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Experience the Magic of a Calgary Christmas

Mon, 05 Dec by Bryon Howard

Spend some time in Calgary this holiday season and you may find yourself wishing you lived here year-round.  Christmas time in Calgary is an experience to cherish – a magical feast to delight the senses.  When it comes to holiday decorating and Christmas light extravaganzas, Calgary knows how to put on a show.

Here is a guide to a few of our favourite Calgary Christmas light shows – sure to dazzle your eyes and warm your heart.

Kick it Off Downtown – Start with a walking tour of Calgary’s vibrant downtown.  Sign up for a chaperoned walk or map your own route.  In either case, you won’t want to miss the skating rink at Olympic Plaza, pedestrian-only Stephen Ave., and Devonian Gardens.  The CORE Shopping Centre will feature over 100 decorated Christmas trees this year.

Zoolights – Unless you are ready to count the lights, you will have to trust the creative minds behind the annual Zoolights show at the Calgary Zoo.  They claim that there are more than 1.5 million twinkling lights and 200 exhibits winding through the zoo’s paths, but we suspect that there may actually be more.   This event, now in its 19th year, is the largest seasonal light show in western Canada and a beloved annual tradition enjoyed by Calgary residents and visitors.  Dress warm, grab a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy the spectacular imagery with friends and family.

Lions Festival of Lights– This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Festival of Lights, organized and produced by Lions Club members and volunteers.  The brilliant drive-by display along 14th Street NW boasts of more than 300,000 LED lights for the roughly 56,000 visitors who visit the display each day.  Best of all – it is absolutely FREE.  Come out with your family and enjoy the drive.

Airdrie Festival of Lights – Situated only about 20 minutes outside of Calgary, this annual light show organized by a not-for-profit foundation, has worked hard this year to update its light display to comply with new electrical code requirements.  Why not come out and show appreciation for so much hard work?  The light show incorporates train rides, fire pits, skating and hot beverages in a beautiful winter setting.

We hope that Calgary’s dazzling Christmas light shows brighten your and provide you with some Christmas memories to treasure forever.  Get your glow on this holiday season and don’t forget to pay it forward.  Wishing you a very merry Christmas – from our family to yours!

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Ironman Arizona, November 20, 2016 (When CDN Pro Lionel Sanders won and broke the Ironman Speed Record in a time of 7 hours  44 minutes and 29 seconds!)  

Wed, 23 Nov by Bryon Howard
Ironman Arizona - "Pro" Panel - My friend, Mom & wife

My Pro Panel … friend, Mom & Wife two days prior to Ironman Arizona.

I’ve been active all my life.  As a kid my brother and I built go-karts, and used them to salvage junk lumber to build our next tree house.  Those were my earliest memories of ‘sufferfests’ pulling loads of lumber through the neighbourhood to build the ‘best tree house’. Then there was our interval sessions … tobogganing up and down the neighbourhood hills in the freezing cold in Wabush, Labrador and later Charlottetown, PEI.  In grade 10, at Charlottetown Rural High School Rugby practice, I beat the entire team by doing 266 “Down-Ups”. Forrest K was 2nd with about 255 … and my brother Tommy was 3rd with about 220.  A significant increase over the previous record of 60 or 70 ‘Down-Ups’!

A few years ago, I committed to an Ironman race every 5 years.  This was my 6th Ironman since 2001. This is a 5 year ‘check-up / cycle’….this is how I roll.  

  • In the year or two after an Ironman, I enjoy the health and wellness benefits of what I’ve been through;
  • A two or three hour run or bike ride doesn’t seem like a big deal or a long event.
  • I have fun doing more local community races from paddling to ski mountaineering and can do reasonably well with little training or practice of the sport.
  • About 2 years prior to the ‘next’ ironman, I begin thinking about and getting specific about training.
  • I begin to think more about what I’m eating and how much alcohol I’m drinking. (I love to drink … and eat potato chips)
  • I get current on trends in the endurance world. This year I dove into the Ketogenic Diet … with ‘limited success’.

My goal was to Podium at Ironman Arizona on 10-12 hours of training per week.

Why did I think I could?

