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Neighbour Day 2017

June 16th, 2017 by Ken Richter

Neighbour Day is tomorrow! We are so excited to celebrate with you, Calgary.

June 17th, 2017 is Neighbour Day, a day dedicated to celebrating Calgary’s community spirit. Mayor Naheed Nenshi started Neighbour Day in 2014, a year after the flood that devastated Calgary. During this difficult time, Calgarians rose up to help their city and their neighbours. In fact, the city had to turn away volunteers during flood clean-up! The flood could have weakened Calgary; instead it highlighted Calgary’s resilience and selflessness. Neighbour Day is a testament to Calgary’s community spirit “through hell and high water.”

You can celebrate Neighbour Day a number of ways, such as attending a block party, donating your time to volunteer somewhere, doing community service projects or just enjoying the beautiful weather with other Calgarians. This Neighbour Day is going to be filled with fun events! Check out the Calgary Herald’s list of events happening around YYC tomorrow HERE.

Have fun!

Relocation Tips

June 13th, 2017 by Ken Richter

Relocating is very exciting! It means you get to start a new adventure in a new place. Did you know that on average people relocate once every five years? As we become increasingly nomadic, more people are having to learn how to relocate smoothly. After all, although most people say they enjoy the change, relocating is statistically one of the most stressful events in a persons life. No matter what the circumstances are behind your relocation, we are here to help make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Here are some tips on the little things to remember when you’re relocating:

1). Make sure all your closing and move-in documents are taken care of. This is when having a realtor such as ourselves is a huge asset. We can walk you through exactly what you need and what to do as you say goodbye to your old home and welcome your new one. Make sure you know exactly what is going on with this process so you don’t end up in limbo.

2). Have your affairs in order. This means making sure all your mail will get forwarded to your new property, that things like electricity, heat and internet are all set up, that any licences or permits you need are ready to go, and that you cancel things like community and gym memberships you will no longer use.

3). Confirm your moving itinerary with your movers, friends, or anyone else who may be helping you relocate. This includes making sure that your personal belongings are packed and ready to go. Make sure you label boxes, organize items by room, have luggage set aside with basic belongings you will need as you unpack (think bedding, a change of clothes, your toothbrush, a clean plate), and drop off all recycling and donations you have.

4). Do your research. Have your route to your new home mapped out, check the weather and traffic, know where you’re going to order food from on your first night (you’ve earned it, relocating is tiring!), etc.. Anything you can do to make your relocating easier is worth it. There is no such thing as being over-prepared.

Most of all, know that the process is never perfect. Something will go wrong at some point and that is okay. It will only have a domino effect on the rest of your relocation if you let it. Take a deep breath and enjoy the process! Remember: it’s all an adventure.

For more great relocation tips check out THIS helpful link.

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

June Events

June 6th, 2017 by Ken Richter

Rock of Ages || Stagewest || Until June 25th || Get ready for a classic. Avenue Magazine writes, “Stage West’s latest show is the musical Rock of Ages, which was nominated for five Tony Awards.” This show is going to be spectacular and is a must see! If you go to just one Stagewest show in your life, go to this one.
Price Range: $$$
More Information: www.stagewest.com 

Performance In The Park || Banff || June 9th – June 10th, 2017
“Bring a blanket and prepare for a outdoor summer concert in the mountains. Banff’s two-day Performance in the Park returns this summer and will celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday” (Avenue Magazine). The show will be headlined by Hedley and Walk Off The Earth. Enjoy the great views and the great tunes.
Price Range: $$
More Information: www.banffcentre.com
Super Dad Lounge || Calgary Farmer’s Market || June 17th, 2017
The Calgary Farmer’s Market wants to give every day a day to relax–after all, they’ve earned it. Avenue Magazine writes, “the Super Dad Lounge at the Calgary Farmers’ Market will include massages from Mount Royal University massage students, a variety of free craft beer and meat samples, and exciting prices and giveaways.” Check it out!
Price Range: $
More Information: www.calgaryfarmersmarket.ca
As You Like It || Prince’s Island Park || June 20th, 2017 – August 27th, 2017
Shakespeare in the park is back! Avenue Calgary writes, “while last year a dark drama was presented, this year’s production is far more comedic and lighthearted. This year, As You Like It will be performed in the park, directed by Samantha MacDonald of Lunchbox Theatre and performed by up-and-coming young actors.” What more can we say? It is a must-see.
Price Range: FREE
More Information: www.theatrecalgary.com
TEDXYYC || Arts Commons || June 23rd, 2017
Everybody loves a great Ted Talk and this month they are coming to Calgary. “This year’s event will feature speakers and performers from across the country, discussing all things Canadiana to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Expect speakers to discuss topics including technology, entertainment and design.” If you love to learn and be entertained, check out this great event! Buy your tickets before the sell out.
Price Range: $$
More Information: www.tedxyyc.ca

