Calgary News, Events & Local Insights about Calgary - Blog Archive: December, 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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If you haven't yet hired a sitter for the big night you had better start acting quickly. This is the one night of the year when sitters are most in demand and if you leave your planning right to the last minute you may just find yourself out of luck. Not only are babysitters in high demand on this evening but many that regularly babysit have already made their own plans to go out.depositphotos_sitter_429

Talk to your regular sitter

If you haven't already, find out if your regular sitter is booked up. If she is, ask her for referrals. If she doesn't know anyone that's available at least she’ll be able to spread the word that you're looking for someone and you may receive a call out of the blue by a great sitter. Of course, you'll want to check out this new sitter first before…

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Have you made any plans yet for New Year's Eve? If not, consider spending the evening at Calgary City Hall with the whole family. This is one free party that's kid-friendly and suitable for those that want to avoid a late night drinking party and would prefer to spend time with their family.


The celebration starts at 7 p.m. and includes games and dancing. You and your children can enjoy stilt walkers and fire dancers as they light up the night or ride a bicycle with lighting effects included. There's also a photo booth and an area for making a special glow-in-the-dark hat for the occasion!

At 9:00 there is a countdown to the New Year for the kids and then everything winds down at 10:00 p.m. It's an early family night that gives you the opportunity to…

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There's an energy to be found along Stephen Avenue Walk that's hard to find anywhere else in Calgary. The street starts at City Hall on the eastern side of the city and heads west from there. It's a place where you'll find entertainment, street vendors, outdoor patios and retail stores; but more than that here is where you'll find raw energy.


This part of town is commonly referred to as a downtown park and acts as a meeting place offering something for both young and old alike. This is the beating pulse of the downtown Calgary core offering an atmosphere that's more cosmopolitan than anything else. It's a meeting spot where downtown workers can meet up for lunch or to enjoy a drink after work.

When tourists arrive in Calgary they are often…

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The timing is right to start thinking about investing in Calgary real estate. Now, more than ever, the demand is high for all types of commercial properties across the city. If you have money to invest, real estate can earn you a passive living for years on end. Here are the different types of real estate investments available and a brief description of each.


Commercial real estate

This consists of mainly office buildings that are owned by the landlord with separate units, or the entire building, being rented out to one or more companies.

Residential real estate

These are properties used for residential living such as apartment buildings, single-family homes, vacation houses, townhouses etc. where you earn an income by renting out the…

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Holiday decorating can be an exciting bonding time for the family but usually there needs to be some ground rules put into place before the decorating fun begins. There's a big difference between adult and child decorating ideas and it's best to reach a compromise before getting started.

Before you had children you probably decorated your home eloquently by keeping a color scheme in place and putting things carefully on the shelving units and entertainment centers. Kids, however, have a completely different idea of decorating. If you let them loose, you'll have your walls, windows, staircases and any empty spaces in the home filled with some type of Christmas decoration. While this can be very cute and fun to watch, you'll probably have to undo some of…

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If you've been out shopping for a new set of exterior Christmas lights this year you've probably run into a lot of LED strings in the stores. One of the best things about these types of lights is they will definitely save you money on your electrical bill when you choose them over the incandescent variety. Is this cost saving worth it though?


Well, this will all come down to personal preference. For a lot of people, the LEDs fall short of the brilliance that radiates from an incandescent Christmas bulb. The lighting from an LED string can seem a lot dimmer and flatter than the lighting you would see in a regular bulb. In fact, manufacturers have willingly admitted that they are still on the road to creating an LED light that can compare one-on-one…

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If you're thinking about putting a Calgary home on the market in the near future there are five important selling mistakes that you'll need to avoid. When you know what they are you'll be able to watch as a smoother and faster sale transpires right in front of your eyes!

1. Inflating the price

If you have a nice home, condo or townhouse, it's easy to think that your home is the best in the area and deserves a higher listing price. Unfortunately, potential buyers may not have the same viewpoint and will often only see your house as being sold at an inflated price. Your real estate agent will give you a realistic selling price and if you go much over it you may be asking for trouble.

2. Not fully understanding the selling processdepositphotos_advice2_260

This is a process…

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Are you looking for ways to save money on your utility bills this winter? Just one simple change in your thermostat can help you do it. By using a setback thermostat you'll be able to have control over the temperature setting during the day while you're at work and then at night when you're sleeping.

When you use a conventional thermostat you only have the option of choosing one temperature. If you set it to 18°C it will set off the furnace once the air temperature in the house drops below that level. It will automatically turn off again when the 18°C mark has been met.

A setback thermostat


What this thermostat does, on the other hand, is automatically turn down the setting during the day or at night. You can also program it to go back to a higher…

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This is one of the most frequently asked questions that real estate agents hear when first talking to a client and there really is no magic number. There have been clients that have looked at only one home and then have decided on the spot to buy it. Others have had to look at multiple homes before finding the right one.


This is one of the most frequently asked questions that real estate agents hear when first talking to a client and there really is no magic number. There have been clients that have looked at only one home and then have decided on the spot to buy it. Others have had to look at multiple homes before finding the right one.

It all depends on the starting point of your search. If you already know the exact type of house you are looking…

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Tis' the season for giving, family time and good food, but is it a good time for selling a home? Although you may have a lot of things on your plate and may even have to change a few of your plans it's definitely worth the effort.

depositphotos_christmas_tree_and_fire_411There aren't as many homes on the Calgary MLS® listings during this time of year. There definitely won't be as many buyers out there either. Here's the important thing though. The buyers that are looking for a home during the holiday season are usually more desperate to find one quickly than other shoppers during the year. While most people are putting their home buying plans on hold, there are some that need to find a home during this time and can't wait until the holidays are over to go shopping for one. If you have a home…

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