Fort McMurrays’ Downtown Arena

April 12th, 2013 by sherylscott

There certainly has been a great deal of controversy lately about the proposed downtown arena here in Fort McMurray, most particularly this past week when council voted in favour to expropriate several parcels of land downtown which will obviously have a huge impact on theses businesses and those surrounding them.

Perhaps it not wise for someone in a position like my own to give my opinion, but hey I never was a hypocrite so here it goes.

I do not believe that most change  comes without fear. I understand the concerns that have been brought up throughout all of these discussions, most are very valid points, however I still believe that council has made the correct decision. We need Fort McMurray to continue to grow and prosper, and without plans and expansions like this one it won’t happen.

as I have mentioned in the past I was born and raised in a small community in Ontario called Bancroft. It was basically just a retirement community by the time I finally knew enough to leave.  Our town council there tried to start a huge downtown revitalization project that was shot down by the residents. Now many people from that small dying town now live here. If our town was larger as a whole, with the number of us here we would be just like Newfoundland! My hometown council did not have the strength, vision, courage or guts to make the kind if decision there that the council did here, scary as it may be, I commend them for it. I think in a few years we will be thoroughly enjoying the benefits of the arena the way we currently enjoy Macdonald Island.

There, feel free to comment or rake me over the coals for my opinion lol, I can take it!Now on to real estate, I told you last week I was waiting for the stats and as I expected things are down from last year.  I am only going to reference single family homes for now, last March there had been 105 homes sell, this March that was down to 87, plus the average price went from $774538 to $766549

Things have been getting much busier in April so hopefully that will continue.

so as I have said many times…pricing your home properly is so very important, you need an agent that is current with what is going on in the market

I will be at the Spring Trade and Market Show all weekend April 25-28, stop by so we can talk real estate…maybe a bit of fishing and hunting talk too ! Lol

Cheers!

enjoy the sun

Sheryl

Fort McMurray Needs to Start Shipping It’s Oil

April 3rd, 2013 by sherylscott

When I first moved here nearly 3 years ago, a co-worker and long term resident here kept telling me…..Just wait, one of the oil companies will make an announcement and well will have another boom….houses will be flying off the market as quick as a for sale sign is put up. Well, I’m still waiting for that announcement.  So far the only announcements I have heard is that Suncor’s Voyageur Upgrader Project has been canned, and the Keystone XL project is possibly still just a dream.  The latest news regarding Keystone XL is that Canada will lose 50 Billion dollars over the next three years waiting for the pipeline.  With the most recent rupture of Exxon Mobile’s Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas and thousands of barrels of crude oil spilling into a housing subdivision, I cannot imagine this boding well for an approval of Keystone XL.

I think it would be an excellent idea, and beneficial for all of Canada to push for the TransCanada pipeline to be converted from natural gas to send Bitumen to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick.  So far the National Energy Board has approved one of the companies (Enbridge) 2 requests to send oil to Central Canada.  If we are to thrive once again…our oil price needs to rise…if we want it to rise we need to be able to ship it!

On a positive note, Kearl Oil Sands has a new project set to open up within the next few days….this will be the first new project to open in the area since 2008.

I truly believe that Fort McMurray is a terrific place to live and work, there is tons of opportunity here for anyone ambitious and willing to work.

For my real estate pitch…..

Our latest board stats should be out any day now, I am curious to see how they actually compare to our first quarter of 2012 as I believe both volume of sales are down as well as prices.  Stay tuned for those results in my upcoming blog.

I have heard that the new overpass leading to Parson’s North is also delayed, I could be wrong but I think that would actually be a benefit to our resale market……They can only build so much in the first phase of Parson’s North to comply with traffic volume guidelines, so if that project is held up a bit or delayed perhaps more resale homes will sell instead….just a theory!

I will be attending the Spring Trade Show and Market for the entire weekend of April 26-28…I look forward to meeting many people and let you meet the real me so I am more than just a voice on the radio stations!

Cheers everyone!  Stay calm and buy a house!!

