Friday, November 12, 2010

Realtor® John Prince, calls it quits

Well folks, the downturn in our economy and especially in the real estate industry has finally caught up to me here in the Crowsnest Pass, and has forced me to not renew my real estate license for this year, and to leave my brokerage as a result.

Therefore this will be my last post. Although, I will leave this blog up for reference purposes for people interested in what I've had to say over the years about the 'beautiful' Crowsnest Pass, its people, and local real estate market. Hopefully, in the near future, I will be able to come back to it with updates and continue on as I have before.

In the meantime, I need to find something else to make a living. In this regard, I am looking for a position as a manager for a small company or in the Hospitality/Tourism industry, where I first started my working career.

My résumé can be found here.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Housing prices due to fall, says think-tank

yourhome.ca
Tony Wong
BUSINESS REPORTER

Canada’s major metropolitan housing markets are looking awfully bubbly and are due to burst, says a report released Tuesday.

The report, entitled Canada’s Housing Bubble: An Accident Waiting to Happen, by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, looks at prices in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal and Ottawa.

It concludes that housing price appreciation is frothy in comparison to historic values.

“I think at best you will see stagnation in housing prices or some kind of correction, and at worst you will see the bubble bursting,” said David Macdonald, an economist and research associate at the centre.

Housing bubbles emerge when prices increase more rapidly than inflation, household incomes and economic growth. That has been the case for Canada over the last run-up in prices, according to the report.

Macdonald said this bubble is different than others, because for the first time it is spreading beyond Toronto and Vancouver.

“Canada is experiencing for the first time in 30 years a synchronized housing bubble across the six largest residential markets,” he said.

Major banks have reached conclusions similar to those of the left-of-centre think tank. The Toronto Dominion Bank has estimated that average prices are 10 to 15 per cent too high, while the CIBC has said prices are 14 per cent overvalued.

Canada has only had three bubbles. Toronto experienced a large bubble in 1989, while Vancouver had two burst in 1981 and 1994.

Macdonald said a full-blown crash can still be avoided if mortgage rates do not ratchet up quickly and if government puts more stringent requirements on lending.

He said legislation could be introduced to return mortgage lending to 2006 criteria, where purchasers had to put 10 per cent down for a 25-year amortization. Although the federal government already put tighter restrictions in place earlier this year, buyers still have the option of putting 5 per cent down and can take a 35-year amortization on homes.

“Consumers should also play a part by not buying more house than they can afford,” says Macdonald.

The report says the last bubbles were triggered by interest rates moving up by just one per cent above the two-year rolling average.

“It doesn’t take much for consumers to take pause, especially those who are used to seeing such low rates,” said Macdonald. “You also have a lot of consumers, particularly outside Toronto and Vancouver, who have no memory of what a bubble is like or the aftermath.”

Low mortgage rates, access to easy credit and net immigration have also contributed to price pressures, said Macdonald.

Between 1980 to 2000, the historical price range for housing stood at between $50,000 and $80,000 in inflation-adjusted 1980 dollars. But within a brief five-year period from 2001 to 2006, major housing markets shot to well above that $80,000 average, according to the report.

“The comfort level isn’t there as affordability erodes,” said Macdonald.

Housing prices have stayed in a narrow range of 3 to 4 times income in the 20 years before 2000. The problem is, says Macdonald, is that housing prices adjusted for income today are anywhere from 4.7 to 11.3 times annual income in the six major areas.

Not everyone agrees with the findings of the report.

Toronto economist Will Dunning says that the market cycle is in a cyclical downturn – not a bubble.

“It is quite possible that the next phase of the cycle will be a partial reversal of the price gains of maybe 5 to 10 per cent, but this is not a post bubble collapse,” says Dunning.

“It is the operation of a functioning market in which the vast majority of buyers are making decisions based on their real needs, not the mindset normally associated with bubbles.”

Despite their differences, all analysts seem to agree that prices could fall.

Macdonald gives three scenarios in which prices might drop. The first is similar to what happened in Vancouver in 1994, a market correction through price deflation.

