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The New President: Inauguration Day

January 20th, 2017 by Ken Richter

rs-trump-f5d6032b-a96e-4583-9689-56770f5c67a5Today is an exciting day in American history as Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th American President.

In the last couple of days the Obamas have been moving out of their home for the past eight years, The White House, to make way for the Trumps. People across the globe have been tuning in to watch the events and are waiting expectantly to see what will happen as a result of Trump’s presidency.

This past election was one of the most dramatic as both candidates from the major political parties garnered international attention. The road to Presidency was everything a Netflix special dreams of, full of ups, downs, scandalous moments and heartwarming moments. The election seemed to divide even the closest of friends as people passionately advocated for one candidate over the other. In the end, Donald Trump won in a huge victory over Hilary Clinton and the other candidates.

People are going into this presidency with mixed emotions. There is hope for something new, worry of what’s to come, and the homesickness that comes with losing the former President, Barack Obama. One thing is clear: it is a new day, a fresh start and anything is possible.

Best of luck to President Trump as he officially takes office!

For all the latest updates, live streams and polls, check out this link from The National Post.

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

CREB 2017 Forecast

January 13th, 2017 by Ken Richter

175x175bb2017 is going to be all about working towards market stability, something that has been shaky for the last two years. However, market stability will not reach all sectors of the housing market. CREB notes, “both detached and attached prices remain unchanged over 2016 levels, while apartment is forecasted to contract by another two per cent.” The stabilization of the housing market is going to be slow.

CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie writes, “The transition in the housing market will be a slow process. We are entering the year with high unemployment rates and the possibility that job growth will not occur until the latter portion of 2017. These conditions will continue to weigh on housing demand, but supply is adjusting to weaker sales activity, which will eventually translate into price stability.”

Is is predicted that around 18,335 units will be sold in 2017. This is a three per cent gain from 2016, but modestly below long-term averages. However, even this small gain will have a significant affect on the market. It will help ease inventory levels which will prevent downward price pressure.

CREB’s new President for 2017, David P. Brown encourages people to be very strategic when buying or selling a property. Blanket strategies will no longer suffice. One must carefully consider the market at the specific time they are seeking to enter it in order to leverage the conditions in their favour.

The one warning CREB gives is that all of this is dependant on some economic growth and stability in the energy sector. With new policies being introduced by the government regarding these areas, this growth could get derailed. CREB advises people to stay educated on what is happening in the market and hold tight.

2017 may be a stressful year for the housing market, but Team Ken Richter is here to help you in any way we can. Give us a call and let’s set up a meeting to discuss your needs for 2017!

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

For more information on the Calgary & area housing market, check our CREB’s website at www.creb.com

Calgary Renovation Show Information

January 11th, 2017 by Ken Richter
renovation-2017-278x300The Calgary Renovation Show is hitting the BMO Centre this weekend from January 13th – January 15th. Not sure what this show is? You make know it was the Calgary Home + Garden Show, because it was recently re-branded. Although the name may be different this year, the quality of the show will remain and–in many cases–exceed previous years.
There are going to be over 200 vendors at the show to share their ideas and innovations with you. Whether you are looking for some inspiration for your next home renovation or are wanting to find a contractor to work with, this show promises to shower you with new ideas, innovations and contacts.
Just like in previous years, there will be keynote speakers on the MainStage. Here is the lineup for this year:
Jillian Harris and Justin Pasutto from Love It Or List It: Vancouver || Advice to Help Your Relationship Survive a Remodel || This dynamic duo are powerhouses on their show where they work with couples wanting a fresh start with their home. They are passionate about what they do, incredibly witty and are sure to provide you with great advice on this important topic.
Mike Holmes Jr. from Holmes & Holmes || Renovating Right || Mike Holmes Jr. comes from a renovation contractor dynasty. He has grown up in the industry and studied the craft his entire life. If there is anyone out there qualified to give you advice on your next home renovation, it is Mike. Check him out!
Danielle Bryk from Flip Addict || Design Trends & Reno Tips || You will never, ever in your entire life meet someone with such a romantic eye for design while simultaneously knowing exactly how to knock out a wall (okay, that may be a hyperbole, but you get what we’re saying). Danielle is fully equipped to design the most delicate, romantic, whimsical spaces while also not being afraid to get some sweat on her brow. If you’re looking to re-design a space in your home, check her out.
Rosalyn Lazaruk from Wicket Blue Interiors || Renovation Runway || Rosalyn is ready to bring the hottest design trends of 2017 to the Calgary Renovation Show stage. Stay up-to-date on what is in, what is out and how to use what you already have to bring your home up to date. For those of you who love cutting edge designs, this presentation is for you.
Clare Gardner from Clare Gardner Designs || The Step by Step Design Guide for Your Next Renovation || Clare wants to help you plan your next design project in the most effective, strategic way possible. Her designs are all about maximizing space and bringing properties to life. Check her out!
Does that alone convince you to come out to the show? How would you feel if we told you there are FOUR other amazing presentations happening, prizes to be won and renovations to be savoured? Go to the Calgary Home Renovation Show’s website HERE to buy your ticks (if you buy online you can save $3) before it is too late!
Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

