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Rio Roundup

August 24th, 2016 by Ken Richter

The Rio 2016 Summer Olympics have ended and our talented Canadian athletes are returning home victorious. This Olympic season was one of amazing feats, bravery and kindness as athletes across the globe came together to celebrate sport and find out who is the best of the best. Through all the viral moments, our Canadian athletes remained steady and strong, the epitome of what it means to be Canadian.

Here are some of our homegrown athletes and the medals they brought home:

penny-smiling Penny Oleksiak: Penny is a sixteen year old swimmer from Toronto. She was Canada’s breakout star this year, holding the title of one of our youngest athletes and also our most decorated from the Rio Olympics. Penny won gold in the 100m Women’s Freestyle, silver in the 100m Women’s Butterfly, and bronze in both the 4x100m and 4x200m Women’s Relay.  Penny notes, “It’s pretty great to be home. It was pretty unreal for me. I didn’t expect [to do so well] at all. You know Canada has your back.”

 

rosie-maclennan-gold-medal-rio-2016Rosie MacLennan: Rosie MacLennan is a twenty-seven year old trampolinist from King City, Ontario. She has been training since she was seven years old and Rio was not her first Olympic games. Rosie brought home the gold medal in the women’s individual trampoline event. “There’s three components — difficulty, height, and form,” she explains. “The girl who came second from Great Britain, her routine was a little cleaner. But because I was higher and mine had a little more difficulty, I had a better score.” Rosie will continue to compete and we see many medals in her future…

drouin-derek-150830-620Derek Drouin: Derek Drouin is the Rio 2016 Mens High Jump gold champion. He came to the Olympics already the reigning world champion, and showcased his skill by not missing a single jump on his way to the gold medal. At just twenty-six years old, Drouin, from Corunna, Ontario, hopes to win three world championships before his career is over. He says, “We’ve had a pretty good tradition in high jump, so myself and my teammates are just trying to keep re-writing it.”

 

Here at Team Ken Richter we enjoyed watching our Canadian athletes preform! Here’s to the next Olympics…

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

“The Olympics have come to a close and my hope is that the spirit and the energy of the Games will live on. The Olympics are an incredible celebration of humanity where 207 countries gather in one place, living as one community, share meals under the same roof and have one shared vision and idea: the pursuit of excellence. ” – Rosie MacLennan

Preparing for Fall: Backyard Edition

August 20th, 2016 by Ken Richter

blogg-23This beautiful summer is slowly turning into a crisp fall, complete with frosty mornings and golden leaves. Stores are already rolling out Halloween decor and pumpkin inspired treats. While you pack away your summer dresses to make room for sweaters, also start thinking of how you can prepare your backyard for autumn.

There are a number of things you should be doing before the snow hits in order to prepare your backyard for autumn and winter. What’s the light at the end of the tunnel as far as cleaning and preparing is concerned? After doing the following things your backyard will be ready for one final barbecue!

First off, take care of outside structures such as children’s play places, tree houses, tables, sheds, decks, fences, etc.. Fix up any loose, unsafe ends to prepare it to endure a long winter. This will also make spring cleaning much easier because you won’t have to do so much work! We recommend looking into weather-proof coatings for everything. These coatings prevent water from seeping into the material and weakening it. If you want your outdoor structures to last the winter, an all-weather coating is important (and also fairly inexpensive when you compare it with the price of having to replace everything).

Take care of the garden! Harvest flowers you want to preserve before it gets cold and they start dying. Collect any and all fruit and vegetables you want to keep before they get frost-bitten, too! We recommend canning the fruit you won’t use immediately. This is a great way to preserve it! If you have too many vegetables to use yourself, consider donating them to your local homeless shelter or to families in need. Fresh greens are always a great charitable gift!

Finally, if you had plans this summer to do some landscaping, get it done now! Trust us. It will be so worth it come snowfall.

Now you’re all ready for the fall and for your barbecue! We recommend trying out Drunk Chicken. The ingredients are simple and the outcome is sweet, tender meat that falls of the bone and melts in your mouth. For a recipe, check out the following: Drunk Chicken Recipe

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

 

Modern Luxury in Older Communities: Infills

August 16th, 2016 by Ken Richter

240302059Infills are becoming increasingly popular for homeowners across the world. An infill is a home that is built on an existing property lot, often following the destruction of an older structure. Infills are new homes in old neighbourhoods. As the subarbs sprawl further and further away from city centres, infills are becoming an increasingly attractive option for homeowners looking to remain central.

Here at Team Ken Richter we serve homeowners all across the city, but specialize in the communities of Bowness and Montgomery. These two communities are rich in history and thus filled with old structures. Therefore, infills have become very popular for people wanting to own property in the area but who are seeking more modern structures. If you’re thinking of purchasing an infill, Bowness and Montgomery are great communities to look into and we can help you.

