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Original Article on Real Estate Book by David Glenn


Whether planning to sell the house, have it rented out, or simply for personal satisfaction, a little renovation and upgrade is always necessary to help increase its market value. In order to boost a house’s value in the market, it is first important to learn what prospective buyers or tenants are searching for in a house. For most homeowners, the biggest concern is usually the budget required for upgrade, renovation and home maintenance.

The great news is that there’s no need to spend thousands of dollars for home improvements. Just follow these 10 tips for the best home upgrades to add value.

1. Knock down a wall and go for open concept

Not only will it create an illusion of a bigger space, but it is a home design trend that is very much in demand today. Just make sure to have the wall assessed for possible electrical wires housed behind it before hitting it with a sledge hammer.

2. Make the kitchen area workable

This means making the kitchen area a functional place where you can actually cook a decent meal. Update faucets, fix leaking pipes, buff the counters and repaint cupboards and cabinets. It is not necessary to replace everything with a new kitchen system. Simply repaint worn out furniture and replace outdated knobs with modern handles to make it look more expensive.

3. Brighten up the bath

Bathrooms are among the most important considerations for many tenants and prospective home buyers so it is pertinent to get this area of the house right. Buff up the tiles and replace the faucets, shower heads and toilet seats. There’s no need to replace all the tiles, just those that are cracked and chipped. The trick is to find the right cleaning agent that can help whiten the tiles to make it look good as new.

4. Add more storage

If there’s an extra wall or area of the house that does not seem to have any function, add in a laminate closet system or have a carpenter install small built-in cabinets, racks or pantries. Making every extra space of the house functional will help make it look more livable.

5. Turn that extra space into an extra room

A house with a lot of rooms will always look impressive when advertised in the market. If the house has a huge attic, a den, or extra space that can be turned into another room then by all means, fix it up to look like an additional room. Simply add in a built-in closet and a window and it should be good to accommodate.

6. Update the lighting system

Still using an old chandelier or unflattering fluorescent lamps? Hire an electrician to place some decorative lighting fixtures or dimmers that will give the house a more modern feel and mask any unflattering curves on the walls and ceilings.

7. Buff the floors

The moment a buyer or tenant steps inside the front door the first thing they will notice are the floors. Tiled or hardwood floors need to be buffed till it sparkles. Carpeted floors need a touch of professional carpet cleaning to make it look, smell and feel brand new. Hiring professional cleaners is a small investment compared to the big impact it will make.

8. Apply a fresh coat of paint

Paint the walls or replace an uncharacteristic door with a rustic barn door. Choose modern color palettes to give the house a fresh new look.

9. Add outdoor dining furniture in the front lawn or backyard

These areas can become extended living and dining areas.

10. Hire an electrical and plumbing service to look at the overall state of the house

It is much better to catch the problems early on than find out much later when the problem has already worsened such as replacing the entire plumbing system or rewiring the entire house.

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As realtors, we often hear that organizing bedroom closets before selling the home is always the most frustrating. After years of collecting industry knowledge and tips from other home owners, here’s our complete list of storage solutions.

 

A customized closet should be designed and organized to fit your lifestyle and the way you think. Your regular old closet isn’t working for you because it wasn’t designed for you.

 

Is it only your clothes?

If it’s only your clothes in the closet, then you can incorporate all the space to create a master closet. Otherwise, you want to plan out your space in the closet, as a custom closet can and should take in the needs of both the people.

 

Feelings on hangers

Decide if you want your clothes hanging from hangers, or if you’d prefer to see your clothes folded and stacked in smart storage. It will determine how your closet looks most of all.

 

Adjust for height

Put the bars in the closet higher up for taller people, or shorter down for smaller. This will keep things in reach, without having them tangle together.

 

Check your inventory

Actively count how many garments you plan on keeping in your closet, it can help you plan how much space you’ll need (for hanging). A foot of hanging bar can hold about 10 dresses, or 5-6 suits. 

 

Hide & seek

Do you prefer hidden storage or open storage? Some people prefer for clothing to be in drawers with doors that close, while others like the easy access of open storage. Decide this before buying shelving. 

 

Show your obession

Whether its purses, sweaters, jackets or sunglasses, your new custom closet needs to accommodate these important items. Create unique storage solutions for your favorites. 

