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West Hillhurst: A hidden gem for teens/young adults!

Wed, 26 Feb by Bryon Howard

Over the years I have sold over 100 homes in and around West Hillhurst. The more time I spend in West Hillhurst and the more I hear from buyers why they are looking at this community for their new home, the more I realize this community has so much to offer, especially for families with high school and postsecondary aged children. Where else can you find a high school, two colleges and two universities just minutes away? In my mind, West Hillhurst is a hidden gem.

Teens can sleep in and still easily walk or bike to Queen Elizabeth High School. College students have the choice of Southern Alberta Institute of Technology or Alberta College of Art and Design. University students can walk, cycle or catch a bus that will have them at class in minutes. Even Mount Royal College is only 15 to 20 minutes by bus or bike.

Recreation

From a recreational perspective there is an arena, squash courts, tennis courts and gym right in your backyard and an outdoor pool for that all important summer tan. If you are a runner or cyclist, the Bow River pathway is just minutes away. If you love the mountains there are only four or five traffic lights depending on where you live, until you out of the city.

Chill Places

West Hillhurst also has some good chill places for students and families – Vina Pizza, Amato Gelato and Central Blends Café. Central Blends is like a second office for many of the work-at-home members of the community. And, you are just a $10 cab ride to the downtown for pubs and clubs or summer music festivals. The Jubilee is within walking distance for some and a quick drive for others.

Walk to work

From the parents’ perspective, West Hillhurst is conveniently located to most of Calgary’s inner city employment hubs – Downtown, University of Calgary, SAIT/ACAD, Alberta Children’s Hospital, Foothills Hospital campus and Mount Royal University. You have the option of walking, cycling, busing or driving to work as need be depending on time of year and amount of time you have. It is not surprising that West Hillhurst has one of the highest percentages of bike commuters in the city.

Grocery Stores / Farmers’ Markets

You also have five-minute access to three Safeway’s (soon to be Sobeys) at North Hill, Kensington and Brentwood and two Calgary Co-op stores at Brentwood and Midtown. This can be very handy if you are feeding a growing teenage boy. There are also weekly farmer’s markets at Parkdale and Hillhurst community centres.

Kids down / Parents Up

It’s no wonder West Hillhurst is one of Calgary’s most active and affordable infill communities in the city. Modern and traditional style new homes are under construction on almost every block. Most are designed with four or five adult family members in mind, with over 2,750+ square feet of living space on three levels (often with well equipped basements that function nicely as separate living spaces for the young adults in the family). Kids live down, parent live up is the new urban living trend.

Your inner city specialist!

Bryon Howard

west hillhurst 6 AVe

2139 6 Ave NW – Great Bungalow … Luxurious Master on Main … with the kids down below.  C3599791
west hillhurst master on main

 

West Hillhurst is home to both traditional and contemporary infill homes.

West Hillhurst is also home to more traditional design family homes.

West Hillhurst boast new contemporary infills on almost every block.

West Hillhurst boasts new contemporary infills on almost every block.

West Hillhust has numerous parks, playgrounds and an old fashion outdoor pool

West Hillhust has numerous parks, playgrounds and an old fashion outdoor pool

West Hillhurst has a wonderful old town feel along 19th Street aka Main Street West Hillhurst.

West Hillhurst has a wonderful old town feel along 19th Street aka Main Street West Hillhurst.

In West Hillhurst and neighbouring communities it is not unusual to find an entire street under construction.

In West Hillhurst and neighbouring communities it is not unusual to find an entire street under construction.

How to Sell Your Own Home

Mon, 24 Feb by Bryon Howard

bigstock-Sold-Home-For-Sale-Sign-And-Ho-4087920

It’s understandable that home owners contemplate selling their home themselves. Doing so would seem to save money and may look pretty simple; clean the house, put up a sign and do some open houses. For those home owners thinking about this approach, I’d like to provide some details you may not have thought about.

Know the market

First, pricing a house needs objectivity and excellent knowledge of the current market. What is the current inventory in your estimated price range? What are the prices of comparable properties? How long do properties stay on the market before they sell? Why are some houses on the market for a long time and others sell right away? Are there lots of buyers in the market right now? It takes all this information to price a house to sell in a reasonable amount of time and get market value for your it.

Stage your home properly.

Proper staging prepares a house to show from the buyer’s viewpoint, not the seller’s. Buyers are very influenced by their first impressions of a house, inside and out. It only takes seconds for buyers to get a first impression, a few seconds to look at the yard and the entry way, and another few seconds to get the feel of the house as they walk in and glance around. Staging is critical to capturing a buyer’s interest and making sure there are no major distractions. You may not notice where repairs are needed, but they will.

Hold open houses.

Once a house is ready to show, you need to have open houses that get traffic from interested buyers. You need to balance being available to describe your property’s attributes with leaving buyers to look on their own. Buyers can find it very awkward when home owners are in the house as they walk through.

Make your house is available to show for the convenience of buyers and their realtors, not for your convenience. That means making the house available during the day and during the week. Just nights and weekends won’t sell the house. When showing the house, be organized and relaxed. Plan ahead how you are going to handle showings and practice.

Evaluate offers.

As the home owner, you will be working directly with agents to negotiate offers. Receiving an offer is just the start of negotiations that determine the sale price and other important terms. You need to know how to evaluate buyers as well as their offers.

There is much more to selling a house than you might think. An agent knows all these details and represents the seller’s best interests — from setting the right price to negotiating the best sale. Before you decide to sell your house yourself, think realistically about all it takes to be successful. You might want a professional agent in your corner.


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 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.

 

Should You Invest In A Condo?

