Monday, March 19, 2018

Smart Home Trends in 2018

With the quick advancement of technology nowadays, living in a smart home is slowly becoming normal. New innovations in the smart home sector have grown exponentially over the past few years and with their high adoption rate, there's no doubt that smart technology is a must-have feature in homes for home buyers and sellers alike. Here are a few smart home trends to watch out for this year.

As more and more appliances connect to the internet, security has become an issue. That is why smart security solutions have become more commonplace. A recent post from Smarterware talks about the importance of having home security solutions:

Home Security Solutions

“Security products will have a big showing at CES this year because they serve dual purposes,” smart home analyst Blake Kozak said prior to the event. “A security camera can alert you to when a package has arrived at the front door or when a child arrives home from school. Moreover, security cameras and video doorbells can act as a communication portal for parents, children, and family.”

Smart security solutions are what will help propel the market forward in the coming months. Whereas people may be less likely to spend on superfluous technologies, security is seen as an integral investment. This gives it an automatic advantage. Via

Smart home security systems are considered to be a priority. Security is very important, and it's likely that having a robust security system will pay off when the time comes to sell your home to a cautious buyer.


[caption id="attachment_28568" align="aligncenter" width="250"] Voice assistance for your smart products![/caption]


Next on the list are voice assistants. They've surged in popularity in recent years. A new post from The Culture Supplier discusses the advantages of voice assistants for your home.

Voice Assistance in Everything

With these innovative solutions and products, different Smart Home News all over the globe state that there are more to come this year that are much more enticing and worthier of the attention.

Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are known to be the voice assistants of today. As the year emerges, there are no known new additions to these voices (except for Alexa) but features and controls of these assistants are further expanded. It is seen that there will be a huge development on cloud integrations with these voice assistants and other smart products.

In these developments, it is now made possible to control almost everything through Apple’s Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant if smart products are efficiently connected to the internet. h/t

More and more devices have started to get voice-activated into their hardware. Voice commands are the new way to control your home and get information on anything from the weather to the best team to call:

Lastly, advancements in lighting are sure to affect the way home interiors are shown off. Lighting that changes tone automatically sounds impractical, but research has shown that light colors have effects on health:

Tunable White Lighting

Science shows that the lighting can affect our moods, productivity, sleep and other functions. A cooler (bluish) hue can boost our energy, while a warmer (reddish) tone can calm us. Tunable white lighting, with variable color temperatures that can change automatically or manually, can help humans improve performance, moods and overall health. read more at

These lighting systems will likely do a lot to make a home stand out, especially in these pre-mass adoption times.

The post Smart Home Trends in 2018 is available on The A-Team YMM Blog

7 Peden Crescent | $459,900

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

YMM Market Update: Average Discounts Still Favoring Buyers

The Close to List Ratio

It’s 2018, and the oil price crash is long behind us. Alberta has returned to growth, and unemployment in the Wood Buffalo region is down. In the last article we wrote about the market, we noted increased demand and reduced supply vis-a-vis last year. The number of foreclosures on the market is even down since Christmas. These trends have continued, but one piece of information remains bearish: The “Close Price to List Price Ratio”.

Here’s a chart:

[caption id="attachment_28556" align="aligncenter" width="865"]fort mac home list prices Graph Of The Average Monthly Fort McMurray Close Price to List Price Ratio Over the Last 4 Years[note]The data covers sales of all property types only the following areas: Abasand, Beacon Hill, Dickinsfield, Downtown, Eagle Ridge, Grayling Terrace, Parsons North, Prairie Creek, Stone Creek, Thickwood, Timberlea, Waterways and Wood Buffalo.[/note][/caption]

What is the Close Price to List Price Ratio?

Also known as the “sale price to list price ratio”, this tells us the average discount that buyers and sellers are negotiating below list prices, in any given market (or market segment) in any given time period. You can find a little more information in this Motley Fool article.

For example, let’s say Aaron Chalmers lists a home for $100,000 and sells it for his clients for $99,000, then the ratio would be 99%. In another example, buyer’s agent Aleaha Frigon, might help someone negotiate a $6,000 discount on a competing brokerage’s listing. This would give a ratio of 94%.

An indication of a balanced market is when the ratio is between 98-99% (1-2% discounts). Once the average ratio crosses below 98% (2+% discounts), it represents one indicator of a buyer’s market.