  • In 2008 I had an age group podium at Ironman Canada on similar training hours;
  • In 2015 (as I began training for this year’s Goal Race) I finished 2nd at Calgary 70.3;
  • This past summer I was 1st at Calgary 70.3 half Ironman – beating 2nd by 10 min;
  • At the end of August, I was 2nd at Canadian Nationals Long Course Triathlon in Penticton;
  • I trained this past year, not to finish, but to win. I sought out coaching and training partners who were faster than me … who would push me through sets of intervals.

What Happened at Ironman Arizona on Sunday?

  • I finished 7th in my age group, 167 overall – in a time of 10:08
  • I feel satisfied and happy with the result.

Why didn’t I Podium?

To begin with, it does not matter that I did not podium. Nobody cares – except me. A podium finish does nothing for me … other than make my ego bigger (which is hardly a necessity).

Since my last race at Canadian National Long Course Championships in Penticton, I’ve been pretty run down and frequently sick. While I was wondering why … the endurance coaches in my life said it was classic over training.

I finally had my blood tested in late September, and my hemoglobin was low. Again, the endurance coaches in my world, advised this is common for endurance athletes … and to rest for two weeks … listen to your body.

While I do not feel I was over trained, as I only train 10-12 hours per week, all the other stressors of life have an impact as well … as well as ‘too much racing’.  As a Realtor in this Calgary market, this past year I have put in record hours, for much less production than previous years. We are amid a tough market. Unbeknownst to me, my body knows this – and as explained to me by Natural Path Jason Ahlan and Endurance for Life Coach Mike Pascoe, it’s your body saying … enough already!   Your body is sending you a message – “Stop it”.

So, I would ‘mostly’ rest two weeks … begin to feel good … do a hard interval session … then get sick again. I had 3 or 4 cycles of this since the end of August.

I turned 50 today, 2 days after IM Arizona and I  feel very grateful to have completed the race in beautiful Arizona and to have done reasonably well.

A big thanks to Mike Pascoe

About a month prior to race day, as I was considering not going to Arizona & while making real estate calls, I happened to call Mike Pascoe, a Chinese Medicine practitioner and triathlon coach – Endurance For Life.   We spoke almost daily leading upto race day. We had fun discussions – me often sharing pictures of my tongue.  His analysis would dictate how I would proceed in my training ; push it, rest or fix!  (Based on my tongue … and a few other metrics!) I found this to be entertaining, interesting, kind, supportive and fun.  

I look forward to trying to podium again in 2021. I’m not even a tiny bit interested in doing another Ironman prior to then!

The Race – 10:08:49 – 7th in Age Group – 164th Overall

Swim – 2.4 miles – 1:04:54 – 1:40/100m  16th in Age Group / 245th overall

It’s interesting … I prefer the swim the most. I love the open water … the start in the morning twilight. However, comparatively to the Bike and Run – this is my worst discipline.

Bike – 112 miles – 5:12:16 – 8th in Age Group / 192th overall

I should love the bike…’butt’ I was in discomfort! This was a classic sign that I did not have enough time  in the saddle! .  There was a strong headwind  and I spent a good amount of the day ‘sitting up’ on the bike, instead of being in race aero position.

Run – 26.2 miles –  3:43:44 – 7th in Age Group / 164 overall

My goal was to run 5min per km to give me a 3:30 Marathon. Based on my run performance this past year … or two years … and especially the past 2 months – this was ambitious. I needed to ‘get some magic’.  I did the first 4 km on pace … then began slowing dramatically.  My goal soon became – “don’t stop … just keep on moving”. At kilometer 26 I was passed by an energetic beautiful 30ish gal … who suddenly gave me some mojo.   I picked up my pace and began to enjoy the run … until she dropped me 3 km from the finish line.

Lionel Sanders - Fastest EVER Ironman Time

I was thrilled to have my picture with Canadian Professional Lionel Sanders two days prior to him winning Ironman Arizona and breaking the Speed Record for an IRONMAN.

My Take Aways:

Ironman Arizona was very fun for a few reasons.  It was truly special to have my 80-year-old Mom travel from PEI to Calgary then onto Arizona for the big event .  I had the undivided attention of my wife as our older children are away in university!  Moreover, a family friend joined us and entertained us with endless triathlon ‘speak’!  We all got an education about our  Canadian Pro Triathletes, it was seriously so much fun to do nothing but talk about triathlon for 5 straight days!  Above all, I love being healthy and injury free. Health is a gift to be cherished!

