Savings, Safety and Value in an Intelligent Home

Today’s intelligent ‘smart’ electrically powered home is focused on results all home owners want: savings, safety, and value. Urban Sky Developments found that using Levven’s two-component electrical wireless switching allowed it to simplify the electrical installation. Simplified construction pays the way for every switch in the home to be mobile-device ready.

Convenience and Efficiency
Levven’s two-component electrical wireless switches eliminate wire between the switch and the electrical load. Levven’s wireless switches send on, off, and dim commands to their controllers using an RF signal – the same wireless method that automotive key fobs use to reliably lock and unlock car doors every day.
Levven’s wireless switches are mounted on the walls after painting. This lets installers work faster and completing their schedule sooner. Placing every switch exactly where it’s needed has enabled Urban Sky to improve safety and convenience in the design of their homes. Down the road, repositioning or reconfiguring any of the wireless switches can be done without hiring an electrician or cutting holes in walls.
Every wireless switch and controller in the home can be accessed via the Levven’s mobile app, whether at home or away. Dim lights or turn them on and off using either the wall switches, a spare wireless switch sitting on a coffee table in the TV room, or by using the mobile app.

Lower Energy Costs

Monthly energy bills are lower in Urban Sky intelligent ‘smart’ powered homes, because energy consumption is reduced with convenient, accessible electrical controls. Save on energy costs by making sure no devices or lights are draining electricity while away. Lights, a curling iron, even the TV – turn everything off with one touch of a master wireless switch, or one touch in the mobile app. Use the app to access your electrical system while away from home to check if anything was mistakenly left on.

Improved Safety
The Levven mobile app lets you personalize electrical controls as needed. Edit a switch to energize any combination of lights to make well-lit paths in and around the house. A one-touch path of light is helpful when you want to carry an armful of groceries from the garage through to the mudroom and kitchen without putting down the bags to switch on the lights. Safety at night is improved when you can light up multiple fixtures from a portable switch in your pocket or bedside table.

Control Wherever Needed
The wireless switches do not require wires, so portable switches can be used as remote controls. Keep a portable switch clipped to your car’s sunvisor and use it to turn lights on or off without getting out of the vehicle.
“Alexa, turn on the kitchen lights.” If you like Alexa and Google Home voice control products, you can connect smart speakers to your home’s electrical system and use voice commands to turn lights on and off.

Conservation and Improved Resale

Building with intelligent electrical infrastructure shrinks your environmental footprint and boosts your future resale value. This year, a billion feet of copper wire will be used to connect lights and switches in residential homes. Urban Sky’s homes are helping to reduce that usage and conserve a finite resource for future generations. Further, having a mobile-device accessible electrical system makes an Urban Sky home attractive to prospective buyers, and for homeowner’s added value if they decide to sell in the future.
Savings, safety, and value. That’s the Urban Sky intelligent ‘smart’ powered home standard.

Submitted by Nathan Smith / Levven and Tom Keogh/Urban Sky Aug 09 2019;


When you’re involved as an investor in the building of an Urban Sky infill project, financing is planned to match the continuing funding that is needed as construction progresses. This allows Urban Sky to access funds at multiple points during the construction process, based on a closely managed and controlled project schedule.  

Urban Sky provides its investors detailed construction drawings and plans, project schedule (with critical path) and a conservative budget. These are supplemented with market information that supports type, size and sell price of the infill project.

Urban Sky has an envious track record of investment returns paid to its investors. Coupled with Urban Sky’s focus on building close relationships with its investor partners, several of our investor partners choose to continually roll-over their principal investments into new Urban Sky infill projects.

 To learn more about investing with Urban Sky; contact us at 780-504-0005 or email

2019 4th Annual Infill Tour

The countdown is on! Saturday June 15th is the 4th Annual Infill Tour and Urban Sky is pleased to have our Virginia Park homes featured.
The event is put on by IDEA (Infill Development Edmonton Association); ‘a community of committed Edmontonians passionate about the positive transformation of our mature and existing neighborhoods’. Each year, a variety of infill styles are thoughtfully curated to showcase some of the best infill projects and builders in Edmonton!
If you’ve never been, this is an exciting opportunity to tour a diverse style of projects and designs and to get an inside look at how people live, work and play. At each location, you can talk with owners or builders, to learn from their experience building an infill project in Edmonton.
With the purchase of a ticket to this event, you will receive a tour package that includes all of the locations, along with a description and photo of the projects. You may choose to visit specific sites that are of interest to you, or you may choose to visit them all!

10:00 am – 10:30 am: Edmonton Foodbank Annex 11434 120 Street NW – bring a donation!
10:30 am – 2:30 pm: Tour
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm: After Party with drinks and snacks

Tickets can be purchased here.

To learn more about IDEA:
To learn more about our featured Virginia Park homes:


Major benefits of investing in YEG Infill

Some of the many benefits of investing in real estate include being able to generate wealth through appreciation, building equity, and hedging against inflation. It can also provide cash flow with passive income from rental properties.

Real estate also provides better returns than the stock market without as much volatility. When the market improves, so does the value of your home and as a result; you build equity.

Investing in Edmonton’s infill real estate market is a great way to save for retirement, create a diversified investment portfolio and earn a passive income. In addition, it helps boost the local economy while making use of existing infrastructure and community services.
If you’re considering investing in Edmonton’s infill market and are trying to decide if it’s the right fit for you, we’ve put together 5 reasons why investing in real estate is key to your overall investment strategy.

1. Steady, passive income.
Investing in infill real estate is a great way to create a steady income for yourself so you can enjoy more of what you love. For Urban Sky, the property’s location is key when choosing to invest! We look for good urban neighbourhoods that are centrally located and have properties near schools, universities, parks and transit.

2. Build equity for a later date.
The equity you build can be leveraged to allow you to invest in additional infill real estate and to generate additional income. Or, it can serve as an alternate method of saving; for your retirement, post secondary education, etc.

3. Stability through portfolio diversification.
Diversification is a great way to reduce the overall risk of your investment. By choosing more than one asset class, it helps to ensure that at least one area of your investment is always performing well.

4. Tax advantages.
As an investor, and depending on the type of project, you may be able to take advantage of tax deductions on dividends, mortgage interest, property taxes, and operating expenses.

5. You are the boss.
Investing in infill real estate allows you to be in control of your investment. You can decide which type of investment is right for you and the location of the property to purchase. You can also choose the time period of the investment, negotiated rates of return, etc.

Many investors are opting for Urban Sky’s Investor partnership model. Here’s what you need to know:

ü  Do Your Market Research

As an investor, you’ll want to learn as much about the market and the real estate opportunities as possible. Investors can sign up to meet with Urban Sky to learn more about the process, the top markets, and the specific properties and projects we have to offer.  Our team is also on hand throughout the process to help answer any questions you may have along the way.

ü  Investment

We create a legally Incorporated Company for each project, with equity shareholders and debt lenders (we provide a complete set of legal documents to each investor). One of the benefits of this structure is that investors don’t need to sign for the financing or qualify for a mortgage. We take care of the paperwork and secure the project’s total financing. All you need to do is make the commitment, and let our Urban Sky take care of the heavy lifting.

Interested in learning about more of the benefits of investing in infill real estate and how you can get started? Contact us to learn more about how we strategically plan our investments and to find out what current opportunities we have available for you.

Why Quality Matters

Being part of the design of your new infill home is not only the perfect way to achieve a custom layout, but you will have a home that is unique to you and your needs. And, choosing quality materials and construction workmanship  is key to achieving long-term value. Before starting, it is important to research a local builder who has extensive experience, can adapt to the available options that meets your budget and has demonstrated constructing quality homes. Here’s why:

Quality of Materials Leads to Being Energy-Smart
Choosing quality, eco-friendly materials often mean less energy waste, less maintenance and increased longevity.

Quality of Construction Workmanship
Complete and detailed construction drawings, with attention to detail, reduces build time and cost.

Combining Quality of Material with Quality of Construction Means Less Maintenance
A home that requires less maintenance reduces cost, and will last for years to come.

Maintain Higher Value
Quality materials not only adds aesthetic appeal, but also helps grow your home’s long-term value.

So, what components of your home achieves better long-term return on your investment? We recommend these 5 items to increase value:

1. Windows and Doors
Investing in energy efficient windows and doors can block out some of the harmful UV rays that fades flooring, paint and furniture, reduce heat loss in the winter, and keep inside cool air contained in the summer.

2. Insulation
High quality interior and exterior insulation retains inside heat in the winter and cool air in the summer, reduces energy demands , reduces noise, and provides an improved fire-retardant barrier.

3. Structurally Engineered Framing
Using enhanced structural designs reduces house settlement, increases necessary cavity space air-flow and properly treated wood can prevent fungus, mold etc.

4. Roof
Quality roofing materials provide durable, water-tight protection that results in long-term savings; it’s an area that’s worth investing in.

5. HVAC, Appliances and Fixtures
Energy efficient electrical, plumbing and heating fixtures provide additional savings. Make sure you look at their product specifications for quality of material and always ask to see samples.

Quality materials and construction workmanship is crucial when building your new infill home. Urban Sky Developments understands the importance of your investment and has both the experience and track record to prove it! We work closely with you to thoughtfully design and create a higher quality home that you will love and that is built to last. Ready to get started? Check out our current projects or Contact us to start designing!

How Much Square Footage Do You Really Need For Your Home?

Planning for your next home is an exciting time! It’s an opportunity for you to pick and choose all the features that you love. And, it means choosing a size of home that makes the most sense for you and your needs. So, how much square footage do you really need? And, where do you even start when it comes to deciding on this magical number? Here’s some tips to consider in determining a size that is right for you:

Floorplan Layout
Start with Main Floor Living and Eating Areas. This is key! A well-designed open-style main floorplan may be the best fit. This design maximizes all usable space while providing a more spacious design.

Sell Price
Budget is largely driven by the land, square footage and selection of fixtures and finishes. Make sure you also factor in legal costs, property tax, furniture, etc. as explained in our free downloadable planning guide.

Future Needs
Ask yourself; both now and long term, is this a home that will meet your needs? Is it one that you’re going to want to live in for 10 or 20 years, or beyond? If so, do you foresee the home as being able to serve your needs for as long as you’re planning to live there? Consider this:
Family size – do you have enough space for everyone? Will your family be growing anytime soon?
Finances – If utilities, taxes, or interest rates were to increase, would you still be able to afford the home? And, will you be able to manage any maintenance costs on the home?
Future goals – Are you focused on savings, travel, furthering your education? And if so, does the size and price of the home align with how you envision your lifestyle?

Know Your Priorities
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Larger homes can provide added space for hobbies and interests such as a gym, craft room, home office, etc. but, they can also mean more maintenance, yard work, snow removal, landscaping, house work, etc. And so, you must ask yourself, do you enjoy doing these types of tasks? Or, would you prefer to focus your time on other enjoyments in your life? And, does the size of my home allow me to focus more of my time on these enjoyments?

Dan Maginn, summed it up well with his article: Square Feat: Foot Steps ( where he suggests starting with your current home size and following these steps:
1. Measure and record the size of each room i.e.) kitchen, bathroom, utility room, etc.
2. Take note of whether each room feels too big or too small
3. Write down how your needs for each specific space may change in the future i.e.) growing your family, downsizing, upgrading the quality of your homes finishes and appliances, etc.
4. Adjust the numbers accordingly until you reach a number that’s just right. i.e.) increased master bedroom, larger living room, added ensuite, etc.
5. Add up all the adjusted numbers to arrive at your desired total square footage of your next home.

Ultimately, the goal is to find the perfect balance between comfortable and functional square footage while considering your needs both now and in the future. By thinking about how you use your current space now, what areas of your home are most important, and which spaces you may not be getting the most use out of, this will help you determine the perfect amount of square footage needed going forward.

Ready to start designing your next home? Contact our design team to get started!

Urban Sky Cares: A Holiday Update

That’s a wrap on another highly successful holiday campaign!

Throughout the year, our Urban Sky Cares program looks for ways in which we can participate in our community, give back, and help provide opportunities for those in need. And, whether it’s helping to provide extracurricular experiences, or matching donations made to local organizations, we are actively looking for ways we can become involved and help make a difference!

This holiday season, our Urban Sky Cares program teamed up with Christmas Bureau of Edmonton as we helped to #passtheplateyeg and matched donations up to a total of $1,500. Through the initiative, donors were able to give; knowing that their donations would be going that much further with the campaign ($10 became $20, $50 became $100 etc.)

Donors were extremely generous, and we are happy to report that within 3 short days of the campaign, that 165 donations were made, raising $8,145 to help families in need (not included in this total is the $1,500 Urban Sky Cares donation match).

We are so thankful to all who participated, who helped make this campaign such a success, and who helped to make the holiday season a little bit brighter for those in need within our City! Thank you!

Want to know more about our Urban Sky Cares program? Check us out!
Interested in learning more about Christmas Bureau of Edmonton and how you can become involved? Visit their site, and stay tuned to learn more about how our Urban Sky Cares campaign will be participating next!

7 Reasons Why Building A New Home Provides More Value

Whether you’re looking to buy or invest in real estate, getting the most value out of your purchase both now and long term is important. At Urban Sky, we believe that a new home provides more value (compared to pre-owned) and best serves you. Here’s why:

Price Point
Building a new home allows you to get exactly what you want for the price point that you are set on. No guessing, no settling for pre-owned, and you can decide on all the materials that make up the total cost of your investment.

Buyer Incentives
If you are a first-time home buyer, you may qualify for First-Time Home Buyers (FTHB) Tax Credit which offers a $5,000 non-refundable income tax credit amount on a qualifying home; a great way to achieve cost savings.

This serves to protect your investment by providing coverage for items such as delayed closing, construction defects, basement construction, etc. Having this added protection eliminates any potential surprise costs both post sale, and following move-in.

Less Ongoing Costs
When building your new home, you can avoid having to invest in some of the unnecessary frills that come with pre-owned homes. And, you save both time and resources by not having to renovate that existing home, or deal with the unexpected or unknown.

Energy Efficient
Immediate cost savings are experienced (when compared to pre-owned homes) through energy efficient features such as LED lighting, low-flow fixtures, and ecological finishes.

Creative Control
There is a personal satisfaction and connection hat comes with building a new home. In doing so, you are the first person to reside in that finished home, you designed it, and the layout and materials chosen are best matched to you and your family’s needs.

Resale Market Value
Newer homes are typically easier to sell than older existing ones. This is because they’re esthetically pleasing, typically lower maintenance, and offer a lot of the perks discussed above. Knowing this, makes it easier to invest in a new home as it holds its value well.

Are you ready to start designing and investing in a new home? Contact us to get started.

Things to Consider When Buying an Infill Housing Lot

Infill housing developments are playing a huge role in shaping the future of housing in Edmonton! They are helping to reduce environmental impacts by making use of existing city resources like utilities, parks, schools and transit, and making walkable communities more accessible. They continue to revitalize mature neighbourhoods, and transform curb appeal with their architectural and design flare.

Great infill homes start by finding the perfect place to build, and so here are 5 things to consider when choosing the best infill housing lot:

  1. Price
    This is an excellent starting point! Knowing what you are approved for beforehand helps with financial planning and ultimately determines the size and style of home that you can afford. When it comes to purchasing a lot that contains an existing structure. it’s also important to do some research beforehand and decide on the margins that you’re hoping to achieve as a buyer or investor. If opting for a teardown lot, ideally the cost should range from one third to half of the final price of your newly completed infill home. I.e.) If the final cost of your infill home is $400,000, then the cost of your teardown unit should be between $132,000 and $200,000.
  2. Location
    Think about where you spend a considerable amount of time and determine if the area you’re looking to purchase the infill housing lot in best serves those needs. For example, are you wanting to be close to schools, your favourite grocery store, a leisure centre, or shopping mall? Or, is walkability important to you? If so, deciding on an area that is close to bus routes, bike lanes, or parks may be ideal. One of the many advantages of infill is that the opportunities to build are often located within established urban areas and are near some great amenities, and so it really comes down to deciding on an area that’s the best fit for you.
  3. Size
    This will depend on a few factors; a few of which to consider: Is the lot the right shape and size for the structure that you are wanting to build? Will there be enough parking? How will the neighbouring units obstruct the natural lighting that you are hoping to achieve? Are you wanting to maintain a sizeable backyard? How will the unit size compare to surrounding homes? Are you considering building or investing in a multiplex? And, will the lot meet the municipal size requirements needed to gain the necessary permits, etc.? Based on your answers, an interior designer can likely work with you to create a custom floor plan; one that considers your budget, available space, long term goals, provides a functional layout, and maintains its value long term.
  4. Condition
    When opting to build an infill housing development there are a couple of options: 1) look for ones that may not quite be up to standards but are in a desirable neighbourhood I.e.) smaller than average square footage, dated kitchens, insufficient number of baths, not energy efficient, or that which may have some structural issues. 2) Skip the complete tear down and opt for a major renovation instead. By adding onto the existing foundation, roofline and a portion of the existing wall(s), it may be easier and quicker to obtain the necessary permits for your build. The end decision will likely be based upon timeframe, style of home that you’re looking to build (multiplex vs. single detached), and budget.
  5. Consult with a professional
    Get in touch with a realtor, or custom home builder  that is knowledgeable about infill homes. They can work with you to help you find a lot beyond the above scope, and should be able to perform a feasibility study to help determine whether the lot(s) that you are interested in purchasing (or investing in) would be a viable option for infill development. In addition, your custom home builder may also have some available units already acquired that you can choose from.

Interested in learning more about infill housing? We’d love to chat! Follow us on social media or contact us today!

Affordable Infill: 5 Ways That you can Save

Infill housing is growing in Edmonton! It is a great opportunity to live near the hub of the city, and be within walking distance of all the best amenities that an established neighbourhood provides. And, it’s more affordable than you may think! Here’s 5 ways that you can achieve affordable infill and maximize the value of your next build:

Quality over quantity
Focus more of your budget on the basic building blocks such as a quality foundation, electrical, plumbing, ductwork, heating and cooling, roofing and windows; the fundamentals that are harder to update later on and that can help achieve some instant savings on things like heating and cooling costs. Non-essential items like adding on a back splash, building a deck, installing blind packages etc. can be added at a later date as both your time and budget allow.

Build up
Consider adding a second-story. By doing so, you are easily able to double the square footage while not doubling the foundation and roofing cost which often account for two of the biggest expenses when building your next home.

Centralize the plumbing
Spend some time with an experienced interior designer who can help you create a functional layout that best serves your needs, while allowing heavy plumbing areas to be in close proximity to reduce the cost of running plumbing all across the house.

Think simple, Combine brands
By shopping around and utilizing more than one supplier for fixtures and finishes, you can often achieve better value for your spend. And, don’t be afraid to go with basic finishes. This will make updating easier and less costly when considering preserving the value of your home long term.

2 for 1
Consider purchasing a larger infill housing lot with a family member or friend for the purpose of subdividing. It’s a great way to reduce your overall spend by reducing your cost of the land.  If unable to find someone to subdivide a property with; reach out to your new home developer to see if they would be willing to help. Alternately, consider adding on a basement or garage suite as a form of extra revenue.

Ready to start building or investing in your next home? Contact Us, we would love to help you get started!

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