Why Single-Family Homes are a Great Investment

The Great Recession of 2008-2009 severely affected the Canadian real estate market. But, over time, it has gradually recovered from the disastrous loss. Now, real estate in Canada has become a safe, more stable investment option again. Meaning; you can easily profit and gain from your investment within a short time.

If you are looking for a long-term investment, buy a single-family home and rent it out. While purchasing a duplex or condo apartment might seem more attractive due to its smaller size, this isn’t necessarily the case. It can mean more work and be more inconvenient; you will have to deal with more people, possibly a higher turnover rate, your tenants will likely be paying lower rent, and you’ll have to consider maintenance fees.

Are you new to investing in real estate? Buying a single-family home is a great, lower-risk option. What is a single-family home? Well, a single-family home is a standalone property fit for an average family. It is considered the best rental property option since you can recover your investment through the monthly rent you’ll charge. 

However, like any investment, there are pros and cons associated with it.

Here are a few points that make single-family homes great investment opportunities.

Long-Term Tenants

There is no guarantee when it comes to human behavior; anyone can be a good or bad tenant. However, it is a common belief that those renting a house tend to be more responsible. Not only does the renter have to have proof of income, but houses are also generally rented to young professionals or those with dependents in their care. They aren’t looking to bounce around from place to place every few months, they’re looking to settle for years to come.

Also, those looking to rent a house are generally better at maintaining the condition of the house and are more interested in the yard work. 

Long-term renters consider the place they’re in, home; they will treat the property as such showing pride of ownership if you will. 

You’ll find rent will be paid on time, as your renters will want to maintain a positive relationship.

As a result of the aforementioned; you won’t have to deal with an empty space, people moving in and out and the deep cleaning that goes along with that, or interviewing potential renters over and over. The process can be quite hectic.  

Lower Property Taxes

Lower taxes; music to your ears!

Single-family homeowners can save themselves thousands of dollars in taxes each year. In addition, owning these properties and managing them as rentals, offer significant tax benefits. There are potential tax deductions for depreciation, property taxes, house repairs, ordinary and inevitable expenses.

The cost of supplies and materials in order to make repairs to the home is also tax-deductible.

Low Management Cost

Overall size considered, a single-family house is smaller than an apartment building. This means the home will be easier to maintain and will cost less.

For instance, if the furnace breaks in your rental home, it should only cost you a few thousand dollars and should generally be a quick fix. On the other hand, if the furnace breaks down in an apartment building, the cost is significantly higher, you’re likely looking at long wait times for repairs and, you have more than one family to concern yourself with. 

Moreover, even for the homeowner, single-family houses should be easier to maintain since the repairs are generally not that expensive or complicated. That said, be sure to keep up with general maintenance as required, ensuring the foundation is sound, the roof is in good shape, the windows installed are energy efficient, etc.  

Contact Us! 

Are you looking for an investment property? A property management service can help. At Emerald Management & Realty we have experts who will guide you along the way, making your property buying decision an easy and seamless one.

To hire our services, call us at 403-237-8600 or visit our website today!


The WHYS of condominium owner insurance

In Episode 2 of our insurance mini-series with Nuera Insurance Inc.,  Lauretta Enders, BA, CPM of Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. speaks with our valued partner to discuss the “whys” and “what fors” when it comes condominium unit owner insurance.

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is a licensed condominium management brokerage and trusted to respond with experience and responsive systems. Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. offers a wide range of condominium property management services and rental property management services.  Our primary goal is to offer peace of mind and help condominium boards realize the long-term profitability, a solid governance approach and assist to minimize risk.  Contact us today to find out more about how our team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. can help by calling 403-237-8600. 


Common Issues Faced by Condo Boards

Being a member of a condo board can be an exciting role that will empower you to influence the quality of life of the condo residents positively. However, it can also feel like an overwhelming task with a never-ending list of issues to address – owner concerns, insurance claims, fees, financials, tradespeople scheduling, seasonal projects, and more. Board members need to have highly efficient time management skills and be adept problem solvers which isn’t always easy; partnering with a professional and licensed condominium management company is the way to go!

We understand firsthand the complexities and challenges that condo boards experience. This handy guide will assist condo boards in successfully navigating three of the most common issues they will encounter. 

Miscommunication With Condo Owners

Without a healthy relationship between the condo board and residents, your role will be a nightmare. It is crucial that you maintain a professional condo board corporation and openly welcome regular communication with residents. 

