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Ultimate Home Staging Checklist

Fri, 25 Sep by


staging 2

Staging a home to sell is a conscious effort to prepare your home a step above the competing listings on the market. You want a potential buyer to walk into your home and feel like they have to have it! Staging is not easy to do but with some effort the results could truly pay off. Here’s a checklist on how to impress from curb to closet:
• Cut and water the lawn, and trim and prune all trees and shrubs
• Remove pet waste, leaves, and weeds from the yard along with tools, toys and other visible items
• Clean all exterior doors and windows on house and garage
• Paint the exterior trim and stain the deck and fence
• Stage an outdoor sitting area with flowerpots, pillows, outdoor carpets, and fire pit or fountain
• Install outdoor solar lighting along all driveways and walkways in front and back yard
• Replace your mailbox, house numbers and paint your front door for a quick curb appeal facelift
• Paint the interior – including walls, doors, ceilings, closets and trim – in a neutral beige or grey
• Remove all shoes, jackets, keys, mail, umbrellas and bags from entrances
• Lubricate doors, furniture and windows to eliminate squeaks
• Remove ALL but the essential items from countertops in the kitchen
and bathrooms
• Clean INSIDE and ON TOP of all appliances including refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher and oven
• Dust entire home including ceiling fans, light fixtures, air vents, lampshades, TV’s and electronics
• Clean door frames, doors, windows and window sills, walls, light switches, trim and baseboards
• Place a large bowl full of one fruit such as lemons or apples on the kitchen countertop or table
• Change cat litter and keep it out of sight along with pet food bowls, pet beds and pet toys
• Use fresh plants and flowers to compliment a focal point of the home
• Use an odor neutralizer with a fresh scent even if you don’t think you need one
• Replace all light bulbs with maximum watts and have all lights on and all blinds and draperies open
• Depersonalize the space by removing family photos, trophies, mementos and magnets on the fridge
• Coordinate décor accessories, pillows, and artwork with no more than two accent colors per room
• Float furniture away from walls, into conversational groups, and place so the traffic flow is obvious
• Arrange décor accessories in groups of three – a small, medium and a large item clustered together
• Vary the pattern and grouping of wall hangings and have one or two large focal pieces in living area
• Pack unnecessary items and furniture – at least 1/3 of your home and store them OFF the property
• Don’t neglect storage areas – place items in plastic containers and neatly stack on shelving
• Leave commercial-free easy listening music playing at a low but audible volume on in the house

September 2015 Calgary Events

Tue, 15 Sep by



Inventory levels rise. August sales activity falls below long-term averages

Wed, 09 Sep by



Email Version YYC July 2015 - for posting-01


Calgary’s residential resale housing market recorded further easing in absorption rates in August due to weaker sales activity.

Sales in the city declined by 27 per cent to 1,643 units last month relative to the same time last year, and 12 per cent below 10-year averages.
“Persistent weakness in the energy sector weighed on sales activity this month, which once again retracted to levels well below the norm for the city,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
The residential unadjusted sales-to-new-listings ratio eased from 67 per cent in July to 60 per cent in August, contributing to a monthly rise in inventory levels to 5,146 units. Combined with weaker sales activity, months of supply pushed up to 3.13 months.
While every price range experienced fewer sales per new listing, homes in the higher price ranges saw the most significant decline in absorption rates compared to last year, noted Lurie.
Year-to-date new listings in the $600,000-plus category increased in share of activity compared to last year. However, sales activity in this price range represented 18 per cent of all the sales last month, down from nearly 20 per cent last year.
“With more options in the higher-end of the market, sellers will need to consider their competition as well as their goals regarding a sell date,” said CREB® president Corinne Lyall. “This will influence the pricing strategy they agree upon with their real estate professional.”
Lurie added that despite challenges near the top of the market, absorption rates in the under-$500,000 detached sector remained relatively tight and is likely causing some price trend discrepancies.
Despite weaker absorption rates, benchmark prices remained relatively stable, totaling $456,300 in August. Lurie credits this steadiness to both the detached and attached sectors, which have remained more balanced relative to the apartment sector.
The apartment sector continued to struggle with increased competition from competing properties during the month, as unadjusted months of supply rose to 4.3. Increased supply is ultimately weighed on pricing, as prices declined on a year-over-year basis by 1.44 per cent in August.
Overall, the combination of price declines and higher inventory levels in some segments of the market are influencing buying patterns in Calgary, said Lyall.
“Improved selection in these segments is giving buyers the opportunity to be discerning about their purchase decisions,” she said. “They may be weighing their options between resale and new product, along with what community fits their lifestyle.”
“Although market conditions affect consumers’ real estate decisions, so do their lifestyles. People move for a number of reasons, including proximity to work and schools, along with changes in family dynamics.”