There are many benefits of owning an infill, here are a few to make note of:

Location: In the past, families were able to walk to the grocery store or ride their bikes to school. With the suburbs being so far away from these key establishments, buying an infill in an older neighbourhood that has had establishments built around and into it already is a massive bonus. Location is everything, and infills can give you everything.

Luxury: While finding a home with modern luxuries and good square footage is difficult in older neighbourhoods, infills provide homeowners the opportunity to have the same house they would in a suburb, just much closer to everything in the city. Infills bring the luxury of new architecture and appliances to older communities.

Love: There is something unique about older communities that newer ones miss out on. The history and community spirit of older neighbourhoods is tangible. Calgary strives to revitalize older communities to keep them safe and to keep that spirit alive. Infills are a big part of this. If you’re looking for a home in a place that will love you just as much as you love it, find an infill in an older neighbourhood.

As mentioned above, if you’re looking for an infill to be your next home contact us! We would love to share our knowledge and experience with you.

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

Finding A Roommate To Rent With

August 13th, 2016 by Ken Richter

25-Things-You-Didnt-Know-About-the-Sets-on-Friends-TV-ShowCan you believe that summer is almost over? In two weeks classes will be starting and schedules will go back to normal. While here at Team Ken Richter we are determined to soak in every stray ray of summer available, we’re gearing up to help prepare you for the fall. After all, it will be here before you know it.

One thing that happens at the end of summer is students move back into the city. As students begin pouring back into Calgary to begin a new semester, the rental market spikes. This year is a great year for people to secure new leases for the school year. Prices are much lower than they have been for a long time.

Not only must renters find a new property, but in many cases people need to find new roommates. While there are some single occupancy properties in Calgary, the majority of suites for rent are designed for two or more individuals. Picking a roommate is a crucial aspect of having a good living situation, so choose carefully.

Many people turn to their best friends to be their roommate. They dream of movie nights, cooking together, staying up late talking—basically the sleepover that never ends. Sounds amazing, right? Wrong. Do not pick someone to be your roommate simply because you two are best friends. Pick someone to be your roommate because your living styles are compatible.

When assigning roommates for dormitories, many Universities require applicants to fill out a basic survey of their living habits. Some of the questions included are: are you a night owl or a morning person? Do you like things perfectly organized or are okay with a little mess? Are you introverted or extroverted? Questions such as the ones above are important for both you and your potential roommate to answer honestly. If your answers aren’t the same, you may not be a great match.

Finally, make sure you each know exactly what you are signing up for. Make sure chore duties, length of lease, utility and rent costs are all outlined specifically. If the accountability of your potential roommate is in question, proceed with caution.

Remember, deciding where to rent and who to rent with is an incredibly important decision! Don’t take it lightly.

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

August Events

August 9th, 2016 by Ken Richter

Festivals_Events_LifeinCalgaryThe final month of the summer is here and we are ready to celebrate! Here are some events happening around the city that we recommend taking advantage of. It is going to be a fantastic month with beautiful weather, so get outside and explore all that YYC has to offer.

Afrikadey! Festival: This year is the 25th anniversary of Afrikadey! Festival, a celebration that takes place in venues all across the city. The festival is seeks to share “the art, music and dance from cultures across the African continent” (Avenue). YYC strives to be an inclusive city that celebrates different cultures. Show your support and learn something new this Afrikadey. More information HERE.

Happenings 5: This event takes place at Arts Commons, formally Theatre Calgary. It is a combination of music recitals and art installations, filling the building with sweet music and beautiful sites. If you’re looking to soak in Calgary’s thriving arts culture, this event is for you. The local talent in our city is inspiring! More information HERE.

Taste Of Calgary: Taste of Calgary is celebrating its 20th year of bringing foodies across Calgary and the surrounding area together to enjoy local eats. This “outdoor food and drink festival is a chance to taste samples from a variety of local restaurants and drinks vendors. There’s also a live music stage entertaining guests throughout the festival” (Avenue). More information HERE.

Kite Festival: Calgary’s first kite festival is happening in Shaw Millennium Park this month. There will be vendors, workshops and contests happening all day. This is a great opportunity to get outside, meet new people and brush up on your kite flying skills. Novice and professional kite flyers are welcome! More information HERE.

GlobalFest: Finally, check out GlobalFest, happening at the end of the month. This fireworks show involves an impressive amount of precision, creativity and fireworks. “This year, the shows are by world-renowned artists representing Brazil, Chile, Mexico, the USA, and for the festival’s finale, Canada” (Avenue). This is one summer tradition you don’t want to miss. More information HERE.

For more events happening around Calgary, check out Avenue Magazine’s Calgary Events page HERE.