In that scenario, Toronto prices would decline by 9 per cent from an average of $420,000 to $382,000.

In the second scenario, the bubble would burst more slowly, similar to the 1989 Toronto bubble. In that case, prices would decline by 21 per cent from $420,000 to $330,000 over a five-year period.

In the worst scenario, a bubble would form similar to the United States and prices would fall rapidly. In that case Toronto prices would drop 20 per cent over three years to $335,000. The price drop would be slightly less than in scenario two, but happen more rapidly.

“Bringing house prices down just enough to moderate expectations but not so much as to cause a panic is a delicate balance,” says the report.

“Government policy makers, the Bank of Canada, as well as rate setters at the big banks need to work together to steer the Canadian market to a soft landing. The alternative is not acceptable.”


Comment: These days buyers are far and in between due in large part to fears of a major correction in pricing. Until this straightens itself out we will continue down this road of stagnation and decline. The sadness is the real estate sector has typically been the one to lead the way in any economic recovery, so it does not look good for us as a country for some time to come. Confidence must be restored, and when it is we will have a return to normalcy. But what is normal? And when will the market and people feel normal again, is the big question?


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Spirit of the Crowsnest: The story of union in the coal towns of the Crowsnest Pass


Next Year Country

Alberta Federation of Labour


The first booklet in the Project 2012 series is the “Spirit of the Crowsnest”. It tells the stories of miners and their families in the Crowsnest Pass.

The miners of the Pass were crucial to the birth and growth of the Alberta labour movement. Miners were faced with conditions of hardship and economic insecurity, which produced radical responses. Their struggles resulted in some of the most fundamental gains for Alberta labour, including workers’ compensation and a basic union right to be recognized in the workplace.

Feel free to download the booklet and pass on the web address so that others can learn about the fascinating history of the Crowsnest Pass.
Download here.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mayoral candidate announces intentions

Crowsnest Promoter - PRESS RELEASE
Pass Herald - PRESS RELEASE

0John Prince has already served one term as Municipal Councillor and is presently seeking election to the Mayor’s chair.

He and his wife Diane of 40 years have lived in the Crowsnest Pass for over 16 years and have developed a strong sense of community. They both are actively involved as volunteers in many organizations throughout the Pass.

With over 20 years in the Hotel and Airline industries, Mr. Prince has a wealth of knowledge and management experience in Hospitality and Tourism, gained from having worked and lived in three provinces. As well, he is a graduate of British Columbia Institute of Technology (B.C.I.T.) – Hospitality, Tourism & Business Administration. He and his wife have also been owner managers of several small businesses in the retail sector. At present, he is a Realtor® with CENTURY 21.

Service to the community and a passion for politics along with a firm belief that there's no point "just complaining about things, you have to do something about them" is why Mr. Prince is running for Mayor.

"As a community, we are at a crossroads in time", he says. "New leadership, with vision and a plan to take us forward is what is needed here, at this time. Some people think as a community we have hit rock bottom. I say, if that is the case then we can only go up from here. In this regard, I believe the sky is the limit as far as this municipality’s potential is concerned. Tear down the firewalls that have held this community back and get ready to embrace the world, I say. We really can be all we can be if people here are ready to believe in themselves again. My job will be to bring people and this community together again in a common effort to instil that spirit of 'Mountain Freedom' in God's country, here in the 'beautiful' Crowsnest Pass."

It’s time! It’s time for a new voice with fresh ideas. It’s time for change!

http://www.johnprince.ca/election2010


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Friday, July 16, 2010

CROWSNEST PASS - OPEN HOUSE

OPEN HOUSE

SATURDAY, JULY 17, 2010 * 1-5 pm

1 - 2:30 pm

1806-82 Street, Coleman

Located just off Hwy. #3 in a quiet cul-de-sac - close to Coleman's business area- this well-built, attractive, three bedroom bi-level has a lovely mountain view to the east. A well designed kitchen with large countertop workspace looks out to a unique, terraced, back garden - the levels of which rise to the top of the sloped, well-treed lot. This beautiful property won't last long !! $249,900.00