Most Desirable Home Features

May 29th, 2017 by Ken Richter

When it comes to finding a new home, most buyers put together a wish list. This wish list has two sections: need to have and a nice to have. For example, for some people a pool in the backyard is a need to have. For others, it would only be a nice to have. Different buyers have different needs. These needs are based on preference and what is required for each buyer’s particular lifestyle.

Some people are extremely picky when it comes to what they want out of a new home. Others are more relaxed. Either way, there are a number of home features that can make a property more desirable to potential buyers. The list below is not universal; like we said, everyone is different and will want and need different things out of their home. However, this list is a great starting point.

If you’re not sure what you want out of a new home, or are having troubles selling your home, consider this list of most desirable home features:

1). Fireplace: Homes used to have the television as the focal point of living rooms. However, with tablets, laptops and phones providing most people their media entertainment nowadays, home buyers are looking for fireplaces as a place to centre their living rooms around.

2). Stainless Steel Appliances: These have become the hallmark of a sparkly new home. Not only is stainless steel easier to clean and long-lasting, but people instinctively associate it with a nicer home. Upgrading to stainless steel appliances can be costly, but the payoff is worth it.

3). Home Less Than 5 Years Old: The newer the property, the better. After all, there is a big gap between a heritage home and an old home. Five years old is the ideal home age because it is old enough to not be as expensive as new, but not so old it is falling apart.

4). Kitchen Island: These add a lot of counter space and storage to your kitchen. They also often indicate a larger kitchen, which is a bonus in any home. These don’t have to be complex; even a simple kitchen island is better than no kitchen island.

5). Hardwood Floors: Surveys show that people prefer hardwood floors everywhere in the home except the bedroom. Cozy is key before crawling into bed, but hardwood floors are typically easier to clean and they look sleek and modern. Skip the shag carpet and install some hardwood.

6). Ensuite Master Bathroom: No one likes to crawl down the stairs or out of their bedroom in the darkness at 3 a.m. This is why ensuite bathrooms are a MAJOR addition to any home that buyers are willing to pay extra for.

Keep these features in mind as you prepare to sell your home or search for a home!

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

Home Staging: Gardens

May 23rd, 2017 by Ken Richter

Spring is here and each day more and more of Calgary blossoms and comes alive. We are so thankful that Calgary gets all four seasons, especially when beautiful weather like we have had today is the outcome. The birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing and we cannot wait to start seeing gardens come alive.

Calgary is home to some very dedicated gardeners who put hours of hard labour into creating beautiful landscapes for all to enjoy. A quick drive through most neighbourhoods will reveal many beautiful gardens, each with their own themes and plants. A drive through some of the most dedicated communities, such as Bowness and Mount Royal, are better inspiration than any Pinterest search.

For those of you looking to start your own garden or are looking to clean it up so it is ready for potential buyers, here are some tips on how to stage your garden:

1). Pick a theme: A popular trend right now is doing an a minimalist, feng-shui’d garden. The idea behind this is that your garden is well laid out, not crowded and that overall it makes you feel calm and at peace. These gardens are more effort to plan out, but less effort to maintain. On the opposite end of the design spectrum would be a garden filled with wildflowers, vines and big, willowy shrubbery. These gardens are a lot of work to maintain but are stunning when done right. Whatever your theme, make sure each element is purposeful.

2). Pick a layout: People get really creative with their garden layouts. Some build levels into their garden, others install pathways through them, and some simply use gardens to frame the front of their home. Whatever you do, make sure you have a plan. Gardens are a lot of work to get started, so make sure you know exactly what you want going into it.

3). Maintain your garden: Nothing ruins curb appeal quite as quickly as a withering, chaotic, untidy garden. A well-maintained garden represents a well-maintained home. It makes the property feel fresh, alive and blossoming with opportunity! Not to mention the smell of real flowers wafting through the front door… everyone wins.