 

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard is a RE/MAX Realtor in Calgary, dad, husband & lover of self propelled sport. He and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Join me in Bordeaux … for not one Marathon – but two! (Yes 42km’s of running, than a marathon of wine tasting and eating!)

Thu, 20 Oct by Bryon Howard

medoc-marathonMarathon in Bordeaux, Sept 2017

All in the support of The Vintage Fund 2016 (Mental Health is This Years Charity), we are auctioning off a Marathon week in Bordeaux. On Saturday, Nov 5, 2016 at Willow Park Wines & Spirits 23rd annual Wine Charity, James Sichel (Chateau Angludet), Peggy Perry (Willow Park Wines & Spirits) and Bryon Howard (RE/MAX House of Real Estate)  are offering a Marathon Event of a Life Time!

Please considering purchasing a ticket for Willow Park Wines & Spirits Charity Wine Auction on Nov 5, 2016 – and bidding on this amazing auction item!

Marathon in Bordeaux, September 8th – 16th, 2017

Perhaps this should be described as two marathons.  You start with the Medoc Marathon on September 9th, 2017. Running on the Sichel Family Marathon Team, owners of Chateau Angludet and Chateau Palmer comprised of the Sichel family and your coach Bryon Howard, an Ironman competitor, extreme sport enthusiast and multi-marathon runner.

The Medoc Marathon is described as being the longest marathon in the world. You run through the vineyards of 42 Chateaus in the Medoc, by the estates in St. Julian, Paulliac, St Estephe and other appellations of this very famous region. This is a fun run with outrageous costumes and the opportunity to taste at 42 of Bordeaux’s most famous estates.  Bryon Howard will begin your tailored training program 18 weeks prior to Marathon Day on May 8, 2017 based on your existing fitness and goals. He will train and educate you for maximum race day performance & maximum fun!

Prior to the marathon, you will spend the night at Chateau Lagrange with Bryon Howard and that evening you will enjoy dinner with the Lagrange marathon team. After the marathon, a celebratory dinner will take place at Chateau medoc-marathon-runners-castleAngludet. Then the
second marathon begins! A week of visiting more than 10 French Chateaus, tasting first growth wines, visiting top estates, taking meals with the winemakers all the while staying at Chateau Lagrange.
As you overindulge, you are safe in the knowledge that you burned a few extra calories at the beginning of the week!

Donated by Chateau Angludet’s James Sichel, Willow Park Wines & Spirits – Peggy Perry, & Bryon Howard

 

 

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard is a RE/MAX Realtor in Calgary, dad, husband & lover of self propelled sport. He and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Tips for Building Equity

Sun, 16 Oct by Bryon Howard

Tips for Building Equity

Real estate investors and homeowners share a common goal when it comes to the value of their home or portfolio. Everyone is looking to build equity. In real estate jargon, equity refers to the current market value of a property minus the balance of any mortgage loan owed to a lender. Equity is one of the main benefits of home ownership. In frenzied, seller’s markets, equity growth can sometimes appear to be exponential. Other times, it just creeps up in small increments through the years.

Many homeowners are content to take a passive approach and watch their property appreciate over time. Serious investors and homeowners looking to pull equity from one home to finance their next one are well advised to take an active approach to promote equity growth through renovations that will enhance the value of their property. Another way to increase equity is to reduce debt through early pay down of mortgage loan balances.

Here are a few proactive tips for building equity:

Maintenance and Upkeep

A house that is well-maintained will always retain more value than a property that is unkempt. More importantly, a home that is unloved and neglected can lose equity in the blink of an eye. Seemingly small items such as leaky faucets and roofs are equity killers when they lead to major damage. Maintenance can admittedly be boring. If you do not wish to perform the maintenance tasks yourself, consider hiring a handyman or property manager to protect your equity.

Renovation

Renovating is a great way to build equity in a property, but beware that not all home renovation projects offer the same return on investment (ROI). Before sinking hard-earned money into a makeover, talk with your Realtor to learn which projects are most likely to enhance the value of your home. This will vary considerably by property, neighbourhood and price point. On some highly-coveted building lots, a tear down of the existing structure will help build equity faster. In most situations, however, this is not the case. Kitchen and bathroom renovations traditionally bring the best ROI, but homeowners should shy away from over-the-top projects and high end materials that do not always deliver a good return.