3 - 5 pm
2722-216 Street, Bellevue


Great spacious 1700+ square foot family home in 'beautiful' Bellevue. This large one and a half storey older home has been extensively upgraded, with two additions and a 26'x40' garage/workshop. Upgrades to electrical, plumbing, roofing, siding, windows, insulation & much more. 2010 - new kitchen with oak cabinets, stainless steel appliances - fridge, steam & self cleaning convention stove, microwave and dishwasher. Spacious living room with wood stove, four bedrooms including a huge master bedroom on the main floor with Ensuite and a walk-in closet to die for. This home is an absolute must see! $299,000.00


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Crowsnest Pass Mountain Getaway

$249,900 (Reduced)

Located just off Hwy. #3 in a quiet cul-de-sac - close to Coleman's business area- this well-built, attractive, three bedroom bi-level has a lovely mountain view to the east. A well designed kitchen with large countertop workspace looks out to a unique, terraced, back garden - the levels of which rise to the top of the sloped, well-treed lot. This beautiful property won't last long !! C3428014

John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Monday, June 14, 2010

CREA lowers housing forecast as market weakens

Garry Marr, Financial Post




TORONTO -- Rapidly changing market conditions have led the Canadian Real Estate Association to lower its forecast for housing sales this year.

The Ottawa-based group, which represents 100 boards across the country, now says 2010 sales will not be as strong as previously forecast and by next year prices will begin falling.

CREA expects 490,600 sales through the Multiple Listing Service in 2010, a 5.5% jump from a year earlier and the second-best year on record. However, by 2011, sales are expected to fall by 8.5%.

“The revision reflects a weaker-than-expected start to the year in British Columbia, and recent developments that pulled forward the timing as to when sales are expected to ease in other provinces,” the group said in a statement.

A major factor pushing people into the market earlier has been new mortgage rules that went into effect April 19. Canadians buying homes with mortgage default insurance must now qualify based on what is called the benchmark rate for a five-year fixed-rate closed mortgage, if they opt for terms of under five years.

The impact has been that borderline borrowers get less cash for their homes because they must qualify based on a rate that is 6% today. Consumers going for terms five years or longer can qualify based on the rate on their contract, which is as low as 4.25% for a five-year mortgage based on discounting.

The rules have forced many consumers out of variable rate mortgages tied to prime, which even after yesterday’s Bank of Canada rate hike, stood at 2.5%.

“The changes prompted some homebuyers to finance their home purchase before the new regulations took effect in April, which pulled forward a number of sales that would have otherwise taken place at a later date,” said CREA.

With the Bank of Canada on Tuesday finally increasing its overnight lending rate, which prime tracks, that too is expected to impact home sales in the coming months. “Interest rates are expected to rise slowly and at a measured pace during a new era of government spending restraint, so home financing will remain within reach for many homebuyers,” said Georges Pahud, CREA president.

CREA now says the market peaked in the fourth quarter of 2009 and predicts by next year the average price of a home sold through the MLS will be $318,300, a 2.2% decline from 2010. This year’s average price increase is now expected to be only 1.6% higher than 2009.

Average price increases were previously forecast to rise 5.4% in 2009, but the lower sales activity in British Columbia, which includes the country’s most expensive market in Vancouver, drove down the national numbers. In fact, only B.C. and Ontario are not expected to post price gains in 2011.

“With interest rates soon expected to rise, Canada is widely believed to be entering a typical demand-driven downturn due to recent prices increases and rising interest rates,” said Gregory Klump, chief economist with CREA. “A downward trend in national sales activity combined with an increase in listings will result in a more balanced market. In keeping with the return of a balanced housing market and typical demand-driven housing market cycle dynamics, prices will remain stable.”

Mr. Klump emphasized that Canada’s mortgage market remains “solid,” and that conservative lending practices mean the country will not experience the same type of correction the United States has had where prices have fallen as much as 50% in some markets.