Sheryl

 

The World of Social Media For and Old School Realtor

March 26th, 2013 by sherylscott

Wow, I started out this year with high hopes and expectations for myself to really embrace and utilize the different methods of advertising and building a larger client base using the increasingly popular method of Social Media.  It started out not too badly with my first comI am mittment of doing a blog for my website which I had hoped to add a new one at least weekly…well I am sure that anyone that has been following me can see how I have petered out on that committment.  My biggest obstacle with that one is what to say?  What do people really want to read about? My next mission was to engage more on my Facebook page….this I have been a bit more successful with but I’m still not where I want to be with it.  I thought it would be easier to write one thing and use Hootsuite to post to multiple sites thus saving me some time.  Again my stuggle has been what do people want to read? What kind of message will people find interesting and engaging?  To my surprise, most posts that I put on providing valuable and interesting information, most people just glance over when I had hoped to have had some interesting comments or debates develope even!  The comments I have posted that seem to attract the most interest seem almost frivolous to me, what I did on the weekend, something funny my husband or child did or said.  So I tried to add a little humour to a “real estate” related post today…”A house that has been on the market for 6 months is like a 2 week old loaf of bread – Stale! ”  I thought that was pretty funny as well as an intersting point to be made!  So far, only one like so we shall see.

I am used to doing “Real Estate” the old fashioned way I guess….meeting person face to face and I would develop a relationship from there with the new potential client.  Coming from a community where everyone knew everyone else made it much much easier to work that way.

I definitely will not give up on the social media route….it is just one way that our market has changed over the years from when I was first licensed.  Perhaps I will try using Social Media to get the word out that I will be attending the Spring Trade and Market Show at Macdonald Island April 26-28…stop in and meet the real me!  That’s where I shine!

Now for my little blurb about the current market before I sign off…..

We have seen an increase in sales lately for sure, this is our busiest season.  We have also seen a great number of price reductions also though…..usually at least 6-8 every day…often more.  We are also seeing many, not all, sales come in with a larger gap between the actual sale price and the listing price….I have said it many times and will continue to say it, the Fort McMurray Real Estate market is changing constantly!  It takes much more than just a sign on your lawn to sell your home these days….To start…Price!!  Listing at the RIGHT PRICE at the start is crucial !  When I get a listing, I price it right from the start and it usually sells within a very reasonable time frame for a good price…its not rocket science!   I don’t like stale bread lol

I expect interest rates to remain low until this time next year….but it is my opinion that they will go up next spring….we shall see.

Cheers everyone!  Enjoy a safe and Happy Holiday Easter Weekend!

Sheryl

 

Hometown Fort McMurray, My Now Home

February 22nd, 2013 by sherylscott

So I attended the musical Hometown this past week at keyano College and absolutely loved it!  What an awesome display of our local talent, as well as the views brought forth about Fort McMurray.  I am now into my third year living here so I don’t think I should call it my “New” home, thus my calling it my “now” home, and on that note I plan on it being my home for many years to come.  My family absolutely loves Fort McMurray and all it has to offer.  I understand the views that some people have about here, as well that it is not for everyone, but once you give it an honest chance there is a lot more offered here than just well paying jobs!  Now I admit that when we first arrived I remember literally sobbing in my husbands arms…..I want to go back…he held me in his arms and gently told me that was just not going to happen as we did not have enough money to get back, and even if we did what would we do when we got there.  So I decided right then and there that I had to figure out what would make me like Fort McMurray.  I decided it would help if I were to get involved in the community…pick an organization and volunteer.  I would be contributing to the community as well as meeting new people.  The first thing I joined was the Northern Lights Health Foundation group of volunteers, I started with the Festival of Trees which now my daughter and I look forward to every year, this past week I helped them with the Radiothon and met an absolutely hilarious lady Elaine that I was partnered with….we enjoyed the afternoon….and this year I plan to add the Spring Fling to my list.  The other organization that I am involved with is Relay For Life, I am their volunteer coordinator, last year was my first year ever even attending a Relay so I had a lot to learn lol

I am constantly learning new things about Fort McMurray, there truly is so much to do here considering the size of our area…..no you cannot compare the amenities to someplace like Calgary, Edmonton, or Toronto, or the proximity of lakes and such to cottage country in Ontario BUT Fort McMurray still offers a wide variety activities for people to choose from.

This weekend I am truly torn as to whether I should take in the matinee performance of Hometown again lol, or go to Winterplay….I actually think as much as I would like to see the play again I will opt for something new and go check out the ice and snow sculptures on the Snye.

I encourage everyone to give Fort McMurray a chance, it can be almost anything you want it to be!

Right now our market is getting more active, we are seeing more and more sales and not quite as many “deals” as there was before Christmas.

Interest rates are staying low which is certainly helpful especially since CMHC hasn’t seemed to have loosened its belt, unfortunately we are still seeing some deals collapsing on financing, many because CMHC requires a larger down payment….be prepared ! The right mortgage broker can make alot of difference between getting approved or denied!

As always the first impression when you are selling your home is the best and most important impression!!  Your home needs to be priced right according to current market conditions, staged to appeal to buyers and market, market, market so it get shown!  There are many avenues for people to see your home, these days it takes more than just a sign on your lawn!

