Calgary News, Events & Local Insights about Calgary - Blog Archive: November, 2014

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

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Good question. You may have heard both good things and bad about Calgary real estate seminars. The truth is that there are some really good seminars presented from time to time and others that simply aren't worth your money. The trick is to find the good ones and ignore the bad.

How to find real estate seminars in Calgary that are worth attending

1. Who is running the seminar?

Find out everything that you can about the person running the seminar. Look behind the advertisements that are promoting the real estate seminar and find out more about the person that will be presenting it. There are some smooth talkers that don't have a lot of statistics to back up what they are talking about. There are, on the other hand, a lot of great speakers that can…

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While thousands of people across the country are worrying about what retirement holds in store for them, you can be one of the smart ones and start planning for it early. There is a lot to be said for foresight, and here is a great plan you might want to consider to line up your retirement.

Retirement plan

Would you like to know a way that you can earn a second income while planning for your retirement? Buy a second home that you know would be perfect for your retirement and start renting it out now. The extra money you make on rental fees can be put back into the mortgage so that by the time you retire it will be paid in full.

You can talk to your accountant to crunch the numbers and see what you come up with. A lot of this plan will be determined…

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Mac ‘n’ Cheese is a childhood for many adults. Even though many are used to the boxed kind with the fake cheese, many restaurants have started making their own gourmet mac ‘n’ cheese recipes that make it not only more acceptable for adults to eat but even your kids will love. Skip the processed box version and try real macaroni and cheese in these restaurants around Calgary.

4th Spot Kitchen and Bar - 2620 4th Street N.W.

4th Spot calls their macaroni and cheese “This Ain’t No Store Bought Mac ‘n’ Cheese.” Their recipe uses Spicy Italian sausage and tops it with parmesan and panko. They bake it to bubbly perfection and it’s a restaurant favourite.

Blink - 111 8th Avenue S.W.

Try the Grizzly Gouda Mac ‘n’ Cheese at Blink on 8th Avenue. They use…

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Calgary’s Boys and Girls Club has been running for 75 years. This program has been helping Calgary kids for a long time by giving them a safe place to spend time and learn after school. Back in the times when most men were overseas fighting in the Second World War in the 1930s and 1940s, young boys found themselves with little male influence to surround themselves with.

The Boys Club offered wooden airplane kits, Ping-Pong tables, boxing and simply a place where boys close in age could socialize with one another. During the war and after, the club remained in place for kids. The Boys and Girls Club has been influencing kids in a positive way for many years.

What is the Boys and Girls Club?

The Boys and Girls Club is an environment for kids to…

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The 2014 Great Places in Canada contest has announced its winners and Inglewood neighbourhood has been chosen for best neighbourhood in Canada. Five locations were chosen and Inglewood was one of them for the 2014 Great Places in Canada contest. Canadians submitted their votes and a panel of experts weighed in to make the decision. Here is a look at the contest and why Inglewood was chosen.

2014 Great Places in Canada

After 14,000 votes from residents around Canada over a 7-month timeframe, the contest results are in. The votes by the people of Canada were for Old East Village in London, Ontario but the panel of experts agreed on Inglewood neighbourhood.

The other contest winners were La rue du Petit-Champlain of Quebec for the great street award…

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Most people that put their homes on the market are hoping for a quick sale. In addition to hiring a good real estate agent and setting the right price on your home, you should also work on turning up your home’s visual appeal. A Calgary house that looks great inside and out will attract buyers and help you sell your home faster.

The first thing people will notice is the home’s exterior. If necessary, invest in boosting your home’s curb appeal. The lawn should be perfectly manicured at all times and it is a good idea to strategically plant flowers or shrubbery to give the house a picturesque quality. Putting up a privacy fence is an excellent way to ease potential buyer’s worries about nosy neighbors.

Homebuyers must be able to visualize living in…

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A Calgary home inspection is an important part of owning, selling or buying a property. Contrary to what many think, this assessment should be carried out routinely and not just when you are going to buy or sell a home.  There are a number of good reasons for getting a home inspection including the need for a maintenance report, a new building project or selling your home.

People have different reasons for requesting a home inspection. Many call in an inspector every few years to check their homes. This routine allows the owner to deal with home safety concerns as well as plan a repair schedule for current damages. The information offered is also valuable for analyzing the current value of a property.

For the buyer

Buying a new home can be quite an…

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Running on a Treadmill - Image Credit: you heard of the fitness program Orangetheory Fitness?  It’s a fitness class in which you’re attached to a heart rate monitor that tracks your progress. Like other High Intensity Interval Training programs, it’s supposed to be one of the fastest methods for losing weight and it’s coming to Calgary. This new fitness fad is gaining in popularity. Here is a look at what it’s all about and when to expect it in Calgary.

What is Orangetheory Fitness?

Orangetheory Fitness is a training program designed to keep heart rates in a target zone in order to stimulate metabolism and increase energy. OTF was designed back in 2010 in Florida. It came out when other High Intensity Interval Training methods were becoming popular in the fitness world to help lose…

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Even though the idea of selling your home by yourself may seem easier and cheaper, it really isn't. When you take into account the amount of time you would have to spend marketing your house as well as the cost of advertising and other incidentals, it is much faster and simpler to hire a Calgary real estate agent. You would also be surprised to discover that you are actually not really going to save very much when attempting to sell your home on your own and it will take much longer. Plus, without a real estate agent there to help you, chances are you won’t get the best offers on your home.

There is also all of the stressful paper work, legal matters and negotiating that is involved with selling a home. The time spent on handling possibly one of the…

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When it’s time to apply for a mortgage many people first head to the bank that they usually deal with. While this is always a good idea, it is not the only place you should be going. If you are thinking about buying a new large screen TV, you'll shop around for the best deals before making a purchase. It is the same with mortgages. You could very well miss out on a better mortgage deal by eliminating all of your other options.

Here are some of the other financial institutions where you can apply for a mortgage.

1. Other banks

Are you aware that you can apply for a mortgage at any Calgary bank even if you don't regularly deal with the institution? The advantage of dealing with your own bank for your mortgage is they will have a record of your…

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