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How to Stay Safe in your Home, Sweet Home

Thu, 26 Sep by Bryon Howard
How to stay safe in your home, sweet home

Keeping your home safe and sound (photo courtesy of APM Alex)

 

When I sell people a home, I want them to be happy and safe there day after day. Of course we can’t control everything, but we can do a lot to secure our homes and to lessen our risks. Below is a short list I made to help you keep safe in your new home.

Don’t be an easy target for burglars.

Every house comes with a lot of standard safety features to protect you and your family. Use them! Make sure your gate, doors and windows (including the basement window) are securely locked. If your newly bought house has a keypad, change the code as soon as you move in and every six months thereafter. (People selling or leasing their home and are listing it with a realtor must use a lockbox and never disclose the keypad code.)

If you don’t have perimeter lights around your home, install them and keep them on at night.

Get an alarm. If your dog’s bark is your alarm, always pay attention. But never get a guard dog as your family’s pet, as its instinct is to attack.

Get a door chain and peephole for your entrance door/s to check out visitors before you open wide the door. It’s not unknown for burglars to ring the doorbell and then attack.

Check out the Home Security and Burglaries section in the City of Calgary website for more tips on securing your home.

Keep your house structurally sound.

You should have had a home inspection before you bought your home. But remember that from then on, your home’s structural safety depends on how well you maintain it.

To protect your home from fire, floods and other natural disasters, check out this site on emergency preparedness.

Insure your home. And make sure you fully understand what risks your insurance plan covers.

Participate in risk mitigation measures in your community. You’ll be surprised how much you can do to minimize disasters if you work together! A great idea is planting more fruit-bearing trees and shrubs especially on hills to prevent soil erosion. (And fruits are yummy too! My wife is raving over a dessert she recently tasted made of seabuckthorn or buffalo berries, that grow on a beautiful shrub with silvery leaves.)

Once you’ve done everything possible to protect your home from natural risks, protect your family. Prepare an emergency kit and put it where anyone in the family can get it easily and quickly. There are available emergency kits from the Red Cross that contain all the supplies you will need for floods, earthquakes and other calamities.

Following these simple tips will let you fully enjoy your new home and give you many happy memories there. Have any more tips to share?

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

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 2% 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.

Watch this video on YouTube or on Easy Youtube.

River Park: “Green Gold” of Altadore Real Estate

Mon, 16 Sep by Bryon Howard

Replace wife pic Q2 Blog 2

One of many scenic views; my wife Shirley AND River Park (photo courtesy of Bryon Howard)

How do you relax after a hard day’s work? Well, after a busy day helping people buy or sell Altadore real estate, I take a walk in the park. I’m pretty lucky to live in a neighborhood that has one of the most beautiful urban parks in Calgary: River Park. (In fact, it’s why Altadore was voted one of the Best Neighborhoods in Calgary.) River Park is a wonderful place to unwind because there’s lots of green space where you can have a small picnic, engage your family (and your dog!) in some outdoor fun, or just plain chill out. That’s why if Altadore’s our “hill of gold,” River Park is our “green gold” – our green patch of heaven in our neighborhood!

Adventures at the park

I love to run at River Park in the early mornings. I’ll run down to Sandy Beach, then back up and down the trails to below the Reservoir… climb again and perhaps take the bridge over the Glenmore Reservoir past the Rockyview Hospital all the way to Heritage Park.

My wife, sister and brother-in-law also frequently walk our dogs with their kids along. After a nice dinner at home, we take a walk out to the ridge, then down to the river, and just enjoy the evening. Every once in a while too, my son and I would have some father-and-son bonding there, like during that winter when he learned how to drive by going round and round the park.

On my more adventurous days, I participate in races there like the Calgary Roadrunners Series (I’m running at the River Park Classic Cross-country Race on October 5). Or I go mountain biking underneath the reservoir where there’s a picture-perfect waterfall. There are really nice quieter trails there that not many people visit. And for super-fun family adventures, the Foothills Wanderers Orienteering Club often holds orienteering events in the park for all ages.

Dog alert!

One thing River Park is known for is its off-leash area for dogs. It’s a great place for dogs to socialize with other dogs. (Tips to dog owners: don’t bring toys or your dog will just play with them and not socialize; and if you forget your poop bag, you’ll find lots of them hanging around in the park.) Sometimes, though, my dog has other ideas of fun. Once, he decided to go for a swim in the park all on his own and ran down ridge to the river. Then he ran back all the way to our house and shook his wet, muddy fur — I guess he thought the sign said ‘off and running’!

Let’s keep River Park beautiful.

We always have such a great time at River Park and we felt sorry to see the pedestrian bridge damaged after the record flood in June. But the city is hard at work to rebuild the bridge, and in fact, has great plans to make River Park even more beautiful and fun! Now if all of us residents will keep the park clean and do our share to support the plan (share your ideas!), I won’t be surprised if Altadore real estate would soon be the greenest property in Calgary!

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 one home a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 8% 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.

