Calgary News, Events & Local Insights about Calgary - Blog Archive: March, 2015

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

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Buying or selling a house represents a huge expense whether its money being spent or money being made.  It can be a joyful adventure or a terribly stressful experience.  Finding the right Calgary real estate agent - especially one with experience - is a crucial key in determining whether this experience falls into the category of a dream or a nightmare.

Say, “Thanks!” to friends and family who are recommending their brother-in-law’s cousin’s next-door neighbor’s daughter, and start your search for your own agent.

You can find great agents by word of mouth, listed in the phone book, listed on the Internet, on billboards and in newspapers.  Since the city has quite a few agents your goal is to find the right one for you. 

The initial interview

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If you don’t want to deal with the hassles of owning a single-family home but you still want to purchase a piece of property, then buying a condo is a good investment. You’ll end up with a beautiful home that you can customize to your specific needs. You won’t have to deal with the day-to-day issues of owning a house like mowing the lawn. For those working on a tight budget, here are a few ways you can make buying a condo affordable.

Banks require a minimum payment for a home loan and the more you are able to put towards the house, the lower your payments will be. If you can increase the size of your down payment now, you can make your mortgage payments more manageable. You can accomplish this by waiting a year or two to purchase the condo or ask for…

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There is nothing like the taste of a big juicy steak. Calgary has plenty of steakhouses to choose from. Here are some that you will want to try out when in the Calgary area.

Caesar's Steak House Ltd

For decades the Caesar’s Steak House has served the Calgary area. When dining here, you will truly feel like you have taken a step back in time when Caesar ruled his empire. To set the atmosphere, the decor includes columns, red leather chairs, and dark trimmings.

Caesar’s has two levels, which includes a dining room and a lounge. Menu options such as Charcoal-broiled steak and sautéed scampi are the main attractions at this restaurant. Other items that you will find on the menu include seafood, chicken, Chateaubriand and ribs. Four course meals…

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The weather is getting warmer and you know what that means! It's time for the official countdown for the Calgary Stampede. The event is taking place in 100 days so get ready to cross the days off your calendar!

Dust off your cowboy boots and get ready for the Greatest Show on Earth. The Stampede will start on July 3 and will finish up on July 12 this year. Tickets are now on sale for the great event and so far Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean and special guest Kira Isabella and Blake Shelton with his special guest Brian Pounds have been lined up to perform. We're sure to hear more announcements as more musical talent is added to the show.

You have the option of purchasing tickets for the rodeo, the evening shows, concerts, park admission and special…

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Everyone had high hopes when the Calgary Real Estate Board predicted that home prices in the area would be consistent this year. However, only a month later did they admit that consumer confidence has dwindled as low oil prices and Alberta’s fragile real estate market began to crumble.

In January, Calgary’s housing took a sharp downward turn. Home sales dropped 35 percent—Calgary’s lowest levels in the past seven years. Meanwhile, new listings went in the opposite direction, soaring to 40 percent.

This region, which has been known as the hottest housing market in the country, is filled with consumers who are unsure about where the market is headed due to potential fears concerning their employment. Hesitant consumers have made for a slower…

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Town houses are a great second choice if you don't have the money to put towards a down payment on a home. In many cases they are purchased as a stepping stone towards single-family home ownership and are perfect until the timing is right to move up.

The pros

When you want more than a condo but can’t afford a home yet, a condo is the perfect compromise. When you have your own backyard and can walk outside without first going down an elevator, it’s a form of freedom. You’ll enjoy the extra level of privacy that you’ll get in a town house versus a condo.

In general you can expect to get a lot more living space when you purchase a town house instead of a condo. In fact, many town houses are as large as a single family home.

The cons


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The New York Times has deemed Calgary and Alberta as one of the worlds top areas to visit. It has been noted to be, “The heart of the new West.” The area has always been popular for its vicinity, of the Rocky Mountain Region, as well as the Calgary Stampede. However, this esteemed city is known for culture, diversity and culinary excellence.


Currently, Calgary has been placed at the #17 spot on The New York Times 52 Places to Go in 2014 list. It happens to be the only Canadian city on the list. Calgary is noted for being a central location for cultural offerings. This included stunning architecture, cultural institutions and public art. One public art piece that is well known in the area is Wonderland by Jasume Plensa.


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Although it's still about a month away, pop culture enthusiasts are gearing up for the 2015 Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. The event will be held from April 16th until the 19th at the Stampede Grounds and promises to feature the best in comic books, horror, science fiction, animation, pop culture and much more. It's a given that the show will sell out as it usually does so make sure that you secure your tickets early if you want to be a part of the fun and excitement this year.

Stan Lee, the former president of Marvel Comics and a comic book writer himself will once again be a guest at the Expo. He was the co-creator of Spiderman and was here for the event that was held in 2012. Other guests will include Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry from Buffy…

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Steak - Image Credit:

Do you like to try something unique? Calgary will not disappoint you. There are numerous places in the area that serve up some outrageous food.

Briggs Kitchen & Bar – 48 Ounce Tomahawk Steak

Briggs Kitchen and Bar serves up one very large stake. Cooked in a Josper Charcoal oven, this steak soaks up all the succulent charcoal flavours. The Tomahawk is an outrageously huge T-boned steak. Every Tomahawk is cooked when ordered, and it comes with smoked mushrooms, with an almond and cherry tomato salsa. Come hungrey or bring a friend, because this is one big steak.

Vagabond Brewery - $100 Burger

If you want a high quality burger, then you want to try Vagabond Brewery’s $100 Burger. Be hungrey because this isn’t your regular size burger. This…

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One of the fastest ways to make money in real estate is to watch Calgary market trends and to realize what's going to happen in the future. One of the things that's definitely going to be stepping up over the years is green housing. You can catch a piece of this real estate action by simply making your house a little greener and adding to it whenever you can.


The problem with going green is the money that needs to be put into the house. Green features are very expensive to add to a home. The best way to go about it is by doing it section by section. Even if you can only make your house a little greener, it will have more market appeal to buyers. Making an investment now will bring you a higher return on your money later. You'll also be…

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