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

July 2016 Stats

August 5th, 2016 by Ken Richter
This year’s census data has shown a major decline in net migration. While families already in Calgary are growing, the number of people coming to Calgary from other places has decreased. This has affected the housing market by sales activity dropping.

CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie explains, “continued pullback of sales activity is a sign of economic conditions. The number of unemployed workers keeps rising and when you combine job losses with declining net migration, the result is going to be weaker housing demand.”

One thing that worked in favor of this was a decline in new listings. Less buying activity was matched with less inventory on the market, which significantly helped prevent pressure on benchmark prices. CREB® notes that the “residential benchmark price was $440,000, similar to last month, but 4.2 per cent below July figures from the previous year.”

This decline in inventory levels has not been across the board. The apartment sector continues to see major inventory gains, making benchmark prices fall significantly. If you are in the market for a new lease on an apartment, now is a great time to be looking to get locked into something long-term.  CREB® writes, “the apartment benchmark price totaled $277,000 in July, a 0.4 per cent decline over the previous month and 6.6 per cent below last year’s levels.”

Overall, prices and inventory levels are declining in response to fewer individuals seeking housing in Calgary. This is a trend that was not expected in past future forecasts for the Calgary real estate market, but Calgary continues to push forward towards a better future.

“ To buyers and sellers that have been paying attention to the housing market in Calgary and surrounding areas, it should come as no surprise that we continue to see a slowdown in sales activity,” said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “Buyers are expecting further declines in sold prices, and sellers are adjusting to softer demand with price decreases. When these expectations intersect, we’re seeing sales activity in the market, but not at the level realized over the last several years.”
For more information on what happened in July, head to www.creb.ca for an in-depth report of the housing market.

Why Having A Realtor Is So Valuable

July 30th, 2016 by Ken Richter

richter-clippedIn this day and age people have access to information that makes it easier for them to act as their own realtor. A google search can provide a list of homes are on the market, you can research all you need to know to help you close a deal, etc. However, nothing will ever outweigh the value of partnering with a realtor. Sure, you may save some costs. But what you lose in experience, knowledge and expertise is invaluable.

Here are the top 3 reasons why having a realtor is so useful:

1). Experience: Here at Team Ken Richter we like to make sure our clients know that our experience is their advantage. With over 30 years of experience, we have truly seen it all. We have weathered many different market conditions, helped all different types of buyers and sellers and have watched the City of Calgary grow and change. We apply our years of experience to every aspect of our business. When you partner with a realtor, their experience can help guide you in ways that no google search can. A realtor’s experience truly is your advantage.

2). Knowledge: The knowledge we have gained from working in real estate for the past 30 years is invaluable. Yes, information about how to buy or sell a home on your own is readily accessible. However, people forget that every single deal is very different. There are complexities involved in buying or selling that cannot be understood by first time buyers or sellers. While we highly recommend doing your own research, having a realtor such as ourselves is an incredible asset. We have experienced every type of scenario, so the knowledge we bring to the table can make the process so much smoother for you.

3). Expertise: Here at Team Ken Richter we have sold and found homes for people all across the city. Focusing on YYC for these last 30 years has enabled us to become well acquainted with Calgary and all it has to offer. Two communities that we especially love to work with are Bowness and Montgomery. We consider ourselves experts on those two communities, which is a great asset for people looking at buying or selling in those areas. Wherever you are looking to do business, find a realtor that knows the area inside and out. Having someone with that expertise can enable you to make more informed choices.

If you’re looking at buying or selling, contact us. We would love to meet with you and hear about your goals. We love partnering with people and would be happy to share our experience, knowledge and expertise with you.

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

Daycation Ideas for August Long Weekend

July 28th, 2016 by Ken Richter

August long weekend is almost here and with it comes the opportunity for many people to get away from the city and go exploring. While not everyone has the time or the money to go on some elaborate vacation across the globe, one needn’t drive far to find beauty and new things.

Here are some daycation ideas for those wanting to explore Alberta this August long weekend:

Frank’s Slide: This is the perfect place for those of you who love history. Frank’s Slide is located north of Calgary and is a historic site marking the place where part of Turtle Mountain collapsed, burying a small town back in the early 1900’s. Not only is there a great visitor center full of old photos, artifacts and information, but you can walk through the massive rocks at the base of the mountain.

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Kananaskis Country: Literally anywhere you go in Kananaskis is stunning. Filled with great hiking trails, quaint towns and activities such as zip-lining, glacier-walking and swimming, this is the perfect vacation spot for those with an adventurous spirit. People across the globe travel to Kanaskis every year to take in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, so we are lucky to have them in our backyard. Remember to bring your camera to capture the fun and the spectacular views!