December Statistics

January 6th, 2017 by Ken Richter

At the start of each new month we summarize the key points from the Calgary Real Estate Board’s (CREB) report on what happened in Calgary real estate the previous month.

Many people do not like reading about statistics. The numbers seem confusing and convoluted, sometimes manipulated to produce a specific result. They leave many people feeling frustrated and even more uneducated than they were to begin with. However, when it comes to CREB’s report, we guarantee credible, clear, helpful information.  CREB is a fantastic resource for buyers, sellers, investors, agents, etc.. If you are looking for information on the real estate market, they should be your #1 resource.

There is an important reason why we consistently relay the CREB report to you: education is your best friend, next to your Real Estate agent, when it comes to making wise decisions regarding your real estate endeavours. Knowing the market enables you to have peace of mind regarding your decisions within the market. Knowing trends within the market can help you make long-term plans that will be essential to your financial success. The only people who are successful in navigating the real estate world are those who are educated on what is going on.

We want to make real estate market education accessible to everyone. We do this by advising our clients and keeping people updated on what is happening in the market.

So, here’s the run down of what happened in the market in December 2016:

Sales are up and inventory is down compared to December 2015. This is a great indicator of the market’s recovering from the hit it took when the economy dropped.

Benchmark prices are at $435,400, which is slightly lower than last year. Again, this is okay given market conditions. Last year sellers stubbornly refused to lower prices as they waited for the market to instantly recover. It didn’t. Prices are finally reflecting the market conditions, sitting comfortably in a spot that benefits buyers and sellers.

In more good news, the average time for a home to be on the market is four months, which has dropped from approximately five months in 2015. This is great for buyers and sellers!

Have questions? Check our www.creb.com for more information or/and call us! We would love to partner with you as you begin your real estate journey.

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

Sticking To Your New Year’s Resolutions

January 4th, 2017 by Ken Richter

new_years_resolutions_listSunday marked the first day of the new year. 2016 left much to be desired, but spirit’s are high now that 2017 has arrived. With it has come the age old saying, “new year, new me.” People commit themselves to being the absolute best version of themselves as they start fresh in the new year.

Typical new year’s resolutions include deciding to exercise more, study more, save more, work more, love more, more, more, more. There is one problem with resolutions to do more and be better: often, these resolutions are left unfulfilled, making people feel worse than they did to begin with. How can you stick to your resolutions when they demand so much from you? Read on for our top tips.

1). Start small. The reality is that no one can do more and be better at everything all at once. Trying to do so will leave you frustrated, angry and burnt-out. Pick two or so goals to focus on at first, then add more as you are able to, if you so desire. Start small and ramp up. After all, you can start resolutions whenever you want–not just on New Year’s Eve.

2). Decide what is most important to YOU. Just because every friend on Facebook has committed to exercising more does not mean you have to, too. By focusing in on what you really want to improve on you can ensure your New Year’s Resolutions are for you, not for others. Making sure you are committing to something you actually want will also help you stick to your resolution because you are personally invested in it and passionate about seeing an outcome.

