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As a CIR REALTY Agent and member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, my goal is to ensure that you have the best real estate experience possible.

Real estate is the most serious and expensive transaction in an average person?s life and clients must be treated with total integrity and respect and given the information they need. 
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CIR Realty Blog by Ali Mamdani

By Ali Mamdani 04 Oct, 2017
Many home owners are fortunate to have a property with mature trees and shrubs. Although it is always best to save a tree when you can, there may be times when you question tree removal as an option for aesthetic or safety purposes. 

Here are three questions to ask yourself before making a decision:

1.   Is it causing structural damage?

Tree roots can grow to the surface and change the drainage pattern across a property. In some cases, they can block water and keep it from running away from a house or yard. A tree planted too close to a house can lift a walk, rot the eaves and drop juicy berries
that are then tracked through the house.  

2.   Is it making the property difficult to use?

 If a tree robs you of the ability to do what you would like to on your property, then removing it might be the answer. But first, try to include it in your plans. The trunk can be incorporated into a deck or patio design. The effect of making an opening in a deck
for the tree to grow through is quite pleasing.

3.   Can tree removal help the space?
If healthier and more desirable species will be planted in place of the one that was removed, it can be good for
the environment. In a natural woodland setting, removing certain trees can help the ecosystem. For
example, the removal of leggy, weak pines will make space for the more desirable native hardwoods.
By Ali Mamdani 03 May, 2016
“Should I sell in this Buyer’s Market or wait until we’re in a Seller’s Market again?”

I hear this question from clients daily..sometimes even more. The answer I give is probably not the one you want to hear. Are you ready?

It depends.

While I wish I had a more in-depth answer, “it depends” is the most solid one I can give. I know, not really helpful, but let me explain a little bit.
By Ali Mamdani 15 Apr, 2016
Increases to income tax rates brought in by the new provincial government have come fully into effect in after being partially implemented in October of 2015.
By Ali Mamdani 15 Apr, 2016
Let’s be honest, nothing really matters unless you know how you’re going to pay for your next home or investment property. The reality is that anyone (and I mean anyone) can find the money to purchase a home. In fact, we have seen people who are over $70,000 in debt, unemployed, and on the verge of bankruptcy purchase not one, but multiple homes at the same time. Sound impossible? Read on . . .  

Perhaps you have good credit, a down payment and qualifying for financing will not be a problem, but you want the best mortgage for your needs, and of course, the lowest interest rate available. Sound like you? Read on . . .  

Or maybe you just have no idea what you qualify for, this is your first purchase and you just want to learn how to get started (on the right foot). Well, read on . . .  

Below is a brief outline of some basic components of getting financing and some tips to get you well ahead of the game.  

Traditional Banks
An advantage of using banks rather than mortgage brokers is that you get to deal with someone who knows a lot more than just mortgages. Often, what is best for you in terms of a mortgage might also play into your long term financial planning, and a mortgage broker may not be able to help you align the two. For example, your bank can take into account any credit cards or lines of credit that you may have, along with any savings or RRSP accounts to make sure you have high cash flow and low borrowing costs.

Although getting you approved for your mortgage may be your number one priority, a bank will work with you to make sure that whatever you end up with suits your lifestyle and matches your long term goals.  

Some banks even have access to alternative lending sources that may be able to help if your credit is less than perfect or a transaction is out of the ordinary. Ask your banker to find out which options they provide.

Mortgage Brokers
Brokers are typically self employed and are paid by the lenders (or banks) and not by you. This means that they are motivated to get you approved and also give you great service in the hopes of future referrals. They use as many as 30 different lending sources, which even include a lot of major banks.

One of the greatest advantages of using a mortgage broker is that they work with hundreds of unique situations, often have friends in the right places and know some tricks to ensure your mortgage gets the green light. If a traditional bank denies you, a mortgage broker might be able to help.

Lines of Credit
TAKE NOTE: By financing your home with a line of credit, rather than a mortgage, there are some serious benefits. The line of credit will be secured against the home similar to a mortgage; however the payment options are sometimes wide open. There are no penalties for paying off a large lump sum or clearing it completely (very important when you sell). If your monthly finances are a little short, or if monthly cash flow is the goal, then on some LOCs you can make interest only payments which will maximize your monthly income. A line of credit can also be a better way to refinance your home. You can use as much, or as little, of it as you need, and only make payments on the portion you have used.  

Creative Financing
How do people buy homes with no money or no credit? Well, some banks still offer zero down mortgages, however you still have to have good credit and income. Some self-employed people have lots of money, but can’t prove their income. Sometimes you need non-traditional methods of financing. Here are a few possibilities:  

Private Lenders – some lenders will work with high risk clients and simply charge a higher interest rate  

Joint Ventures - get someone else to front the money for the home and you split the future returns  

Vendor Take Backs – Have the owner carry the mortgage

Assumable Mortgages – Agree to take-over the existing mortgage (only available in certain places)  

Other Options – Combinations of the above and others unique to the particular laws governing the area
If you have enough motivation and the proper guidance, there is nothing holding you back from finding the money to purchase real estate. The key thing is to check out all your options. If you plan on spending $100,000’s on a new home, it will be well worth your time to do a little homework.  