Call an expert…call me! If I get a listing, it generally does not hang around long, I would rather see it changed to a pending offer than go in the reduced price section!

Have an excellent weekend everyone!

Winter in Fort McMurray

February 8th, 2013 by sherylscott

Well, I believe we have made it through the worst part of winter, January is over and the days are starting to get a bit longer!  I personally don’t mind the winter here, in fact I find it better than where I previously lived in Ontario where we experienced a very damp bone chilling kind of cold.

The one thing I do dearly miss though is ice fishing! I have heard that there is some places to go here so I would welcome any suggestions as to where exactly!  We were so used to being near so many lakes where we used to live, we would often go ice fishing for lake trout, splake, speckles and ling all of which were so incredibly tasty and so much fun to catch!

Still there are a ton of fun activities to take part in here in Fort McMurray, cross country skiing, down hill skiing and tubing at our very own Vista Ridge Ski Hill, snowmobile trails and the upcoming WinterPlay!  There are so many cool events for families and individuals to participate in or simply observe.  From indoor events such as performances by the Irish Decendants, Newfoundland Kitchen Party and art exhibit by Christian Villacillio to outdoor venues like the family ski and tube day, sno-pitch tournament, shoot out on the Snye and Ice Sculptures and Snow Carvings.

With so many fabulous activities for everyone to enjoy get out and enjoy!

Winter is also the perfect time to consider moving believe it or not.  If you are planning on selling your home, now is the time!  Our market is once again picking up.  We are seeing alot more accepted offers and sold signs out there!  From now until late spring is our busiest time so if you are looking to sell and get the best price and terms you need to call me.

Mortgage rates continue to be low and there is also flexible options available for your down payment should you need it…..so much better than renting and paying someone elses mortgage and adding to their investment instead of your own!

It is supposed to be a fabulous weekend out there so get out and enjoy and take some time to stop in and see me at 210 Chestnut Way Saturday and Sunday from 1-5.

Cheers everyone!

Sheryl

People are asking, What’s with the recent Crime spurt in Ft McMurray?

January 24th, 2013 by sherylscott

As many of you have probably heard either on a local radio station or media web site, Fort McMurray and a few of its residents have fell prey to some nasty criminals. This subject was recently brought up amongst a group of local realtors while we were out together touring listings. Several of the very long term agents were very quick to defend their town, I have only been here for three years now but I too wanted to defend my new town.  Considering the size of Ft Mc and the vast number of people coming and going I truly do not find the crime rate that horrible, especially if you compare it to the very small community that I grew up in and lived in for 35+ yrs.   I lived in a town that was much larger geographically than Fort Mc, but our population was less than 10,000 basically everyone knew everyone else. We had the highest teenage pregnancy rate in all of Hastings County (large area) , we had murders, we had a lot of break-ins and theft , too many drugs, and a high unemployment rate.  So considering the numbers between the two, overall I find Ft Mc to be a very safe and family oriented community.  It does not matter where you live , big town, small town, rich town or poor town..unfortunately you will find undesirables.  I think it important to surround yourself with people that share the same values and morals as yourself, you are less likely to notice the negative ones.

Now on to a bit of real estate…. Our market is gradually picking up again, as it normally does this time of year.  We are seeing more accepted offers and firm sales, unfortunately still a few collapsed deals due to financing.  It has been announced that the banks DO NOT intend to raise the interest rates for quite some time so this is good news for both buyers and sellers.

There are still a large number of homes on the market so remember , if you are listing your home, you will get the best offers if you start with a realistic list price.

I listed a home on Boxing Day , provided some staging suggestions, priced it right and marketed it well and we are awaiting final condition removals….accepted offer in less than 30 days! That’s the way it should be!

Stay warm Fort McMurray and be careful on the icy roads!

cheers!

Sheryl

Selling Vacant Land in Fort McMurray

January 17th, 2013 by sherylscott

Well, I remember when I first moved here and was looking at our board (basically the Realtor version of MLS) and I’m saying to myself…..where is all the vacant land postings???  Being a realtor in rural Ontario prior to moving to Fort McMurray I sold a great deal of vacant land and homes with acreage.  I felt many agents back there were missing out on a great opportunity that I actually really enjoyed!  Well, for the first time in nearly 3 years today is the day I finally get to go out and show vacant land!!  I am truly excited, being an outdoor lover I am looking forward to this!  It will be a bit different to what I am used to for sure as I have sold property up to 300 acres in size…..the largest here we have to look at is just over 10 acres.  So I will don my warm comfy clothes and my Sorel boots as opposed to my usual work attire and go walking!