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Waterton National Park: Waterton National Park is one of the hidden southern gems of this province. The drive to it takes you through rolling hills scattered with gorgeous ranches and windmills. The park itself is absolutely breathtaking, featuring a bright blue lake and a gorgeous small town. Local wildlife are abundant and the shopping is great! There is truly something for everyone at Waterton.

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Northern AB: For those of you who are willing to drive a long distance, Northern Alberta also has a lot to offer. You may need to make a weekend out of this trip, but the northern edges of our province feature beautiful land. The tundra is vast, the forest thick and the lakes are beautiful. If you want to escape somewhere quiet and serene, drive as far north as you can and see where you end up.

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What are your favourite places to visit during August long weekend? Let us know in the comments section, we’re always looking for suggestions.

Have fun and stay safe!

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

Best Places To Get Ice Cream In YYC

July 22nd, 2016 by Ken Richter

July is National Ice Cream month! Finally, a month where our ice cream habit has a good excuse. Surprisingly, for a city that is so cold with not ideal ice cream conditions, Calgary has a great ice cream scene. YYC has stepped up its game when it comes to frozen treats and we are so excited to share them with you. Without further ado, here are some great places to grab a scoop in YYC:

1). Made By Marcus: This company began on the streets of Calgary, using festivals and markets to share their delicious ice cream with the world. Just this summer they finally opened an official store on 17th Ave and we are thrilled! The ice cream flavours are decadent and surprising, like Beets & Cream. Our favourite is the White Chocolate Birthday Cake Bar, complete with tiny crumbs of birthday cake on top. YUM! For more information visit their website HERE.

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2). Village Ice Cream: This wonderful company has become a Calgary classic, swiftly capturing the masses with their hip, chill vibe and delicious treats. Village Ice Cream is made in house with the richest, creamiest flavours. They don’t shy away from trying new things, and though they are always busy, their service is great. Our favourite flavour of theirs is the Earl Grey! For more information visit their website HERE.

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3). Fiasco Gelato: Even though the name of their company would make most presume they carry Gelato, not ice cream, Fiasco has some amazing ice cream options. Plus, Gelato is basically ice cream, right? Right now our favourite is the Cookie Dough flavour! It is incredibly rich without being overwhelmingly sugary. Look out, Fiasco is on the move and ready to take over the YYC ice cream scene. For more information visit their website HERE.

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4). Family Freezed: Family Freezed may be a newer company, but they swiftly won over our hearts during the Stampede where their Mini Doughnut Ice Cream Pop won the midway food competition. They have tons of flavours for you to enjoy, and we recommend trying every single one. If you’re looking to enjoy National Ice Cream Month in the most Calgarian way possible, buy yourself a Mini Doughnut Ice Cream Pop and thank us later. For more information visit their website HERE.

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Eat lots of ice cream, this month is almost over! And let us know what your favourite flavours and places are in the comments below.

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

Historic Homes in Calgary

July 19th, 2016 by Ken Richter

7997949638_b91af31c97_bCalgary was first established as a city in 1894. Although we are a relatively new compared to our European neighbors, the buildings and communities that make up this beautiful city are rich with history. If the walls around Calgary could tell stories, they would be filled with adventure and resilience.

In recent years the city of Calgary has strived to maintain places with historic significance so that people can enjoy them for years to come. Rather than tare down the old to make way for the new, YYC is preserving and protecting places of historic significance. These historic sites are beautiful, educational and are more common than you may think. Heritage park may have an incredible collection of historic buildings, but the rest of Calgary has history to offer, too.

Here are some interesting historic places around YYC for you to visit during these sunny summer days:

1). THE DEANE HOUSE: Located near the Zoo, the Deane House is one of Calgary’s oldest, best-preserved homes. Stepping across the threshold is hauntingly reminiscent of Calgary during the pioneer days–in more ways than one. The Deane House is famously known as a paranormal hot spot, particularly up in the attic where doors are always opening and closing on their own… insert spooky music here. For more information, visit their website here!

2). CURRIE BARRACKS: The Currie Barracks are located in the SW of Calgary. The barracks were used as training grounds for soldiers about to embark on war during World War 2. The barracks are now used for a number of things, including a school and housing. In fact, Currie Barracks is being transformed into a new, hip neighbourhood with local businesses and extra housing being built. Wander around the historic grounds and marvel at the old and the new. More information here!

3). Lougheed House: The Lougheed house is the only remaining house of its kind and is open to visitors to tour it and learn from it. The Calgary Herald gave it a wonderful tribute, writing the following: “[The Lougheed House is] one of the finest residences in the Canadian northwest. In their day, when the population of this pioneer town was under 4,000, the Lougheeds were among Calgary’s most influential citizens; they would remain so for decades. Their house was a political and social hub of this young and fast-growing prairie centre, and received many renowned visitors.” This residence is worth the visit! Visit their website here for more information.

Have fun and enjoy our historic city!

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.