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Real Estate Terminology

March 24th, 2017 by Ken Richter

A-Glossary-of-Real-Estate-TermsEvery once in awhile we like to provide you with a refresher list of real estate terminology. We use these terms a lot, so it is important to fully understand what they mean so that you can learn more from what we share. We want you to feel informed and supported in your real estate journey. Here are some of our top terms:

Multiple Offers: This occurs when multiple buyer’s are interested in purchasing your property. They will each submit a bid, then you get to choose which one you will sell your property to. Some factors to consider when this happens are: who the people are, how much money they are offering, when they expect to move in, etc..

Buyer’s Market: When inventory is high, putting downward pressure on benchmark prices. This type of market gives buyer’s an advantage because they have a lot of properties to choose from at reasonable prices. Seller’s in this market need to be aware that there is more competition on the market and should adjust their expectations accordingly.

Seller’s Market: When inventory is low, putting upward pressure on benchmark prices. This type of market gives seller’s an advantage because their property has less competition on the market, so they can ask for more money. Buyer’s in this market need to be aware that there are less properties on the market and should adjust their expectations accordingly.

Benchmark Price: The average price of a property currently on the market. This average is calculated based on the type of property and what its competition is.

Infill: A new home built on an existing lot, typically inner-city. Infill homes offer many advantages, the biggest being that you can own a new home in an existing community at the core of the city.

Comparative Market Analysis: Also referred to as a CMA, a Comparative Market Analysis is done by real estate professional who grades a certain property against similar properties. Factors included in this calculation are location, size, amenities, antiquity, etc.. This allows buyer’s to know they are getting a fair deal and seller’s to know how high to price their home.

Mortgage: A mortgage is what many people use to purchase a home. Essentially you borrow money from a bank and pay it back, with interest, over an agreed-upon amount of time. There are many different kids of mortgage’s, all with negatives and positives. For a full list check out THIS link.

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

Helping Your Home Thaw Out This Spring

March 21st, 2017 by Ken Richter

icedampicture-1Spring is officially here, and judging by weather forecasts, it may be around to stay. This means that Calgary is entering into a phase known as ‘The Great Thaw.’ The Great Thaw is that time of year when month-old piles of frozen snow begin to melt, when foundations begin to settle back in and when the trees start to stretch their limbs. Calgary is getting ready to say goodbye to another long winter and to welcome a fresh spring.

The Great Thaw is a beautiful, exciting time of year. Calgary’s colour palette turns back from grey to green. Outdoor sporting events, BBQ’s, evening walks and blooming flower beds are on the horizon. However, The Great Thaw also comes with its own unique set of challenges. At the foremost of these challenges is the effects it will have on your home. Read on to find out how you can give your home a helping hand during this time.

On the top of your list of things to watch out for this spring should be pooling water. This happens when the snow melts and spring rain showers begin. These pools of water can leak into your home and wreak havoc. Mike Holmes warns, “if you do notice water pooling on your property, you need to keep an eye out for signs of moisture in your home. Look for things like water stains or a musty scent in the basement. Moisture problems lead to a whole different can of worms: mould, rot and poor indoor air quality. And unfortunately, the fix is rarely cheap” (source).

Frozen pipes are another major issue. If you turn on a faucet and notice that only a trickle of water is coming through, you are likely dealing with a frozen pipe. If you can’t wait for it to thaw out, “apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber” (source). If the pipe burst due to frozen water, you may also notice water pressure is minimal. Call a plumber right away, because a leaking pipe is incredibly dangerous.

As the ground freezes and thaws, anything rooted in it will adjust. This is a major problem in Calgary. You will likely notice this most with your fences and gates: come spring the locks won’t align like they once did. You will have to manually fix this. Usually the shift is small and not worrisome, but it is still important to keep an eye on this as it could damage structures.

Enjoy the beautiful weather!

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

March 17th, 2017 by Ken Richter

Kilbennan_St._Benin's_Church_Window_St._Patrick_Detail_2010_09_16Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

What a fun holiday that celebrates irish culture as well has kicking off a season of springtime here in YYC. Be prepared for green drinks, four-leaf clovers and (hopefully) a little bit if irish luck.

There is one strange tradition associated with St. Patrick’s Day that we have never understood. The tradition is this: on St. Patrick’s Day you are supposed to wear green, which makes sense since green is one of the colours of the irish flag and is most commonly associated with things such as four-leaf clovers and the beautiful landscape of Ireland. However, what we don’t understand is why, if you do not wear green on St. Patrick’s day, you get pinched!