Debt Reduction

Imagine owning a debt-free home, unencumbered by the constraints of mortgage loan financing. You can make this dream a reality with an aggressive approach toward pay down of your existing mortgage loan through shorter loan terms and extra payments. Even one extra mortgage payment a year can significantly reduce the duration and total cost of your loan. Each dollar spent to reduce the debt gets added to the equity column on your home’s balance sheet and, by making the extra payments on a voluntary basis, you maintain flexibility and the right to direct those funds elsewhere when the need arises.

Meticulous Tenant Screening

A bad tenant who goes months without paying rent and forces you into court to seek an eviction is a definite equity killer. It can get even worse if you find out they trashed your valuable asset. The best way to guard against bad tenants is to adhere to strict qualifying standards with in-depth screening. In addition to reviewing each tenant’s credit history and financial situation, insist on checking references with former landlords. Make an appointment to check in on the home periodically to ensure that the tenants are respecting your property. This will also afford you the opportunity to attend to any repairs that are needed.

One of the best things about being a homeowner is that it gives you freedom – the freedom to decorate and renovate your home as you see fit without requesting approvals. Once you have built up equity in a property, you will also realize the benefits of financial freedom and the security that comes with the ability to borrow money against the equity in your home. Over time, investing in Calgary real estate has proven to be a lucrative investment. Start building that equity now!

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

The Big Decision for First-Time Buyers

Sun, 02 Oct by Bryon Howard

The Big Decision for First-Time Buyers

First-time homebuyers face a myriad of choices when it comes to narrowing the search for their first home.  How much money to spend?  Which neighbourhood?  Downtown or suburbs?  These are all tough choices, and for some first-time buyers, another difficult decision is whether to put money down on a condominium or single-family home.  Some buyers know exactly what they want, while others need to do some serious soul searching and weighing of pros and cons to determine the best choice for their first home.

The Howard Team has worked with hundreds of first-time buyers over the years and we know how to ask the right questions to guide undecided buyers toward the choice that suits their budget and complements their long and short-term goals. We can educate them on the advantages and disadvantages of each choice and the intricacies of condo associations, maintenance fees and home maintenance.  Most importantly, we help them make the choice that is the best fit for their preferred lifestyle.  Here are a few of the questions we start with.

How long do you plan to stay in the home?

If you do not plan on owning your first property for more than 5 years, long-term goals are of less importance and can take a back seat to short-term considerations.  In this case, the best choice may well be the property that offers the best chance for rapid appreciation in the local market.  Based on statistical analysis and current trends, we can advise clients which neighbourhoods and type of housing are most likely to hold their value or appreciate.

What is your total budget for home ownership?

In many instances, condos are the more economical alternative and an excellent choice for first-time buyers looking to get the most house they can within the confines of their budget. Especially in Calgary, condos are a logical choice for many young, first-time buyers.   Nevertheless, it is critical that as a buyer you understand how to estimate the total cost of home ownership for condos vs. single-family homes so there are no surprises post-closing.

Do you have children or do you plan on starting a family?

Nowadays, when it comes to growing a family, it is not so much a question of how many kids you plan to have, but rather, how you plan to raise them.  The migration back to cities and downtown living is populated with many families choosing urban over suburban lifestyle.  Others still yearn for the extra square footage and freedom afforded by a single-family home with a backyard.  Fortunately, the Calgary market offers a wide range of options to suit almost everyone.

 What are your favourite leisure time activities?

This is probably the most important question and the tipping point for many buyers on the fence as to condo vs. single-family home.  Is your idea of a perfect Saturday afternoon tending to your large garden or visiting a museum? Would you rather be renovating your kitchen or snowboarding in your spare time?  How far are you willing to commute to work? Do weekend visits to a big box home improvement store leave you giddy with anticipation or bored silly?  These are lifestyle questions to help you determine if you are a condo or house person?   If you find yourself uncertain and leaning in both directions, it might be prudent to start your real estate venture with a condo, see how that feels and then move on to a single-family home down the road if it feels right.

Buying a first home is a life-changing event that merits careful thought and consideration.  Before launching your search for your starter home, sit down with an experienced Realtor to make sure you are heading in the right direction for you and your family.