Mon, 24 Aug by

Moving Numbers


If you are moving or have ever moved, you know there are several calls to make in order to coordinate your change of address and services. We’ve put together a list that you can use as a quick reference for moving, or for any other reason:

ATCO GAS 403-245-7888 
DIRECT ENERGY 1- 866-420-3174 
EPCOR 403-310-4300 
ENMAX 403-310-2010 

TELUS 403-310-2255
SHAW CABLE & INTERNET 403-716-0000 
BELL 403-310-BELL (2355)
ROGERS 1-877-343-5745

CALGARY TIPS (Property Tax) 311 or 403-268-CITY

CANADA POST 1-800-267-1177
ALBERTA HEALTH CARE 403-310-000 then dial 780-427-1432

• Contact your lawyer to schedule an appointment for signing the closing documents.
• Contact your bank to ensure your mortgage documents are in order for closing day.
• Contact your insurance company to ensure your house insurance documents are in order for closing day

Calgary Events – August 2015

Tue, 18 Aug by

Calgary Events








The Lion King, the Musical – Tuesday, Aug 11th to Sunday, Sep 6th
Opera in the Village – Thursday, August 13th – Saturday, August 22nd
Globalfest – Thursday, August 20th to Saturday, August 29th
BBQ on the Bow – Saturday, September 5th and Sunday, September 6th

Market Remains Balanced Despite Easing In Absorption Rates

Fri, 14 Aug by

Email Version YYC July 2015-150-01

 Supply gain in apartment sector threatens to impact price.

Declines in residential housing sales activity eased in July, creating, when combined with stable inventory levels, no change to the month-over-month price.

Year-over-year sales fell by 14 per cent to 1,995 units in July, compared to a 17.8 per cent decrease the previous month. Despite the decline, sales activity during
the month was consistent with the 10-year average.

While sales decline eased, so too did the decline in new listings, causing the unadjusted sales-to-new listings ratio to edge down to 67 per cent in July and months of
supply to increase to 2.53 months.

“As weakness in the energy sector continues, this is trickling into several other aspects of our local economy, including our housing market,” said CREB® chief
economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

Despite weaker absorption rates, market conditions remained relatively balanced and helped maintain month-over-month stability in benchmark prices, which remained
unchanged from the previous month at $455,400.

“Often, the focus is on home prices. In fact, Calgary has recorded significant gains in home prices over the past several years,” said Lurie. “And despite the recent
retraction, we have not seen all those previous gains eroded.”

While benchmark prices exhibited some month-over-month resilience, they still declined by 0.15 per cent annually and one per cent lower than levels recorded in
January. It represents the first time since 2011 that benchmark prices have posted a year-over-year decline.

Lurie attributes most of the year-over-year decline to the apartment sector, where prices fell by 1.61 per cent to $293,300 – nearly two per cent lower than the price
at the beginning of the year – due to weak demand and growing supply.

Year-to-date new listings in the apartment sector declined by 4.6 per, while sales declined by 29 per cent over the same period, resulting in inventory gains. By July,
the months of supply pushed up to 3.77 months compared to three months in June.

“The relatively weak demand for apartment product, combined with rising supply, continued to place downward pressure on prices for the second month in a row,” said

CREB® president Corinne Lyall noted Calgary’s housing market is continuing to see some nuances in supply between the different segments of the market.

“These differences are really important to understand as it relates to consumer expectations,” she said. “Some buyers expect they will get major price reductions in
this market, but that’s not always the case. In some areas, supply levels are more balanced with demand and that creates price stability.”

Meanwhile, detached home prices remained steady month-over-month at $515,300. While absorption rates eased in the sector, conditions remained relatively balanced.

“Many clients are optimistic about the long-term outlook and are less concerned about short-term fluctuations in the housing market,” said Lyall.

“They’re focused on taking the time they need to make the right choices for their lifestyle. Saying that, it’s important to stay current and become educated with the
market dynamics in the communities where they may be making real estate decisions.”

Cool Hot Tubs for Summer Fun

Thu, 30 Jul by

No need to go on vacation to enjoy the summer. Bring the fun home with these amazing hot tubs!
Photo Feature July 2015

Calgary’s Summer Festival Scene

Mon, 20 Jul by

YYC Folk Festival AP

Calgary’s Summer Festival Scene rivals any other, with performers and artists embarking on our city each year to put on a great time.  It wouldn’t be summer without checking out at least a couple of the events, and the sites, sounds and culinary adventures they have to offer.

Calgary Folk Music Festival July 23rd-26th
Revel in one of the ‘7 musical wonders of the world’ (Globe and Mail) at Prince’s Island Park. 76 artists from 16 countries on 8 stages in concerts and magical collaborative sessions.  This year’s newcomers and mainstays include Jr. Gone Wild, Father John Misty, Esperanza Spalding, Buffy Sainte-Marie , Lucinda Willams and the Mavericks.

Afrikadey!  2015 World Music Festival Aug 5th – Aug 8th
A week-long celebration of the music, food, dance, theatre, film, literature and visual arts of Africa and her descendant cultures.  These events take place at different venues all over the city with a final day of music on Prince’s Island.

Marda Gras Street Festival Aug 9th
Thousands of locals embark on a decorated Marda Loop to experience the culture and cuisine of New Orleans in a free, outdoor festival.  With a kid’s zone, an entertainment stage with an eclectic line-up and local food vendors, this street party does not disappoint.

