Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cornerstone Project - III Permit approval

You may have read my other posts here and here about our Cornerstone funded basement suite. We've now come to the point where our permit has been approved by the city and we can formally apply to get funding.

The permit took about 6 weeks and we were lucky to get it so quickly. The time-lines can actually range to 8 weeks. One crucial thing about waiting for a permit is that you can't do any renos past the framing. No dry-walling can go up so it's a veritable standstill. However if you are doing any electrical work (like the hard wired fire alarms which are mandatory) or plumbing now is the time. You can get all that done and have those permits issued well within the 6 weeks it takes to get the building permit.

We are all dry-walled and partially "mudded" and waiting to hit full speed. Turning the still rough outline of a suite to the livable modern space we've envisioned.

I've actually got my ads up and have pre-approved some tenants. When I show the space I tell them to bring their imaginations!

We've applied to the program with all our documents and hope to hear back in 10 days with the final approval. The final funding doesn't come till after the suite is finished and the housing branch does a final inspection.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

This and That

Government of Canada develops innovative cancer treatment

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Aug. 17, 2011) - "The Government of Canada is supporting the development of a new cancer radiation therapy device that could lead to more precise and life-saving treatment methods.

A federal investment of $2.5 million will support the University of Alberta, Alberta Health Services' Cross Cancer Institute and industry to develop, test and commercialize a new cancer radiation therapy technology called Magnetic Resonance Real-time Guided Radiation Therapy (MRrtgRT). In addition to federal funding, the Province of Alberta is also investing $250,000 towards the initiative, while the Alberta Cancer Foundation is contributing $2.15 million. Alberta Health Services and its industry partners, ASG Superconductors and Paramed, are contributing $1.1 million."

You might wonder why I included this article in an investment blog. I heard an interview on CBC Radio about this technology and was impressed, especially with the tenacity that UOA explores cancer research, treatment and cure. I'm also interested in how the UOA/government intends to bring this technology to market. When I talk about nanotechnology and medical leadership in Alberta, this is the tangible fruit that comes from it.

Residential property sales in Canada hold steady but property prices fall slightly

Thursday, 18 August 2011

"Buyer confidence, favorable mortgage rates and a healthy economy are resulting in higher home sales across Canada, particularly in Newfoundland, Edmonton, Labrador and Montreal. Even so, national average prices slipped for the month of July, although analysts believe this may be due to the retreat of home sales in more expensive neighborhoods in Vancouver, where sales were down. The sales in these more expensive areas act to skew national averages and result in some finding them unreliable, but on the whole observers believe the market will continue showing healthy numbers in the housing market.

Sales of residential properties in Canada were stable in July compared with the previous month with just over half of local markets posting gains, according to the latest statistics from The Canadian Real Estate Association.
Major markets that saw gains compared to June include Edmonton, Montreal, Newfoundland and Labrador. Activity also held steady in Toronto, while Vancouver recorded a small decline.

‘The continued stability in national sales activity shows that homebuyers remain confident about the soundness of investing in a home. Mortgage interest rates are low and keeping home affordability within reach, making it an excellent time for buyers to take advantage of very favourable financing,’ said CREA president Gary Morse"

Lower prices and NO sales is bad news. Higher demand, lower prices are fine as we wait for the economy to strengthen, rates to increase and the pendulum to swing back towards a seller's market - which will take a few years if the (global and provincial) economies can stay on track.

This is roughly how expensive (or affordable depending on your income) a Vancouver bungalow is... Remember, there's only one Vancouver though!

"The Royal Bank of Canada said yesterday it would take 92 per cent of the median household’s pretax income to own a bungalow in the city at current prices – the highest reading yet in its quarterly national survey on affordability.

The bank said most Canadian cities offered “reasonably affordable” housing options in the second quarter compared to the first. Nationally, a condo required 29.2 per cent of pretax household income (a 0.8 per cent increase), a bungalow 43.3 per cent (1.7 per cent) and a detached home 49.3 per cent (1.8 per cent).

RBC said it would take an income of $157,800 to buy a Vancouver bungalow in the second quarter, and that the average house price in the city was $822,300 – 19 per cent higher than a year ago."

Jack Layton's Letter to Canadians

I posted Jack Layton's letter today to celebrate a passionate man's life; not to share his politics. He always spoke with so much genuine enthusiasm its hard not to like his personality and respect his conviction. Although he left too soon, he left a very positive legacy that won't be forgotten anytime soon.

Dear Friends,

Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit and my determination. Read More

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer of Discontent

Alberta Oil Sands Investment Real Estate News®
Glenn Simon Inc., Suite 1217, 5328 Calgary Trail NW, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Tel 1-888-780-5940 Fax 1-888-276-4517 email:

August 15th., 2011
Volume 10, Issue 10

Dear Friends and Partners,

If you're watching your stocks go further and further down... you may dub this the 'Summer of Discontent'. Unless you are very good at shorting stocks, have bars of gold and silver or cash-flowing real estate, you are feeling it. But, that is nothing new. I think since returning to Canada I am much more aware of the nonstop bombardment of negative media. Does this help me be a better investor? Only when I turn it off!