3). Make a specific game plan. It is easy to say, “I want to save more money.” That’s a great goal, but how do you plan to do that? Be specific. For example, “I want to save more money. Do this I will put $10 every week into a savings account I cannot access via my credit/debit cards.” By having a specific plan you can more easily act on your resolutions.

4). Celebrate your triumphs! It is too easy to be consumed by what you have left to do instead of celebrating what you have done. Did you commit yourself to waking up an hour early in order to ease yourself into the day? After two weeks of doing so, once habit is starting to set in, treat yourself by using that extra time to stop for coffee at your favourite cafe before starting your day.

We believe in you!

 

Recycling Post-Christmas

December 24th, 2016 by Ken Richter

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones and that Santa brought you everything on your wish list! It is so strange how the build up to Christmas lasts months, and then in one day it is over. Suddenly all the gifts are just piles of torn wrapping paper and the tree is getting too dry. So, what next?

The easy solution would be to gather up all your garbage from Christmas and stuff it into your black bin, never to be thought of again. However, if everyone did this our environment would be in more trouble than it already is. The truth is most of the Christmas garbage we end up with can be recycled. Here is what goes where, according to The City Of Calgary:

Gift Wrap: Wrapping paper, glossy or matte, can all be recycled in your blue bin. Simply crumple it up into a ball and throw it in the bin! Do not put it in a garbage bag first.

Tree: Last year the city went door-to-door collecting real Christmas trees. This year they will not be doing that. However, they are providing specific drop off zones across the city where you can take your tree. Make sure all your ornaments and lights are off of it first! HERE is a map of where the drop off zones are.

Lights, Ornaments & Decorations: These items are touch and go. Some may be able to be recycled, others may not. Your best option is to use the recycling hotline. They will be able to tell you exactly what you can recycle, what other places will recycle for you and what places would love your used items as a donation. Check it out HERE.

Give the environment the gift of recycling your Christmas waste!

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

 

Merry Christmas!

December 24th, 2016 by Ken Richter

644e691b91626db5e07f3702651fa152Merry Christmas from all of us here at Team Ken Richter!

This is our favourite time of year. Christmas is the perfect time to take a step back from busy day-to-day life and focus on what is really important: family. It’s the time to curl up by the fire, drink hot-cocoa, reminisce and wait for Santa Claus.

We all know the story of Santa Claus. He lives in the North Pole with Mrs. Claus and makes toys all year with the elves, which he then delivers via sleigh to children all across the world. However, did you know that Santa Claus is a tale based on a very real man from Turkey in the 4th century?

His name was St. Nicholas and he had a reputation for helping those in need. His parents had died, leaving him an enormous sum of money that he used to help others since he had more than enough money for himself. He became friends with a very poor man who had three daughters. None of them could get married because the man had nothing to give as a dowery. One night, St. Nicholas secretly dropped a bag full of gold down the chimney. The gold was more than enough for a dowery for the eldest daughter. That same night the girls had hung their stockings on the fireplace to dry them out, so some of the gold coins fell into the stockings. St. Nicholas did this two more times so all three of the daughters could be married. Thus, the legend was born!

We hope that this Christmas your stockings are filled by good ol’ St. Nick. More importantly, we hope that your hearts are filled with love and thankfulness.

Merry Christmas!

Love, Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

 

Home Care During Vacation

December 16th, 2016 by Ken Richter

nice-home-with-snowWith Christmas quickly approaching many people are preparing to leave for vacation. Along with making sure you pack enough pairs of socks and that book you’ve been meaning to read, make sure that you also prepare your home for your absence. The most important thing you need to do to keep your home safe over the holidays is to make it appear occupied and well looked after. There are a number of ways you can do this:

Leave A Light Leaving a light on makes it look like someone is always home. Leaving a light on all the time is not very energy efficient, though. This is why we recommend investing in a light that you can control via your smartphone to turn on and off at certain times while you are away.

Turn On The Radio: Leaving a radio on is not only good for any pets you may have left at home but will let anyone trying to intrude know that there could be someone home. Keep the volume loud enough for someone breaking in to hear, but not so loud that it wastes electricity and stresses out your pets.

