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All done cleaning up after the flood? Here’s what you might have missed…

Sun, 28 Jul by Bryon Howard
Altadore real estate,Altadore homes for sale,Altadore houses for sale

Image resource:
www.flickr.com

Has it been almost six weeks since the biggest flood in Calgary’s history made all the headlines? If your house was swamped, you’ve probably done enough mud cleaning you could write a book on it. But before you move on, are you sure you’ve done everything you should? I helped haul off a lot of mud from my friends’ houses myself and have since learned some new things that could perhaps spare you a lot of headache and heartache.

 

Contact your utility company to make sure your appliances and electrical installations are safe to use.

Just because your appliances, electrical outlets, switch boxes, and fuse/breaker panels are dry and working now doesn’t mean they’re fine and dandy. You don’t want a fire next time, or an electrocution, or your other appliances to conk out due to a short circuit. So it’s best to do your due diligence now for your peace of mind.

 

Beware of mold and mildew.

A long-term effect of flooding is the growth of mold and mildew. Your wallpaper, carpet, wood walls and floorboards, ceiling tiles, and mattresses, your kids’ stuffed toys, and your books and valuable papers may seem to have dried up, but mold and mildew starts growing as fast as 24 to 48 hours after a flood and may already be growing where you can’t see it. Experts say breathing in mold spores may cause anything from mere allergic reactions to asthma attacks and deadly brain, lung, nervous and immune system conditions. So check everything very closely and think hard if those stuffed toys and books are worth keeping. Ask a lawyer if you still need to keep your original damaged documents or if you can just jot down the information written on them. And consider hiring a professional mold inspection and home restoration company just to make sure your home has no lurking health and even structural dangers. Check out www.chbacalgary.com and www.renomark.ca for reputable contractors.

 

Get ready!

We were all caught with our pants down during that flood, and we’d certainly want to be more prepared just in case there’ll be a next time. So clean all your drainages regularly, put all your electricals on higher ground, secure your valuables, prepare emergency supplies, and know your community’s flood warning and evacuation plans.

 

You can’t be too careful after a flood. After all that upheaval, it’s tempting to think too early that the worst is over and get on with your life. But taking the three additional steps above will help you go all the way in protecting your family and your property from the hidden dangers of water damage.

 

Know someone who is looking to make a decision in real estate? If you know any friends, family or co-workers who are looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate within the next six months, would you forward this email to them or reply with their contact information? I’ll send them important information about the Calgary, AB surrounding area real estate market and politely ask for their business. I greatly appreciate your valued referrals; it’s the only way I build my business.

 

About the author:

Bryon Howard is a top-producing real estate agent with Re-Max House of Real Estate in Calgary, Alberta. He is in love with his high school sweetheart, an enthusiastic Dad and crazy about endurance sports. To learn more about Bryon and his real estate tips, head on over to his website.

 

Here’s the big question after the flood: Should you stay or sell your Calgary home?

Sun, 21 Jul by Bryon Howard
Altadore real estate,Altadore homes for sale,Altadore houses for sale

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius

 

Calgary has certainly risen since the devastating flood a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, there are still 8,000 to 10,000 people who won’t be able live in their damaged homes for quite some time, according to CEMA director Bruce Burrell (http://www.calgarysun.com/2013/06/28/calgary-flood-damage-will-force-as-many-as-10000-people-from-their-homes-for-a-long-time). While the rebuilding gets underway, I have also had homeowners who were fortunately not affected by the flood ask if now is the right time to stay or should they sell.

 

If this is the position you find yourself in, here are some questions that could help you decide:

 

  • What were my plans before the flood? If you were planning on selling before the flood, re-examine the reasons. Where were you planning to move? Has that area been affected by the flooding or was it relatively unscathed? The provincial government made some announcements this weekend with regard to homes in high-risk areas, so staying on top of the latest developments may help you make an informed decision.

