Call 780-893-0269 Login or Sign Up

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Seller couldn’t predict the future – Buyers rejoice

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

What, you can’t predict the future?

Many home owners move into their new home and begin to improve it to their liking with no thought of ever selling. As a result some of the upgrades especially when you get into the ultra high end can get lost on  a prospective buyer who doesn’t see the value and is just not willing to pay for it.

Of course, there comes a point when a home owner even with one eye on eventual resale value is willing to pay for the added enjoyment of said upgrade for the balance of time they will live in the home knowing they will realize only a fraction of the cost of the upgrade when they go to sell.

What a joy it is for a buyer to stumble upon such a home, especially when the upgrades align with their likes and lifestyle. In what sometimes feels like a morass of over priced, inadequately maintained and cheaply done cosmetic upgrades such a property stands out the minute you drive up to the place. You know what I’m talking about. Chances are you’ve been lucky enough or know of someone who was lucky enough to buy such a home. The, “I knew it was the one the minute I walked in” statement that makes you boil with envy if you are still in the trenches as a buyer looking for such a place and coming up empty.

A home can look better on a piece of paper or on the internet with correctly lit photos and a wide angle lens leaving you disappointed as you drive away feeling like you were somehow tricked into thinking it was going to be better than it turned out to be. Like the gorgeous flower arrangement that you bend down to smell only to find it was a brilliant display of artificial flower craftsmanship.

Conversely, the same often happens with the home described above but in reverse. You walk in and begin to see the attention to detail and extras that didn’t immediately pop into mind as you looked over the listing details. Add to that the fact that there is only so much room for details on a listing sheet so many of them never get mentioned at all.

Sometimes I’m fortunate enough to get an opportunity to sell one of these homes and the following is an example of one such home.

The owners bought this modern bungalow with a walk out basement and five bedrooms with no thought of moving shortly after renovations would be completed. But that is life, unpredictable at times.

The features that made them fall in love with the place to begin with included a large lot with plenty of room for a shop to the East of the triple garage and within a twenty minute drive from Edmonton’s West End. The wide open spaces, quiet and gorgeous vistas of acreage living coupled with the conveniences of a newer home aligned perfectly with their exodus from the busy city life. Although they have a young child now the convenience of being within walking distance with no major roads to cross, of the highly acclaimed Graminia Elementary School was an added bonus. Underlying all of this was a desire to raise their son in a safe community where he could flourish unfettered.  Other things about the home the

y soon found that validated their decision to buy included a concrete parking pad in front of the triple garage, concrete sidewalks leading to the front steps, a concrete patio accessed from the walk out basement’s patio door and city water trucked in from Devon which is about two and a half times cheaper than what they were paying for water in the city and almost five and a half times cheaper than friends of theirs pay North West of the city.

But back to the theme of this article. They soon began to make changes to the home and as I said, with no thought of selling in the near future. Whether you read the following list or not it will give you the idea that when this seller does something he goes all in. With the initial acquisition costs added to the additional upgrades the number is much higher than what they are currently asking for the place without even taking into account that the market as a whole has come up since they purchased. The equates to real value for you the buyer.
 

 

 

 

Kevin Grenier Realty Executives Poliaris

 

1.       Painting entire house 11 different colors (professionally done) 

2.       Electrical work                                                                                                  

    a.       Includes adding more plugs and switches in garage

     b.      2 ceiling fans

     c.       3 X 4’ T8 overhead lights

     d.      Black lights

     e.      Plugs for all the Neon signs (which neon signs won’t be staying)

     f.        Re-doing the entire basement to meet code (as the Reno’s were happening found out that whoever ran the electrical before, screwed into wires and had the entire basement only on 3 circuits, highly illegal)

     g.       Added a surge protector that is the high one that can be reset multiple times. Cause the cheap once it has been tripped it has to be completely changed out.

IMG_3400

     h.      Re-did all the pot lights and added more. These are all enclosed lights as per code due to the insulating the ceiling.

     i.       Added sensor switches to mudroom, walk-in closet, pantry

     j.      Added over the tub light in guest bathroom main floor and in basement bathroom

     k.       Added in two night lights one in hallway and one in master bathroom

     l.         Pre-wire in garage under stairs for future expansion to shop. 220 wire. Either add in an electrical box in garage or enough length to take it to new location for shop.

3.       Reno’s included are the following:                                                          

     a.       Change out the direction of the walk-in closet

     b.      Added a door to the master bedroom bathroom

     c.       Added more storage to the basement

Kevin Grenier Realty Executives Polaris (18)

     d.      Converted the 5th bedroom in basement to the gym

     e.      Custom flooring for the gym

     f.        Added the French doors in basement

     g.       Added second direction to steps in the garage. (original direction was not the easiest to use)

     h.      Re-tiled the steps in the garage

      i.         Changed out the carpet leading down into the basement. Original did not match anything in the house. Re-used the carpet from the renovation in the gym area.

      j.        Added the boarder in the garage

     k.       Re-did the basement ceiling added in safe and sound with sound bar in entire basement. So new drywall, insulation, re-textured ceiling and painted ceiling       