The above chart shows us, that negotiations have been favoring the buyer, for most of the last 3 years (save for a couple of months after the fire).

So, Are We In A Buyer’s Market?

Our opinion is “no”. We appear to have crossed the divide from buyer’s to balanced market, based on other, (more important) ratios, as well as the anecdotal evidence we encounter daily in our professional lives.

But it is an interesting result, that sellers and buyers are still negotiating large discounts despite the number of buyers and sellers in the marketplace reaching “goldilocks” numbers (like the porridge - not too hot, not too cold).

What Can We Learn?

Number 1: I think this chart shows how seriously our community has been rocked by the events of the last 4 years. In other evidence, confidence appears to have returned, but it’s not showing up in this statistic. It’s a reminder that we will only know the future once it happens.

Number 2: If you’re thinking of entering into a real estate transaction with us as a buyer or seller client, it’s good information to have that the average discount in the marketplace right now is approximately 3.5% for the market as a whole.

Can You Do Better?

The short answer is “yes”.

Selling? Because we specialize, we have listing agents who are dedicated to selling your home for absolute top dollar (that’s all they do - see our YouTube page, for example).

If you are planning a purchase soon, our specialist buyer’s agents will commit to finding you the best homes and negotiating the ultimate possible deal.

If you’d like to hear about our solutions and results, please reach out so that we can give you the information required to help you make the best decisions.

YMM Market Update: Average Discounts Still Favoring Buyers See more on: The A-Team LLC

Friday, March 9, 2018

185 Comeau Crescent | $699,900

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Around Town: Fort McMurray News (Week of March 9)

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

A lack of pipelines is costing the province an average of $7.9 billion revenue every year in a report released by the University of Calgary. From Mix News:

Report: Province Losing Billions in Revenue Due to Lack of Pipelines

Research Associate at the School of Public Policy Kent Fellows tells Mix News this is resulting in price benchmarks being very much in favor of the U.S.

“We find in periods where these pipelines were not at capacity, where there was still some access room in the line, we had much lower differentials and a lot of that is due to the fact that we have the capacity restraint which limits our ability to get the oil to the market.”

Fellows says before 2013 people buying Alberta crude got a discount between 9 and 13 per cent compared to West Texas Intermediate. Since February 2, 2018, local prices are 47 per cent lower – meaning less revenue.

This is also resulting in the province losing around $6.60 on every barrel exported to the United States. Via

This adds to the importance of the Trans Mountain pipeline for Alberta, which is currently in a standoff with BC over the matter.

[caption id="attachment_28529" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Credit:[/caption]

In other news, a wildfire recovery session will be held at Shell Place on March 7. From My McMurray:

Wildfire recovery session to be held at Shell Place - MyMcMurray

The Here For You drop-in session will allow residents to speak with organizations that are supporting our region’s recovery.

Residents will be able to speak to representatives from the Insurance Bureau of Canada, The Red Cross, NSUUR, and more.

Organizations range from mental health support, to free legal services, to rebuild services.

Residents who unable to attend and who haven’t completed proof-of-loss statements are encouraged to contact their insurance provider immediately to learn how the upcoming two-year statement of claim deadline will affect them. h/t

These sessions have been occurring every so often since the wildfire.

Lastly, Council has unanimously approved funds for 16 local organizations and homelessness plan, according to Laura Beamish of Fort McMurray Today:

Council approves funds to non-profits and homeless

A total of $300,000 in provincial funds will go towards Family and Community Supports Services (FCSS) across 10 organizations. An additional $4,224,331 from combined provincial and federal funds will go towards the Community Plan on Homelessness (CPH) across an additional 6 organizations.

Representatives from a number of organizations raised their concerns about the process and what was eligible for funding this year, in comparison to what was eligible in the past.

Administration said that although the eligibility handbook had not changed since 2010, the difference was due to the amount of applications they had seen in previous years in comparison to 2018. In past years, administration said they had received a total request of approximately $300,000, whereas this year they received requests totalling $1,085,984. read more at

The CPH funding comes from federal and provincial grants to support homeless initiatives.

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 March 9) was first seen on The A-Team Real Estate Blog

246 Blackburn Drive | $789,900

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