Don’t let everyone pull your credit rating, have the bank run some hypothetical examples and once you find one or two you trust, then pull the details. The more times your credit is pulled, the lower your credit rating becomes. Get pre-approved and lock into an interest rate. Some lenders will hold a rate for up to 120 days. If the rate is lower when you take possession, you get the lower rate anyway. Don’t get caught if rates climb. Be careful whose advice you take. Some REALTORS® are paid incentives based on the business they send a mortgage broker. Ask your REALTOR® why they recommend someone and if they receive an incentive. Review the terms of your mortgage in depth and be sure you understand the pay-out options, conditions, interest rates, etc. It can be a nasty surprise if your payment suddenly jumps or you have a large penalty for getting out early.  

If you are not approved, ask why not and find out what options you have to get approved (if they can’t tell you then find someone else). Sometimes it would just take an additional letter from an employer or something simple to remedy. There is always a way.  

Source: Lindsey Smith of the Entyro Service Group in Calgary AB


By Ali Mamdani 15 Apr, 2016
Many people want to know what the secret is to getting the most out of their real estate and to appeal to most consumers looking for real estate today. This report will guide you through doing many of those things to help get the most dollars when selling your property. 

1. Paint the interior!
Most buyers appreciate a good fresh coat of paint and this will help enhance your properties value. It will also help brighten your rooms by giving them a new clean appearance. Stay away from bold and bright colors and focus more on lighter and softer earth tone shades. This will also help make the rooms feel larger and appeal to a bigger group of potential buyers. 

2. Paint the outside!
Curb appeal is important and there is nothing worse for a Real Estate professional to try and market a home that has peeling paint or is in desperate need of painting. Of course depending on the time of year and the weather conditions you might not be able to paint the exterior but if at all possible paint the exterior. As noted with the interior suggestion of using soft lighter neutral colors do the same for painting the outside of your home. Stay away from bright colors that others may not like. 

3. Pick Up Any Outside Debris, Trash or Clutter!
First impressions make a huge impact on potential buyers. Should your property have unwanted clutter at the initial greeting to consumers when your property is shown it will not help in the marketing and selling of your home. A few hard hours of raking cleaning and picking up odds and ends could add “thousands” to the sales price of your home. 

4. Reduce Extras and Odds and Ends From Your Home!
Rooms with too much furniture or decorations can often detract from the showing of your home. Usually too much décor can make the rooms look smaller and hurt your chances of selling your home. Store unneeded furniture or items that you can do without during the marketing stage of your property listing. Your goal is to make your property look spacious and comfortable. Buyers also want to see rooms that appear and look spacious to them. 

5. Be sure and Open Blinds and Draperies!
This is a great idea to help aid the salesperson sell your home. When your property is in tip top share and ready to show having as much light as possible helps brighten your home and give it a good feel. 

6. Avoid Playing Music!
Although you may like the music playing in the background it can be a deterrent to the agent and buyers while looking at your home. Keep music off while your home is being shown. 

7. Price Your Property Right From The Beginning!
Many buyers take the approach and attitude that they can always come down on price. This can be a bad thing to do. Many buyers feel if a home has been listed for a long time that there is something wrong with it. Most agents will tell you that the best activity occurs during the first two to three weeks of the listing begin date. After a few weeks the activity will begin to taper off and showings will cease. If your home is priced incorrectly from the beginning it will not get a lot of showings and the longer your home is on the market the more buyers will feel that it’s tainted or something’s wrong with the price. 

8. Have Your Carpets Cleaned!
It’s a good idea to have your carpets cleaned or your hardwood floors polished or waxed. This is normally not too expensive and can usually add a lot of appeal to potential buyers. 

9. Hire a Staging Company!
If possible hire a staging company to help show you ways to maximize room appeal and value to your residence. Many real estate firms have a staging company or people on staff who can aid in this service. Feel free to ask me about how I can help with staging too 

10. Purchase New Linens and Towels for Bathrooms!
This can help aid in giving a new appearance to your bathrooms. 

11. Consider Wallpapering!
Be careful here and do not use bold or daring papers but use a basic light general theme when wallpapering. Dark colors make rooms look smaller and you need to stay away from any colors that may make the room look small or busy. 

Source: John D. Mayfield ABR, ABRM, GRI, e-PRO, CRB
By Ali Mamdani 06 Jan, 2016
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 

Keeping Mice Out
Mice seek the shelter of warmer locations once winter weather hits. Often, people are not aware of the population boom that is occurring with this invasive species in their attic or basement until the occasional mouse droppings and urine are discovered around food, furniture and storage areas.

Here are some ways to keep mice out:
  1. Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
  2. Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  3. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, using caulk, steel wool or a combination of both. 
  4. Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  5. Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  6. Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains that provide the perfect breeding site for pests.
Market Stats
JAN 4, 2016 - ACCORDING TO CREB(referencing metro Calgary stats only)...

Housing market characterized by slow demand. Elevated supply levels placed downward pressure on prices in December. With the focus shifting toward the holiday season, Dec sales activity slowed to 878 units in the city, 18% below last year at this time and well below the
five and 10-year averages.

ACTIVE LISTINGS as of January 4, 2016⁕ // SALES for Dec 2015⁕

Single Family 4331 // 809 $749,563 // $520,538 86 // 56

Condominium 2353 // 334 $413,666 // $338,401 82 // 58

Combined 6684 // 1143

Rural with Home 0 // 0 n/a // n/a n/a // n/a

Rural Land 528 // 19 $874,580 // $366,647 319 // 301

Total Rural 528 // 19

Total MLS 7212 // 1162

⁕ All numbers gathered for the Listings and Sales stats are compiled from metro Calgary and rural southern Alberta areas


At CIR REALTY meeting all of your real estate needs is our goal.

We look forward to hearing from you as we are happy to answer any questions you may have.
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