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Strategies for First-Time Investors

Wed, 14 Sep by Bryon Howard

Strategies for First-Time Investors

Real estate investing can be a highly-rewarding enterprise for those who are willing to hang in through the inevitable ups and downs of the market.  As in any investment, there are certain risks involved.  The most successful players manage to mitigate the risks and maintain a steady course and “eye on the prize” mentality through down cycles.  Are you one of those people with fairly low risk tolerance who wants to reap the benefits of real estate investing, but you are hesitant to dive in? If you are, here are a few strategies for dipping your toes into the market.

Buy a Condo to Rent Out

Calgary has a large inventory of condominiums and a steady stream of qualified renters.  The condo sector of the market witnessed a noticeable price decline in recent months, following years of frenzied appreciation.  With the region’s economic forecast looking brighter, now might be the perfect time for a newbie investor to enter the market.

Build a Legal Secondary Suite in Your Home

Recent changes to Calgary’s zoning by-laws have made it much easier for homeowners to create legal secondary suites within the existing footprint of their homes. Check with your Realtor or consult the city’s website to see if your property is eligible for a legal rental suite.  Then start planning your next investment with all the extra income you will derive from your new rental stream.

Find a New Home but Hold onto the Old One

New investors quickly learn that three-bedroom, two-bath starter homes make perfect rental properties.  So, instead of selling your beloved first home when it is time to move up, why not take advantage of the next big market upswing and hold on to it for a while in the hope of seeing some appreciation?  With the right tenant leasing the property for a few years, you can potentially generate income and equity.  This is a smart strategy for novice investors.

Real estate investing requires a goal-oriented strategy plus a little bit of patience.  If you provide the patience, The Howard Team can help you overcome the first-time jitters and craft a strategy to launch your career as a real estate investor.

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

How to Choose the Right Realtor

Sun, 28 Aug by Bryon Howard

How to Choose the Right Realtor

Finding the right Realtor to work with is a key component of success in the real estate world. Whether you are looking to purchase your first home or expand an investment portfolio, you need to find an experienced professional with expert knowledge of the local market who will listen – really listen to your wants, needs and goals. Choosing the right Realtor will not only help you achieve the short-term goal of buying or selling real estate, but it will leave you more knowledgeable and better positioned for your next foray into the market. The wrong choice will leave you frustrated and regretful over wasted time and opportunity.

For some, it is an easy task to choose an agent, particularly if they act upon the referral of a trusted friend or family member. If you do not have anyone specific in mind and are searching for a trustworthy real estate professional, here are a few pointers to help you select a Realtor with the right skills, experience, competence and reliability to get the job done.

Interview prospective Realtors.Increasingly people interview a number of agents to determine if the “chemistry” works. At the Howard Team, we are happy to sit down with prospective clients and share with them the reasons others have chosen our team to represent them in buying and selling real estate. During the interview, clients inquire about our qualifications, experience and knowledge of the local real estate market. We encourage them to ask as many questions as they can to determine if we are the right fit for them. Here are a few basic questions to start the dialogue:

• How long have you been a full-time Realtor?
• How many transactions have you been involved with over the course of your career?
• Do you work primarily with buyers, sellers or both?
• What price range do you generally work in?
• Do you work with an experienced network of other real estate pros? Mortgage loan reps? Appraisers? Home inspectors?
• What is your advertising strategy? Do you have a marketing plan for my home?

If you are a seller and a Realtor recommends an asking price for your home, ask to review the recent neighbourhood comparable sales or other data upon which the asking price is based. Beware of red flags – such as an agent who is quick to overvalue your home.

Be forthcoming about your own goals. – Remember that we cannot properly represent your interests unless we are familiar with your long and short-term goals, likes and dislikes. Be prepared to answer a few questions about yourself, your plans and your lifestyle. We are not prying; we simply need to get to know you in order to help make your dream a reality.

Ask for testimonials.Any agent who has been working for a while should have a list of satisfied customers. Don’t be afraid to request references and follow-up to see what they have to say.

Most of our clients at the Howard Team tell us that they chose to work with us because we provide the mix of expertise and experience that makes them comfortable. Most importantly, we listen to our clients, share our knowledge and craft a plan to help them achieve their goals.

Choosing a Realtor is an important decision. Hopefully, the person you select will be a good fit and end up being your Realtor for life. Among other things, your Realtor should be someone you enjoy conversing with and spending time with, especially if you will be house hunting. Like any relationship, successful business relationships require an investment on everyone’s part. It takes time to build a mutually-beneficial relationship based on trust.