The best condo managers are people-persons.  Owners value positive and respectful communication.  They value timely responses and knowing that their confidential information is being handled in accordance with local laws and regulations

It is common for residents to fail to read notices, misinterpret them, or, unfortunately, not follow the rules. This is not necessarily a reflection on the ability of your condo board, but what is important is how you respond to these instances. Clear, concise written language, a positive attitude, and an openness to feedback and opinions makes all the difference. 

To reduce miscommunication between board members and residents, maintaining open communication channels is essential. Residents want to be heard, and they need a platform to express their concerns through. By effectively managing your communication channels, you will experience far fewer negative interactions. 

Time Management Problems

Condo boards often struggle to understand the reasoning behind certain practices. implemented by the condominium management company they work with. This disconnect typically stems from understanding the regulations and industry standards condo management companies must adhere to.  

Challenges, emergencies and regular reporting must be managed.  Condominium management is rewarding for those who enjoy problem solving and enhancing the lives of people right where they live and work.    To effectively manage time and expectations, it’s important to adopt a service-first mentality in order to balance owner expectations and emergencies that are disruptive to regular schedules and the best laid plans.

Budget Shortcomings

Budget shortcomings tend to be a major source of friction between board members and residents, and it is a difficult obstacle to navigate. Tension between residents can even occur when they feel that someone else is not contributing their fair share. 

Make sure you promptly follow up on delinquent payments and reduce any unnecessary condo board expenses; this will provide additional cash flow. You can consider a slight increase in condo fees, but you must approach this strategically, as it won’t often earn you much praise from residents. Emergencies will occur that will require extra charges – it’s not ideal, but it is unavoidable sometimes. 

Establishing a balanced budget and sticking with it will drastically improve the operation of your building. Additionally, partnering with a licensed condominium management company whose fees and service levels are in line with your budget is critical. 

Assistance for Condo Boards in Calgary

 Condo boards face a plethora of difficult and ongoing tasks. While it is simple to make suggestions for improvement, implementing that advice is easier said than done. If you aren’t already working with a condominium management company or seeking a new professional management partner, we can help!

Effective December 1, 2021 Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. expanded its suite of property management services to include licensed condominium brokerage.  Emerald’s condominium managers have also been licensed by the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA).  Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is a full-service property management company and proud of its experience providing condominium management services to condominium corporations for close to 30 years.  Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is a condominium management company that offers specialized services for condo buildings in Calgary and the surrounding areas.  

Our expert team’s experience is built on professional licensing and has been licensed for several decades with RECA in property management, managing residential investment rentals, apartment buildings, rental pools, homeowner’s associations, in addition to resident and commercial condominiums. Our team has the experience and solutions to drastically alleviate your condo board’s workload, allowing you to focus on more important issues. 

Visit our website or call us today at 403-237-8600 for more information about our services.


Frequently Asked Questions about Condominium Manager Licensing

Condominium manager licensing is now in effect in Alberta!

If you are a condo board member or involved in the condominium management industry, you are now aware that effective December 1, 2021, any person, or company providing condominium management services, must be licensed with the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA).

This is an exciting advancement in the property management landscape that took shape after consultation on condominium manager licensing that started back in 2015.  The decision to license and develop educational requirements is in recognition of the specialized work condominium managers undertake.   The desired outcome is ultimately for the benefit of and to protect condo owners, consumers, and professional condominium management by ensuring consistent professional standards across the condominium management industry.

Frequently asked questions about condominium manager and condominium brokerage licensing:

Who is RECA and why is this important for condominium corporations?

The Real Estate Council of Alberta or RECA is the independent governing authority that sets, regulates, and enforces standards for residential real estate, commercial real estate, property management, condominium management, and mortgage brokerage licensees under Alberta’s Real Estate Act.1

Essentially its mandate is to: 

  • protect consumers
  • provide services to facilitate the business of licensees
  • protect against, investigate, detect, and suppress fraud as it relates to the business of licensees

“Consumer protection is at the heart of RECA’s mandate and is the main purpose behind this licensing initiative,” explains Don Newell, Chair of RECA’s Residential Property Manager Industry Council. “Though many condominium management companies have operated professionally and successfully in Alberta for years, their clients now have the added protection of a regulated environment.”2

This is important for condominium corporations because it provides consumer protection with the added assurance that licensed professionals enjoy lifelong learning and education, in addition to the experience needed to provide quality service.  Under RECA’s mandate, the goal and desired outcome is that licensed condominium managers and brokerages will be less likely to cause harm to consumers. 

