Friday, February 23, 2018

Around Town: Fort McMurray News (Week of February 23)

It’s time for another edition of our weekly column from the A-Team. Here is some important news for this week.

The Alberta Winter Games was held this week, and is expected to bring $3.4 million towards the local economy. From Mix News:

Alberta Winter Games Expected To Bring in $3.4M To Local Economy

Over the weekend, around 2,000 athletes from across the province took part in multiple events in Fort McMurray, Fort McKay, and Anzac. This including hockey, speed skating, badminton, archery, and much more.

AWG General Manager Michelle Toner tells Mix News they’re working with the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance to figure out the economic impact the games had.

Before the games, they were estimating that roughly $3.4 million would be put towards the region’s economy with the province as a whole getting around $5.2 million. Via

This is great news for the community, and will hopefully mean that more events are in store for the region.

In other news, both the Fort McMurray Public School District (FMPSD) and Fort McMurray Catholic School District (FMCSD) will receive $80K in funding from the Lions of Alberta Foundation (LOAF), according to Nathalia Hilliard of My McMurray:

FMPSD and FMCSD to receive $80K

The foundation announced over $80,000 in funding to be allocated to the school districts to help replace laptops and robots that were damaged through the heat and smoke of the fire.

President of LOAF Fred Walters said The Allocations Committee saw the immediate need for the items.

Walters said the first round of funding allocations will also give $50,000 to Stepping Stones Youth Shelter.

He said the shelter had to increase staffing and housing needs because of a significant increase in youth in need after the wildfire. h/t

Applications for the second funding last until April 1st and can be sent to

Lastly, delayed Pipeline construction is costing the national economy roughly $15.6 billion a year according to Scotiabank. The current pipeline dispute between Alberta and BC is just one of the many obstacles holding back the three pipelines. From Fort McMurray Today:

Pipeline delays cost economy: Scotiabank

“Pipeline approval delays have imposed clear, demonstrable and substantial economic costs on the Canadian economy,” said bank chief economist Jean-Francois Perrault in a report Tuesday.

The discount, however, is expected to ease through the year as more rail capacity becomes available to ship oil, bringing the expected cost to roughly $10.7 billion or 0.5 per cent of GDP for 2018 and then to $7 billion or 0.3 per cent of GDP a year until more pipeline capacity comes online. read more at

There are signs that the Alberta-BC dispute may end soon, but the other two pipelines (Keystone XL and the Line 3 replacement) face their own share of troubles.

That’s all for this weeks’ roundup. Check back on The A-Team blog for more news and updates on Fort McMurray.

Around Town: Fort McMurray News (Week of February 23) was first published on The A-Team LLC

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Around Town: Fort McMurray News (Week of February 16)

It’s time for another edition of our weekly column from the A-Team. Here is some important news for this week.

Unemployment went up by 0.1 percent to 6.3 percent locally as the region lost 500 jobs last month. From Fort McMurray Today:

Unemployment up 0.1 per cent locally in January

Unemployment went up by 0.1 per cent to 6.3 per cent, while employment also dropped slightly to 71.8 per cent, a 0.2 per cent drop from December. However, the Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake saw a loss of 500 full-time jobs and an increase of 100 part-time jobs.

The construction industry lost 100 workers, while 200 jobs were lost in the sector covering forestry, fishing, mining, and oil and gas work. Transportation and warehousing also saw a loss of 200 jobs.

Wholesale and retail saw a slight increase with 100 jobs, while accommodation and food services saw no change from December. Via

A loss of 80,000 jobs was recorded nationally January, according to Statistics Canada. Hopefully, sectors can add hundreds of new jobs for the unemployed.

In other news, Council is supporting the Alberta's first ever Métis consultation policy, according to Jaryn Vecchio of Mix News:

Council Supporting First of Its Kind Proposed Métis Consultation Policy

If approved by the provincial government, this will allow these communities a chance to discuss future industrial projects slated for traditional lands without the need to appeal.

More importantly, Quintal tells Mix News this would eliminate the need to litigate.

“That’s the biggest issue at hand. Litigation is very expensive and litigation is taking money away from our ability to deliver services and programs to our members.

