The Magrath Mansion is a two and one half-storey historical building situated on a large Highlands city lot overlooking the North Saskatchewan River providing amazing views year-round. It was built between 1912 and 1913 with a stately design strongly influenced by the Georgian Revival and Neoclassical architectural styles. The heritage value of the Magrath Mansion lies in its association with Edmonton's pre-World War One building boom.
Prominent features of the Magrath Mansion include the symmetrical front facade, two-storey colonnade supported by robust classical columns, hipped roof with gable dormers, and wraparound porch and balcony that expresses in its lavishness and scale the ebullient optimism.
In the years between the creation of the Province of Alberta in 1905 and the outbreak of World War One in 1914, Edmonton experienced substantial real estate, commercial and economic growth. Among the most significant figures during this time period were Bidwell Holgate and William J. Magrath, who both built mansions in this area. Unfortunately in the early 1930s, the Magrath family had fallen behind in the payment of property taxes and the home was seized by the local sheriff.
This entrepreneurial pair established a real estate company in 1909 and was involved in numerous projects to create residential areas for Edmonton's growing population. Their most ambitious undertaking was the creation, development, and promotion of Highlands, a subdivision located in the northeast Edmonton. Envisioned as an exclusive preserve of our municipality burgeoning entrepreneurial and professional class, Highlands was graced with such genteel luxuries as minimum building standards, streetcars, concrete sidewalks, street lighting, and sewer and water mains.
The impressive colonnade home with robust classical columns crowned by Ionic capitals is a bold expression of the Neoclassical architectural vision. The interior was equally ostentatious, graced by a variety of exotic materials - including mahogany, Italian marble, hand-painted silk and linen wallpaper, and Bohemian crystal. You will impress your friends with the architectural details like the French chandelier in the reception area, the winding oak staircase to the second floor, the fireplace faced with hammered brass in the library, and the intricately painted, and sculptured plaster ceiling in the dining room.
The historical Magrath Mansion is located at 6240 Ada Boulevard, Edmonton, Alberta, T5W, Canada. It is situated in Highlands and not in the southwest community of Magrath Heights.
View interior photos of this historical home.
Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 323)
Understanding Real Estate Commissions
Let's pretend for a moment, your Edmonton home sells for $400,000 and you are paying 7% on the first $100,000 and 3% on the balance of the purchase price. The total commissions payable would be $16,000 plus GST. To understand, how much money real estate agents actually make, we need to look at how agents real estate commissions really work.
First - Half of the commission is given to the buyer's agent. Out of the buying side, the buyer's agent does not receive the total $8000. Depending on how the agent splits their commissions between a team or office split, many buyers agents in Edmonton will receive half of the remuneration of $4000. Out of this sum, the buyers' agent will have to pay their monthly desk fee, vehicle maintenance, gas, and insurance. There are also annual licencing fees for Edmonton Realtors, buyer closing gifts, title searches, other fees associated with selling a property and of course Revenue Canadas share.
The other half of the commission goes to the listing agent. Out of the listing side, the Realtor usually has more expenses than a buyers agent including the cost of marketing the property, (which is not cheap!), the cost of hiring a professional photographer, the cost of accurately measuring the property, cost of a third company putting up and removing real estate signs, key boxes, promotional items, website maintenance, property-specific webpages, etc. Same as the buyers' agents, the listing agent also pays for annual licencing fees for Realtors, seller closing gifts, title searches, other fees associated with selling a property and Revenue Canadas portion of the commission.
There are real estate companies in Edmonton who will charge a flat fee or a lesser commission to put your home on MLS, and other Realtors will charge a higher fee. Understanding how much money Edmonton Realtors make will depend on how many homes they sell and how much commission they receive on each property sold.
The net commissions left for the real estate agent is what they get to take home to feed, shelter and clothe their families. Today, in Edmonton's soft real estate market, many agents are now changing companies to a "lesser fee structure" company due to the cost of doing business. Many of these agents can no longer afford to be a Realtor, simply because they are not doing enough business, don't want to work as hard to earn a higher commission, are licenced only to buy and sell real estate for themselves or are on their way out of the business.