Overall, make sure your garden looks clean and crisp. Gardens represent your home and yourself as a seller very well. Most importantly, have fun with it! Our springs and summers in Calgary are not long, so make the most of them.

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

Spring Cleaning

May 20th, 2017 by Ken Richter

Happy May Long Weekend!

We hope you use the extra day this weekend to spend time doing something you love with the people you love. One popular activity during the may long weekend is to do some spring cleaning. This may not be something you love, but it is important to keep your home in tip-top condition!

We have written many articles in the past about spring cleaning, so we are confident that by now you are well-versed in it. However, one aspect of spring cleaning that often gets overlooked or is handled without care is the waste side of it. Once you have your pile of throw away (you remember the three piles to make while spring cleaning: keep, donate, throw away), it can be tempting to throw it all in the landfill and be done with it. However, this is not good for the environment.

The City of Calgary has gone above and beyond to make recycling your waste easy. They understand that asking you to recycle is asking you to take time out of your busy life; recycling can be inconvenient and complicated. This is why they strive to make it as simple as possible for all of us. Here are two resources available to you when the time comes to deal with your throw away pile after spring cleaning:

1). The Blue Bins: Each household in Calgary is equipped with a blue bin that you can put the majority of your recycling in. The blue bin is easy to use. If you are recycling plastic bags, they need to be bundled all together in a larger plastic bag. Everything else can be thrown in, easy peasy. This includes paper and cardboard (including paper cups), plastic jugs, bottles and food containers, metal food cans and foil and most beverage containers (glass and plastic). Remember that you can also take beverage containers to a bottle depot and get a refund for being such a good, recycling citizen! More information HERE.

2). Shredding: Do not throw ALL paper into your blue bin willy-nilly. Some paper, such as bank statements, government documents, bills, etc. include important, classified information that you do not want someone to get their hands on. It is these types of documents that can be used for identity theft. While not all of us own a paper shredder, AMA hosts events where you can dump your documents in an industrial-sized shredder and be done with them. The next shredding event in Calgary is on May 27th in the NW. More information HERE.

Be conscious of what you throw away! We want to easy the stress on our landfills and work towards being more green-friendly. It takes a little extra effort to recycle, but it is well worth it.

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

 

Entering The Market In The Spring

May 16th, 2017 by Ken Richter

Spring has arrived in Calgary! The grass is green and the flowers are in bloom. People are beginning to venture outside and play again as Calgary warms up for the summertime. Another thing that is warming up is the housing market.

Spring is always the most popular time in real estate. While other times of the year experience peaks in the market, spring is consistently active in the selling, buying, investing and renting sectors. There are a number of reasons why spring is the most popular time to enter the market.

Read on to find out why and how you can reap the rewards of such an active time in real estate.

First and foremost, the timing is ideal. Spring is a time of change and transition. University students are moving for the summer or graduating and entering the housing market, families are nearing the end of the work term and people everywhere are looking for a fresh start. Nothing puts people in the mood to consider a big move quite like springtime.

The weather also makes spring an ideal time to enter the housing market. The weather is nice, making it easier for homes to create curb appeal. After all, they won’t be buried in snow. The weather makes open houses easier to host and attend, along with making the moving process much easier. Overall, the nice weather is fantastic at ushering people out of their homes and into the market.

This spring is set to be a particularly active time for the market now that the economy here in Calgary is beginning to recover. More jobs are being created, which means more people are coming to Calgary, which means there is more of a demand for housing, which means more constructive crews needed, which means more jobs are being created (and so on and so forth). The market in Calgary is also experiencing a time of great balance; the market right now is good for buyers and sellers.

Take advantage of these great springtime conditions and enter the market today! We would love to partner with you on this journey so call our office so we can set up a time to meet with you.

Enjoy the beautiful weather!

Your Calgary, Bowness & Montgomery Realtor® Ken Richter

 

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

May 12th, 2017 by Ken Richter

Mother’s Day is this sunday!

What a great opportunity to honour the hard work and love of mother’s everywhere.  Here at Team Ken Richter we are very thankful for for the women who have shaped us into the people we are. One of the ways you can show the mother’s in your life some love is by blessing them with a gift.

Here are some gift ideas for those of you who have left your shopping to the last minute:

1). Dinner & Movie: This one is a classic, but a great way to treat your mom to a night out and spend quality time with her. Often times different restaurant’s have deals or special menu items to celebrate Mother’s Day. There are also often movies that centre around a relationship with a mother that come out. Check showtimes and pick your mom’s favourite restaurant!