Almost all of the news you need to know your friends or family will tell you. When you're studying and researching prior to making an investment, short term events (bad news) will play a role, especially if the 'problem' can sway the market and be solved in the near future. For the next three weeks I am going to read the smiles on my family's faces and listen to the laughter generated from having time away and in the outdoors. Enjoy your summer!

-Glenn Simon Inc. will be closed for summer holiday between August 24th and September 12th. Newsletters will resume September 15th.-

West Central Edmonton: Cashflowing Three-Plex In Westmount

Turbo charge your portfolio. Upgraded 1948 built 3-plex with separate entrance to all units. 3 stylishly finished suites; One 2 bedroom unit on main, plus one upgraded 650 sqft. 2 bedroom suites down and a very cool 2 bedroom suite on the top floor. The upper suites have laminate, fresh paint and original hardwood. There is a common laundry room in basement. The lower unit has new paint, brand new tub and toilet as well. Lower suite walks out to a private grassy, fenced yard. There is a 2 car detached garage with brand new door and opener bringing in additional revenue. 10 minutes to NAIT, Grant MacEwan and Downtown. Fast access to Yellowhead Highway and on the bus routes. These pictures show the detail and care that went into building this quality home.

Comes complete with great tenants making this a totally turn-key property for you. Convenient Central area with easy access to transit and downtown. Excellent established neighborhood featuring many heritage homes; solid value and stable rents. HUGE upside potential due to the great purchase price, strong economic fundamentals and the proximity of this home in relation to Edmonton's developing core.

Produces $440 positive cash flow per month using an investor's mortgage plan - taking advantage of current low rates.

Purchase price: $384K Total Investment: $115K. Your Estimated 5 Year Profit $56K. Your pre-tax Total ROI is 49% or 10% per year + $440 Cash Flow in Your Pocket Every Month

Poised for massive growth. These 3 suites rent for top dollar and have everything arranged, including financing structure and incredible tenants. Your investment includes: renovation costs, financial analysis, professional inspection, insurance, financing set-up, legal fees, basic accounting, reserve fund, CMA, bi-annual statements, strategic market planning to ensure successful entry and exit, plus much more!

Calgary Leading Charge In Carbon Capture

Local firm involved in building Alberta's first carbon capture pipeline

By Chris Nelson, Calgary Herald. August 14th 2011

As much of North America baked under record-setting temperatures this summer, few people would have considered carbon dioxide a continental resource.

Mention CO2 to the majority of Canadians and the words "global warming" spring readily to mind.

Susan Cole's mind works differently. FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

No New Taxes Or Royalties, Most Tory Leadership Hopefuls Say

By Jason Fekete, Calgary Herald. August 13th, 2011

Most of the six candidates vying to replace Ed Stelmach as Tory leader and premier are pledging no new taxes and vow not to increase energy royalties from oil and gas development on Crown land. As the race heats up to the first Tory leadership vote on Sept. 17, would-be premiers are increasingly rolling out their visions for Alberta and how they would deal with a projected $3.4-billion deficit and rapidly evaporating rainy day savings account. READ MORE HERE


Low Interest Rates Good For The Economy; Not So Much For Consumer Debt

Huffington Post, Canada. August 10th, 2011

With uncertainty once again dogging the world economy, it now seems unlikely that the run of cheap credit that has made it easier for consumers to spend big in the wake of the downturn will end anytime soon.

After the Dow Jones Industrial plummeted 634 points on Monday, its sharpest one-day decline since the dark days of late 2008, the United States Federal Reserve said in a statement Tuesday that it expects to hold “extremely low” interest rates, the key factor in determining borrowing costs, until at least mid-2013. FOLLOW THIS STORY


More Rental Properties Being Built In Edmonton: CMHC

INews, August 9th 2011

Apartment construction is the bright spot this month on the Canada Housing Corporation housing starts report.

Rain has been making construction difficult, and dragging down numbers of single-family starts in Edmonton. But as CMHC's Richard Goatcher tells us, multiple-unit starts more than make up for it.

"Apartments were pretty much three times the number that we saw in July of last year," he says, "so that helped to lift the total numbers up by nine percent year-over-year."

But what if the economy takes a turn for the worse? GRAB THIS STORY

I appreciate all your calls and emails. I'm looking forward to helping you with your next step towards building real wealth.

Your success continues EVERYDAY, let me help you build for tomorrow.

"The quieter you become, the more you can hear." -Baba Ram Das

Warm Regards,

Todd and Danielle Millar


P.S. Stay ahead by checking out Danielle's daily blog at Edmonton Real Estate Investor for all your cutting edge market news and information.

P.P.S. Don’t forget to visit our website and take advantage of the Resource Tools and product section including REIN's #1 real estate books and Quick Start home study sets at a discount. Get your copy of the Canadian Success Stories book and the 2011 Top Ten Investment Towns of Alberta and Ontario.