We Are Local – We Are Global

December 12th, 2016 by Frère Realty Team

Watch this to learn about how we are connected Globally to help you wherever you’re looking to buy or sell, World Wide!

Great Condo in Bower!

November 3rd, 2016 by Frère Realty Team

What an opportunity to own in the South end, fantastic location, 2 bed unit with 2 patios!

Wow, don’t miss this one….

See more Here

August Real Estate News and Market Stats

August 14th, 2016 by Frère Realty Team

August Preferred Market Update-page-001

Advice for Buyers

March 23rd, 2016 by Frère Realty Team

Here are some tips for those entering the Spring Market, even if you’ve purchased a property before, you may benefit from one or more of these pieces of advice.

Avoiding the 10 Biggest Pitfalls When Buying a Home

Market Review – What Happened in 2015? What About 2016?

January 10th, 2016 by Frère Realty Team

2015 is now in the books and was quite a year of change. With the oil prices plummeting and the economy taking a hit, we were watching the market very carefully. This is a general review of the market using key indicators for comparison so that you can identify the trends that occurred.
Here’s what happened to oil prices:

Crude Oil WTI CNBC 2015



Source: Crude Oil WTI CNBC 2015

In order to reasonably examine the housing market in Red Deer at the same time, it’s important to compare it to 2014 when we had more stable oil prices and use those figures as a standard. So with that in mind, and using Single Family Detached Homes as the variable, here is what was happening with home sales during 2014 and 2015.

Listings to Sales Final

NOTE: Single Family Detached City of Red Deer, MLS Stats from CARA Matrix retrieved January 2016

It’s evident in these two charts that the rhythms of sales declined in the fall of 2015 but did not mirror the sharp decline noted in the oil price drop. The market also saw an increase in inventory during most of last year, which was, for buyers, a relief from relatively tight inventory numbers in 2014. Buyers had more choice, and sellers who did not price and present their property well remained on market. In the fall of 2015 there was the largest gap in inventory to sales indicating a shift to a buyer’s market condition, which remains as we enter 2016.
So, what was happening in the price brackets during the same periods? To illustrate this let’s compare against 2014 as it again was relatively stable economically:

Sales Brackets 2015-16

To drill down to some specific sale price brackets and see more of the story:

➢ $300-$350,000 Sales down by 23%
➢ $350-$400,000 Sales down by 21%
➢ $400-$450,000 No notable change
➢ $450-$500,000 Sales down by 30%
➢ $500-$600,000 No notable change

While these numbers may at first glance appear worrisome, it’s important to recognize that properties did sell in 2015, even in the brackets that showed a decrease. In fact, in 2 of the categories outlined above there were no marked change from 2014 numbers. In market conditions where inventory is high, and economic news headlines are hitting the mainstream and social media streams with a force, as well as the political change that we saw both provincially and nationally, it is not surprising that some potential buyers chose to wait before buying as evidenced in the lower number of sales in some categories.

What does this mean for Buyers and Sellers in 2016?

You will have more choice, while you will not see great ‘deals’ in some price brackets, in others you will see houses selling for less than they would have in 2014 as we predict this trend will continue into at least the first half of the year.

Mortgage rates may be on the rise across all charter banks since Royal Bank is increased theirs on January 8.

One of Canada’s biggest lenders will be raising rates on several of its mortgages starting Friday: Royal Bank of Canada says its special offer five-year fixed mortgage goes up one-tenth of a point to 3.04 per cent.It noted that the changes don’t apply to its posted mortgage rates, which are typically higher than special offer rates. Several other special offer mortgage rates from RBC will also rise by 0.10 per cent on Friday but the amount of annual interest charged will depend on whether the term is for two, three or four years. RBC is also raising the rate for a variable five-year mortgage by 0.15 per cent as of Friday .There are also changes for higher priced homes regarding down payment required. Source: The Canada Press January 6, 2016

There are also changes being made to the Down Payments required:

Changes to Minimum Home Down Payment Rules
Starting on February 15, 2016, the Federal Government is doubling the minimum down payment for insured mortgages to 10% from 5% for the portion of a home’s value from, $500,000 to $1-million. Down payment rules for mortgages on properties selling for less than $500,000 will be unchanged. The government had already restricted mortgage insurance to homes values at less than $1-million, and the new rules leave the minimum down payment for more expensive homes unchanged at 20%. According to the Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, the new rule will help create stability for the overall market, as well as help ensure Canadians take the right approach to investing in a home. – source, The Globe and Mail
Buyers you will be looking to lock in mortgage rates, and will be factoring in the ‘cost of waiting’ (there is a true cost to not buying), and then will make your decisions accordingly.

You will be competing with more properties in your bracket (likely) and will have to price it right. That means working with a Realtor who will provide you a comprehensive Market Report and recommendation for listing price range to sell – and believe it. You will also need to pay close attention to how you are presenting your property, staging is imperative and may also include changing strong paint colours, most certainly will include completing all repair work.

In Summary
Red Deer is a robust market, and is supported by several industries. The population moves fairly fluidly, and because of that there are always buyers in the market. Sellers will need to be more attentive to compete for the buyers if we remain in a high inventory market. Buyers should have more choice moving into 2016 as a continuation of the 2015 trend, but although conditions may favour buyers, we predict that many of the sales price segments will remain stable, while others will offer unique opportunities for buyers.

The key as you navigate either selling or buying a property in today’s market is to be well advised by a professional. We stay on top of market trends and changes, and are happy to answer any questions you may have. If you’re thinking of buying or selling in 2016, please contact us, it would be a privilege to work with you.

W: www.JohnFrere.ca P: 403-346-3230 E: realtyteam@johnfrere.ca


Why Add Colour Consultation to the Team?

December 7th, 2015 by Frère Realty Team

Recently Dorian completed all course and exam requirements and received her designation as a Certified Colour Consultant through the Certified Staging Professionals training in partnership with Sherwin Williams. Does this mean that she is leaving real estate to start up a separate business in colour consultation? Absolutely not.

While the intent of most of the individuals who become certified as Stagers and Colour Consultants is to work as an independent in those areas charging clients for their service, we’ve taken a different route. These services are highly valuable for our selling clients so we decided to be sure we were in a position to offer them, and to be certified to do so. After all, what is the use of an opinion only, not based on any type of education and requirements for certification?

The courses are an investment in our business, and the services are an exclusive value add for our clients. We don’t charge extra, we simply offer the service. We would ask you to compare the services that Agents offer as you decide who you want to work with, we are very proud of the extensive offerings we have for both buyers and sellers, and we always have time to work with you!


Empty Nesting and Figuring it Out

September 7th, 2015 by Frère Realty Team

Many of you know that we have had a couple of moves since our 2 sons left the nest. As we’ve just finished the updates in the house in Red Deer we thought it may help others to hear what the heck all these moves were about, and no, we are not moving again.

When the boys left for University we had the opportunity to move to land that we’ve owned for many years, adjacent to land that has been in the family and was where Johnny worked since he was young. The pasture land is beautiful, we had purchased a 1/4 section right in the midst of our other land and of the family sections, and brought an old house that was there (and a wreck) back to life – it was a pretty scary house at first until we made to changes and updates so that it could sing it’s song again. We had rented it out to a great young man, but found that we missed being able to go out there so we decided to make a move being empty nested, and make it our own country home. At the time we were thinking that it would work well for the boys to come home to , and be just as easy to work from there as it was to work from our house in Red Deer, just a little more driving.

After 3 years out in the country house, and having an investment property in Red Deer that had a sweet lower level unit that we used (after designing and developing it), we figured out that our master plan had a flaw. We didn’t spend very much time together in our country paradise because we’re still in our work phase, both working full time in Real Estate. Since the majority of our clients are in Red Deer, we also weren’t seeing each other much, one of us staying in town to cover our work obligations while the other was at the country house holding down the fort.

