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Haunted Houses and other Stigmatized Properties

Thu, 29 Oct by Bryon Howard

Haunted Houses and other Stigmatized Properties

An experienced professional Realtor is confident in their ability to sell any property. As long as the price is right, there is a buyer for every home. Even haunted houses deserve another chance with a new owner. Generally speaking, haunted houses are homes believed by some to be inhabited by the spirits of deceased former residents or frequent visitors to the property. Word of mouth spreads quickly regarding homes with a reputation for paranormal activity and such properties can present a challenge when it comes time to sell.

Peeling paint and leaky roofs are easy to see in a home. If a buyer fails to notice these deficiencies, his or her home inspector probably will. Beyond the brick and mortar, other psychological concerns arise at properties with a history of crime or unusual activity. Despite the fact that the issue is probably not raised in the MLS listing, its mere existence can have a serious negative impact on a property’s value. While the MLS may not mention it, neighbours are likely to share tales of ghost sightings and the media will have already documented the fact that a gruesome crime took place at that address. Examples of circumstances that could result in a property becoming stigmatized include everything from a history of frequent break-ins to organized crime activity, illegal sexual activity and even murder.

In the United States, states have varying laws when it comes to a seller and real estate agent’s duty to disclose information relating to these “stigmatized” properties. In most states, there is a duty to disclose.  In Alberta and throughout most of Canada, there is no such legal requirement mandating Realtors to offer up the information. There are, however, ethical concerns that compel Realtors to answer truthfully when posed with questions from interested buyers and their agents. As a result, it is the responsibility of the buyer and the buyer’s Realtor to ask the right question s and assume the role of real estate detective.

The entire notion of stigma is personal and difficult to define. What seems troubling to one buyer may not seem so horrible to another. Nearly everyone can agree that some crimes are simply so disturbing to all that there is little choice but to demolish the structure and start over. Most stigmas, however, are not that horrific and can and will be overlooked by many.   Sellers just need to find the right buyer for that property

Sellers and their Realtors are well advised to tell the truth when questioned about a stigmatized property and buyers and their agents must ask the right questions and do their own research to make sure that they will be comfortable owning and living in a home with a problematic history.

Remember that all homes have their own ghosts. Before moving ahead with a purchase, make the necessary inquiries to determine if they are ghosts you can live with.

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 Changing The Pace and Enjoying Something Out of the Ordinary Will Help You

Sun, 25 Oct by Bryon Howard

Why Changing the Pace and Enjoying Something Out of the Ordinary Will Help You

It seems the older I get, the more I think in quarters. Let me explain…after every three to four months I reflect on how I did in my last quarter. Did I hit my business targets? Did I get sufficient exercise? Did I have enough exercise and fun? Is my life progressing in the direction I want it to go? Am I moving towards a designed life or am I just living day to day reacting to the circumstances around me? On a quarterly basis, these are the many thoughts that run through my head.

Recently, I ran into a friend and colleague at work, Tim Banfield, who is constantly setting out on new challenges and adventures. On many occasions he has invited me to join him on those adventures including mountain climbing, ski tours, biking and many more. After months of saying no, I finally said yes and we picked Tuesday 22 September to do head out and do something fun.

We ultimately decided to do a multi pitch climb at the Ghost area (Don Getty Wildland). While I have ridden my road bike a little bit in this area, I really had no idea where we were going. Getting there in Tim’s Grand Cherokee was almost enough of an adventure with all the twists and bumps in the road. After arriving and a short hike from the drainage area, we were at the base of our chosen route called Heidies with Hilties – a 5.10b route established in 2000 by two women by the name of Heidi. The last time I did a 5.10b was at Smith Rock in Oregon in 1991 with my brother Tommy… and it was a single pitch, so this would definitely prove to be a challenge.

Tim led the four pitches and I followed. At one point I thanked Tim for keeping the rope tight and he replied that he was giving me a ‘girlfriend belay’. With a taunt rope, I was able to successfully do the entire climb without falling. During the entire clime Tim reassured me that at no time were we ever in danger, and I acknowledged that. However, at the same time – my body was completely exhausted as we reached the top at the final pitch. We repelled down and at the base of the climb, we had a picnic snack before going on a short hike.

Completely at peace, I lied on the ground … so thankful to be in this amazing location. In retrospect, the highlight of the day was not the adrenalin pumping climb up the steep wall, but the relaxation of hanging out at the base in complete peace. At the same time, I needed the climb to enjoy the peace of just hanging out. I guess it is the ying and yang or pendulum of life – you cannot have happiness without sadness, you cannot have success without failure, exhilaration comes from peace. Thanks to Tim, I’m already making a plan for some adventures next quarter!

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.

Four Tips for Hosting an Amazing Thanksgiving Dinner

Sun, 11 Oct by Bryon Howard

Four Tips for Hosting an Amazing Thanksgiving Dinner

Fall has officially arrived, and our first autumn holiday is just round the corner. As the first family holiday of the season, Thanksgiving is a great time to host a family gathering to catch up with loved ones and a great excuse to entertain in your home. It can be somewhat stressful hosting Thanksgiving dinner, so here are a few ways to ensure that your holiday celebration will be a fabulous one; free from stress, fights and any cooking disasters.

1.  Ask Everyone about Food Allergies, Sensitivities, and Restrictions

Many of us have friends and family with food allergies or restrictions due to ethnicity, ethical or religious background. When preparing your Thanksgiving meal, reach out to your guests as soon as you can to find out what foods you should not be preparing. The same goes for if kids are attending: some may only eat “kid food” and will refuse what’s being served, so ask parents what the kiddies will eat, and make it avalable. If there are multiple restrictions, i.e. vegans, nut allergies, gluten-free etc. be creative and do some online searching for recipes that will satisfy every restriction.

2.  Don’t Try to Do It All Alone

Many hosts end up stressed out and frustrated because they get so overwhelmed by trying to cook every dish on their own. Invite friends and family over early so they can assist with some tasks like cutting vegetables, setting the table or mixing batter for the dessert. Another option is to prep dishes in advance, freeze them and pop them in the oven of Thanksgiving Day.

3. Make It a Potluck

One way to ensure that everyone can eat something at your party is to make it a potluck. Have every guest bring a favourite dish of theirs, so everyone can have the opportunity to try something new, or stick to what they know is safe for them. This is less stressful for the host who won’t have to prepare a large variety of dishes.

4. Take time to relax

If you’re hosting this year’s dinner, be sure to book some time off the following day to tidy up and relax. Even the most stress-free party will require a lot of work, and taking a day to decompress will be needed.

Not everything is going to go right at your dinner, a dish may turn out bad or too many guests may show up, and that’s absolutely okay. Just go with the flow, keep a sense of humour, and enjoy the special time of making new memories with family and friends.

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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