Calgary News, Events & Local Insights about Calgary | Page #72

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Calgary real estate may not be the riskiest housing market, but that doesn’t change the fact that homeownership is a significant milestone in one’s life. In addition, acquiring one’s home is a monumental investment—the biggest one that most of us will probably enter in our lifetimes. Unfortunately, as has been evidenced by the not-so-distant US housing bubble, some consumers simply do not view homeownership as a form of long-term investment, or at least a commitment.

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If you’re a first-time homebuyer interested in making a smart purchase, you should try to understand how to put your assets into good use in conjunction with purchasing and maintaining a house. While a house may not be a surefire investment as history tells us, it will probably be…

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Calgary is a great city to live and work in. But it is not just great for the residents, it is also great for the environment. Calgary homes reflect the city's commitment to help mitigate the effects of climate change. The City is committed to protecting our precious land, air and water resources. These efforts include implementing a sustainable building policy; using renewable electricity; reducing energy use; capturing greenhouse gases; using  energy efficient street lights; and ensuring clean air among others.

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But if you plan to buy any of the Calgary houses for sale, it might be better for you to brush up on some tips to help you save energy, save money and do your part for the environment.

1. Save on Your Outdoor Lighting

For Calgary homes,…

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Say you’re in the market for Calgary condos, but you’re just not sure if a condo will suit your needs. After all, condos tend to offer less square footage than low-rise homes—won’t you feel cramped in such limited space? This is a valid concern for any home buyer shopping for Calgary real estate, but it doesn’t have to turn into an agonizing topic. You just have to come to terms with the idea that there are two types of condo buyers: one that can cope with the limited living space, and one that can’t.

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If you’re on the fence, it might help to consider the advantages of condo living. For starters, a cozy condo unit can potentially cost less, so that helps enormously if you have a tight budget. Moreover, the reduced living space often leads to a…

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Before you start looking at Calgary homes for sale, practicality asks you to conduct preliminary number crunching to see how much you can afford on a new house.

Of course, you don’t head straight for a real estate agent or mortgage broker headfirst. Even if you do not have any formal training in real estate or in finance, it falls on you to conduct at least a bit of rudimentary research on the outlook of the housing industry as well as on the entire process of buying Calgary real estate.

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Fortunately, tons of websites provide home affordability calculators; so coming up with a fairly reliable ballpark figure shouldn’t be too difficult. That said, you should still do your homework and figure out how these calculators work, as there may be times when…

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Condominiums are among the most popular real estate choices in Calgary. Buyers have the option to own a downtown high-rise or a condo in a lakeside property. Calgary condos are all about the value and lifestyle:  some condos let you enjoy Eau Claire Park while those in Victoria Park or Connought  make you part of the  trendy 17th avenue. A more serene option is a condo in McKenzie town, or newer areas like Auburn Bay.  

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The trend these days is about style and décor. So, what is considered trendy in 2011?

Minimalism

It is all about clutter-free living spaces, which is what condo living should be about.  Because of limitations in space and storage, condo owners stick to what is essential.  Minimalism as  a movement has an almost Zen-like quality to…

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Almost two decades ago, developers began building condominiums in Calgary, but now the needs are changing and condo living is taken into a new level called green living. “The past decade was all about mega condo developments — such as Keynote, Sasso/Nuera/Vetro, Arriva, Waterfront, Princeton, Five West, La Caille or Stella/Nova/Luna. The next decade will be more about boutique niche condo developments like Drake,” said Richard White, managing director of 3D visualization at Riddell Kurczaba Architecture in an interview for Calgary Herald “It’s much more of a niche market, with infilling of smaller lots, rather than entire blocks.”

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Photo by Avia Venefica

 “And, the nice thing about small units is they encourage people to go out. All of a sudden,…

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The real estate market for luxury homes in Calgary has noticeably grown recently.  Unfortunately, the $22-million palace -  the city’s most expensive home and the crown jewel of the millionaire’s row called Pump Hill Close -  owned by Alfred Balm is not for sale. But luxury doesn’t have to be as ostentatious as Balm’s 91-room, 15,450-square-foot mansion.

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Photo by Ben Freedman.

Buyers with no budget issues have a variety of homes and condos to choose from in the $1 million-plus range. The city’s economic climate makes it possible for local residents to get top jobs and move to more affluent communities. Also, because of its reputation as one of the most livable cities in the world, wealthy investors and business executives from around the world help…

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“Stocks may rise and fall. Utilities and transportation systems may collapse. People are no damn good. But they will always need land, and they will pay through the nose to get it.” - Developer and evil genius Lex Luthor

Well, it is not that simple. Families always need a land and home, but as the Calgary home buyers could attest, they have high expectations and specific needs. After all, their future will revolve around this purchase. And there are things that turned them off. Below are the lessons real estate brokers have learned through years of doing business in Calgary: what are the turn offs for home buyers and what are the best ways to avoid them.

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Avoiding common turn offs is easy when you know what to look for.  - Photo by martiniko.

1.…

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There's a major sense of accomplishment and peace of mind of owning your home outright. Paying off your mortgage sooner can make sound financial sense by saving you thousands of dollars in interest costs. Learning how to save on your mortgage can slice years off your loan. Finding out if you can save on your mortgage payments won't cost you anything, and you will discover whether you have the best loan available for your individual circumstances.

1. Shop around for the best mortgage possible with your credit score.
When a mortgage company has a small overhead cost to stay in business it typically means that they will not charge you unreasonable ongoing service fees. Make sure you know the fees charged by your mortgage company before you sign…

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One of the questions that we frequently get asked is, "When is the best time to sell our house?" In fact what those people are really asking is, "How do we get the maximum value for our property?" It is not really about the time of the year.

However, weather and holidays do play an important factor in selling your home. Almost no one goes house hunting around Christmas, and few give up their summer vacations.

Late spring and summer are usually thought of as the best times to put a home on the market because buyer demand builds steadily through spring. Sales then peak during the warmest months when the nice weather and beautiful flowers make it a great time to show your home.

Families with school aged children are less likely to…

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