Simply put, Quintal says litigation is an ‘injustice’ to the communities.

He notes the policy will also avoid the need to fight for every future project. h/t

If given the approval, this will be a good step forward for the community, as housing will be more accessible.

[caption id="attachment_28445" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Credit:[/caption]

Lastly, home sales in January 2018 are continuing to rise and have nearly tripled compared to last year according to a new Fort McMurray REALTORS® report:

Home sales continue to increase into 2018

REALTORS® said this could mean the return of buyer confidence in the region.

The average selling price for a single family detached home has also decreased by 5.42 per cent.

January’s average selling price was $572,668 compared to an average of $605,495 in 2017.

Duplexes on the other hand saw a nearly 11 per cent increase in sale price. read more at

The housing market is looking to be more balanced than it was last year, as we've written about recently.

That’s all for this weeks’ roundup. Check back on The A-Team blog for more news and updates on Fort McMurray.

The following article Around Town: Fort McMurray News (Week of February 16) is courtesy of The A-Team YMM Blog

Monday, February 12, 2018

Home Renovations That Pay Off in Resale Value

A home is a place where you can relax, but it's also an investment for the future. When you’re selling a home, it is natural to do some repairs and renovations in order to increase the resale value of your home. But it takes money to make money. That's why it's important to prioritize some renovations over others. Here are a few smart home improvements that can pay off in resale value.

First on the list is outdoor space. Adding more space is really popular and can be a good investment in the proper market. A recent post from Real Estate Book explains why outdoor space is worth looking into:

Outdoor Space

While a trend is defined as any popular design that lasts for several years, it’s not uncommon for new trends to show up on a regular basis that can get people excited about their homes. This year, we’ve uncovered the hottest trends for 2018, surveying many of the industry’s leading influencers, and compiling the results. Using this data, it’s easy to see which home renovations are going to pay off the most for homeowners looking to sell this year.

If your property doesn’t currently have a lot of usable outdoor space, consider adding either a backyard or a porch this year. Both projects are considered to be popular additions for 2018, with porches having a whopping 75% ROI. Patios, gardens, and other outdoor areas also get good returns, so increasing the amount of usable outdoor space your property has can help it sell more quickly for more money as well. Via

There is a demand in homes with larger space because potential buyers are looking for homes where they can make additions such as rooms, bathroom, etc. Some buyers also want dedicated rooms for their hobbies or home office.

[caption id="attachment_28414" align="aligncenter" width="259"] Open and outdoor space is always in demand![/caption]

Next is curb appeal. We've covered curb appeal before, because first impressions matter. A new post from Alure discusses why curb appeal improvements are often a good idea:

Curb appeal

Making improvements to your home is a smart way to protect your investment and increase the value for resale. Not all home improvement projects are created equal, though, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding which projects are worth your time and money.

According to DIY Network, replacing siding and freshening up landscaping are two projects that give a great return on your investment. The exterior is a buyer’s first glimpse of your home, and you want them to be wowed by their first impression. h/t

A potential buyer that is not impressed the first time they look at your house can turn into a missed buyer. For that reason, ensuring that your curb appeal is strong is crucial.

Lastly, is kitchen and baths. A recent post from HGTV shares why your kitchen or bath renovations is a great investment:

Kitchens and Baths

Kitchens and baths are the areas in a home "where you can tell if money has been well spent or not," says architect Steve Straughan, a partner in Los Angeles-based KAA Design Group.

So exactly what should you improve when you redo your kitchen or bathroom? Think traditional: all-wood cabinets, commercial-look appliances, natural wood or stone floors and stone countertops. Walk-in showers have replaced whirlpool tubs as the must-have cleaning machine in bathrooms, Straughan says. His clients will "forgo the tub to have a big walk-in shower" if they don't have room for both. read more at

What makes kitchen and bath remodel important is because these areas are the most expensive when it comes to construction and they are the main areas where people spend their time. So if you’re planning to move in the future, look into redoing or remodeling your kitchen or bathroom.

Are you looking to sell your Fort McMurray home in the near future? Give the A-Team a call!


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