We decided to make one more change to get it right.

What we realized with our first move is:

  • We need to be in Red Deer for our work and we enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city
  • We like having space to roam and rooms for the boys when they come home
  • We love bungalows
  • We’re pretty good at designing spaces and renos
  • We will miss the country and will have to find a space to go to when we’re on down time to recapture that tranquility

So, we found a great house in Red Deer that we made our final project and to settle into, and we made the move. The renos/updates took just over 20 weeks and was one of the more challenging experiences. We lived with temporary items, about 10% of our stuff, and some things that we had in the suite that we hardly ever used – so it has been minimal living for sure, not one picture or clock on the walls. We were working in our home office alongside the trades and workmen, listening to their banter and music, accentuated by the sounds of construction noises – and even with all that chaos – work was way easier that it had been literally for years, and we were seeing each other every night!

We’re dreading the move in and set up that starts tomorrow, but excited at the same time to be able to claim our home, the one we finally settled into after 3 years of figuring out empty nesting. It’s been a journey full of learning.

Just preparing now to spend time with our youngest son Corbett who’s coming home for a Spaghetti dinner. We have big smiles on our faces, and have a warm bed waiting for him in his room if he wants to stay the night. We’re ready for the next phase of our lives, we think we got it right this time.

Musings and Tips for Living in a Home You’re Updating

August 9th, 2015 by Frère Realty Team

For the past 17 weeks (not like we’re counting), we’ve been updating the house that we recently purchased for ourselves. We knew when we viewed it that we had a real winner, the structure was amazing, the size was perfect for our needs, the location was just what we were looking for, and we loved the lot. The only thing was that we wanted it to be updated and to reflect our personal style and esthetic. So in the first hour after possession we welcomed our painter team in to paint out the garage in a fresh white, and the updates began, and we’ve had the door open ever since for tradespeople and workers.

First Lesson – It Will Take a Long Time
We decided to store about 90% of our belongings and ‘move in’ with bare essentials, thinking the updates would take about 8 weeks, lol. So our calculations were a bit off, taking out Poly B water lines, updating a boiler system, renovating a kitchen, updating paint trim and doors throughout, removing slate floors and replacing with vinyl groutable tiles, replacing windows that had failed seals, updating window coverings, etc. Well, it turns out that all those things take a bit longer than 8 weeks, so we’re still living with the bare essentials and it’s wearing on us. We find that we’re craving some pretty simple items that we’d taken for granted. ‘I’d like a clock hung’, ‘would love some artwork on the walls’, ‘living with 4 bowls is not cool’. Plan for much longer than you think, and understand that unless you want your ‘good stuff’ getting dusted up weekly, it will be in storage until the project is done.

Second Lesson – Boundaries
We’ve done a pretty good job of creating some boundaries for our home and the workers, we said early on that the home is open from 8:00-5:00 Monday to Friday and unless it’s absolutely necessary to meet a timeline, that we won’t deviate from that. We have had several weekends where workers have been in the house – August Long being the most recent, and we have had some longer days with trades staying past 5, but generally these boundaries have been respected. We know that without them, living amongst the updates would have been much more difficult. Every day we welcome our new worker friends into our living space, we have given up a great deal of privacy, and thankfully we like each and every one of them, which again makes it easier. So, our lesson to you is set boundaries, stick to them, and pick tradespeople that you like.

Third Lesson – Cleaning, Cleaning, Cleaning
During updates your property will become messy every day, and when you come home you’ll need to attend to it for at least an hour before you begin your evening. One of the best tools we have for that is a Spin Mop, we swear by it. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve washed the main floor of this home, countless, we’ve gone through several mop heads, and this new spin mop thingy has really come through for us. Also get lots of microfibre cloths, cleaning off surfaces is also a daily task that you’ll need to do. Have your trades tell you when it’s going to be a really dusty day, turn off your heating/cooling system for that day, be sure lots of poly is taped up to prevent the dust coming up or down the stairs, and if needed poly over the light fixtures to decrease your work after they’re done. You’ll never feel like the area is fully clean, but it makes it bearable. Honestly there were, and still are, days when we stand in the middle of the room at 5:15 and have to take a big breath to shore up our energy before we start the end of day cleaning routine.

