IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS FOR YOUR INFILL HOME

There are several important factors to consider when planning and building your infill home; Each of which play a role in the determining the final cost. It is necessary to have a budget, and you’ll likely want to consider some cost saving tips like the ones found here and here. Even then, it is good to have a realistic expectation of costs and an understanding of what goes into your custom home before you decide to build. Let’s look at seven:

1) SITE PLANNING, DRAWINGS AND PERMITS
This typically includes architecturally designed and engineered plans. The infill house and floor plans do not need a licensed architect, but the structural aspects do need engineered stamped drawings. And do not forget, infills require landscaped drawings that include grading and drainage (however, these do not need to be stamped).

2) ROOF DESIGN AND TRUSS
For various reasons, post-Covid, lumber prices have increased. Simpler roof truss and floor plan designs will assist to control costs.

3) FLOORPLANS AND INTERIOR FINISHES AND FIXTURES:
This can be broken down into (2) categories; both of which typically account for the bulk of your infill home costs based on design preference and needs.
1) The floorplan: straight, uninterrupted wall lines, with shared walls for electrical, plumbing and HVAC have a bigger influence in cost control than you might think.
2) Finishes and Fixtures: This includes your fixtures and finishes and include everything from flooring types, to lighting, energy efficient details, integrated technology and more! Simpler trim features, cabinets, counter-tops, and cost-effective fixtures all play significant roles.

4) WINDOWS AND DOORS
Edmonton has good local manufacturers of windows and doors, which feature good designs and competitive pricing. However, your choice of window components will influence price. Items such as exterior cladding, insulating glass, interior casing, hinged panels, size of window, type of window operation, locking mechanism, non-white exterior cladding and interior casing have noticeable upcharges. In addition, don’t forget your basement window wells.

5) LANDSCAPE
Infill homes require an approved landscape plan at the time of submitting your permit application. One option is to use a landscape architect to design the plan. In working with an experienced landscaper, they can provide the plan and complete this work. Grading, drainage, compaction, sod/mulch/rock, trees, shrubs, flowers and more. Other considerations include ongoing maintenance and winter snow clearing.

6) DRIVEWAYS AND WALKWAYS
Concrete is another cost that is typically under-estimated in the preliminary conceptual budget planning phase. Make sure your estimate includes native soil excavation and import soil supply and compaction (if needed), along with the  preparation of all concrete forms, type of surface finish, etc. The construction of these must tie into your grading and landscaping plans.

THE BOTTOM LINE – PHASE YOUR PLANNING
It is easy to see how your conceptual, preliminary and final designs impacts the total cost of your infill home. It is helpful to phase your planning and have price estimates provided at the conceptual and preliminary phases (with precision variance noted). Only at the final design stage, can an accurate quoted price be provided. In addition, make sure you add a contingency reserve for things like material cost increases (like lumber), unknowns (who knows what might be uncovered when you excavate for your new foundation) and possible add-ons (for that bathroom tile in-floor heating or the larger fireplace).

WHY CHOOSE URBAN SKY
At Urban Sky our talented team specializes in custom infill homes. In doing so, we work with you to create thoughtful designs that are efficient, work well for how you want to live. And, that provide outstanding value. Contact us today for a free consultation and see how we’re able to bring the vision of your next home to life, within your budget!

Three Steps for Infill Housing

Nexthome asked Urban Sky to provide its input on its recent feature article on Edmonton’s Infill housing.
Infill housing plays a crucial role in Edmonton’s housing development as it uses under-utilized and existing city services, builds parks, creates new businesses and more. In addition, the direct & indirect economic impact contributed by the infill sector is more important than ever before. From the purchasing of local construction material & hiring of local labor; the new infill substantially increases property taxes, indirectly adds employment by new local businesses and significantly reduces and lowers suburban development costs (that are paid by taxpayers).

Urban Sky’s 3 Steps for Infill Housing
Step 1: Know your budget limit and time frame; both can be determined at the conceptual stage. We can do this.
Step 1 Find the land. Start by identifying your 2-3 preferred urban (mature) subdivisions. We can find and purchase it for you.
Step 2 Design the house; style, size, floor plans, secondary suites (yes/no), along with the exterior look. It’s here that you’ll work side-by-side with our design team.

With over 60 years experience, Urban Sky has gone through many situations and provides realistic and open communication. We are known for exceptional attention to detail, a blend of functional and architectural designs, and structured controls for budget and schedule.  Have questions or are ready to start building your new infill home? Contact us to learn more.

Edmonton’s Hottest Home

Experience luxury living in one of Edmonton’s trendiest neighbourhoods; exclusively at VP110. This 2650 sq. ft 3 bed 3 bath custom-built home is sure to impress with its high-grade finishes, custom fixtures and solid construction.
Located along Edmonton’s River Valley, just minutes from downtown; this stunning home provides breathtaking views of the Ravine and Edmonton’s skyline from the privacy of your third-floor loft.

And, newly reduced, this one-of-a-kind home exudes comfort! From the open concept floorplan, which provides optimal flow, to the windows which provide the best natural lighting. The heated flooring in the oversized ensuite gives off spa-like vibes. And, the smart power technology throughout means that you are always connected; allowing you to effortlessly optimize your home settings from virtually anywhere.
Incredibly priced at just $899,000 this home is easily one of the best deals in its category.

Get the details here.
Upcoming open house: November 1st from 2-4pm

Edmonton’s Latest Trendy Neighborhood

River Valley living in Virginia Park, just west of Highlands, has become one of Edmonton’s  trendy neighborhoods! Chosen for its central location, schools, family parks and close proximity to Highland’s bistros and Kinnaird Ravine; this exceptional neighborhood is full of character and historical charm.
Featured here, this one-of-a-kind custom-built home has recently reduced its price, which easily makes it one of the best deals available (if not, the best deal available) in its category along Edmonton’s highly desirable River Valley.
This 2,650 sq. ft. 3-bedroom 3 bath home, on a 33 ft. standard sized lot, features many high-grade features and high-quality finishing’s including:  an open concept floorplan with main floor 9’ ceilings, ceramic and luxury vinyl flooring throughout. Quartz countertops, custom European cabinetry, high-grade and energy efficient windows and wireless LED lighting, increased insulation, 2-zone heating, reinforced engineered walls and structural support, structurally insulated floor system, and optional pre-designed basement suite/development with bespoke design. Every detail of this home was meticulously planned. The 3rd floor loft with wet bar provides a spectacular view of Kinnaird Ravine; an area that has historical roots as one of Edmonton’s early coal mines.
Affordably priced at just $899,000, this stunning, well-constructed home is located just minutes from downtown, a short stroll from the trendy Gibbard Block and just west of Highlands Golf Club; all within a vibrant up and coming neighborhood.

For more details please check out our listing here or contact us for more details.


Buying or Selling Your Home in the new Normal

Over the past 4 months we have seen several adaptations within the real estate market as people continue to buy and sell their homes. So, what is happening within the market? And how do these changes affect how you buy or sell your next home?

Embracing Technology
With continued calls to physically distance, technology has taken on an even greater role in how we buy and sell our homes. Available on sites like MLS, 3D tours have become more common. Zoom calls to meet with your local listing agent are now available, and more and more people are experiencing virtual walk-throughs from the comfort and safety of their living rooms. Buyers and sellers are now negotiating and finalizing deals via technology and even utilizing apps with encrypted e-signatures for ease of completing the necessary documents. But what if you really want to see the home in person?

Safely Visit the Property
Buying and selling your home is one of the biggest decisions of your life and so it makes sense to want to experience it in person before making the commitment. So, how can you do so while practicing the appropriate safety measures? Here are some of the steps that Urban Sky has taken to allow you to practice physical distancing while adhering to the recommended safety guidelines:
• Reducing the number of high touch areas and overall traffic through our homes. We suggest that potential buyers or sellers schedule a house showing ahead of time so that both parties are prepared.
• Sanitizing high touch areas before and after each showing, having hand sanitizer available for anyone touring the home.
• Limit the number of visitors to the home at a given time I.e.) Unless necessary, try to limit the number of members from a single home visiting the property.
• Arrive in separate vehicles (buyer, agent).
• Encourage the use of a mask and gloves (provided you feel comfortable with these items).
• Maintain physical distancing whenever possible.

The Good News
Low rates. Interest rates are historically low which, depending on your situation, means that as new home buyer, you could experience significant cost savings on your mortgage.
Time to research. With the increased number of resources and access to online tools, now is an excellent time to be researching your next home or finding ways to best stage the home you are looking to sell. As a home buyer, this will help ensure you find the best home for the best value. And as a seller, this will help you achieve your list price and maximize your return on investment.
Preapproval. Now is also a great time to get preapproved. Doing so allows you to determine what you can afford and can help secure a low mortgage rate while you shop for your next home. Should rates drop before you are ready to commit; then you will often have access to that better rate which means additional savings.

Purchasing your next home is an exciting investment opportunity; one that is rewarding as you start to accumulate equity. If you feel you are ready for your next home, we encourage you to contact one of our team members and find out what options are available to you.

Urban Sky Developments Infill Homes: The Edmonton Experience

Edmonton’s infill housing market is changing thanks to organizations like IDEA, movement from City Council, feedback from new home buyers and suburban residents. In addition, Urban Sky, who specializes in infill housing developments, has also played an important role.

In a recent online article titled ‘The Changing face of Canada’s first suburbs’ Tim Querengesser highlights the evolution of Canadian suburbs and perpetuates the discussion of infill housing and the need for urban re-development.  He also describes how municipalities are dealing with unsustainable costs of sprawl and ways in which they aim to get more people back into their urban first suburbs. So, what’s involved in building an urban home? And, where does one start?

Back in 2017, Urban Sky had the privilege of working with a customer named Tim and his family to design and construct their new homes in the Prince Charles neighbourhood; just blocks from downtown. They shared the dream of urban living with Urban Sky, after researching the costs of extensively renovating and deciding on an alternative option. In their search, working with Urban Sky to design an infill home was the right fit.

Over the last several years Urban Sky has observed a change in Edmonton’s housing market. There has been a growing number of infill homes constructed near the hub of the City (urban first suburbs). And, we recognized the need for a more sustainable approach; one that makes use of existing municipal infrastructure and resources as the City’s population continues to increase. We really believe that, through infill development, we are helping to make a positive, ecological impact.

At Urban Sky, our philosophy is that “We build outstanding value.” We are committed to providing high quality homes at a reasonable price point; ones that maintain their value and long-term return on investment. And, we use our “end-to-end” approach to do so. This approach marries modern design with solid construction and supports how real people want to live in urban areas.

In meeting with Urban Sky and comparing the costs to renovate vs. building new, Tim felt it made the most financial sense to design the type of infill home that he and his wife had always wanted.

To start, Urban Sky helped with the land procurement and secured the necessary permits required to subdivide the land into two separate lots; one for his family and the second for his brother’s family. From there, Urban Sky’s interior designer met with Tim and his wife to understand what features and design elements were most important to them. These features were then crafted into the overall layout to create a thoughtful design; one that maximized use of space and that uniquely fit their lifestyle. Throughout the construction process, Urban Sky’s Project Manager worked diligently to ensure every detail of the home was incorporated. And, regular progress updates were provided to Tim as the home took shape.

Once completed, Tim and his family were able to move into their dream home; a space nestled within a walkable community, surrounded by mature trees and that breathed new life into one of Edmonton’s post war suburbs.

Interested in learning more about infill? Be sure to check out Canadian Geographic’s article: The Changing face of Canada’s  first suburbs.

Are you ready to achieve your dream of urban living? If so, check out our website or get in touch to see how we can work with you to help design and build your next home!

 

Investing With Urban Sky

Now is the time to start investing in real estate! Interest rates are still low, there is a variety of good value urban housing options available to choose from, and these two factors make this an opportunistic time to begin or expand your real estate portfolio. With low interest rates, your carrying costs are low, cash flow is positive and, most likely, your asset will exceed the public stock market investment option. All-in-all, real estate investment provides good capital management with attractive Cap Rates.

So, how does the Urban Sky investment program work? Urban Sky’s private investment program raises funds for the acquisition of urban redevelopment land and the construction of the new build urban housing. The proceeds from your investment, are distributed at the time of sale of the new project.

To start, we present our investors with the unique opportunity for combined or stand-alone debt and/or equity capital investment structure. And, before each project begins, we put together a detailed investor package which clearly defines, up front, what the investment is, what the design-build project looks like, the costs, timeline, financial feasibility and the risk profile.

As Urban Sky is also an investor in its own projects, we have a vested interest to accurately evaluate exactly what the investment is and why it is worthwhile to make. And, the evaluation includes independent research and data that supports the best strategy for the project’s specific purpose; one that can realistically offer  an attractive and competitive return.

When you partner with Urban Sky, our team of professionals, who are experts in land acquisition, financial analysis, legal, design, construction, project management and controls, and selling, work with you to deliver results. We effectively manage the day-to-day timeline and operations of each project and provide you with regular updates on your investment while creating opportunities for you to have meaningful input along the way.

Urban Sky is proud to have an extended history of partnering with a solid repeat group of our investors. And we love receiving their feedback that our investors value the pro forma financials provided, our track record meeting our forecasted returns, the Urban Sky business model, and the strong relationships developed alongside one another.

Are you ready to partner with us? Urban Sky is currently welcoming investors that are interested in including real estate in their investment portfolio. Contact Tom Keogh at (587) 852-0738, or email tom@urbanskydevelopments.ca

 

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
nsmith@levven.com; tom.keogh@urbanskydevelopments.ca

INFILL FINANCING WITH URBAN SKY

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 (587) 852-0738 or email tom.keogh@urbanskydevelopments.ca

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!

Timeline:
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: https://www.infilledmonton.com/
To learn more about our featured Virginia Park homes: http://urbanskydevelopments.com/our-projects/current/

 

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tom.keogh@urbanskydevelopments.ca

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