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

What Makes Calgary a Great Place to Live?

Mon, 15 Aug by Bryon Howard

What Makes Calgary a Great Place to Live?

International publications such as The New York Times and The Economist are increasingly aware of what the residents of Calgary have known for a very long time – Calgary is a great place to call home!  For the past several years, London’s The Economist has consistently ranked Calgary in the Top 5 among the world’s “Most Livable Cities.”   In 2014, The New York Times awarded Calgary the No. 17 spot on its annual list of “52 Places to Go.”  We all have friends and acquaintances that took the advice of travel editors and planned a trip to Calgary only to end up moving here on a permanent basis.  They fell in love with Calgary for many of the same reasons we all love it.  Here are just a few of the reasons we all believe Calgary is such a great place to live.

The Best of All Worlds

Visitors and newcomers quickly discover that life in Calgary eliminates the sometimes-agonizing quandary of city vs. country.  Calgary has it all – clean, mountain living with a cosmopolitan vibe.  There are not many major cities in the world where you can enjoy a majestic mountain view from a downtown office or apartment loft.  It is a well-planned city that is simple to navigate. Designed on a grid and broken down into directional quadrants – North East (NE) North West (NW) South East (SE) and South West (SW).  Numbered streets and avenues make it easy to get around. Streets always run north-south and avenues always run east-west. At the axis, where the numbering originates, are Centre Street and Centre Avenue – navigational ground zero. The city has kept pace with its population growth with new infrastructure being introduced on a regular basis to quell any issues

Housing Choices In-Line with Modern Trends

The multitude of housing options available to residents of Calgary is perfectly in synch with the wants, needs and demands of today’s homebuyers and renters who are migrating back to city centres in droves.  While these people appreciate the lifestyle and amenities available to them in downtown living, they also yearn for the small-town feel that is alive and thriving in Calgary’s many diverse neighbourhoods.

A City Built for the Active Lifestyle

Most Calgarians are 100% vested in an active, outdoor lifestyle and the city’s beautiful landscape never ceases to impress.  The scenic Bow River wanders right through the city and some of Canada’s most epic landscapes surround Calgary.  Calgary’s world-class system of parks and trails keeps nature accessible to all who live, work and play here.  There are over 8,000 hectares of parklands and 800 km of multi-use pathways connecting them.  Some of the world’s finest winter resorts are only a little more than an hour’s drive.  Whether it’s camping at Mount Kidd, ski weekends at Sunshine or a simple stroll along the Bow, there are outdoor options for all ages and tastes. No matter what time of the year, there are always well-maintained parks and pathways to enjoy.  It is almost impossible to stay indoors with so many year-round options.

Calgary has earned its burgeoning reputation as a “must see” destination.  During a period of rapid growth and migration, the city has retained its small town charm and sense of wonder.  Many of the people who chose Calgary as their home over the past decade came here for the jobs and ended up staying for the lifestyle.  We are fortunate to enjoy an exceptional quality of life here in Calgary and are both proud and grateful to call this youthful, vibrant city our home.

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Why Location Matters

Sun, 31 Jul by Bryon Howard

Why Location Matters

Too many novice homebuyers and investors still make the rookie mistake of buying the right house in the wrong neighbourhood.  While most people are familiar with the real estate mantra – LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION – some buyers fall in love with the look, feel and features of a particular home and, as we all know, love is blind.  Location ends up getting trumped by the hard-to-resist lure of a pretty façade.  In truth, buyers are better off buying a home in the right neighbourhood that has only half the amenities on their wish list than buying their perfect dream home in the wrong neighbourhood.

Narrowing a property search to the right neighbourhoods requires the guidance and assistance of a professional Realtor who has a clear understanding of your purpose in buying and your short and long-term real estate goals.  Your Realtor also needs to get to know you a little on a personal level to help in targeting the neighbourhoods that will offer the best fit for your personality and lifestyle.  The right neighbourhood for an investor will not necessarily be the right neighbourhood for a young couple with school age children or a single person seeking access to downtown amenities.

In order to maximize short-term cash flow and long-term equity growth, investors need to search for properties in up-and-coming communities that attract quality tenants.  If you are intending to be a landlord near a university, access to public transit is a critical element since many students and faculty members do not own their own vehicles.  Homebuyers with children need family-friendly neighbourhoods with proximity to good schools, parks and recreational facilities.