2). A Spa Day: Nothing beats a relaxing day at the spa–especially when you’re not the one paying for it. Gift your mom a spa treatment so she can spend the day relaxing and getting pampered. Better yet, book yourself in, too! Spending that time with your mom would be so appreciated. You can also set up a DIY, at home spa day with bath bombs, scented candles, face masks and sweets.

3). Weekend Getaway: Book a cabin or hotel in the mountains and enjoy the fresh air with your mom! Take lots of pictures, bring all her favourite treats and spend your time exploring. This is guaranteed to be refreshing for both of you and to provide new memories. Show your mom that you value quality time with her by turning off your electronics and focusing in on some bonding time.

For those of you who do not have much money to spend, remember that there are gifts you can give your mom that cost nothing! You could pick her a bouquet of wildflowers, clean the entire house for, make dinner for the two of you, offer to run and do all her errands for the day, etc.. Be creative. It’s the thought that counts.

Again, happy Mother’s Day to all the great mom’s out there!

May Events

May 5th, 2017 by Ken Richter

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

This celebratory day is a great way to kick off the beautiful weather we have been having here in Calgary. While many believe Cinco De Mayo to be Mexico’s Independence Day, it actually marks “the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations” (read more about it HERE).

Cinco De Mayo starts May’s celebrations, but here are some more events happening around YYC you definitely will want to check out:

Montgomery and Bowness Spring Clean Up || May 6th and 28th, respectively || Every year The City of Calgary “[teams] up with local community associations to help residents get rid of unwanted household items and property waste. Last year, a record of one million kg of waste and nearly 200,000 kg of organics was collected.” This is a great opportunity to join your community for a day of spring cleaning and connection! More information HERE.

Brushmasters + Brewmasters Pop Up Art Show and Sale || May 12th – 13th || Enjoy new up-and-comer brewery, Common Crown. They have teamed up with local artists to bring you beautiful artwork and tasty beer. This is a great chance to try Common Crown and enjoy some amazing local talent. More information HERE.

CBC Calgary Reads Big Book Sale || May 12th – 14th || This is the perfect event for all of you book-lovers out there! Avenue Calgary notes, “last year, more than 100,000 gently used books were sorted and sold as part of the annual CBC Calgary Reads Book Sale. With the help of generous Calgarians and hard-working volunteers, the CBC Calgary Big Book Sale is looking to top that number for this year’s sale.” Check it out! More information HERE.

Calgary Stampeders Fanfest || May 13th || Help the Calgary Stampeder’s kick off another great season by joining players and staff at this free event. There will be games, a pancake breakfast and lots of meet and greets. It is happening rain or shine so check it out! More information HERE.

Have fun this month!

 

April Housing Statistics

May 2nd, 2017 by Ken Richter

April was another great month for Calgary real estate! We have continued to see stability in the market, leading to better prices and inventory levels. The success of the real estate market relies heavily on the economy, so as long as our economy continues to get stronger, so will market conditions.

CREB® president David P. Brown had good news to report this month: “More jobs [in Calgary] means less uncertainty for people who are sitting on the fence [about entering the real estate market]. There also tends to be fewer people who need to sell when employment improves, and that can prevent inventory gains and further price reductions in the market.”

CREB® president David P. Brown adds, “it’s a good scenario for sellers who are entering a spring market that’s in better shape than anything we’ve seen in recent years.”This is also a great place for buyers to be in. With a healthy amount of inventory to choose from, prices will not be blown way up, making it more affordable to buy a home.

This is the kind of housing market equilibrium that Calgary has been patiently waiting for and working hard to get to. This is not only thanks to the economy, but thanks to consumers such as yourself who have held tight and made informed decisions. It is market conditions like these where your diligence will pay off.

What can we expect this spring? Chief CREB® economist Ann-Marie Lurie notes, “the relationship between sales and inventory will be a key driver for pricing in the months ahead. Total transactions improved to 1,917 units in April, while inventories totaled 5,495 units, pushing months of supply below three for the second consecutive month.”

Although these conditions are great news, do not get lazy. Keep doing your research, keep a close eye on conditions, and keep asking questions. Remember that we are always here if you are looking for answers. We would love to partner with you and make our experience your advantage. For more information on what April looked like for the Calgary Housing Market, check out the full summary HERE.

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.