 

  • What if I stay? Calgarians don’t just sit back and wait for things to happen. This is Stampede country, and cowboys don’t give up without a good fight! So if you decide to stay, stay safe. Have your home inspected for lurking danger due to the water damage, and keep your ear to the ground on measures that are being introduced in your neighborhood to make it more resilient to flooding and other disasters.

 

  • What if I want to move? With the expected influx of people moving into the city to help rebuild it, upward pressure on values is expected. Subdivisions like Altadore, which is on higher ground, will likely be considered favorable to buyers. Have your home evaluated and then make a decision.

 

Whether you’re staying or selling, or still undecided, the Calgary flood has been an emotional time for all of us. There are no right or wrong answers if you are deciding whether to sell or not. Take your time, make informed decisions and you will make the decision that is right for you and your family.

 

If you know any friends, family or co-workers who are looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate within the next six months, would you forward this email to them or reply with their contact information? I’ll send them important information about the Calgary, AB surrounding area real estate market and politely ask for their business. I greatly appreciate your valued referrals; it’s the only way I build my business. 

 

About Bryon

 

Bryon Howard is a top-producing real estate agent with Re-Max House of Real Estate in Calgary, Alberta. He is in love with his high school sweetheart, an enthusiastic Dad and crazy about endurance sports. To learn more about Bryon and his real estate tips, head on over to his website.

Altadore real estate market prospects up

Mon, 15 Jul by Bryon Howard
Altadore real estate,Altadore homes for sale,Altadore houses for sale

image resource: motorcyclees.com

A lot of people are surely wondering what’s the prospect for Altadore real estate after the biggest-ever Calgary flood last month. My simple and direct answer to that is Altadore is in a good place, literally and figuratively. Literally, because it’s high (its name means “hill of gold”) and thus, it got away scot-free from the flood. And figuratively, because Calgarians in lower-lying areas whose houses were devastated by the flood are either looking for houses to rent or are all together looking to move to higher ground [Calgary Sun headline on June 28: Calgary flood damage will force as many as 10,000 people from their homes for a long time (http://www.calgarysun.com/2013/06/28/calgary-flood-damage-will-force-as-many-as-10000-people-from-their-homes-for-a-long-time)]. And according to Timothy Haney, assistant sociology professor at Mount Royal University here in Calgary, a lot of the affluent areas were hit the hardest, so people in those areas will have the resources to rent or move (http://www.calgary-realestate.com/blog/calgary-flooding-hit-some-of-the-citys-wealthiest-neighborhoods.html).

 

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. First, let’s look at the Altadore real estate market before the flood. Most of the homes that were sold in June were new single-family houses (built after 2000), followed by condos, and an equal number of infills (single-family houses rebuilt on 1940-1970 fifty-square-meter lots) and townhouses. Here are the benchmark prices per type of housing in June:

 

Infill: $776,500

New single-family house: $871,914

Townhouse: $321,250

Condo: $334,380

 

The average prices of infills and condos rose from June last year, and those of new single-family houses and townhouses dropped.

 

I’m not even going to start telling you what were the average days on the market of these properties, as everyone expects all these figures to be wiped out now after the flood.

 

Altadore’s real estate market will have to get ready to offer homes quick not only to people hit by the flood, but even to migrants helping with the short-term relief and restoration work, all the way to those expected to flock to the city with all the long-term rebuilding that’s sure to happen. It’s going to be a seller’s market here for a long time. So my best advice to people looking to sell their home in Altadore: now is the best time; and to those who aren’t selling, you may want to consider renting out your house to the droves of people who’ll need a roof over their heads in the next few months. But if you need to do repairs first, do them quick! Hope you’ll stay tuned in to my update on the Altadore real estate market in September.

 

Know someone who is looking to make a decision in real estate? If you know any friends, family or co-workers who are looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate within the next six months, would you forward this email to them or reply with their contact information? I’ll send them important information about the Calgary, AB surrounding area real estate market and politely ask for their business. I greatly appreciate your valued referrals; it’s the only way I build my business.