 

And your shoes

Shoes normally end up thrown around in a pile, when they could be proudly displayed. Are you more likely to hang them off a door, kick them into sliding storage, or stash them on overhead shelving?

 

Get Started

Now that you know how you want to organize your closet just for you, it’s a good time to go and check your closet and make some adjustments. Unlock the power of your closet today, and take back your storage!

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                                     2013                                                                                                                                         2012  

                     

 Aug 29 - Sep 4  

Sep 5 - Sep 11

Sep 12 - Sep 18

Sep 19 - Sep 25

Sep 19 - Sep 25

SF (Calgary Metro)

Sales

296

326

356

331

265

New Listings

408

533

487

403

398

Inventory

2,846

2,929

2,938

2,936

3,716

Average Sale Price

524,513

521,231

506,721

518,884

488,796

Median Sale Price

455,000

456,000

450,000

445,000

415,000

Sales to New Listings

73%

61%

73%

82%

67%

Sales to Inventory

10%

11%

12%

11%

9%

Total Sales At or Over List

51

66

67

58

30

Total Sales At List

14

23

23

18

11

Total Sales Over List

37

43

44

40

19

Average Amount over List

7,804

7,215

5,612

7,663

6,042

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 Ball Is In Sellers Court & Buyers are Ready to Compete

 

 With listing inventory 20 % lower than this time last year & pricing approximately seven percent higher overall our market is trending towards a selling market. Buyers have less time to contemplate their purchase without losing out on their ideal home do to low inventory & are more motivated to negotiate. We should enter into a stable market come later in the fall. According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, month-to-date as of August 20, 2013, total MLS sales of 945 were 32.17 per cent higher than the same period last year and the average sale price was up 13 per cent to $455,688. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. forecast MLS sales in the Calgary census metropolitan area to rise to 27,800 transactions this year from 26,634 in 2012. Sales are expected to jump to 28,300 in 2014. 


If you were contemplating selling, now would be the time to put a plan into action.

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As we approach a very welcomed Spring 2013, a season that is always a terrific time for Purchase, Refinance, or Renew!

Currently several lenders are offering the lowest rate of 2.89% on a Five Year Fixed Rate…..this is both Preapproval and “Live” Applications….rate can be held for 4 months.

2 other fantastic Rate Specials offered at ….3 year Fixed rate at 2.65% or 10 year at 3.69%. Please note, not all lenders are offering on both conventional and high ratio as preapproval, a small premium may apply to rate unless it is a live application…(meaning a determined funding date has been established prior to submission).  

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Lesson # 1:
* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

 Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:
 * Annual family income: $21,700
 * Money the family spent: $38,200
 * New debt on the credit card: $16,500
 * Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
 * Total budget cuts so far: $38.50
 Got It ??....... OK now,

Lesson # 2:
 Here's another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:
 Let's say, You come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighbourhood and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.
 What do you think you should do?
Raise the ceilings, or remove the shit?

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Start following me on Twitter today and have your name entered into a draw to win a free Holiday Turkey!!!

 

All new twitter followers between now and Dec 17, 2012 will be entered to win. Draw will occur Dec 17,2012.

 



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ARE YOU COVERED FOR WINTER?? 


Could weather can take a toll on your house, so make sure you have the right homeinsurance for the season. Here's how: 

 

Do inventory . Make a list of what you own and the value of the items, serial number, purchase date & receipts, if you have them.

 

Review your policy. Go over your inventory and current coverage with your agent. 

 

Add sewer back up coverage. This is a crucial precaution for spring melt, but not all home policies include it.

 

**If you go away, have someone check on your home. You should do this year-round, but particularly in the winter, given the risk of freezing and bursting pipes. For some policies it is a requirement and if you don't do it you could loose your coverage.

 

WINTER PROOF YOUR HOME 

 

1. Clean leaves and debris out of eavestrophs, window wells, gutters and down spouts to keep water from pooling and freezing.

2. Clear ground clutter such as sticks and lawn ornaments-tripping hazards come snowfall 

3. Install screens on exterior vents and pet doors to keep rodents out. Make sure garage doors close completely too

4.Trim shrubs and trees to keep branches from breaking and blowing onto the house.

5. Turn off water taps and bring in hoses(water inside hoses might freeze and expand, causing damage).

6. Ensure stairwell handrails are secure. When it gets slippery you'll want to grip them.

7. Clear the chimney of obstructions, such as birds' nests, and any built-up (and flammable) creosote.

8. Check the roof, for loose or broken shingles or flashing, and patch if necessary.

9.Remove window screens and install storm windows for better insulation. 