My 18-Point Plan of Action for Selling a Home

Tue, 10 Sep by Bryon Howard
My 18-Point Action Plan

Planning for success (Photo courtesy of Tatiana12)

All real estate agents promise to sell a home fast and at top dollar, but how will you know upfront who can really deliver? Well, a promise is just a promise unless one has a plan of action for achieving it; and then you’ll know who really knows what he’s talking about. What’s more, an agent with a clear plan can be held accountable for what he says he’ll do, every step of the way! Those are exactly what my team had in mind when we developed an 18-point plan of action for selling homes, and it has helped us sell an average of two houses a week for the past two years! Eighteen steps make for a pretty long plan, but they should tell you loud and clear that we do everything possible to sell a home fast and at the highest possible price.

You’ll find our full 18-point plan here, but we’ve grouped the 18 steps into just three big ones because they’re really as simple as these!

We’ll get your home as ready as it can be to realize its full market potential.

Chances are someone out there needs a home exactly like yours and will be happy to pay you what it’s worth to him, but you’ll need to be able to find him and let him know as clear as day that your home has the features he wants. So first, we’ll highlight what we know most people want in a home like yours. And if your home can use some improvements to make it more saleable or to jack up its price, we’ll suggest what changes you can make to it. Then we’ll help you price your home strategically to open the market for it or to invite higher bids.

We won’t rest until we sell your home.

When we’re sure we’ve done everything we could to make your home as attractive as it can be to buyers, we’ll lose no time and leave no stone unturned to find your best buyer! We’ll submit your home to our local Multiple Listing Service to make sure everyone knows you’re selling it; promote it at our company sales meeting to get our entire team on board; fax a feature sheet to the top 40 agents in the marketplace for their potential buyers; contact our buyer leads, centers of influence and past clients for their referrals, and prospective buyers directly, over the next seven days, and prospect for at least two hours a day and talk to at least 20 people a day to look for potential buyers (we surely won’t be sitting on the job!); catch even casual passersby through a professional sign and lock-box in front of your home; and when possible, have cooperating agents in the area tour your home.

We’ll relieve you of all the stress – Relax!

We know your life doesn’t stop when you’re selling your home, so we’ll make sure you won’t get stressed. We’ll follow up with the salespeople who have shown your home for their feedback and response; constantly update you on any changes in the marketplace and inform you of the various methods of financing that a buyer might want to use; whenever possible, pre-qualify prospective buyers ourselves; assist you with arranging interim financing if needed; represent you on all offer presentations to negotiate the best possible price and terms; handle all the follow-ups before the contract-signing such as the mortgage, title and other closing procedures; and deliver your cheque at the closing!

The beauty of my 18-point plan of action is that you can go back to the list anytime and make sure it’s been done, so that you won’t have just pretty promises to hold on to but detailed action commitments that will give you the best assurance that you’ll get that cheque with the right price fast!

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 2% 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.

Watch this video on YouTube or on Easy Youtube.

Vacations 101: Sometimes Glitches Are the Most Fun!

Mon, 02 Sep by Bryon Howard
Sailing in the Bahamas

Sailing in the Bahamas © Some rights reserved by T Hall

Everyone loves vacations. In fact vacation photos are the staples in FB pages! I especially love going on vacations yearly with my wife and two kids, even if it’s just back to the Maritimes, to take a break from life as a Calgary real estate agent.

But we had one particular vacation that’s as fresh in my mind as if it happened yesterday—that one that took us to The Abacos Islands in the Bahamas.

“Oh sure, the Bahamas,” you’d think, “Who’d forget it?” Well true enough, the sea and the sky there couldn’t be bluer, the more than 2,000 islands greener, and the beach sand whiter or in some cases, more pink than any pink-sand beach you’ve ever seen.

So we rented a 39′ sailboat and sailed off to sea. I have been on the water all my life … but mostly in smaller 16′ Catamarans and Sea Kayaks. I hadn’t take any formal courses on sailing but I consider myself a bit of a sailor. I convinced the charter company that I had sufficient experience – and took the helm. But almost an hour later, my kids wondered why they could still see the bottom of the sea. I told them, “Oh, it’s just the beautiful crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean; don’t worry.” But five to 10 minutes later, we hit sand, the tide went out and we were stranded for six hours on an island! Great sailor, me! Oh, but my family was so much fun. We had a wonderful time snorkeling and we even had a picnic. In the meantime, I tried hard not to feel too embarrassed. Then the tide came back and the charter owner/operator came in a powerboat and pulled us off. Lucky for us, we didn’t hit a rocky bottom but a sandy one, so the boat had no damage.

I realized a number of things from that vacation. Here are the ones I remember best.

  1. Take sailing classes.
  2. Listen to your crew.
  3. Stay alert to be safe.

 

When things go wrong, relax! You can always turn potential disasters into the funniest and most unforgettable memories. Remember, happiness or enjoyment is not really a feeling or an experience that comes to us given the right external conditions, but a state of mind. So cherish each moment, and don’t plan too much because sometimes it’s the unexpected things that are the most fun!

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 one home 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 data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Calgary Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.