 

About Bryon

 

Bryon Howard is a top-producing real estate agent with Re-Max House of Real Estate in Calgary, Alberta. He is in love with his high school sweetheart, an enthusiastic Dad and crazy about endurance sports. To learn more about Bryon and his real estate tips, head on over to his website.

From an Altadore real estate agent: Attaboy, Calgary Stampede volunteers!

Mon, 08 Jul by Bryon Howard
Altadore real estate,Altadore homes for sale,Altadore houses for sale

image resource: news.calgarystampede.com

One thing I take pride in as an Altadore real estate agent is the Calgary Stampede, dubbed as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.” It’s an annual 10-day showcase of western Canadian culture held at Stampede Park, just a 26-minute drive from Altadore Elementary School, that draws more than 1 million visitors worldwide to its rodeo competition, derby, parade with beautiful floats and celebrities (some all the way from Hollywood!), agricultural and cultural exhibits, amusement rides, games, fastfood booths, entertainment, and even good ole’ chuckwagon breakfasts, rig rides and square dancing! It’s one of Canada’s largest festivals, and it’s so well-known that Calgary is oft-called “Stampede City” and “Cowtown,” and its Canadian Football League team is called the “Stampeders.” Calgary becomes a cowboy world at Stampede time, with buildings baring cowboy themes and locals donning cowboy wear! And there are pancake breakfasts and barbecues everywhere! Each year, Calgarians count the days to the Stampede launch, and it was no different this year – until the just-past flood that was the largest in Alberta’s history submerged the Stampede grounds all the way up to the eighth row, I heard, so many people were wondering if this much-awaited yearly event would be cancelled. That would have been a first in its 101-year history that includes two wars and the Great Depression! Well, the flood was big all right, but apparently not bigger than the hearts and the spirits of the people behind this great festival! Folks, saddle up because this event is happening, “come hell or high water,” the organizers are saying!

 

Fund-raising for flood victims: buy your “Hell or High Water” t-shirts!

Kudos to the thousands of volunteers who organize this not-for-profit event yearly for working doubly hard to get this through as scheduled on July 5-14. They’re a driven lot: they’re raising funds for the flood victims through the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Floods Fund (from their sales of “Hell or High Water” t-shirts – order yours at http://store.calgarystampede.com/), and making sure the event will push through now more than ever, what with Calgary needing all the funds it could get its hands on to get back on its feet. Stampede president and board chairman Bob Thompson said crews have been working hard to pump out “millions of gallons” of water from the Stampede grounds and to clear off mud and debris, and the staff have been working wherever they could set up makeshift desks and offices. There are bound to be some changes, though, like with the route of the opening parade as some streets are still closed, but the organizers are hell-bent on giving fans a spectacular experience, as always!

 

A testament to Calgary’s Stampede spirit

Says Stampede CEO Vern Kimball, “Stampede 101 will be a testament to the desire of the community to rally and to come together in the face of adversity.” Oh, in that case, you’re in for quite a show, as we’re talking about Stampede City here! That’s exactly the spirit of Calgary! (Check out in my previous blog (http://blog.thehowardteam.net/2013/06/30/floods-canada-day-altadore-real-estate-agent-calgarians/) how impressed I am with all the help going around here.) The last I heard about the flood relief work was that the city asked for 1,000 volunteers and got 2,500! What a great community! And you know what? That’s what I love most about selling Altadore real estate!

 

Know someone who is looking to make a decision in real estate? If you know any friends, family or co-workers who are looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate within the next six months, would you forward this email to them or reply with their contact information? I’ll send them important information about the Calgary, AB surrounding area real estate market and politely ask for their business. I greatly appreciate your valued referrals; it’s the only way I build my business.

 

Author bio

Bryon Howard is a top-producing real estate agent with Re-Max House of Real Estate in Calgary, Alberta. He is in love with his high school sweetheart, an enthusiastic Dad and crazy about endurance sports. To learn more about Bryon and his real estate tips, head on over to his website.

Calgary Flood / Canada Day

Wed, 03 Jul by Bryon Howard

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