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Calgary Real Estate and the Flood

Posted by Rachel R. Vanderveen on Saturday, June 29th, 2013 at 10:50am.

Someone on my Facebook page said there are two types of Calgarians: those who are now living life as usual, and those whose lives will never be the same again. How inspiring has it been seeing the people whose life has changed minimally, crowding volunteer meetings and bringing food, support, and love to those whose lives will never be the same. My brother-in-law is a Calgary Police officer, and has been working around the clock trying to bring help to people with puffy eyes and deflated hearts. He said he’s never been so well fed. People are falling all over themselves to shower him, and others like him, with food, drink, and gifts. Calgarians are amazing. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

I also love my local community, Auburn Bay, where I have seen many mammas reaching out to support those affected by the flood. When we bought here, it never crossed our mind, even for a moment, whether or not our home would be on flood plain. It wasn’t even close to a consideration. Luckily, we are not, and the waters never came anywhere remotely close to our beachside community.

Communities near the rivers have classically been more valuable because proximity to rivers has always been considered a major plus. A view of one of the rivers is a major, major plus. I don’t know what is going to happen to real estate values in those communities after this. I imagine prices will slightly diminish but over time they’ll creep back up again as people begin to forget what happened on this June weekend in 2013. But there are those like me who don’t want to forget---who never want to live on a flood plain. So for that reason, Clint and I have modified our website so that all communities affected by the flood, whether they ended up actually flooding or not, will be marked on our site. There are 27 of them. So if you click on Quarry Park, you’ll see at the bottom of the write-up, “This community was affected by the 2013 flood.”

There hasn’t been enough disclosure in the industry about which communities are on flood plains before a buyer makes a purchase. I suppose that each buyer could chalk it up to their own due diligence, and perhaps assume that if you’re close to the river, you’re going to have a problem, but it should be something that buyers enter into with eyes wide open. There’s nothing wrong with continuing to inhabit these beautiful, and sometimes historic, neighbourhoods. There are those who are willing to take the small risk of flood in order to own excellent real estate near the river, and that’s awesome. But for those who perhaps have young kids, lots of valuables, and things they just don’t want to risk to a flood, they may want to stay away from these areas.

CREB’s chief economist says that the next few months in the market may be a bit strange as we try to make sense of what the average Calgary Real Estate buyer is going to do. All we can do is wait and see.

If you have a home that has been affected by the flood and would like to move to higher ground, feel free to give me a call to talk about your options.


Rachel Vanderveen

The Vanderveen Team
Maxwell South Star Realty
Phone: 403.253.5678 Fax: 403.592.6736

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