IMG_3412

 

4.       Paved Driveway                                                                                               

     a.       Driveway was widened &  is average 6” thick with 4” of gravel underneath

     b.      Plus had the driveway sealed after it was put in 

5.       Custom closet organizer in mudroom and in master bedroom     

6.       Planted 130 trees in yard( spruce and pine)                                         

7.       Complete wiring in house for matrix system                                        

     a.       Includes wiring for all TV locations

     b.      Includes ceiling speakers in basement (6 in total). Which includes custom boxes in ceiling and each box insulated.

     c.       Each TV area wired for internet and Cat 8 etc…

     d.      Wired basement for future projection screen

     e.      Complete sound system wiring in garage. 2 speakers have not been installed but wires are in walls in ceiling area to expand if needed. Never had the chance to add the speakers in, have the speakers.

8.       Added Heat in Garage and Central Air Conditioning                          

9.       Dog run

For more details on this home or to book an appointment to view it contact:

IMG_3421

Kevin Grenier Realty Executives Polaris at kevin@kevingrenier.com or 780-893-0269.

 

Edmonton home builder claims all its homes will create as much energy as they use

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

“Net Zero Home” is  a term given to a home that creates as much energy as it consumes effectively reducing its carbon footprint.

My bet is you are going to hear a lot more about this hitherto rarely attained goal thanks to Edmonton’s own Landmark Homes Inc and their commitment to creating all their homes to this level by 2015.

I was fortunate enough to take part in a tour of their plant located at 4403 55 Ave NW Edmonton. The tour was led by Curt Beyer Vice President of Manufacturing who is also a stakeholder in the plant.

The plant currently builds about 3 homes a day using processes adopted from other industries, most notably automobile manufacturing. Curt showed us the entire assembly line starting with the lumber being cut to size, walls being assembled, foam insulation bays, window and door line, roof assembly zone, floor assembly and much more.

Now at first blush you may be thinking pre-fab homes with visions of half a trailer being trucked to its destination to be placed on a foundation and mated with its other half. Or perhaps a Scandinavian  type of an idea where pieces are shipped in a box and put together at the other end with a less then top of the line stigma.

Well Curt put it this way. “How would you feel if you bought a (insert high end car brand here) only to find that a box full of all of the parts was placed on your driveway and a team of mechanics came by to assemble it?”.

Throughout the tour I began to disabuse myself of this notion that a house wasn’t built right unless it was built on site. Oh and the other notion that if it was built in a plant that it was done to cut costs or worse the idea of it being “slapped” together by a crew that “made it work” when things didn’t quite fit right.

I saw many similarities to the BMW plant in Munich, Germany that I toured in August and began to see Curt and his partner’s vision. One that went way beyond the building of a house for profit. One of quality using machinery that build to the millimeter instead of a fraction of an inch. One of consistency and greatly reducing and in many cases eliminating human error. A desire to revolutionize the way homes are built by the entire industry. The benefit of a process that reduces waste, a huge problem in the home building industry as witnessed by those of you who have ever seen the landfills and the amount of construction debris. This process greatly increases the quality, fit, finish and function of the end product. This process decreases worker fatigue and injuries. It takes only hours to assemble on site the walls, floors and roof to lock up stage so that the materials are not exposed to the elements for lengthy periods causing other complications. I could go on but in short the customer wins by getting a precision built home. One that often exceeds industry standards.

As a result the Edmonton plant attracts internationals visiting from other builders, universities and government organizations who want to learn the many industry firsts Landmark has accomplished with this method of building or would manufacturing be a better term?

I was glad I went to the tour, there is much more I discovered all of it good that I can share now with my clients to help them make a more informed decision.

Landmark’s dedication to excellence I applaud and their willingness to share their insights and methods to not only my REALTOR® colleagues but competing builders in the area and abroad is rare in the corporate jungle.

Why share this information so freely? Because they feel this is the way home building should be done, the right way. As a pioneer and leader in this technology they have such a head start on their competition that there is very little downside especially as for example they move to their new bigger plant in Ellerslie and already have the sale of the existing plant in place to I believe four local builders who are going to share the plant .

As more people see the benefits of this build style “Net Zero Homes” will become the sought after standard and what an impact that will have on our overall carbon foot print.

Next time I walk into a Landmark show home with one of my clients I”ll be better prepared to answer their questions, who knows maybe I’ll even teach the salesperson a thing or two…Just saying.

“Net Zero Home” is  a term given to a home that creates as much energy as it consumes effectively reducing its carbon footprint.

My bet is you are going to hear a lot more about this hitherto rarely attained goal thanks to Edmonton’s own Landmark Homes Inc and their commitment to creating all their homes to this level by 2015.

I was fortunate enough to take part in a tour of their plant located at 4403 55 Ave NW Edmonton. The tour was led by Curt Beyer Vice President of Manufacturing who is also a stakeholder in the plant.

The plant currently builds about 3 homes a day using processes adopted from other industries, most notably automobile manufacturing. Curt showed us the entire assembly line starting with the lumber being cut to size, walls being assembled, foam insulation bays, window and door line, roof assembly zone, floor assembly and much more.