Sun, 16 Feb by Bryon Howard

 
 

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Real estate investors who are considering condos as investments are entering a solid condo market. Condo sales have been doing very well in Calgary because of the migration into the area for jobs. No investment is a sure thing, though, and even in a good market, investors still need to do their homework. No matter what the market is like, I can offer a few tips based on my experience in this market.

Always do the math.

Every investor has a different set of financial circumstances and expectations. What you pay for a property is obviously a big factor. However, investment calculations need to consider mortgage carrying costs versus cash in the deal. Look at any tax implications in the short and long term. Plan how to handle utility costs and property taxes in establishing the right rental fee.

Have a good idea of how long you are going to hold the property and why.

This is important to factor into expectations for return on your investment. In the short term there is the cash from rental income but it takes time to build value from market appreciation.

As with any real estate, it’s all about location.

Know the neighborhood, current rental rates and who makes up the rental population. Some neighborhoods are in transition either up or down. Get details on the local rental market from your Realtor®.

Check too the economic trends outside the local neighborhood.

Those trends have a significant impact on neighborhood real estate, e.g., mortgage rates, employment figures and market stability.

Consider the pros and cons of new construction versus established properties.

With new construction, you can get a better price and staggered payments in the pre-selling phase of a condo development. Initially, you will have significantly low maintenance and upkeep costs. However, there is uncertainty in the final value of the property once it is finished. It’s good to know the track record of the builder regarding on-time completion and building quality. You will need to find tenants who are looking for new construction. Existing condos have a track record of income, and the sale price reflects this value. The characteristics of current tenants give you a good foundation for finding the right tenants for your purchase.

I have a lot of experience working with condo investors. Some have made good investments and others, not so good. I’m glad to put my experience to work in making the right information available to my clients to help them make the best business decisions.

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 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.

 

Altadore Real Estate: My Favorite Restaurants

Sun, 09 Feb by Bryon Howard

 

Watch this video on YouTube or on Easy Youtube.

 

Thinking about moving to Altadore? It is a vibrant area that provides great in-city living close to Marda Loop; and what a selection of great restaurants! I’m always up for a great meal and have a few favorites.

Good Old Canadian

When I just want to unwind, I often go to a Fergus and Bix, They have a great selection of Canadian beers, and their burgers are just as good.

French and Italian

French cuisine gets my thumbs up in several upscale bistros. Cassis has a chef from the south of France that brings real authenticity. They even shop next door at Market 17 (close by at the Casel Marche) for fresh ingredients. Both Avec and Fleur de Sel give you variety in French food and atmosphere. And there’s always classic Italian at a new trattoria, Borgo; try their ‘sperlunga’ for a bit of everything.

Mediterranean and Asian

If you are looking for a good selection of Mediterranean, try Brava Bistro. They blend the Mediterranean flare with some North American splash. Check out their wine list.  I’m also a big fan of Indian food and that curry heat, so I suggest Moti Mohal, which has a classic Kashmiri menu. So now I’ve made myself hungry!

There has been quite a frenzy of growth and development in Altadore. The area offers city lovers a great opportunity to live where they can walk to some of my favorite restaurants and more. The neighborhood is known for blending a range of residential options with the conveniences of one of our most popular shopping areas and an easy walk to River Park for a stroll along the river. Altadore was named one of Calgary’s best neighborhoods in 2010. I know the area well, both the real estate and the restaurants. I’m always glad to help my clients pick the best of both.

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 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.

Try Winter Ski Events To Take Advantage Of Our Great Outdoors

Sun, 02 Feb by Bryon Howard
Bryon and wife Shirley at the first Alberta Cup Race of this season in Canmore. Shirley won a Silver Medal for her age group in the Skate Category!

Bryon and wife Shirley at the first Alberta Cup Race of this season in Canmore. Shirley won a Silver Medal for her age group in the Skate Category!

 

I love skiing; it’s great exercise but even more than that, it gets me out in our spectacular winter environment. These events bring out a big crowd ready for a little competition and a lot of fun. Many of the events are family-oriented. In February, there are two events worth noting. Try one out yourself.

 

Canadian Birkenbeiner Ski Festival

The premier ski event in this area is the Canadian Birkenbeiner Ski Festival. It’s held the second Saturday in February every winter (7th and 8th this year). The event is east of Edmonton at Cooking Lake. It usually attracts about 2,000 skiers and has something for everybody, so bring the family! The five events offer an opportunity to participate no matter what the age or ability. I’ve done this race before. If you’re not up to the skiing, volunteer. There are over 600 volunteers who take part as well. People come from all over Canada to this event. Enjoy the very festive atmosphere, the great skiing and the scenery.

 

Cookie Race

This year, I’m also considering the 37th annual Kananaskis Ski Marathon, better known as the “Cookie Race.” Yes, there are cookies along the way and yes, it’s a marathon, so lots of cookies. This year, it will be held at Peter Lougheed Provincial Park on Saturday, February 22. I can’t imagine how many cookies it takes to satisfy over 600 skiers.

 

Here are some tips for participating in ski events:

  • Show up on time. This means get there in plenty of time to park, suit up, prep your gear and not rush to the start line. It can be nerve-racking to cut it too close and have to rush. Put energy into skiing, not in worrying about the time.
  • Dress right; this can be challenging. It’s cold, sure, but you warm up quickly and need to shed layers. Not too cold and not too hot.
  • Get the right wax for your skis. If you’re not sure, ask someone or go to a ski shop. The right wax makes a big difference in the amount of effort and energy you have to put out.

 

I’m looking forward to getting out and enjoying the scenery we are so fortunate to have here in Alberta. Skiing is great exercise and good for the entire family. Let me know if you will try one of the events I’ve mentioned!

 

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 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.

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.