Bustle has the answers:

“[Green] has been used as a way to recognize and celebrate Irish American culture through St. Patrick’s day parades, parties, and all green everything. Although some early accounts claim that blue was the first official color of the holiday, Ireland’s nickname, the Emerald Isle, and the colours in the Irish flag, changed all that. It became custom to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day — unless, that is, you wanted to get pinched.

That’s right — wearing green isn’t only a way to show your Irish pride, but it’s also a defense tactic. According to legend, wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns, those mischievous fairy creatures from traditional Irish folklore who, for whatever reason, like to pinch whoever they can see. The tradition of pinching people who don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day is supposed to be a reminder that, at any time, a leprechaun could appear and wreak havoc on you.”

There you have it! Wear green or else the leprechauns are going to wreak havoc on your life. A pinch from a family member seems like a much nicer alternative incase we forget to wear green.

If you are looking for something to do this St. Patrick’s Day to join in the celebrations, check out Avenue Calgary’s list of ways to celebrate this year HERE. We hope you have fun celebrating this holiday and remember: don’t forget to wear green!

Inner City Living

March 16th, 2017 by Ken Richter

calgary-inner-city-homeCalgary offers pristine inner-city living. Owning a property in one of the 60+ communities in this area has a lot of benefits; in fact, one could go so far as to say that it allows you to have the best of every quadrant of Calgary.

When it comes to recreation, you may be surprised to hear that nestled into the heart of the city are some fantastic parks, such as Prince’s Island Park, Bowness Park and Edworthy Park. This area is also right along the Bow and Elbow river, providing you with great outdoor winter and summer activities. Inner-city Calgary also hosts a wide variety of festivals and markets in the warmer months, giving you access to arts and culture right in your backyard.

Transit connects the inner-city to all other areas of Calgary, with bus routes and the LRT line running right through it. The inner-city also gives you easy access to highways such as the Trans Canada Highway (Highway 1) and Deerfoot Trail (Highway 2) to swiftly take you out of the city on exciting adventures.

Inner-city Calgary has loads of amenities, such as schools, churches, shopping areas, clinics, police stations, etc.. This area of YYC contains Foothills Hospital, the Alberta Children’s hospital, the University of Calgary, the Calgary Zoo and the Stampede Grounds. It is fully equipped to provide you with everything you could ever want out of a city. When you live in inner-city Calgary, you do not just get to see the Calgary skyline: you are the Calgary skyline.

Inner-city Calgary is an incredibly clean, safe area. You get to be part of the hustle and bustle of the city without being right in the heat of it. Inner-city living is ideal for families, students and working professionals who want to be part of historic, established communities, who are planning to commute to the downtown core for work, and who do not just want to live in Calgary, but want to be part of Calgary.

We are very excited to be offering some stunning properties in Calgary’s inner-city area, including: historic homes, infills and condos. We are confident that you will fall in love with Calgary’s inner-city, just as we have. 

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

 

Ken’s Market Update

March 11th, 2017 by Ken Richter
richter-clippedHello Everyone,
I am very happy to relay good news, the Calgary real estate market is in a transition towards an improved market!
All of us here at Team Ken Richter are extremely busy facilitating sales in every price range despite the recent frigid winter temperatures. We are experiencing numerous weekly sales and even multiple offer situations! We haven’t experienced a heated market like this for some time. I don’t expect prices to increase anytime soon, but I believe prices will stabilize considering the market activity already this year. The low inventory of housing all across the city and the fact that mortgage interest rates remain at an all-time low are contributing to the recent wave of activity. This is very positive as our market has needed a lift after the recent two year down turn.
Now is a great time to enter the market. If you are thinking of upgrading, now is a fantastic time to take advantage of the historic low interest rates. If you are thinking of selling, it is essential to have a current market evaluation done in lieu of the recent market conditions. Please do not hesitate to contact us, we would be very pleased to assist you. We look forward to hearing from you!
In other exciting news, Congratulations on the following achievements:
  • Re/Max Real Estate (Central) was awarded the #1 RE/MAX Office World Wide for 18 Consecutive Years!
    • “Top Office in Number of Closed Transactions Metro Market Worldwide 2016!”
  • Ken Richter was named in the Top 10 Teams for 2016 at RE/MAX Real Estate (Central)!
Thank you for your continued support, we look forward to another great year in 2017!
Sincerely,
Ken Richter
Your Calgary, Bowness and Montgomery Realtor®

March Events

March 8th, 2017 by Ken Richter

EventsThe Big Taste || March 3rd – March 12th || Various Locations || This is Calgary’s biggest food festival and is the biggest this food festival has ever been. The Big Taste is taking place in restaurants new and old around YYC to give Calgarians a taste of what they have to offer. Three course meal lunches start at $15, dinners at $25. If you want the five course spectacular, its $65. You do not want to miss this amazing chance to check out Calgary’s culinary scene. Visit their website HERE for more details.