Now at first blush you may be thinking pre-fab homes with visions of half a trailer being trucked to its destination to be placed on a foundation and mated with its other half. Or perhaps a Scandinavian  type of an idea where pieces are shipped in a box and put together at the other end with a less then top of the line stigma.

Well Curt put it this way. “How would you feel if you bought a (insert high end car brand here) only to find that a box full of all of the parts was placed on your driveway and a team of mechanics came by to assemble it?”.

Throughout the tour I began to disabuse myself of this notion that a house wasn’t built right unless it was built on site. Oh and the other notion that if it was built in a plant that it was done to cut costs or worse the idea of it being “slapped” together by a crew that “made it work” when things didn’t quite fit right.

I saw many similarities to the BMW plant in Munich, Germany that I toured in August and began to see Curt and his partner’s vision. One that went way beyond the building of a house for profit. One of quality using machinery that build to the millimeter instead of a fraction of an inch. One of consistency and greatly reducing and in many cases eliminating human error. A desire to revolutionize the way homes are built by the entire industry. The benefit of a process that reduces waste, a huge problem in the home building industry as witnessed by those of you who have ever seen the landfills and the amount of construction debris. This process greatly increases the quality, fit, finish and function of the end product. This process decreases worker fatigue and injuries. It takes only hours to assemble on site the walls, floors and roof to lock up stage so that the materials are not exposed to the elements for lengthy periods causing other complications. I could go on but in short the customer wins by getting a precision built home. One that often exceeds industry standards.

As a result the Edmonton plant attracts internationals visiting from other builders, universities and government organizations who want to learn the many industry firsts Landmark has accomplished with this method of building or would manufacturing be a better term?

I was glad I went to the tour, there is much more I discovered all of it good that I can share now with my clients to help them make a more informed decision.

Landmark’s dedication to excellence I applaud and their willingness to share their insights and methods to not only my REALTOR® colleagues but competing builders in the area and abroad is rare in the corporate jungle.

Why share this information so freely? Because they feel this is the way home building should be done, the right way. As a pioneer and leader in this technology they have such a head start on their competition that there is very little downside especially as for example they move to their new bigger plant in Ellerslie and already have the sale of the existing plant in place to I believe four local builders who are going to share the plant .

As more people see the benefits of this build style “Net Zero Homes” will become the sought after standard and what an impact that will have on our overall carbon foot print.

Next time I walk into a Landmark show home with one of my clients I”ll be better prepared to answer their questions, who knows maybe I’ll even teach the salesperson a thing or two…Just saying.

Property Search Results Not Getting Through?

Kevin Grenier Realty Executives Polaris

780-893-0269

Kevin Grenier Realty Executives Polaris

780-893-0269

Improving the buying and selling process

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

The technology for real estate professionals is constantly improving and as a result improving the overall experience from a client’s perspective.

With everything from paperless transactions allowing out of town clients to sign online changes to a contract without first having to print off and later scan in the document to be emailed back to improved communication avenues the buying and selling process just keeps improving to the benefit of not only the client but the industry professional as well.

When it comes to phones there are a number of platforms available and until now Blackberry wasn’t really an option for a lot of industry professionals. Even though many of us have fond memories of our legacy Blackberry devices with their rock solid contact management and security layers.

With a Blackberry 10 device either the Z10 with its  intuitive touch keyboard, the Q10 with the beloved physical keyboard or the Z30 with a 5″ touch display, and the latest operating system 10.2.1055 or higher installed (available in a leaked version from Crackberry.com) you can now do pretty much anything you need or want a “smart” phone to do.

Want to access lock boxes without having to carry another keyfob, dangle or anything but your phone? No problem install the eKEY software from Supra directly on your device.

How about the mortgage calculator from Calculated Industries which now even has a Canadian Qualifier Plus 4x app for $9.87. This you’ll need to purchase using the BlueStacks software which will download the APK file to your Windows computer.

Logmein Ignition is another great app which allows you to access your Windows or Mac computers at home or your office. This is not a free app however and includes the ability transfer files between your device and the remote computer and listen to videos you are playing on the remote computer. Get it here.

Fusion Experience allows industry professionals to access the MLS to get further information such as history, lot dimensions and more. REALTOR®s can get it here.  This one you can install on your device right out of the box. Note, in some cases you’ll need to turn off your wifi in order for the app to work.

There are a great many more apps for real estate professionals all available either through the official Blackberry World app store and with the new OS release directly from the Android markets.

The perceived “App Gap” is gone now and you should be able to move forward with that upgrade to Blackberry 10 and experience the many benefits of the new platform.

As an early adopter of technology I’ve seen the different operating systems improve with time but nothing compares to the improvements made by the Blackberry team in the last few months.

I hope this helps you bring a better experience to your clients with their selling or purchasing needs and keep in mind I’m still accepting referrals and would be happy to help with any transactions in the greater Edmonton area.

 

Kevin Grenier

Realty Executives Polaris

www.KevinGrenier.com www.RealHousesforSale.com

780-893-0269

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.