential homes sits at $362, 091, which is a slight decrease from two months ago. This can be expected as sales slip from people trying to get the last bits of vacation in through the waning days of summer.

The great thing is that the demand this year has been high. Prices year-over-year have been up from between 3.9% for single detached homes to 9.2% for duplexes/rowhouses.

Overall residential sales was up nearly 10%, suggesting that demand is strong, and it is likely to remain that way throughout the rest of the fall.

Also, the year-to-date listings are up over last year, which indicates that there will be plenty of opportunity for both buyers and sellers this year, and possibly into 2015.

It’s important for people to understand that this market offers tremendous opportunity for both buyers and sellers. Considering that our average income across Edmonton CMA is almost 20% higher than the national average (according to Global), our home prices are remarkably affordable. Additionally, there are numerous options available for you to make a move into this market, whether it’s a home for your family or an investment property.

We are here to help! If you want to buy or sell a home in Edmonton, we can work with you to help you navigate through the process.

Get in touch with us, and we can have a conversation about getting you into your dream home today.

Closures and Opportunities for Edmonton Area Schools

Wed, 02 Jul by Terry Paranych


Edmonton Area School Closures and Rebuilds

Earlier this year, The Province of Alberta earmarked $20 million dollars for Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB) to build a brand new school that would replace these Edmonton area schools:

  • Westmount (Westmount Inglewood and Coronation schools)
  • Highlands (Highlands, Montrose and Mount Royal schools)
  • Greater Lawton (Lawton, R.J. Scott and Rundle schools)

Throughout the year, the board of trustees had consultations with parents in each of these communities. Last week, the EPSB administrators recommended that Lawton, R.J. Scott and Rundle schools should be closed for a new .

The EPSB leadership were clear that the majority of Lawton parents wanted a new school and not just a modernization of an old school.

Today, the EPSB board makes the final vote.

A few parents in Lawton spoke up against the proposal, and it can be hard on a community when an issue like this comes up for parents. I’ve seen things get emotional when it comes to community matters, and it can create disagreement among members of the community.

One of the great aspects of a new school is knowing that your children will get access to modern amenities and technology. The school board has been talking about the schools in these area lacking in basic heating at times in the winter, so a new school would help to provide comfort and, over time, cost less. New schools are designed for better power efficiency, and enhanced education. Often those old long hallways with pockets of kids hiding are replaced with common open spaces that make it easier for administrators and teachers to monitor children.

What Does a New School Mean for Homeowners?

School districts have become an important part of deciding where to live in a community, and it can influence how a REALTOR® may see your property. Having property near a school that shines (or even in a district that shines) is often at the top of the options for families with children or teenagers. The Fraser Institute keeps score of schools for the Edmonton area (as well as the rest of Alberta), although some do argue about how they get the results, so use wisely.

Often investors look at these factors to gauge how high they would be willing to bid on new properties, and Ken Corsini conducted his own research, and found that some highly-ranked schools in the US were sheltered from declining values by 2009, while lower valued schools experienced measurable losses.

Having good schools near a home can add premiums to the value of a property, but it’s not a simple calculation. Quality of the school, distance from the home, current home value, all of these factors come into play. In fact, it might be easier to look at it the other way around. Knowing the school and district data, what might a family or an investor be willing to pay above the list price?

Either way, the residents near Lawton school have a new school coming to them, and they should be happy with the results.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.