10. Redo caulking and weather stripping around doors and windows, and fill any remaining gaps with insulation foam, to seal heat in.

11. Check the attic, basement, windows and doors for air leaks. Darkened, dirty spots in insulation, or a candle flame wavering in a draft, may signal a leak.

12. Have your furnace checked by a professional. Change the filter needed(do this every three months, or sooner if the filter looks dirty).

13 Install carbon monoxide detectors. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases when furnaces are in frequent use and leaks more likely.

14. Move flammable materials and electric appliances away from heating devices.

15. Reverse ceiling fans to a clockwise spin to push warm air down from the ceiling, for improved heating efficiency.

16. Change outdoor light bulbs and set automatic light timers for earlier hours of darkness.

17. Test downspouts to ensure proper drainage from the roof. 


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  Cineplex Entertainment to build new theatre in southeast Calgary 

Featuring Calgary’s first VIP Cinema

Toronto, ON, (TSX: CGX), September 10, 2012 – Cineplex Entertainment today announced plans to build a new theatre in southeast Calgary at Seton Boulevard and Deerfoot Trail. The 43,000 square foot, 11 screen theatre will feature three VIP auditoriums – the first of their kind in Calgary – as well as an UltraAVXTMauditorium and seven traditional auditoriums. The theatre totals more than 1,900 seats.

Cineplex Odeon Seton and VIP Cinemas is expected to open in 2014.

“We are pleased to provide Calgary movie lovers with a cutting-edge theatre and access to the VIP Cinema experience,” said Ellis Jacob, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cineplex Entertainment. “There is simply no better way to experience going to the movies.”

VIP Cinemas are open to adults only and offer menu service at your seat, licenced auditoriums, a licenced lounge and a dedicated box office.  Guests will enjoy large, upgraded seats in an intimate setting, along with the opportunity to reserve seats in advance. VIP Cinemas also offer an expanded menu that includes traditional movie snacks and a wide variety of specialty appetizers.

Cineplex Odeon Seton and VIP Cinemas will also be equipped with RealD 3D technology, as well as anUltraAVX™ auditorium.

UltraAVX™ is a technically superior entertainment offering that provides guests with a truly immersive moviegoing experience.  Guests attending a movie in an UltraAVX™ auditorium will be treated to a wall- to-wall screen, superb 7.1 Dolby digital surround sound, extra wide high-back rocker seats and reserved seating.

Cineplex Odeon Seton and VIP Cinemas will become the entertainment destination in southeast Calgary,” said Warren Paulsen, Vice President, Calgary Commercial, Brookfield Residential Properties. “We are thrilled that Canada’s most successful and innovative theatre operator has agreed to bring this top flight theatre experience to Calgary.”

About VIP Cinemas

With VIP Cinemas, guests enjoy a premium entertainment experience available exclusively in Canada at Cineplex Entertainment theatres.  They feature specially designed auditoriums exclusively for adult guests, in-seat menu service, a private licensed lounge and a dedicated box office. VIP auditoriums feature reserved seating enabling guests to select their specific seat at the time of purchase. A VIP auditorium also features full stadium seating with larger, upgraded seats with table tops embedded in their armrest.  Once seated, a cast member will present the guest with a menu and take their order. Ordered items will be delivered directly to the guest at their seat. Guests can also enjoy a private lounge before and after a movie.

About UltraAVX™

UltraAVX™ provides guests with the sharpest picture, a powerful digital surround sound system and reserved seating, delivering a truly immersive movie-going experience. UltraAVX™ features wall-to-wall screens that are significantly larger on average than our traditional screens. Christie Solaria™ Series

4230 DLP Cinema® projectors provide a superior digital presentation, projecting super bright, crystal clear images onto the big screen.

The system is further enhanced with the addition of RealD 3D technology, enabling the presentation of the latest 3D movies. Complementing the stunning on-screen picture from these new 4K projectors is a superb 7.1 Dolby digital surround sound system that envelops the audience and takes the cinema experience to a whole new level. Guests will enjoy the super comfy high-back rocker seats. Because all seats are reserved, guests can select the specific seat(s) they want in the auditorium when they purchase their tickets.