GlobalFest August 20th to 29th
Within GlobalFest is the OneWorld Festival, the Firework’s Festival, the Night Market and hundreds of thousands of people of different cultures coming together to celebrate the cultural diversity within Calgary’s communities. Cultural pavilions and countries present pyromusicals nightly in Elliston Park.

Carifest Aug 22nd
Calgary’s Carifest is a celebration of Caribbean culture. Immerse yourself in the culture by attending events such as gospel concerts, movie nights, cultural showcases, and parades. Plus the Sunshine Fest, which kicks off Carifest with music, food, and entertainment at Shaw Millennium Park.

Cost of Buying a Home, Plan your Budget Wisely

Tue, 14 Jul by

Budget dreamstime_xs_45607185

There are many costs associated with buying your first home or your dream home. There are upfront costs and ongoing costs that you need to consider when planning your home-buying budget.

Upfront costs may include:

Down Payment – This needs to be ready at time of purchase and its source to be verifiable by the bank.
Initial and Additional Deposits – This is part of your down payment and has to be accessible when you’re placing an offer on a property.
Home Inspection – Costs of a home inspection runs from $350 to $550 on average, but it can go up to $1500 for larger homes, acreages, and specialty houses.
Condominium document reviews – When buying condo, having an independent professional to review your documents is really important. Costs vary from $350 to $550.
Appraisal fees – This cost may be paid by the lender or bank, but in some cases you have to pay the cost again. Costs are between $250 and $550 and up for specialty homes.
Mortgage Insurance fees – CMHC & Genworth fees are for mortgages with downpayments less 20%. This fee is added to your mortgage. You broker will advise you on the amount.
Legal fees and disbursement – Legal fees vary from $1,200 to $1,500 and more. Fees are based on the price of the home and the size of your mortgage.
Moving Costs – This is a hard one to estimate. It can range from a few hundred dollars by just renting a U-Haul to a few thousands by hiring professional movers.

Ongoing costs may include:

Your Mortgage Payments – This can be in monthly, bi-weekly or weekly terms. The more frequent your payment is, the faster you are paying off your mortgage.
Home insurance – Home insurance is based on the size of the house and several other factors.

Other regular fees include Property Taxes, Condo Fees, Utilities, Repairs and Maintenance.

Calgary Real Estate Market Report – July 2015

Thu, 09 Jul by

June sales consistent with typical levels
Calgary inventory levels ease

Despite the 18 per cent year-over-year decline in June home sales, for a total of 2,183 units, transaction levels remain only five per cent below the 10 year average for June and three per cent above levels over the past five years.

“We’ve seen less concern from consumers lately,” said CREB® president Corinne Lyall. “One of the main reasons is that we haven’t seen the worst case scenarios play out in the energy and housing sectors.”

“Consumers who were waiting for wide-spread price declines have been surprised to see that it just hasn’t happened yet, and so they’ve decided to take advantage of the improved selection and lower lending rates,” said Lyall.

The level of new listings that came on the market in June totaled 3,122 units, resulting in the second month of elevated absorption rates, which placed downward pressure on inventory levels. The overall months of supply continues to remain balanced at 2.3 months.

With conditions remaining relatively stable in June, there was minimal pressure on home prices. The city-wide benchmark price totaled $455,400, a respective monthly and year-over-year gain of 0.29 and 0.13 per cent.

“Even though city-wide prices were essentially unchanged in June, it’s important to note that activity can vary significantly depending on community, property type and price range,” said Lyall. “Every transaction has its own unique features, which is why we always encourage consumers to discuss these differences with local experts.”

Second quarter results pointed towards more stability in the market. The year-over-year decline in sales activity eased from 32 per cent in the first quarter to 22 per cent in the second quarter.  Meanwhile, the level of pullback of new listings outweighed the gains recorded in the first quarter, resulting in a year-to-date decline of nearly eight per cent.

While both sales and new listings have slowed for each property type within the city, the apartment sector continues to report the weakest absorption rates.

The weaker rates in this sector are now impacting prices. Despite last month’s improvement in price, the second quarter benchmark price was 0.81 per cent below levels recorded last year and 0.93 per cent below first quarter figures. Year-to-date unadjusted apartment averages continue to remain 1.65 per cent above last year’s levels.

In the detached segment, benchmark prices totaled $515,500 in June, slightly higher than last month and 0.4 per cent higher than June 2014 prices. Meanwhile, the year-to-date benchmark price for detached properties remained 3.44 per cent above last year’s figures.

Against this backdrop, the year-to-date average and median detached home price for Calgary has reported declines of 2.26 and 1.54 per cent city-wide. This doesn’t come as a surprise, given that the share of sales activity has declined in the higher price ranges.

“The housing market is showing some signs of stability right now,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.  “However, there are several risk factors that could influence the market in the second half of the year,” said Lurie. “Many of these factors will be addressed in CREB®’s mid-year forecast update, which will be released at the end of July.”

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Calgary Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.