Beakerhead Pi Parties || March 13th – March 14th || Crave Cupcakes || Learn how to make your own mini pies by the baking experts at Crave Cupcakes. You can learn how to make raspberry sour cream or maple pecan pies. You get to take six mini pies home with you and the original recipes so you can make them again. Also, every Crave location will be selling discount pies to celebrate Pi day for just $5! Best of all, the money raised goes to a great charity. For more information visit their website HERE.

Little Modern Market: Winter Edition || March 11th – March 12th || Earl Grey Golf Club || This artisan good market is a perfect place to see home-grown businesses and unique products that are perfect for yourself or to give as gifts. Expect to see products for the home, clothing, food, jewellery, music and more. If you enjoy shopping small and getting inspired, this is the perfect event for you. Visit their website HERE for more details.

St. Patrick’s Day at the Calgary Farmer’s Market || March 17th || Calgary Farmer’s Market || The Calgary Farmer’s Market will be stepping it up a notch in this themed day full of new food, music, dance and fun surprises. There will be crafts and activities available for kids to do, along with a packed entertainment line-up. Spend St. Patrick’s day seeing what the farmer’s market has to offer and enjoying a taste of Irish culture. Don’t forget to wear green! For more information visit their website HERE.

February Housing Statistics

March 3rd, 2017 by Ken Richter

statsThe detached sector of housing is what really drove the market this year. CREB® reports, “February sales totaled 1,342 units, which is still 19 per cent below long-term averages, but an improvement over the past two years.” One really wonderful thing that happened is that the average time a property is on the market dropped to 2.4 months, which has helped ease downward pressure on pricing. This means sellers are selling their homes faster and for better prices. The benchmark price for a property was $501,900 in February.

CREB® president David P. Brown notes, “there seems to be a new sense of optimism these days. Some sellers are feeling upbeat about the changing landscape and the improved chances of selling their home. Other people are looking at the spring market with caution and wondering if we’re going to see a higher than expected surge of listings. While there’s less product on the market right now, sellers still need to be realistic with their pricing.”

With supply going down and prices stabilizing, CREB® believes the market is heading towards much more balanced conditions. This will be good for everyone: buyers, sellers, investors and renters. “The transition in the housing market appears to be underway,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lure. “However, it is important to note that this change is primarily being driven by improvements in the detached market and stability in the labour market.”

The spring is always a very active time in the real estate market, so it will be the true test of how the market conditions are shaping up. With spring right around the corner, we anticipate more growth and further stabilization–assuming the economy holds.

We hope that our monthly housing summaries are helpful for you. If you want specific statistics you can check our CREB®’s website at www.creb.com. It is so important to stay informed on what is happening in the market, because it allows you to make strategic choices when you enter the market. As always, if you have other questions please feel free to contact us here at Team Ken Richter. We would love to partner with you.

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

 

 

The Calgary Home & Garden Show : Important Information

March 2nd, 2017 by Ken Richter

chgs_web_button_3-295x300It is that time of year again… The Calgary Home & Garden Show has arrived. Here are all the important details you need to know in order to get the most out of this incredible event:

The Calgary Home & Garden Show is happening today, March 2nd, until Sunday, March 5th. It is taking place down at the Stampede grounds at the BMO Centre and Corral, just like previous years. Tickets are $16 for adults 13 and older, $13 for seniors 60+ and free for kids 12 and under. However, if you buy your tickets online, you can save $3! The link to do this is HERE.

Kourtney and Dave Wilson from Masters of Flip will be featured as speakers this weekend. They are a married duo from Nashville, Tennessee who are renowned house flippers. They can turn even the most run-down disaster into a stunning property. They have a lot of knowledge to share with you, so don’t miss it! Carson Arthur from HGTV will also be speaking this weekend. Carson is the master of outdoor landscaping. He teaches people how to successfully renovate outdoor areas in an environmentally friendly way. Check out the lineup of amazing presenters HERE to make sure you don’t miss this great opportunity to learn.

