Calgary News, Events & Local Insights about Calgary - Blog Archive: February, 2019

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

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How to Prepare For an Open HouseYour real estate agent has called and told you that he'd like to have an open house next weekend. In order to get prepared for this event stay calm, focused and relaxed about it. There are only a few things that you need to do to make your home look great and ready for people to stream through it.

Create a Welcoming Atmosphere in the Home

Staging a house is never complete without those elements that make prospective buyers feel welcomed. Your goal here is to add atmospheric touches that make the home more appealing, while also providing a few "goodies."

Scent is a subtle yet effective marketing tool. Invest in candles or essential oil diffusers throughout the home. Match the fragrance to the season if you like—pumpkin spice in autumn, fir…

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The Best Affordable Home ImprovementsRenovating your home will increase its value and make it a nicer place for you to live. But many people don't have the money to spend on expensive housing upgrades. Here's what you need to know about making affordable improvements for your home, as well as a few budget-friendly projects to add beauty, value and selling appeal to your home.

The Effect Affordable Improvements Have On Home Value

If you're trying to add value to your home, several projects tend to add more value than others. For example, upgrading kitchens with new appliances and fixtures will pay off, especially if you're updating a particularly old space. Bathrooms are another source of home value when updating accessories and features. Tidying up outdoor areas tends to pay…

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Buying a Home in a Competitive MarketBuying a home is an exciting time, but it can cause some extra stress if the home buying market is competitive. That doesn't mean buyers can't get a home they really love, but they may need to do some things differently if they want to be the buyer who is chosen by the seller when there is more than one offer made on a listed house. Fortunately, there are some things buyers can do in order to find a home they really want at a price they can afford. Then it's just a matter of getting the seller under contract with them, and moving toward closing. In a competitive housing market, there are several things buyers can consider doing that may help them get a home they really love.

Consider Offering More Than the Asking Price

Among the options…

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What to Know About Selling Your Home in the Midst of a DivorceAlberta has the highest divorce rate in Canada. Divorce is a very traumatic time for couples as emotions are riding high. There can be many very bitterly contested issues that arise during divorce proceedings. Your home is often the biggest financial investment that you made as a couple in happier times. Quite often, when a married couple decides to split, one partner will continue to reside in the home at least for the short term. How is the best way to sell a house so you can both equitably profit instead of making the lawyers richer?

Deal with your emotions before you decide what to do. The first thing to remember is not to base your decision on what you're feeling. Since your home represents a considerable investment, be smart in how you…

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The Most Famous Restaurants in CalgaryCalgary's most famous restaurants are a mixture of establishments with long, storied histories and some newcomers to the scene that have quickly made a name for themselves in the region. Here are four top restaurants that Calgarians are raving about.

River Café—25 Prince's Island Park

With a focus on hyper-local fine dining, superior service and lovely riverside setting, it's no surprise that River Café has continued to flourish and remain relevant for over 25 years. Once guests cross the footbridge and approach this upscale woodland lodge, they are figuratively transferred into another world graced with relaxed elegance—and incredibly crafted foods and wines.

River Café enjoys regular accolades as one of Canada's Top 10 by Wine Enthusiast…

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How to Buy Undeveloped Land in CalgaryThere are several different types of real estate you can purchase but most people focus on houses and other types of prebuilt properties. Purchasing undeveloped Calgary land is also a good idea worth exploring and there are numerous reasons why investing in land makes sense.

The Versatility of Buying Land

Buying land gives you options. You may put a house on the property, get it zoned for a business, or let it appreciate in value and resell the land down the line. The potential of any piece of land is often limitless.

The Increasing Value of Land

Land tends to increase in value over time. Buying land for sale is a great long-term investment. Many people have purchased cheap land for sale, have sat on it for a few years, and then have…

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The Best Family Day Events in CalgaryIn parts of Canada, Family Day has become a beloved annual tradition. Calgary officially commemorates Family Day on the third Monday in February, but the city comes to life throughout the entire weekend with unique and fun ways to spend time together as a family. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and there's an event for every type of family in Calgary.

These are the top Family Day events and activities in Calgary this year:

Family Quest

The Gasoline Alley Museum has created a Family Day adventure that will allow families to work together and enjoy a little bit of friendly competition as well. The Family Quest event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. February 14 through February 18 at the museum. Families will be able to choose…

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Common Plumbing Problems to Watch Out For in Your HomeWhen it comes to plumbing, a little maintenance can go a long way. By checking over some of the common plumbing areas in your home, you could potentially prevent a disaster from occurring. While a water leak can happen anyplace in the home, you'll usually find one most often in the bathroom, laundry room and in the kitchen.

Look Around the Toilet

Leaky toilets aren't always obvious to spot as the leakage typically goes right down the drain rather than causing visible damage. A continuously running toilet from a faulty flapper valve can lose up to 200 gallons of water every day! This is an easy fix, but failing to do so will get expensive fast.

If you're not sure whether your toilet is leaking or not, place a few drops of food coloring in…

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4 Common Questions About Home Warranties ExplainedWhat is a home warranty? Home warranties help to protect a home buyer from certain defaults in the home, particularly for new buildings in Calgary. With this information, home buyers will understand the uses of home warranties, when home warranties are typically required, and how to take advantage of their home warranties if they need it.

Why Are Warranties Necessary for New Homes?

Home warranties are often considered necessary for new homes, but why is this? Buying new construction has a number of benefits for people, including:

  • access to new building practices and technologies
  • ability to use all products for the first time
  • likelihood of better documentation on the structure and systems

Despite this, a new West Springs home…

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The Best Dog Parks in Each Quadrant in Calgary

Soon it will be time for sunshine, iced coffee, and dog walks! But until then it can be difficult to ensure your dog gets the exercise they need when temperatures are -20 and below. But with spring on the horizon, it is time to start getting ready for dog walks and play days, and Calgary dog parks are the place to start! The city is fortunate to have over 150 different dog-friendly parks where pups can frolic off-leash, chase balls, and play with others. Take a look at the many Calgary dog parks located in each neighbourhood and quadrant of the city and plan out some quality time with Fido!

Note: Before letting your dog run free off-leash, be sure to check the designated area for signs indicating that it is an off-leash area. Keep in mind that…

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