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Real estate transactions: Lots still empty along Elbow River

It has been five years since much of Calgary saw horrendous flooding. There are some areas along the Elbow River with signage telling people to stay off the land that is owned by the province. Those six lots in that particular area are among dozens of real estate transactions since Alberta bought these properties for its floodway relocation program.

In fact, the province spent more than $99 million to buy 94 homes that were damaged or at risk from the flood waters and that were located in an area prone to flooding. The province offered to purchase all the homes located on the floodway. Those who declined the offer had to floodproof their properties or risk not getting disaster help should flooding happen again.

The province says it's going to spend $80,000 in maintaining these floodway properties in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Any new homes to be built on floodway property will have to follow the stringent guidelines of Calgary's land use bylaws. In the meantime, the city and the province are aiming to get the Springbank reservoir built intended to protect properties along the Elbow River.

Potential Alberta buyers and sellers of real estate should be aware of these types of issues when becoming involved in real estate transactions. A real estate lawyer may be able to offer guidance about the often complex real estate laws and closing procedures. Getting a lawyer's opinion prior to signing any contractual agreements may save a lot of time, effort and money in the long run.

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