The Residential Property Manager Industry Council sets the rules subject to approval of the Minister of Service Alberta under the governance structure for RECA, for condominium management.  Enforcement of the Real Estate Act, the regulations and rules for the condominium industry will be completed by RECA complaints or issues are brought to its attention.

What is “condominium management”?

The Real Estate Act (reference Section 1(1)(e2) defines condominium management services to be “the exercising of a power or the performing of a duty of a condominium corporation on behalf of the condominium corporation including, but not limited to:

  • collecting, holding, or disbursing, or attempting to collect, hold or disburse, contributions levied by the condominium corporation or other amounts levied by or due to the corporation under the Condominium Property Act,
  • enforcing the bylaws or rules of the corporation,
  • negotiating or binding contracts on behalf of the corporation, and
  • supervising employees or contractors hired or engaged by the corporation but does not include any activity excluded by the Condominium Property Act, this Act, or the regulations under either Act.”3

Why does this matter for condo owners, condo boards and condominium corporations?

The professionalization of an industry is integral to the elements of a professional condominium manager and include the following characteristics:

  • Specialized knowledge
  • Competency
  • Honesty & integrity
  • Accountability
  • Self-regulation

These are examples of desired values that benefit condominium communities and for condo boards as it ultimately increases consumer trust in the real estate industry.

Licensed RECA condominium managers (aka Condominium Manager Associate) have meet the education and experience requirements to provide condominium management services. RECA is charged to regulate individuals and condo management companies and ensure that they follow standards of practice and meet operating and reporting requirements.

What about a code of ethics for condominium managers?

RECA has established a Standards of Practice which is like a code of ethics.  The Standards outline responsibilities, prohibitions, and practices for condominium managers.  Record keeping and financial management of condominium corporations as part of the Standards of Practice.

What is the difference between condo management and property management?

Based on the Real Estate Act and its definitions, condominium management is a separate activity and industry from property management.  The distinction has to do with relationships.

For example, condominium managers enter relationships with condominium boards and perform condominium management activities on behalf of their client boards.  In contrast property managers enter relationships with landlords and renters, negotiating leases, holding rental security deposits, and performing leasing related activities for their landlord or renter clients.

Individuals and companies can practice both condo management and property management – just under separate brokerages.  The same company can operate a condominium brokerage while also providing property management services.  Each brokerage will have its own licensed brokerage and can share ownership.

Timelines and Conditions of Licensing

  • Education: RECA has mandated that a license is conditional on the successful completion of industry specific exams and courses.  Courses are currently in production.  It is anticipated that courses will be open shortly. All condominium managers looking to conduct condominium management services in Alberta are to have their conditional license by December 1st, 2021
  • Certified Criminal Record Check must be completed
  • Condominium managers and brokers will be required to go through the pre-licensing exam challenge / education by November 30, 2022. Applicants will have different exam/education conditions placed on their licence depending on their individual circumstance
  • Apply with required documentation to RECA for review and approval.

Note: There will be three condominium management courses provided by third-party course providers (not by RECA):

  1. Fundamentals of Condominium Management,
  2. Practice of Condominium Management, and the
  3. Condominium Manager Broker Program.

The courses you must take, or challenge the exams for, will depend on your current licence status with RECA, your experience, and whether you oversee a condominium manager firm.

Consumers can perform a quick search to see if your condo manager is licensed using the Find a Licensee tool on RECA’s website.

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. has been a licensed brokerage for several decades with RECA and excited about this advancement in the real estate industry. We are proud of our legacy of providing responsive and licensed property management services to rental properties, commercial owners, and condominium corporations.  Our system and processes have been developed to bring peace of mind and full-service offerings including customized maintenance services, administrative support, leasing and specialized management services. To learn more about our goal to enhance the quality of live by managing and providing great places to live and work, request a management proposal today!

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. has provided proven property management solutions to Calgary & Area for close to 50 years.  Its specialized suite of services includes condominium management.  Additionally, the team at Emerald is a licensed brokerage providing professional management services to rental properties, apartment building, commercial and industrial properties, and homeowner associations.   Profit from our experience, contact Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. at www.emeraldmanagement.com or call us at 403-237-8600

 

Footnote:

  1. Legislation & Standards | RECA
  2. December 1, 2021 – Condo manager licences are now required | RECA
  3. Exemptions Announced for Condo Manager Licensing | FIELD LAW