Things seem to be picking up in general, I see a few conditional pendings starting to hit the board which is a great sign!  I listed a home on Boxing Day while I was away and am happy to announce that we received an accepted offer last night!  Less than a month, so I am impressed as are my clients!  I tend to not build up a great deal of listings , I would certainly love to have a few more, however my history proves that when I do get a listing it is not likely to hang around for months on end…which it shouldn’t!

Keep warm and safe Fort McMurray!

Sheryl

Holiday Time is Over

January 11th, 2013 by sherylscott

I hope everyone enjoyed a safe and happy holiday season! We decided kind of last minute to return to Ontario to spend the holidays with our family this year.  The past 2 years we had stayed here in Ft McMurray by ourselves…..not quite the same when you are used to being surrounded by family and friends.  It was certainly really nice to get back to see people.  Unfortunately time flies and we were not able to see everyone I had hoped to  as I have a large extended family but we did see several.  Work wise, things were actually quite busy for me personally prior to the holidays, if I had to call our recent market one thing or another, I would choose to call it more of a buyers market.  I feel we had a bit of an unusual market this fall, things would seem to get busy, then just as quickly slow right back down again.  We were seeing some rather large price reductions on some homes that sold, most particularily with some of the new construction that had been sitting around for awhile.  Understandable to a point as I know most builders have started projects in Parsons North and why have capital tied up for many months.  So for some savy buyers I think there were some decent deals to be had.  So where is our market headed so many want to know…..well I have said many times that I wish I had a crystal ball but I simply don’t.  The next few months should be interesting as it is typically the busiest time of year for us.  Again, I personally am fairly busy….although I always have room for more clients lol, but I truly do have several clients right now searching for just the right property.  I am optomistic that this year will be even busier than last year.  As always when home owners are listing their homes you need to take into consideration the “current” market conditions as they do tend to change fairly quickly here.  I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year, and may we all have a safe, happy and prosperous 2013!

Fort McMurray Food Bank Corporate Challenge

November 29th, 2012 by sherylscott

Today is the Fort McMurray Food Bank Corporate  Challenge . Hosted by radio stations Country 93.3 and Rock 97.9 I was at the station this morning to voice my holiday greeting ad and decided to make a donation. I had been listening to the radio all morning, and like last year was utterly impressed and amazed by the huge donations made by the various oil companies, I think their generosity to the community is outstanding.  What I want to do however is speak to the smaller businesses, or individuals with a small business. The oil companies and larger established businesses here in Fort McMurray have the means to make these awesome seizable donations and this is great, however I wanted to put it out there that Hey! If $100 is in your budget to donate, this too is awesome! Can you imagine if everyone here in Fort McMurray made a $100 donation today, even $20….. It all adds up and provides a great service for so many people in our community, so don’t be shy, don’t feel that you need to donate thousands of dollars, while that is awesome if everyone gave a little bit, together we can make a huge impact !

 

November 24

November 24th, 2012 by sherylscott

Well it is the Santa Claus Parade this evening here in Fort McMurray but I think unfortunately we will have to pass, it is pretty darn cold out there!!  I don’t normally mind the cold here, but we are supposed to have -30 wind chill and thats a bit too cold for my daughter to be standing outside.  I work until 5 tonight so I know that we wouldn’t be able to get to town early enough to get an upfront parking spot to enjoy the parade from the comfort of our warm vehicle.  I do hate to miss it though, I know individuals and businesses throughout the area put a tremendous amount of time and effort into it.

Today I am at the Qualico Showhome located at 210 Chestnut Way, I have a few minutes in between people stopping by so I thought it would be an excellent time to share the great deals here!  For possessions before December 31 of this year prices have been reduced by $20 000 and $25 000 on a few Qualico homes.  Prices start at $663950!!  The homes on Juniper St all feature a seperate entrance and seperate basement laundry rough in so the basement can be finished for a rental suite….now that is a sweet deal!  Brand new construction, new home warranty and you can move in before Christmas!!  What an awesome gift for the whole family!!  Contact me for details!

 

To all of you braving the chilly winds this evening enjoy the parade!!  I will be back here at 210 Chestnut Way again tomorrow between 1-5pm.

Only a few homes remain at this special pricing!

Cheers!

Sheryl

 

 

Sheryl Scott, RE/MAX Fort McMurray
9919 Biggs Avenue, Fort McMurray, Alberta, T9H 1S2
Tel: 780-531-6277 Fax: 780-743-4369
The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Ft. McMurray Real Estate Board. Trademarks used under license from CREA.
MLS® MLS REALTOR® Realtor