About Cineplex Entertainment:

Cineplex Inc. ("Cineplex") is the largest motion picture exhibitor in Canada and owns, leases or has a joint-venture interest in 133 theatres with 1,438 screens, serving approximately 69 million guests annually. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Cineplex operates theatres from British Columbia to Quebec and is the exclusive provider of UltraAVX™ and the largest exhibitor of digital, 3D and IMAX projection technologies in the country. Proudly Canadian and with a workforce of approximately 10,000 employees, the company operates the following top tier brands: Cineplex Odeon, Galaxy, Famous Players, Colossus, Coliseum, SilverCity, Cinema City and Scotiabank Theatres. Cineplex shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol "CGX".  For more information, visit www.cineplex.com.

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Great News the Auburn Bay YMCA has opened it's doors as of Oct 1, 2012 please click on the following link for more information.

 

http://www.ymcacalgary.org/blog/new-ymca-opens-today/

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http://www.hgtv.ca/blog/inspiration-to-counter-the-august-garden-blues/#.UDvsXLmTSQY.email

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1. Make a List

Who moves more stuff in one night than Santa Claus? That's right, nobody. So why not take some advice from the world's top mover? Make a list and check it twice. Make sure you have written everything down. You should include what is in each box and take a moment to be specific. It will make arrival and unpacking vrtually seamless.



2. Supply Surplus

Boxes and peanuts and bubble wrap, oh my! You are always going to need more packing materials than you think, so be sure to load up. And don't hestitate to throw in an extra roll of packing tape.



3. Something to be Said for Hanging Around

Never underestimate the power of a good wardrobe box. There is simply no better way to move your closets and you will absolutely benefit from the extra space available in the bottom of each box. You can even call your mover in advance. They will be happy to drop some off for you days before the move.



4. Green is for Kitchen

Okay, you can make your kitchen boxes any color you like, but we strongly recommend color-coding the boxes. It will make unloading the truck a breeze for the movers and help your goods turn up in the perfect places.



5. Travel with Your Valuables

Important papers, jewelry, antiques, etc. are always going to be cared for best by you. Find a way to do so. Heaping your most important things together in a box labled "7Office" might not quite get the handling and care you would hope.

While moving is never consider among the most enjoyable processes, taking time to plan ahead will go a long way in making the process not only bearable, but successful.

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Check out this article!

http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/real-estate/Calgary+housing+market+continues+shine/6786162/story.html

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Maintenance and detailing considerations to think about when you bring your car out after the snow melts:

1. TIRES:
Tires are crucial for safety. The rubber keeps us on the road. We all know it, so let's take care of our tires!

  1. Check pressure - Over or under-inflated tires will lead to poor mileage, uneven tire wear or a tire blow-out. Tire pressure changes about 1 pound per square inch for every 10 degrees change in temperature. Check your tire pressure when your tires are cold. Driving even a kilometer will warm your tires and change your pressure reading.
  2. Check tread - The 'penny test' is a quick way to see if your tires are worn. Insert a Canadian penny into your tire’s tread groove with the Queen’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see the tips of her crown, it’s time to replace your tires.
  3. Rotate your tires - Front and rear tires wear differently, especially on front wheel drive vehicles. Tires will last longer if you rotate them regularly.  Most car manufacturers recommend rotating your tires every 5,000 km. Check your vehicle's manual and see what the manufacturer says about tire rotation.
  4. There are a lot of great resources on the web about tire maintenance.  If you're concerned about your tires, Goodyear has a great, easy to read page on tire maintenance.  Check it out!

2. WHEEL BALANCE AND ALIGNMENT:

  1. Wheel balance - If you notice that your steering wheel shudders while driving, it probably means that your tires need balancing.
  2. Wheel alignment - If your steering seems to pull to the left or right, your wheels are likely out of alignment. Misaligned wheels increase tire wear and decrease handling. Tire balancing and wheel alignments are not expensive services and go a long way to making you confident about your car's handling.

3. WASHER FLUID AND WIPER BLADES:

  1. Wiper blades - Windshield wipers take a beating and dirty, dried-out, old wiper blades are noisy and can leave marks or damage your windscreen. Make sure your blades are making full contact with the windshield and have not dried out or cracked.
  2. Wiper arms - If you have new wiper blades but they're still making a lot of noise, perhaps your wiper arm has become twisted down so the wiper blade is touching the windshield at an upwards angle instead of perfect 90°. You might want to try gently twisting the wiper arm blades back with a pair of pliers so the wiper blades are perpendicular to the glass.
  3. Washer fluid - Butterflies and mosquitos will soon be out in force so be sure to refill your washer fluid resevior with summer washer fluid. Windshield wipers rarely get rid of all the fly debris, so wash your windscreen and headlamps when fuelling your car.