The Calgary Home & Garden Show has brought in Alberta’s finest when it comes to exhibitors. There will be someone there to meet your every need, whether it be a designer, landscaper, plumber or more. Every single one of the vendors is licensed, knowledgeable and ready to share their tips and tricks with you. Be prepared with questions to ask and a vision in mind, because these people want to help you make your property dreams a reality. For the full list of vendors and their personal websites, check out THIS link.

We highly recommend going to this show. It will give you loads of information, inspiration and resources that you can use to make your home better. Whether this means a big renovation or simply upgrading some features, keeping your home updated and fresh is a great way to get longevity out of your property. We cannot wait to see what is in store at the Calgary Home & Garden Show this weekend! For more information, visit their website HERE.

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

Home Safety During an Open House

February 25th, 2017 by Ken Richter

Fotolia_35364059_Subscription_Monthly_M-1024x682Happy Open House!

We are so excited that you have begun your journey towards selling your house. This is a huge step that we know must have taken a lot of time and consideration. Do not be afraid, be excited; this is the start of a wonderful new chapter in your life.

Open Houses are a lot of fun. You get to stage your home to look its absolute best, share with others all the things you love so much about your property, and you get to start seeing offers roll in. However, hosting an open house comes with an element of risk. After all, there will be complete strangers wandering around your home.

Most realtors will welcome potential buyers but let them explore on their own to make them feel comfortable. This means there is a potential for something to be stolen or damaged. Do not get too nervous. It is not as if people are free to carry out TV’s or beds. Your realtor will notice if something is going wrong. However, it is important to be aware of the risks and how to avoid them.

Theft is your biggest risk. Everyone has little things of financial and emotional value: jewellery, electronics, identification, heirlooms, etc.. These items are easy for someone to slide into their pockets or purse when no one is looking. To prevent this, start by locking away as many of these things as possible. Whether this means storing them at a trusted friend’s house while your home is on the market or investing in a lock box to hide in the closet, be diligent and take care of your valuables.

While your realtor may not guide people by the hand throughout your home, they certainly won’t leave potential buyers all alone. When we help host an open house we check in on potential buyers and never let them stray too far. If we hear anything suspicious we take immediate action. We are committed to finding great new owners for your home. Part of this is making sure your home stays in mint condition.

After a showing, do a scan of everything in the house. If something is missing or there is damage done that was not there before, make sure you tell your realtor. When clients tell us right away if they notice something is wrong, it makes it much easier for us to narrow down who could be the problem. We will do our due diligence, but you need to do the same.

Remember: rarely does anything problematic ever occur during an open house. However, it is better to take precaution where possible to eliminate the risk. If you have any questions about open house safety, do not hesitate to ask us!

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

Home Staging: Closet Care

February 22nd, 2017 by Ken Richter

diffuse-familiar-small-closet-design-ideas-type-plane-which-flat-surface-screen-also-distort-focus-image-commonlyWelcome to our closet edition of home staging!

While potential home-buyers will hopefully not be snooping through every closet in your home, some of the major closets your home features will be looked into. People want to see what kind of space they would be working with. That being said, do not think that when your home is being shown you can stuff all your miscellaneous belongings into the closet and never look inside it again.

The great thing about staging your closet is that not only will it be beneficial when it comes time for you to show off your beautiful property, but it makes keeping your things organized so much easier. Give yourself and your home a helping hand and stage your closet. Here are our top 3 tips:

1). De-cluttering. This word strikes fear into the hearts of many, but trust us: you can do it. Pull all your clothes out of the closet. Make two piles: items you wear all the time, items you wear sometimes (for example, seasonal items like shorts), and items you always say you’re going to wear but never do. Cut each pile in half, wait a day, then cut each pile in half again. Give away the clothes that don’t make the cut and all the clothes in your “I may wear this someday but have yet to wear it more than once” pile. It may hurt your heart at first but it is worth it.

2). Invest into some serious organizational tools. A.K.A. it is time to visit IKEA. There are some beautiful organization closet inserts available, along with some really unique DIY ideas floating around the web. Figure out what you need to organize and find a system that works best given your particular needs. Make sure the design is sleek, clean and easy to access. You want it to aid you, not get more in the way.

3). Find another place to store your miscellaneous junk. This includes old books, sports equipment, gym bags, shoes, wrapping paper tubes, etc.. If there is absolutely no other place for you things, include spaces for them in your organization system.Your closet shout look open and fresh, not like a kitchen junk drawer. Remember to be hard on yourself!

Hang up bags of mint or lavender to give the closet a nice, fresh smell. Make sure to keep everything in its place, especially dirty clothes. They belong in the laundry basket, not stuffed onto a shelf. Have fun!

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.