Invite Neighbours To Use Your Driveway: While you may want your vehicles safely stored in the garage, invite neighbours who you trust to park in your driveway. This way it looks like someone is home or, at the very least, keeping tabs on your property.

Have Someone HouseSit: This can be done in two ways. The first is having someone stay at your home while you are away. This is a great option, especially if you plan on leaving pets behind. The other way you can do this is simply asking someone to stop by every other day or so to collect your mail, flyers, check things out, etc..

Finally, remember that in Calgary you can get a fine for not shovelling the sidewalk lining your property. Make sure you have someone shovel for you incase it shows. Not only will this help you, but it will help those still in the community from hurting themselves should they need to walk your way.

If you know of people around you who will be gone, or simply want to go the extra mile for those still at home, be a snow angel! The snow angel program began a number of years ago in YYC. It encourages people to help out those around them by taking the extra minute to shovel their walkway. This is a great way to bless and serve those around you this holiday season.

Happy Holidays!

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

 

 

Home Staging: Media Room

December 9th, 2016 by Ken Richter

This month we are going over some ways you can stage your media room. This is the room in your home that houses your books, games and T.V equipment. These rooms are really fun to decorate and stage because there is so much you can do with them. Here are some suggestions on how you can renovate, decorate and/or stage this room so that it makes the best impression possible:

A media room is where people go to escape their responsibilities. Make sure that this room caters to this by being cozy, welcoming and secluded. We recommend the walls be painted darker colours, such as navy blue, maroon, evergreen, grey, etc. These colours are relaxing and heavy, making people want to settle in and relax. Furniture should also be deep colours with lots of cushions and pillows for sinking into.

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Keeping everything in the room organized is key. Make sure that you have appropriate shelving for all the games, books, DVD’s, consoles, etc.. By keeping them off the floor and organized by colour, title, genre, etc. they will be easier to access and less overwhelming to deal with. Keep things simple and clean cut.

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Decorating in a media room can be minimal. People’s attention should be focused on their choice of media, not distracted by a bunch of decorations surrounding them. You can find some really unique ideas for ways to decorate a media room on websites such as Pinterest. A media room can also be a great way to display your favourite artwork. Just remember to keep it sleek and simple.

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If you want to get really creative, consider adding a little snack bar in the room. Only do this if you have extra space as you don’t want the space to be overwhelming and crowded. However, if you can fit in a popcorn maker or mini fridge for refreshments this will make the space the perfect getaway. You’ll never have to leave (which may or may not be a good thing).

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Have fun with it!

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

November Statistics

December 6th, 2016 by Ken Richter

calgarywinterOctober was a strong month for the real estate market here in YYC. However, in November conditions turned back to previous trends. CREB® writes, “year- over-year monthly sales totalled 1,227 units, which is nearly three per cent lower than last year and 17 per cent below long-term averages.”

As we reported on back in November, major changes were made to Canada’s housing rules last month. The changes were aimed at helping Canadians keep from taking on larger mortgages than they could economically handle during a time when interest rates were incredibly low. For more information on this, check out an article on it HERE.

These changes may be helpful in the long run for people, but right now they are stopping many people from entering the market. This is one of the things that made November’s real estate market slow down again. CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie notes, “November was the first full month with CMHC’s new lending rules in effect. As suspected, the gains in last month’s sales were temporary. Stringent conditions for borrowers are converging with the current economic climate and weighing on demand.”

Supply had levelled out a little in October, but November caused supply levels to become high once more. Benchmark prices were at $498,300 for detached homes. CREB® notes that this is the first time that the benchmark monthly price has dipped below $500,000 since 2014.

CREB® president Cliff Stevenson writes, “again, it can’t be overstated how important it is for housing consumers to keep asking questions and drilling down on what’s happening in their specific area. This kind of exploration and learning is how good real estate decisions get made in any market.”

If this all seems overwhelming for you, please get in contact with us here at Team Ken Richter! We would love to walk you through things and help you make the decision that is right for you. We are huge advocates of how great YYC is, so we want to help you find a place to call home here.

Best of luck in this cold weather!

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

 

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.