4. AIR CONDITIONING and AIR FILTERS:
Does your car smell stale when you turn the heating or air conditioner on? It could well be a sign that mould is building up in your condenser. Have your air conditioning system serviced.

Air intake and pollen filters fill up with airborne debris during spring and summer driving.  Clean them (or replace them) to ensure your ventilation system is running perfectly this year.

5. WASH:
This is where Auto Obsessed has a lot of expertise: washing and detailing your car.

Dust will settle on your car during the winter, even if you have a car cover over it for storage.  On the first warm Saturday of the year, give your car a quick wash with one of these products to bring up a shiny clean exterior finish.

  1. P21S Body Work Shampoo - wash with conditioning action to preserve finish
  2. Victoria Wax Super Soap - gently removes contaminates and lifeless oxidized wax to increase brilliance and shine
  3. Chemical Guys Clear Citra - wash for high gloss without stripping wax and sealants
  4. Swissvax Car Bath - effective, paintwork friendly shampoo prolongs the life of Swissvax wax finish
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You don't need to rip out walls and tiles or install new plumbing to give your bathroom a fresh new look. Here are five simple ideas for under $50.

 

New Towels
 It's not necessary to buy a whole new set of towels.  Buy a new colour of hand towels 
or washcloths that compliment your existing colour palatte.  Roll them up and place them standing up in a basket for a colourful and interesting accent.  Try incorporating several colours already in your bathrrom, or go with all one colour.

 

Frame Your Mirror
 If you have a basic mirror adhered to the wall behind the sink, jazz it up by framing it. Cut your choice of molding to fit around the mirror as a frame, then paint it in the color of your choice. Use neutral colors or a brushed gold or silver. Attach the molding to the mirror with liquid glue. Voila! You have a "new" mirror.

 

Paint 
Paint your bathroom in a fresh, new color. Your tiles don’t have to dictate the color you select, but they should complement each other. You would be amazed at the fun you can have with your existing tiles. If you have lime green tiles from the 1950s, paint the walls in a pale yellow. If you have a dark bathroom with black or white tiles, brighten it up by painting the walls sage green.

 

New Shower CurtainA new shower curtain for under $20 with unique shower hooks can make a big difference. If your bathroom is small, using a clear shower curtain or one in the same color as the tub will give the illusion of a bigger bathroom.

 

New Accessories
 Buy an inexpensive bowl and fill it with sample-size toiletries for your guests. 
--Try out a few colored soaps to spruce up the sink.
--Buy candles in your selected color palette and place in a grouping on a shelf. 
--Buy a new soap dispenser and matching wastebasket. 
--Add a small glass vase with fresh flowers. It's always a nice touch.

 

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Owning a pet, which six out of 10 U.S. households do, can be a problem for both sellers and practitioners seeking buyers.


Sellers with pets should do their best to eradicate pet odor. "Odor is the biggest obstacle," says Trudy Severa, an associate with Long and Foster's North Hills office in Virginia. "Anyone who is sensitive or with allergies is going to be put off."


Pet hair is another turnoff for fussy people or those with allergies. A professional cleaning as well as frequent vacuuming can help.


It is also a good idea to remove the evidence of pet residents, including getting rid of dog doors, linoleum in unlikely places, even pet crates. During showings it is smart to relocate pets because some potential buyers may find them objectionable, no matter how cute they are or where they are contained.

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Save your family and friends money on their utility bills by giving a energy-saving gift this holiday season.

  • Faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads: Help your loved ones reduce how much water they use and the amount of energy required to heat it. You can find these for under $10 and $25.
  • Pressure cookers: Pressure cookers can use up to 70 percent less energy than a conventional pot and you can cook your food faster, according to Energy Smart.
  • Ecobuttons: You can attach these to your computer so you can instantly put your computer on energy-saving mode with one press of a button. The ecobutton also displays how much energy and money was saved.
  • Energy tester: Give your family the hand-held Kill A Watt energy meter, which will reveal what are the biggest energy wasters.
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