There are a myriad of factors to consider when buying a home.  Pinpointing the right location is a function of all of these considerations.  Do you work?  Where do you work?  Do you have children?  How do you feel about commuting?   How do you spend your leisure time?  Are you a condo or a house buyer?  If you are an investor, what are you hoping to achieve?  Is this your first investment or part of a larger portfolio?  These are only a few of the questions to consider before launching a property search.  The answers to these questions, in the hands of a knowledgeable Realtor, will help determine the locations to focus on in your search.

Even though all clients come to the table with wildly-differing goals and expectations, everyone is looking to achieve a positive return on investment (ROI) and location has a huge influence on ROI. At the same time, if you are going to be living in the home, you want to be in a neighbourhood that will accommodate your needs and complement your lifestyle.  The suburban home you fell in love with at first sight may start to wear on your nerves if it involves a long commute.  And the downtown condo that is close to work may leave you disenchanted if you have always harboured dreams of large backyard barbecues and an expansive garden.

Pinpointing the right location with strong potential for both long term ROI and short-term comfort and satisfaction involves a delicate analysis that is best conducted with the help of an experienced and objective Realtor.  You will need a pro to help you weigh all factors and choose the right property in the right neighbourhood for you and your family.

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

I Won! – a Race Report – Calgary Iron Man 70.3

Tue, 26 Jul by Bryon Howard
Pre Race Meal - Calgary 70.3 2016 with our professional athletes Liz Lyles and Jarod Shoemaker

Calgary 70.3 Pre-Race Meal at my house w my wife Shirley & professional triathletes Liz Lyles & Jarod Shoemaker – So fun.

It’s Tuesday – but I’m still hoping the weekend won’t end.

A few weeks ago – somehow through facebook, I learned that the organizers of Calgary 70.3 were looking for host homes for the professional athletes.
I immediately said “Yes” … and asked for two.

Talented Mom & current record holder on Brazil Ironman Course Liz Lyles and Past World Champion and Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker were our pro athletes for the weekend!

Liz Lyles and Jarrod Shoemaker, our guests for the weekend, finished 4th and 5th.

The top 5 Professionals – Men and Women – Calgary 70.3 2016 – Liz and Jarred came 4th & 5th.

I’m shocked at what these athletes eat. They simply are flexible. Jared arrived first on Friday. We had food in the house … but he told us he would stop prior to arriving at home to get some snacks for the weekend. I was curious what ‘snacks’ were.
I was delighted to arrive home.
He had chips in the house!
… I LOVE chips.
Liz assured us … all she needed was coffee in the morning.

 

Well this is my race report …
Swim 28:29
I was fast. (In my standards).
Actually – the guy in front of me was fast.
I followed fast feet.
At one point, some crazy guy … actually stopped swimming and pushed me TOWARDS the finish line. He was upset at me as we rounded a buoy and were bumping against each other. Shit happens.

Bike 2:18:28
A beautiful course – it was unmemorable – other than seeing friend Jason Pohl pass me … and me thinking I was happy to beat him on the swim. I thought I could hold him … and was disappointed I could not. (25 year old punk.)

Run 1:37:41
I ran.
At the finish line, I ran into my friend Jarred Green.
He said, “It was funny … you looked like shit going out … and coming in … but you were moving.”
That is pretty much how I felt. Yes … I could move in a forward direction … but I had no spirit – and simply

Friend Dan on the left & Winner of the day - Josh Amberger in 3hours 40min - a course record! - Bryon Howard on the right. Dan will be joining Josh at World Championships in Aussie in 5 weeks. Josh didn't seem worried about the competition.

Friend Dan on the left & Winner of the day – Josh Amberger in 3hours 40min – a course record! – Bryon Howard on the right. Dan will be joining Josh at World Championships in Aussie in 5 weeks. Josh didn’t seem worried about the competition.

no spring.

Results: I WON the age 50-54 group! My time was 4:28:24.
I’m 49 years old … and I’ll be 50 in November.
For all those years in elementary school from grades 1 to 6 – when I was the last picked for every team sport … Ha!  Ironman made a change in the way the age categories work … so being born late in the year is an advantage as one age groups us.  I’ll take it! 🙂

 

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

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