Last month, CREA issued a report debunking the theory put forward by a number of commentators that the Canadian housing market was headed for a major correction. The report came on the heels of an analysis from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce senior economist Benjamin Tal that housing prices in Canada were 14% overvalued.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Friday, May 28, 2010

FOR SALE: FAMILY HOME IN COLEMAN

8614 22 Ave., Coleman (Crowsnest Pass), AB TOK OMO
$268,000
Spacious (1218 sq.ft.) 3 bedroom bungalow with attached garage in Coleman. Facing south, enjoy spectacular mountain views to the east and west from your kitchen, dining room, deck (12'x16') and back yard. A family home with a Sportsplex, high school, restaurants, shopping all within a few blocks.

Enjoy 'Mountain Freedom'. Call me to view. Vacant, easy to show! C3428418


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Need a Realtor?

Are you or someone you know looking at buying or listing your property ? ... Have a look at my website... I would be pleased to discuss any questions you may have!

www.johnprince.ca/

John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Crowsnest Investment Property

The real estate market in Canada is changing faster than ever. Depending on where you are located the property values may have increased, declined or stabilized over the last year or two.

Due to this variance, Realtors like to remind their clients that all real estate is local, and that national trends summarized in the news media can often be out of sync with what is happening in your area. So it is a good idea to consult a real estate salesperson for local insight when thinking of making a move, or when considering the purchase of an investment property.

The inventory of homes available at reasonable prices, coupled with today's record low interest rates, has many people considering investing in a second property. After all think about how many times you have heard someone say "I should have bought when prices were down... look at what that place is going for now!!"

A psychological advantage for many people investing in real estate is the knowledge that they are investing in something tangible. Unlike "paper" investments, which can fluctuate on a daily basis, property is something investors feel more in control of... it has a more stable value.

A practical advantage for today's real estate investors is the low interest rate they may be able to negotiate, allowing more of what they're paying toward their mortgage to go toward paying off the actual loan, instead of the interest.

If you are considering a second property as an investment, you will need to talk to seasoned professionals, such as a lawyer, an accountant and a local real estate salesperson, to make sure that you are clear on all of the issues involved.

If you are interested in discussing the real estate environment as it pertains to you, please feel free to contact me at 403-564-4518.

Best Regards,
John


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

CROWSNEST PASS 'MOUNTAIN FREEDOM'

ACREAGE IN PASSBURG (East of Bellevue)
$189,000

This beautiful 3.01 acre parcel has rolling terrain and a treed hillside at the top of the parcel that provides an ideal location for a home with a walk-out basement. A basin in the center of the land offers an area for an ornamental pond to be made. Sheltered location, offering spectacular mountain views. Easy access to the property on Municipal road with all services, including access to Hwy #3, being within a ¼ of a mile to the property. Close to all outdoor activities.

  • Build your dream home on this exceptional 3 acre parcel. Privacy with views
  • 5-10 minutes to town. Conveniently close to all amenities, including shopping, restaurants and schools
  • Great Fishing! Within walking distance to the Crowsnest River and close to forest reserve and mountain back country as well. Year round recreation at your doorstep that includes: fishing, downhill and cross country skiing, golfing, hiking, quadding and sledding
  • Easy access to property on Municipal road along with great (2 min.) access to highway
  • Water well on property with services nearby
  • MOUNTAIN FREEDOM at its best! Give me a call, I'd love to show you this one!!! C3425626


    John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    Rustic country living at its best in the 'beautiful' Crowsnest!

    Quiet Hillcrest location across from Drum Creek
    $145,000

    Move right into this newly renovated and fully furnished & decorated 2 bedroom cottage home on a corner lot in Hillcrest, across from Drum Creek.

    Affordable, perfect starter home or weekender.

    This house has new plumbing, electrical, floors, bathroom (2 sinks, large soak tub), central heating/wood stove, and too many upgrades to list. Beautiful landscaping w/outdoor smoker/fireplace and a covered patio/porch to die for.