Now that you have a better understanding of how commissions work and how much Realtors actually net, let's pretend again for a moment, you are a real estate agent. Although it is against the Realtors Code of Conduct not to show properties based on commissions, it can be a buyers discretion not to view them (read more about buyer brokerage agreements). If you were a Realtor in Edmonton, would you show a property with a lesser commission?
In Alberta, all real estate commissions are negotiable, up or down and when hiring a real estate agent to sell your Edmonton home, a few thousand dollars in real estate commissions can make the difference between selling and not selling your home - Choose your Realtor based on the value they offer and interview more than one. Do they have the tools to market your home? Are they giving you a discount based on services which will be eliminated? Are they asking for money upfront, prior to doing anything? How is their internet presence?
Always interview a few real estate agents, ask lots of questions especially about their marketing plan and how they attract buyers. Find out what they have to offer. Not all Realtors are the same, each agent is different. If you use a Realtor or a real estate company to sell your home, there will be a fee. The big question you need to ask yourself is - "HOW MUCH MONEY WILL YOU NET AT THE END OF THE DAY?"
Most REMAX Realtors in Edmonton have the highest monthly real estate fees and are working hard to help you sell or buy your home, staying on top of their game, a doing what it takes to get your home sold including paying for the costs of marketing your property. Keep in mind, Realtors do not get paid by the hour, their real estate companies DO NOT pay them for working there. Realtors work very hard to earn their commissions and only get paid once your property is SOLD (usually on possession date) and not on the day it is sold!
If you have any questions on real estate commissions in Edmonton or what like an in-home real estate interview with myself, feel free to contact me anytime.
What classifies an Edmonton home as luxury?
Luxury home prices vary from city to province to state to country. What classifies a home in the luxury market consists of a few variables. Luxury homes are no longer based on price alone. To classify property into the luxury home category, it mush have desired indulgences. A home can be considered "a luxury property" when it offers these features:
- A grand foyer with soaring ceilings to greet your guests.
- Adequate nanny/guest living quarters which are private and away from the main living area.
- Personal conveniences and amenities such as pools, in-home gyms, Imax movie theatres, arcade rooms, wine cellars, decontamination showers, backyard tennis courts, solarium, and game rooms. There are several homes in Edmonton with personal amenities which can be found in Cameron Heights and Glenora.
- State of the art kitchens. With duel ovens, smart refrigerators to keep track of your food items, wine storage, ample counter space, built-in computer screens.
- Technology. Homes controlled with voice activation or the touch of a bottom from anywhere in the world are now one of the must-haves with elite buyers.
- Privacy. Many elite home buyers require privacy, especially media icons who get accosted by paparazzi.
- A prime location. A view is one of the things that make homes fall into the luxury category no matter where you live. It can be an unobstructed view of a mountain, beachfront, or overlooking the sparkling lights of the city. Beachfront properties in Edmonton can be found in Summerside.
- Premier quality, reputable builders and renowned architect. The construction materials, lighting, finishes, appliances, and design all must be a cut above what's considered standard. Dominate renowned Edmonton communities include Griesbach and Windermere.
A luxury home can mean different things to different people. Bottom line, a luxury home is where you can relax and retreat from the rest of the world, enjoying a dwelling which fits your lifestyle.
Living in Lewis Estates Edmonton
Lewis Estates was originally developed as a retirement community. When Lewis Estates, also known as "Lewis Farms" began the construction of single-family houses, it was focused around the popular Lewis Estates golf course which features an incredible 6,742-yard 18-hole championship course. Several of the houses in this part of West Edmonton feature large picture windows which overlook the golf course. This is also one of the few areas in west Edmonton which houses are relatively newer and offer many bungalow-style homes. Keep in mind when purchasing one of these Lewis Estates homes to seek out extra glass insurance for those hard hitters! There is also a very popular community focused Seniors Care Living Residence with an aquatic centre and fitness room which features a full-time health and wellness director to inspire and entertain the most discerning and active seniors.
Today, the community of Lewis Estates is changing with the expansion of the city and has added a few schools to accommodate the younger families with a major up-coming Lewis Farms Facility and Park project, currently in the design phase, with anticipated completion in 2020 and will be located within the Rosenthal neighborhood in the open space southwest of 92 Avenue and Rosenthal Way.
Lewis Estates, West Edmonton is comprised of seven communities. The original communities of Breckenridge Greens, Potter Greens, Stewart Greens, and Suder Greens which were constructed after 1990 and the most recently built communities of Rosenthal, Secord, and Webber Greens featuring a mix of single-family and duplex homes.
Everything you will ever need is also within minutes of Lewis Estates including West Edmonton Mall, the Misericordia Hospital, River Cree Casino, Costco, Sobeys Liquor, dental care, physical therapists, lawyer offices, a transit station and plenty of strip malls in the Grange. Lewis Estates is a perfect place to live for children, parents and grand-parents. It is a mixed district catering to both our ageing population and offers all the perks of new community living.
Looking for new homes in southwest Edmonton?
Riverview located at the outer ridges of southwest Edmonton is now building. Similar to the rural West Big Lake district, the Riverview community is nestled away from the big city, south of the Grange and features an urban lifestyle, lined with trees along the Wedgewood Creek ravines. This up and coming community will be filled with the amenities of a modern city including playgrounds, parks, recreation and walking trails integrated with new and modern homes, a variety of restaurants, shops and services.
House prices in Riverview will range from starter home prices to the multi-millions. Also known as River's Edge - the Riverview Area offers some of the cities best country residential homes. The Edgemont community features houses and attached dwellings built in 2016 and later. Residential construction of Uplands and Stillwater is already underway and will be the hottest new home district in Edmonton in 2019 & 2020. View currently listed Riverview homes for sale.
Communities for Edmonton Dog Lovers
Edmonton has over 40 dog park and off-leash areas where your best friend can run and play without having you on the other end of the leash. You too can get physical and emotional benefits from exercise and by socializing with other dog owners.
My top 3 places to live for Edmonton dog owners are near
- Buena Vista - Great Meadow: A large off-leash dog park near the valley zoo, north of Laurier Park and south of Melton Ravine in the Glenora area. The Buena Vista Dog Park features an open off-leash area, access to the river valley for those dogs who love to swim, park benches, ample parking and river valley trails with maps for walking and cycling. Note* No smoking or vaping tobacco or cannabis in this park.
- Hermitage Point South located between 129 Avenue and 137 Avenue, 22 Street and the River Valley in northeast Edmonton. It features plenty of natural walking trails, picnic sites, Ambassador, portable toilets, seasonal summer fishing and a large off-leash dog area. Our Edmonton Ambassadors at the Hermitage Park Dog Park help improve the quality of our off-leash areas, and enhance the user experience for human and canine visitors by encouraging positive interactions, and creating a culture of community at the park. Homes near the Hermitage Point South Dog Park are very reasonably priced. Check them out!
- Terwillegar Dog Park in southwest Edmonton accessible via Rabbit Hill in the Riverbend District. Although the Terwillegar Dog Park is a multi-use area, it is most popular for pet lovers with larger canines. This park also has a 262-metre-long footbridge that links the park to Oleskiw River Valley Park on the north side of the river, perfect for long strolls with your best friend.
Make My Kitchen Pretty
With so many choices, it's hard to choose a perfect "stone" counter top. Before you rush out and buy the prettiest one, you make want to consider resale value. When choosing a new counter-top, base it on your lifestyle, not on price. If your kitchen looks dated, replacing your counter tops and back splashes will make a huge impact and it is less expensive than replacing a whole kitchen.
- Quartz counter tops are a hard natural mineral. They are resistant to scratches, stains, heat, easy to clean are becoming the trend in luxury Edmonton houses. Depending on the grade, quartz counter tops are about the same cost as granite.
- Granite counter tops are one of the most elegant materials that can be used for kitchen work surfaces. When sealed properly, it is stain and heat-resistant so it continues to look beautiful in the years to come. Granite counter tops are a popular choice in our Edmonton homes due to its wear ability and color choices.
- Corian counter tops are a mixture of binding resins and minerals and come in over a hundred colors. Corian is a flexible material when heat and can appear seamless once installed leaving a smooth, unblemished finish. It takes on a sandblasted stone look.
- Marble counter-tops are stylish, elegant and drop-dead gorgeous. A counter top made of marble is usually less durable than granite, Corian or quartz and less resistant to stains and scratches. It is also more expensive to get installed. Marble Counter-tops are all about the look.
If you are planning to sell your Edmonton home in the near future, you may want to postpone changing those kitchen counters. Ask your REALTOR for the best advise. Today, buyers also have the option of a renovation loan which can be tied into their mortgage payments.
Welcome to Heritage Valley Edmonton
Heritage Valley is one of Edmonton's largest and newest districts located in southwest Edmonton established in 2001. There are currently 14 communities including Allard, Blackmud Creek, Callaghan, Cavanagh, Desrochers, Chappelle, Graydon Hill, Hays Ridge, Heritage Valley Town Centre, MacEwan, Paisley, Richford and Rutherford. Plus the future community of Cashman. Although nearby, Blackburne does not form part of the Heritage Valley. It is bounded by 170th Street NW, 41st Avenue SW, Ellerslie Road.
The nearby Currents of Windermere and Southgate shopping centres offer a variety of retail, dining, and medical and dental options. The Heritage Valley Town Centre will also provide many new shopping opportunities when construction is complete. Close proximity to the Anthony Henday, as well as the major bounding roadways, provides residents with access to amenities throughout the city.
The international Airport, Jagare Ridge Golf Club and South Edmonton Common are also nearby.
Each community in the Heritage Valley area has plenty of green spaces, and walking trails for homeowners to enjoy. Most of the Streets in the Heritage Valley Area are named after Edmontonians. There is also a new future hospital with plans underway and plans to extend the LRT.
Callaghan, Richford and Rutherford are the most prestigious communities in the Heritage Valley Area, while Allard and Blackmud Creek feature more value per square foot than other Heritage Valley area homes. View homes for sale in the Heritage Valley.
Making your home pet-friendly during the selling process
Your pets maybe your best friend, but some buyers are allergic to and find pet odours offensive. Other buyers spend more time admiring your reptiles or playing with the cute puppy than viewing your home. When selling, it is best not to have them in the home. If this is not an option, keep them in a crate including cats.
Pets are smelly
- No matter how often you bath your animals, they still smell. There are ways to eliminate some of the odours and pet dander. This means more cleaning and more cleaning. Wash your pet beds, blankets and toys on a weekly basis. If you own a bunny, ferret or reptile, cleaning their cages must be done on a daily basis. Don't forget the kitty litter! If not address, your pets can reduce the value of your property.
Pets are messy
- Those cute and cuddly companions are very messy. We know as soon as we turn our back, they are jumping up on counters and couches. Vacuum your furniture daily. A buyer may sit at your kitchen table while writing you an offer and noticing animal hair hanging onto your counters and baseboards. Replace any chewed on baseboards or ripped carpets.
Don't forget the outside
- Buyers will go into the backyard, garage and alleyway to check out your next-door neighbours, pick up the dog faeces.
- If you are trying to cover up pet smells with a chemical, it will smell worse. The only way to really remove pet smells is by cleaning. Open those windows and air out your home.
One of the things Edmonton Real Estate Agents face when listing homes with pets is telling the seller that their home stinks! Homeowners need to understand those pet odours can kill a home sale! This can be a difficult conversation because there are folks who look at their pets as family members.