Calgary News, Events & Local Insights about Calgary - Blog Archive: January, 2013

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

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When you first contact a real estate agent and ask for help finding a home, one of the first questions that will be asked is whether or not you have been pre-approved for a mortgage. If you are a first-time home buyer you may depositphotos_preapproved_340not have even heard of this term before. Here is some of the most important data you should know about these types of mortgages and why they are so important.

What are they?

A pre-approved mortgage is an assurance from a lending institution that you will be approved for a mortgage once you have found a home. There will be a limit on the amount of the mortgage, which will be clearly stated on the letter you receive indicating a pre-approval. With this in hand, you'll know your limits for the homes you’ll be able to look at…

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If you’re looking for something a bit different to do this winter put on some snow shoes and head out to a hiking trail. Most of the trails in the area can be used for snowshoeing but if you want to get started on the right foot you can also take some snowshoeing trips and hikes with the Calgary Outdoor Centre. For more than 30 years now this center has been offering special trips and lessons for people that would like to get more involved with the sport.depositphotos_snowshoes_340

Snow shoes are provided if you decide to take on a hike with the center and introductory lessons are available for people at all different fitness levels. When you take the introductory course you'll be taught the basics of snowshoeing and then go on 3 hikes that get progressively difficult during a…

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It's a brand-new year and with it the 2013 design choices are starting to emerge. Here are some of the top trends that design manufacturers and pros say you can expect to see this upcoming year.depositphotos_bench_front_porch_400

1. Wood remains in style

Has there ever been a time when wood hasn't been in style? Fortunately, wood has always remained as one of the stable design features that has been chosen throughout the years and can be used with certainty in any room in the house. In 2013, slate or reclaimed wood is expected to be one of the hottest trends for the year.

2. Welcome back wallpaper

While wallpaper was never really out, it was put on the sidelines for quite a few years. One of the reasons why it has been sidetracked is its reputation for being permanent. It used to…

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Your husband returns from work and tells you that he's received a wonderful promotion but that he has been transferred to another city. In order to accept the promotion he would need to start working at his new job right away. He'd have to leave the city next week and stay at a hotel while he is working his new job and the house would have to go up for sale now.

It's a great opportunity and together you agree that it's too good to pass up. The house needs to get put on the market right away and sold as fast as possible. In this type of situation you need to be quick on your feet and put together a fast plan. Here are the steps you need to take to get the ball rolling immediately.


1. Get a great real estate agent

This is your first step and the…

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When you think about home staging do you envision truckloads of expensive furniture pulling up to your door to make your home look better? A lot of people do. The thing is though is that staging can be done on a budget and it does not always include replacing the furniture. Staging simply means getting your home looking its best for your home viewers.depositphotos_home_staging_372_01

1. De-clutter

This is the single most important thing you can do to make your home look its best. Even if you have a relatively tidy home, there may be some things that should be packed away while your home is on the market. Personal photos and items should be taken out of a room to help make it look larger. Unnecessary plants and rugs should also be packed away. This way, a potential buyer can use his…

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In the northeast section of Calgary you'll find a private pond with a skating rink on it that has become a popular winter hotspot for the neighbors around it. Norm Price, the property owner, decided to create a skating rink with his friends at his site on 84 St. N.E. close to McKnight Blvd. it took about 400 hours to complete the rink, which is open from 9 am till 10 pm daily to the public and is completely free to use.depositphotos_rink_388

Build your own backyard rink

If you feel inspired to build your own rink this year it's not that hard to get it all set up. It's a great form of exercise for the kids right in your backyard and it will soon become a neighborhood gathering spot. Here's how to make a backyard rink in the simplest and cheapest fashion.

1. Clear an area…

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It's another day forward into the new year now and time to really take a look at the year ahead. The New Year’s resolutions that you have made need to be enforced and you should use this opportunity to rediscover yourself. There's a blank notebook in front of you right now and it will be filled in throughout the year by the actions and decisions that you are about to make.depositphotos_2013_calendar_424

As you take the old calendar from the wall and put up the new one, take a look back through 2012 and take stock of your accomplishments, mistakes and things that you could have done differently,. Sometimes the mistakes that you make can give you further guidance. It's at this time that you should take some time to rediscover your focus.

One thing you should do is make a list of all…

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