    Rustic country living at its best! Enjoy this summer in the Crowsnest where golfing, swimming, fishing, hiking, quadding and so much more awaits you. C3425393

    SOLD


    John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca


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    Monday, April 26, 2010

    Coming soon... Crowsnest Pass Mountain bike trail system

    The recent announcement of a Mountain bike trail system for our community is welcome news and will go far in opening up our community to even more business expansion and development opportunities, while at the same time making us an Adventure and Mountain Bike destination.

    This is good news for our community and a step in the right direction in capitalizing on some of what we have to offer, especially in the area of Adventure tourism.

    Build it and they will come, they say. Well, we are building it and giving people even more reason to come... to the 'beautiful' Crowsnest Pass!

    Another innovative good news story for our community of communities. Great!!!


    John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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    Sunday, April 4, 2010

    New Property Listing for Crowsnest Pass

    EASY FAMILY LIVING IN THE CROWSNEST PASS!
    $329,000

    Owners have been working non-stop to get this great spacious 1700+ square foot family home in 'beautiful' Bellevue ready to sell! This large one and a half storey older home has been extensively upgraded since 1995, with two additions and a monstrous 26'x40' garage/workshop. Upgrades to electrical, plumbing, roofing, siding, windows, insulation & much more. 2010 - new kitchen with oak cabinets, stainless steel appliances - fridge, steam & self cleaning convention stove, microwave with fan and dishwasher. Spacious living room with wood stove, four bedrooms including a huge master bedroom on the main floor with Ensuite and a walk-in closet to die for. Add to this paved off street RV parking, with a fully fenced and mature landscaped private yard, deck, and fire pit for entertaining year round, makes this home an absolute must see!

    Call me at (403) 564-4518 and I will be happy to show you this wonderful property! C3419339


    John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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    Sunday, March 21, 2010

    Buyer Real Estate Agent Services – Free!

    Some folks, primarily first time buyers I have spoken with, are under the impression that they have to pay a real estate agent to assist them with the purchase of a house. This is not the case.

    Buyers do not pay me for my services.

    In the real estate business it is the seller who pays all real estate professional fees. As a buyer your agent is paid, at the time of closing, from the “seller’s side of the transaction.” Nothing comes from you!

    If you are a buyer in the Lundbreck/Burmis, Bellevue, Hillcrest, Frank, Blairmore or Coleman area of Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, call me. I would welcome a chance to be your real estate agent.


    John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    New Property Listings for Crowsnest Pass

    8.9 acres in Lundbreck (Crowsnest Pass)
    $189,900
    This 8.9 acre parcel of land features mountain views and is located on the Burmis Lundbreck Corridor just kiddy corner and north of Hwy 22 and Hwy 3. Come and build your dream home on this exceptional acreage. Water well and approach included in price. Magestic sight for a dream acreage with 360 degrees of breathtaking views, and only minutes from Frank Slide and Crowsnest Pass. C3408577

    Perfect Mountain Hideaway!!
    $114,900 (reduced)
    Three bedroom bungaloo has a gorgeous southward mountain view from its spacious and open living room/dining room area. The home has recently had its rear wall, bathroom walls and floor replaced. Some finishing work remains to be done. The lot has an upper level with a firepit/picnic area - and great view over the house, to the mountains. C3411877

    COMMERCIAL PROPERTY IN HILLCREST
    $82,900
    Located on main business avenue of Hillcrest Mines in the Crowsnest Pass. Property consists of a storefront building with a 1979 ATCO mobile at rear for living quarters. Formerly a ceramic shop the building has been vacant for a few years. The 60 x 120 foot lot provides room for further expansion of the store front of the Commercial building. Please call lister at 403-564-4518 for further information. C1016591 Sold (April 7)

    Be Your Own Boss - EQUIPMENT RENTALS!
    $195,000

    Step right into an established (12 years) on-going thriving equipment rental business in the 'beautiful' Crowsnest Pass. Perfect for owner-operator. Located next door to the Crowsnest Mall in a busy and high traffic area. Equipment rentals, repair and warranty work, with plenty of room for expansion on this 3000 sq. ft. rented space on 1.37 acres. Sale is for business only (No Land) and includes equipment, fixtures, consumables, THEBOSS Snowplow dealership, trade name and good will. Owner is pursuing other interests. C1016834

