The growing risk of oceanfront living… Grocery stores are high on the wish list for condo owners… And asbestos continues to pose a threat to home makeovers…
Oceanfront property - is it worth the risk?
It seems to be an inbuilt part of the human psyche that draws us to the sea; not necessarily in it but certainly within view. Many will cite an oceanfront property as being their ideal, but is the reality as good as the fantasy? As the climate changes and adds new challenges to coastal regions, buyers are thinking carefully before going ahead with that dream property that could become a nightmare. With sea levels rising and the coast generally first in line during weather-related incidents, there is much to consider. Although flood insurance is generally available for most coastal properties premiums will of course rise if there are claims or increased risk and the insurance does may well fall short of the actual cost of damage. Then there’s the affect on resale value and interest if the property or its surroundings are seen as a major flood risk. As well as flooding there is also concern about landslides caused by eroded coastlines. While we may all still love the idea of oceanfront living, nature may continue to make that choice harder than ever.
Condo owners put grocery stores high on their wish list
Times are changing; when once condo owners wanted cool cafes and bars nearby, now the thrifty Canadian homeowner wants to be able to pick up groceries without too much of a journey. Developers in Calgary are keen for more grocery stores to be built, not giant stores with huge parking lots but smaller stores tailored towards the local residents who will typically arrive on foot. Experts say that although these stores are not as cheap as their larger cousins, people are willing to pay a bit more for quality and convenience. While a trendy bar or coffee shop is nice once in a while, for today’s condo owner it’s far more important to be able to pick up some fresh food in the neighbourhood. Read the full story.
Asbestos; the hidden danger in renovation
Experts say that if a home is older than the 1990’s then there’s a fair chance of asbestos being present somewhere. The material, banned in many countries and generally restricted in how it can be removed and disposed of, is typically found in roof tiles, insulation and heating installations. Sometimes you will know it’s there; it might be obvious or it may have been pointed out to you when you bought the property, but it’s not always the case. Pulling up floorboards or knocking down a wall can reveal the hazardous material and so begins an inconvenient and often expensive process. Although it is possible for homeowners to remove small amounts of asbestos themselves, it is essential that safety procedures are followed to avoid inhaling the dust caused by broken panels. Then there is a requirement to dispose of the asbestos correctly. A better option may be to hire a specialist firm to assess, remove and dispose of the hazard, but this can be costly. For those buying or selling an older home it’s worth noting that mortgage and insurance companies may insist that any asbestos found is removed before they will complete the deal. Read the full story.
Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate