Lakeside living part of Chestermere real estate market’s appeal

When it comes to Chestermere, no one knows the real estate market out there like Marjorie McKay and her family.

After all, she’s been the expert on buying and selling homes there since the early 1990s.

And over that period of time, she’s watched the city grow at a tremendous rate. The city just east of Calgary’s city limits now has a population of more than 20,000 people with growth of 34 per cent since 2011.

Chestermere has turned into a vibrant and dynamic recreational city while maintaining its charm as a laid-back lakeside community with a small town feel.

“We’ve been selling real estate in Chestermere for 27 years,” says McKay.

“Since the (provincial) election, the real estate market has been turning. Since Jason Kenney got in (as Premier with the United Conservative Party), people are buying again. It took a week or two for it to hit but we’re seeing a spring market. It’s improving. We’ve got one offer open; we’ve got one offer accepted; and we’ve got one deal done since the election. So it’s substantially changing. But I could also say there’s really good values out here right now.

“Really good values on lakefront. Where else can you drive to work and water ski in the morning? Chestermere has always been undervalued for lakefront and it still is and it amazes me.”

Marjorie, her husband Doug and her son Kevin ran a RE/MAX brokerage in Chestermere for about eight years but just over a month ago they joined the RE/MAX Real Estate (Central) team in Calgary.

Doug, Kevin and Marjorie McKay

“A lot of people who grew up in small towns still don’t want to be in the city. I hear that all the time. So people who are relocating from another suburb – who aren’t big city people – they still want to live not quite in the city but they don’t want to be too far either,” says McKay.

“I think Chestermere people are really involved and want to be involved in the community. Typically I think they’re sports-minded. They’re athletic. They’re well-educated. And have a fairly decent income. And they want to do what’s best for their children. They move here looking for a great place to raise their families.”

The McKays are once again helping organize the 12th Annual Parade of Garage Sales in Chestermere this weekend.  

“We have over 250 garage sales that are going in Chestermere. People come here from Brooks and Drumheller to shop,” says Marjorie. “We have thousands of visitors for this event. What is unique about our garage sale is that people can sort the garage sales by what they are looking for and a list of homes that have what they are looking for will populate so that they can just go to the sales that have what they are interested in.

“This year we are also adding a rummage sale at the community centre on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. so that people who live in condos can participate.

“It’s very popular and it’s a lot of fun. People come from all over the province for it. It really is great. It’s Chestermere’s most popular event.”

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