    Crowsnest Pass Mountain Getaway
    $299,900
    (reduced)
    Located just off Hwy. #3 in a quiet cul-de-sac - but close to Coleman's business area- this well-built, attractive, three bedroom bi-level shows a lifetime of good maintenance and pride of ownership. The large living room's picture window frames a lovely mountain view to the east. A well designed kitchen displays many glossy, wood finished, storage cabinets and a good amount of countertop workspace. A family room on the lower level could be used for an additional bed/sitting room if needed. The window over the kitchen sink looks out on a unique, terraced, back garden - the levels of which rise to the top of the sloped, well-treed lot. The residents of this home can enjoy barbecues on the big, concrete block, rear patio or they can take a picnic lunch out to the privacy of a tree enclosed spot on the back lawn. There's a single underdrive garage that accesses the lower level of the house - and oodles of storage space in the basement. This beautiful property nestled in the Rocky Mountains won't last long !! C3404267

    John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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    Saturday, March 13, 2010

    Blair­more Heritage House and Tearoom: Lois Green

    Lois Green: a portrait
    by Jocelyn Thomas

    "Wanted: rugged individual­ist, comfortable in the mountains, with people skills, business sense, and the will to begin a new life at retirement age."

    If this had been an ad, Lois Green, own-proprietor of the Blair­more Heritage House and Tearoom on 2oth Avenue, would have been hired on the spot.

    Lois Green left an abusive mar­riage in Victoria, BC when a rela­tively young mother of four. Ven­turing-north to High Level, AB, south of Whitehorse, Lois pro­ceeded to support her family by working around the clock: days, as dispatcher (and sole female employee) for the phone com­pany; nights, as janitor for the RCMP. Years later, she attended a daughter's wedding in Fernie, and discovered that her mom had once lived in the Pass. Heading for home, Lois suddenly, impulsively wheeled around on the highway, making a decision to explore Blair­more, instead. This was nearly 13 years ago.

    With "Tia," her part-bear dog, in tow, Lois Green renovated her newly purchased Blairmore Her­itage Home. Friends and family called her dream of running a Vic­torian B & B and Tearoom alone, "crazy;" but Lo is was a strong woman.

    Although she had no idea what to expect, she had never in life hesi­tated to pursue new adventure to its conclusion.

    After bushwhacking through' cobwebs and dirt from the ground floor on up the stately dark wood staircase, Lois added a bathroom with "smushed" raspberry walls, industriously collected antiques, added house plants on stands, and arranged cosy displays of gift items.

    Her hospitality would fetch her five guest books with comments like: "fabulous," "exquisite," and "peaceful." One client nestled here contentedly for a full month. A Cranbrook miner who bedded down and supped tea over a three­year span, became "like a son:' Lois has also pampered people from every corner of the region.

    Now poised to abandon this pleasant chapter of her life, Green pleads, "No regrets," with an upbeat smile that has gotten her through rough times, (like the pre-mature death of her asthmatic daughter last year).

    She typically only remembers the bright -- not the hours of scrubbing floors. "The thrill of having made so many international friends, over cups of tea (she has hundreds of cups) r over hot scones, between fruit platter samplings, and while spooning dollops of jam or lemon curd or Devon cream on muffins, has meant everything to me," she says.

    Never having had to advertise, word-of-mouth alone has done the trick for Lois' special lunches and dinners in refined English tra­dition . (Amusingly, Lois herself takes daily tea breaks by visiting a neighbour's house, the home of Tia's boyfriend "Ernie:')

    Now 78, Lois Green has decided to take a rest, but not without admitting she will miss it and would do it all again. Sitting with Tia for tea and shortbread, she related how a phone company col­league, after travelling down to check on her, had exclaimed, "You did OK, kid!"

    note: With Lois' retirement her Heritage Bed & Breakfast and Tea House is now for sale. Here is a chance for you to be a part of Crowsnest Pass history with this historic house in the 'beautiful' Crowsnest Pass. Call me!

    note2: This Heritage house SOLD during the month of March but we still have others in the 'beautiful' Crowsnest Pass. Give me a call, and I will be happy to show you what is available.


    John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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    Monday, February 22, 2010

    Brochure highlights sustainable development in Crowsnest Pass

    Buyers looking for property in the Crowsnest Pass have a new resource to inform them about development in this Alberta area known for its recreational opportunities, thanks to Jenice Smith, Crowsnest conservation program manager with the Crowsnest Conservation Society (http://www.crowsnestconservation.ca/).

    A brochure, Crowsnest Pass: Stewardship for Sustainability, synthesizes topics of importance for potential homebuyers in the area, with sections entitled: Living with Wildlife, Bear Smart, Wildlife Corridors around Highway 3 and the Railroad, Connecting With Nature and Responsible Recreation.

    Brochures may be downloaded here.


    John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    The Crowsnest Pass is a Great and 'Beautiful' Place to Live

    Crowsnest Pass Promoter

    In praise of municipal staff

    I just want to give a big thank you to the staff who work for the municipality. I have heard some negative press about the way the municipality is organized so I want to say how much I appreciate what these people do and how helpful they have been to me and my family. My wife and I moved to the Pass almost two years ago. We built our own house from the ground up and I had the opportunity to talk with most everyone in the office, and many of the Public Works field staff during this process.

    When I worked in commercial construction in Calgary, it was common to have to wait six to eight months for a building permit. I was delighted to have the entire application process wrapped up in around six weeks! Whenever I had a question for an inspector or the Development Officer, I was ushered straight into their offices and we solved the problem immediately. More so, they were keen to help and make things happen, while abiding by the rules set before us. When I needed something inspected, it was common that the inspector would stop by the next day. This is something that you will never see in most other places.

    On several occasions crews from Public Works came to our building site to assist with water or sewer problems. They always arrived promptly and worked with my contractors to solve the issues. Just today I had two staff come to my house for a sewer blockage out in the street. I called the office at 3:05, and even though they are off work at 3:30, they came by shortly after my call and stayed late to make sure the back-up was cleared.

    I know people have issues with snow removal but you will never hear me complain about it. Shortly after we moved here, when we saw the first big dump of snow, they had my street cleared by 8 a.m. After living in Calgary for ten years, do you know how many times they plowed and sanded my street? Zero - not once.

    When moving here I visited the municipality office a number of times. I have always been helped in a courteous, professional manner. Everything, from getting dog licenses to tax questions, was handled quickly and with a smile. It is so nice to know that you can talk to a person face to face, rather than waiting on hold, listening to some automated service telling you, "press one for hours of operation, press two for..."

    All in all, we have been extremely pleased with moving here. I keep hearing that "other towns do things so much better" and I just shake my head. Nothing is ever perfect, but I have lived in a couple of dozen villages, towns and cities around the world and anyone who does not see the good things happening here needs to live somewhere else for a while. Then you will truly appreciate the Pass. Thanks again to everyone working at the municipality.

    Brian Gallant


    Note: With all the negativity floating around these days, it's nice to pause for a bit and realize how fortunate we all are to live in the safe, friendly, interesting (colourful), and 'beautiful' Crowsnest Pass. Thanks for reminding us of this Brian.

    Kudos to all our municipal staff for letting the sun shine in by keeping good things happening here!


    UPDATE: (Feb. 11) For an *EXCELLENT* video presentation on the Crowsnest Pass, check out the following:




    John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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    Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    2009 Year End Report - Crowsnest Pass Real Estate

    As anticipated, 2009 was a slow year for Real Estate in the Crowsnest Pass, due in large part to a very slow start during the first half of the year. There were a total of 83 MLS sold properties in the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass in 2009. The following shows how 2009 compares with other prior years:

    Sold MLS properties in the Municipality of the Crowsnest Pass:
    2009 – 83
    2008 – 105
    2007 – 176
    2006 – 178
    2005-2000 – 147 (avg.)

