Calgary News, Events & Local Insights about Calgary - Blog Archive: November, 2012

Welcome to's blog, featuring news and insights on Calgary. Brought to you by Justin Havre & Associates - RE/MAX First.

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More and more people are choosing to remodel their basements to add extra living space to the home. While some people are planning to turn their basements into a recreation space others are converting their basements into a home office or rental suite. No matter what your plans are for the basement, you need to make sure that all moisture problems have been solved first before starting any construction projects on it.


Moisture problems come about from a buildup of water, either from one source or from various ones. It can either be leaking in from the ground or condensing water vapor. If you do have any type of moisture problem in the basement the cause will have to be found and handled. In some cases the problem will be evident but in others you'll…

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Just like any business that you're planning to run, you'll need to have some goals in mind before starting out on the venture. Big goals, little goals, it doesn't matter. It's just putting some type of end place in sight that you can aim for that’s important.


If you need to start off with small goals before putting larger ones together that's perfectly okay. Sometimes you need to take small bites of an elephant before you can manage to take bigger steps forward.

When it comes to commercial real estate here in Calgary your focus should be on what you want and your goals. Success to one person means something completely different to another. If buying one home to use as a rental property is all that you can handle that's fine. If you see…

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If you're looking for a mortgage as a self-employed individual here in Canada there's a mountain you're going to have to climb to get it. Self-employed mortgages don't come easy in this country for a variety of reasons that all boil down to 2 main issues for the lender.


1. Income from a small business is a lot harder for the mortgage lender to document than the income coming in from a base salary.

2. Most people that are self-employed can have waves and then lulls of money flowing in. This adds a certain risk for defaulting on the loan that many lenders don't want to touch. 

As a self-employed professional you are entitled to certain tax benefits that salaried employees cannot use. You can write-off certain business deductions such as mileage on…

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depositphotos_green_house_280Calgary is going green and so is real estate. If you're looking for a new property one of the things that you'll need to look at is its energy efficiency. Fuel bills are only going to be going up in the future! You need to jump on the green wave and secure a home that will keep your energy costs down while helping to save the planet.

There are so many homes that have been converted into energy conserving properties that you'll definitely have a wide selection to choose from. From homes that have just made minor implementations all the way up to homes that have built-in solar panels for heating, green homes are the up and coming thing. If you're looking at properties for investment purposes, you'll usually get more value for the money on the resale the…

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If this is your first time putting a house up for sale you may not really know what to expect when it comes to showing it. While your real estate agent can explain what you should do to your home to get it looking its best, sometimes it helps to see the visualization on your own. One of the ways you can do this is to go visit a few open houses and see for yourself how the homes are being presented.


You’ll also get a feel of what you like about the homes and what turns you off. Take notes while you're walking around the house and if there's anyone else that's browsing through the open houses listen to their comments as well. You'll get a feel after walking through a couple of homes of what buyers are looking for. You may even get a few inexpensive…

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Don't let the fall months get you down - work with them to your benefit. When you start bringing the autumn months indoors the warming colors can help you relax and unwind. Orange, brown, purple, green and red are some of the fall colors that will help to create a warm and cozy atmosphere in your home.

depositphotos_fall_leaves_424Put together a flower arrangement

A fall arrangement can bring some charm into your home. You can make your own by taking a hike along one of the many paths here in Calgary and collecting wildflowers, crisp autumn leaves, pine cones and cattails. If that seems like too much work you can also look for pre-made arrangements for sale featuring warm autumn colors.

Make your home smell just like fall

You can purchase aromatic candles that smell just…

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depositphotos_advice_266When you're selling your Calgary house you may end up hearing a lot of different advice. Friends and neighbors are going to tell you all about their real estate escapades and give you some "helpful" advice. Sometimes these words of knowledge can conflict with the recommendations that your real estate agent is providing. When push comes to shove, however, your agent knows what's happening in the real estate market right now - especially in your part of town. When you hire a real estate agent you are taking him on to help you sell your house using his knowledge.

Below you'll find some of the advice that friends or family may be giving you about your home sale that you need to avoid. They can end up being costly mistakes and some of them can actually slow…

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When you're looking for a new home the one thing that's going to get you into it the fastest is working with the best Calgary real estate agent you can find. When you don't know exactly what you should be looking for in an agent it will be hard to define the best one available. Here are the most important qualities you should be looking for so that you can find the home you want to call your own quickly and efficiently.

depositphotos_negotiate_424One that listens

You need an agent that can listen and duplicate your wants and needs in a home. You don't need someone that's a great talker - you need a great listener. You'll be able to find an agent that you feel comfortable working with and can understand exactly what you're looking for through a simple phone discussion. If you're…

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What do you think? Do you see your home as an investment or as an expense? If you're like most Canadians you view your home as an investment. According to a recent poll by Scotiabank, 77% of Canadians consider their home to be an investment.

depositphotos_invest_366There were a lot of other interesting statistics that came out of this poll as well. For example, it's surprising to see that in Alberta, 40% of the homeowners here are mortgage free. These numbers line right up with the Canadian statistics, which show that 40% of homeowners nationally don't carry a mortgage. In British Columbia this number goes up to 54%, in Ontario 47%, in Atlantic Canada 42% and it goes down in Québec with only 37% owning a home that doesn't carry a mortgage.

As well, according to this poll,…

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If you're trying to sell your condo the first thing you need to know is exactly what most condo buyers are looking for. Once you've established that, you can work with this data to help put together a faster sale. Your real estate agent already knows about these common features but it's important that you're aware of them as well.

Interior design

depositphotos_area_rug_424According to a recent poll conducted by TD Canada Trust, most people that are looking for a condo are searching for one with a nice interior design. They are also searching for one with amenities such as a party room, pool or a gym and one that is in close proximity to entertainment and public transportation.

If you have a condo that you're selling that offers any of the above features, this should be…

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