Fourth Lesson – Bathrooms are Essential
When you update bathrooms privacy gets really tricky. There have been several days when we have had to shower at the Golf Course, honestly, because the water was off, or there were no doors on the bathrooms, you name it we’ve lived it! We look back and laugh now, this is one of the most difficult phases of updates and it puts your pride in your back pocket that’s for sure! Plan out your bathroom updates so that there’s always one fully functioning bathroom if possible (toilet, sink and shower) and on days when there is no water or no doors, then plan to clean up at the gym, a friend’s house, or as we did – the Golf Course. PS: don’t forget to bring your towel, that actually happened, good thing it was summer and drying off outside in semi damp clothes was not too difficult.

Fifth and Final Lesson – Friends
Updating a home to fit you comfortably is a real privilege, and in the end will be worth it, but it doesn’t come without hard work on your part, the angst of writing cheque after cheque, and putting part of your life on hold. We found that what we’ve missed most is seeing our friends. Since we didn’t have a kitchen to entertain from, and even now that the kitchen is done we still don’t have many chairs to sit on, plates and glasses to use, few pots and pans, and only minimal cutlery, we haven’t invite our friends over. It’s been embarrassing in a way to think of asking them to join us in what we see as our mess. Well, we think that was a miss-step, we’ve missed the spiritual uplift that we get when we have our friends with us sharing stories and laughs. We would recommend that you stay connected to your friends and to put your pride away and ask them for a home made meal (many of our friends didn’t even know we were cooking on one counter top portable burner for weeks because we were too proud to tell them). Ask your friends if you can stop by for a visit – getting out of your mess can really lift your spirits. When you’re all done you can pay them back with a great meal and wonderful visits in your home.

We hope our experience may help you plan if you want to do the same thing, some day soon we’ll finally be able to move in, set up our space, and exhale!

Latest in Luxury Trends

August 4th, 2015 by Frère Realty Team

Take a look at what’s available for those who have it all…. Read More

Lots of Questions About the Market

July 20th, 2015 by Frère Realty Team

We’ve been answering lots of questions about the Real Estate Market over the past few months. No matter where we are, the questions come as people try to sort out for themselves how the changes in the Oil and Gas sector have impacted our local market, and in turn their property value or property search.

In the past 2 years we’ve seen remarkably low inventory conditions, and in this past few months that changed. There wasn’t a flood of inventory on the market because people weren’t in a high equity position, however, there was a marked increase in the number of properties listed for sale. As well, the number of sales did not increase so this meant that for some property owners, they’ve not had success selling. The median price range of homes remained relatively steady, but that statistic can be affected by 2 or more high or low price sales so isn’t a clear indicator.

2014 MLS Stats SF

2014 MLS Stats Single Family Homes Red Deer Source: Matrix CARA Database










2015 MLS Stats Single Family

2015 Year to Date MLS Stats Single Family Homes Red Deer Source: Matrix CARA Database

In this market there have been the following effects:


*Some sellers have had to adjust their prices downward to attract buyers.
*Popular home styles and layouts continue to sell within 2-10 days on market at a competitive price.
*Home preparation and presentation is making a real difference in time on market and successfully attracting a buyer.
*Financing has become more difficult for some buyers to firm up and some transactions have fallen due to financing.
*Some sellers are asking for higher deposits.

Our clients have been active and we’re working with them to understand the market conditions and the implications for their property and/or property search. It’s important to work with an agent that is monitoring your local market, and can help you through the process of decision making. Knowledge is power and without it you’re left not understanding why your home isn’t selling or the market conditions for you as a buyer.



The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Central Alberta REALTORS® Association. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.