    Surprisingly with sales roughly half of what they were a couple of years ago, we have not seen a substantial decline in prices relative to 2008, in our area. Since last September to now (as I figure it) down 5-7%. This being said, I do not anticipate any significant increase to prices in the Pass for 2010 (this year will in all probability be very similar again in numbers to the last 2 years) and we may actually witness a slight further decline on single family homes. In major centers (Calgary, Vancouver) we will continue to hear about a "fast recovery". It is important to remember that in the Crowsnest Pass we do not have the volume of buyers. This is a difficult situation, I know, for those who purchased at the peak of the market, as it may be difficult to recover the full purchase value in the short term.

    Economic development is desperately needed in our area and in this regard groups such as the Crowsnest Advisory Committee, Chamber of Commerce and Community Futures, as well as certain members of council, are working hard at coming up with proposals, initiatives, a vision and a plan. With this being election year, positive change has a good chance of coming and with that a sense of optimism. Let’s hope so!

    To carry on, our absorption rate or ‘days on the market’ numbers are still high. As well, there have been some incredible buys in our area as a result of motivated sellers that need to move on. Which makes now the perfect opportunity to be buying, while interest rates are still low, and consumer confidence is still waning?

    I want to stress the above point because I think it is important. I'm usually pretty conservative in my language in these market reports, but there is just no other way to describe the current market - "Now is the time to buy!" It is the best time to buy real estate in the Crowsnest Pass in many years. Home inventories are high, and buyers are reaping the benefits in the form of selection and being able to negotiate the best sale price and most favourable terms. If you have been thinking of buying but want to wait, what exactly are you waiting for?

    Should you have any questions about the activity, or if you are considering buying or selling a home in the Crowsnest Pass area of southwestern Alberta, please email me or give me a call if I can assist you in any way 403-564-4518.


    John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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    Friday, January 8, 2010

    Fantastic Property For Sale in Bellevue (Crowsnest Pass) Alberta


    $249,000
    Location, Location, Location! What a great opportunity! Situated in a desirable location within beautiful sunny Bellevue in the Crowsnest Pass. This excellent property faces Turtle Mountain with panoramic mountain views all around. Quiet and private. Fully fenced super large lot (60x170) with over 10,000 sq. ft. offering plenty of room for a garage, workshop, garden sheds, multiple vehicle parking, etc. Spacious (1117 sq. ft.) 1.5 storey 3 bedroom fully developed older home having 3/4 walk-out concrete basement with potential for further living space development. Within walking distance to local community centre, parks and only 5 minutes to town. Conveniently close to all amenities, including: shopping, restaurants, museum, schools and the great outdoor activities the Crowsnest area has to offer. An ideal family home or weekend retreat. Priced for a quick sale! Vendor is a licensed Realtor.

    For more information call:
    John Prince
    403-564-4518


    John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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    Saturday, January 2, 2010

    I want to be your Crowsnest Pass, Alberta Real Estate Agent!


    This is a blatant - let me clarify - a very blatant attempt to get your business if you are buying or selling a home in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. In the real estate business as in other enterprises we spend a lot of time, money and effort in advertising our services. We want you the consumer to be impressed with our ads or prose and sometimes, still we fail.

    I don't want to make that mistake here. So, I am asking for your business. Why me? I know the Crowsnest Pass real estate market. I know the Bellevue/Hillcrest real estate market. I know the Frank and Blairmore real estate market. And, I know the Coleman real estate market. I know the Crowsnest Pass, Alberta real estate market.

    Drop me an email at johnprince@shaw.ca for any information you desire. Contact me at my office, Century 21 The Professsionals, Crowsnest Pass, Alberta at 1-403-564-4518.

    John Prince, Realtor
    Century 21 The Professsionals
    Crowsnest Pass, Alberta T0K 0C0


    John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals' (Crowsnest Pass). Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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