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The Upside of Downsizing (For Young Families Too!)

Sun, 29 May by Bryon Howard

The Upside of Downsizing

The decision to downsize to a new living arrangement may be one of the best decisions you ever make. The advantages are numerous and you do not have to wait for years to reap the benefits. As a hedge against the impact of inevitable economic cycles, downsizing is a housing option that makes sense for young and old alike. There are, of course, certain fears associated with a move that also heralds a major lifestyle change. The best advice I can anyone contemplating a downsizing move is to summon the courage to make the move that makes the most sense for you. If you are nervous, start by turning perceived negatives into positives.

While expansive homes with plenty of space are a nice luxury, many modern homeowners find that the extras space ends up costing more than it is worth and does not always mesh well with their lifestyle. Young families today are less interested in extra square footage and acreage than they are in proximity to the workplace, urban amenities, transportation and good schools. Downsizing to a smaller home frees up cash each month to spend on family activities or redirect into savings. Families in Toronto, Vancouver and other thriving cities have long embraced the exchange of smaller space for bigger lifestyle and the trend seems to be catching on throughout Canada.

Anyone who has lived in a home for a long period of time will tend to have an emotional attachment to the property – particularly if it was a family home where you raised your children. The attachment is inevitable and understandable. In many instances, the decision to downsize will involve getting rid of a lot of “stuff” that you have accumulated over the years. Rather than viewing the need to rid yourself of belongings as a sad, anxiety-inducing task, think of it as a chance to lighten your load and free yourself of unnecessary clutter. With the right mindset, ridding yourself of extra belongings can actually be a very liberating experience. Do not be afraid to ask friends and family to lend a hand in designating items for gifting, donating, storing or disposing. If you prefer, you can always hire a professional to help organize and sort.

Downsizing will not only lighten your load in terms of clutter, it will also gift you with the one thing we all have too little of – time! By moving to a condo or smaller home, you will free up hours each week to invest in the things that matter most in life. Instead of shoveling snow and cutting grass on weekends, you will be free to travel and pursue your favourite leisure time activities with loved ones. And for many downsizers, the move will result in more disposable income to pursue those passions.

Keep in mind that the memories of life in your old home will remain in your heart forever. In choosing a new home and neighbourhood for the next exciting chapter in your life, make sure to work closely with your Realtor to ensure that the new living arrangement reflects the new you.

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.

Last nights bicycle ride – The Wednesday Night Jam

Thu, 19 May by Bryon Howard

I look forward to the Wednesday Night Jam, a ‘unofficial bicycle’ race – which consists of many guys in Cat 1/2, and lots of guys with good fitness from Cat 3 to 5. I begin thinking about it on Tuesday … I remember not to get up too early Wednesday morning. I restrain myself from going for a run. I think about what I’m going to eat … how I can best fuel my body so I’m ready for the 6pm bell at the top of Edworthy.

Early today Bill Q said he could not make it tonight due to a school council meeting. (I was tempted to make a snide remark about working in education – but thought I’m not really that witty.) Teachers work so freaking hard – and are so under appreciated by many. I miss Bill. He’s my age … and we’re about equally fast. (I’m refrain from saying slow – as I’m told ‘mindset’ is everything.)

About 5:20pm … I felt really good. I quickly donned my kit, swapped out my wheels from my TT bike on to my road steed. Riding to the top of Edworthy from Marda Loop, I ran into Warren M … who made me scream Spruce Cliff Drive as I asked him questions about training (I pretended that I was going my normal pace). He will do Bikes on Broadway this weekend, so was doing his own solo preparation for that event.

Ryan R. rang the bell at 6pm & away we went.

Nervous energy … people began to settle into where they fit in the group.

I found myself at the front … which is not a good thing. The older I get, the longer it takes me to warm-up.

The pace was significantly slower than pass weeks at the normal – first separation on Springbank Road. It was still slow on the downhill and curvy curves. (Dang, those are fun.)

Ryan and I found ourselves with a big gap on the group descending the hill prior to the first hill on Airport Road. Well, I was feeling good … I thought I could ride up that hill prior to the group … and hang on at least to the Airport.

Hanging onto Robert C's wheel

Hanging onto Robert C’s wheel

Wrong. I was left quickly. Everybody was gone except Ryan and I … way off the back. I took a 2nd look … thinking that at least the only girl Kailee B. in our group of about 20 or 25 would be back there somewhere. WRONG. I worked quite hard – thinking I would catch the group … as they disappeared.

Soon Ryan circled back to Calgary. I had ambitious thoughts of riding solo to Cochrane – perhaps I would catch some straglers at 22X. (Nope – looks like everyone stayed together.?) However, these days I hate riding solo.

I settled into an aerobic pace in TT position … and was just riding along enjoying myself when Robert C. appeared from behind. I stuck his wheel … and we had a super ride to 22X then back to Calgary.

It was fun.

Next week will be better. I’m going to get up that first hill in Springbank with the group.

 

 

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.

Replacement Windows – One Home Improvement that Always Pays

Sun, 15 May by Bryon Howard

Replacement Windows - One Home Improvement that Always Pays

As a Realtor, my clients are always asking me which home improvements tend to attract buyers and bring the best return on investment when it comes time to sell. In Calgary, homeowners cannot go wrong in replacing dated, worn-out windows with attractive, energy-efficient replacement windows. The return on investment will be realized immediately in the form of reduced heating and air conditioning bills and will continue down the road in the form of appreciation. Replacement windows are also one of the few upgrades that will please nearly all buyers.

Many home improvements are more about livability than adding value to your asset. By all means, if you are planning on staying for a while and have the means to do so, go ahead and make any and all improvements that make you happy. If, however, you are planning on listing your home for sale in the not too distant future, think twice before making certain improvements that are not likely to add value to the property and may even impede sales. Very high-end kitchen remodels, over-the-top renovations and highly personal décor affixed to the home will not bring much of a return on investment and may put off buyers who do not share your decorating aesthetic.

Replacement windows are such a sensible investment because they tend to bring a return whether the homeowner stays for five years or thirty. Draft-free rooms reduce energy bills considerably and make the home more comfortable and livable for its occupants. It is a simple and cost-effective improvement that any homeowner with cold spots and leaking windowsills can appreciate. The selection of materials and styles available to buyers is endless. Owners of older homes interested in preserving the appearance of their home should have no trouble finding suitable replacements that will make the home energy-efficient while preserving the architectural integrity at the same time.

If you are living in a drafty home with leaking windows and rotting window sills, you should definitely consider installing replacement windows to enhance the beauty, energy-efficiency and overall value of your home. In some areas, tax credits and utility company rebates are available to homeowners looking to update their windows and doors. Lenders may also sponsor special loan programs to finance the initial cost.

Stay warm in the winter, cool in the summer and confident year round knowing you have made an excellent investment in your home when you install replacement windows.

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 Calgary is Still Canada’s Fastest Growing City

Sun, 01 May by Bryon Howard

Why Calgary is Still Canada's Fastest Growing City

Despite the economic downturn triggered by the precipitous fall in crude oil prices, Calgary’s population continues to grow and outpace projections made just a few years ago. According to the City’s 2015 Census, the 1.2 million people currently residing in Calgary represent a 3% increase from the prior year. 2015 witnessed the third largest influx of new residents in Calgary’s history. Despite economic concerns that are affecting all but a few areas of the country, Calgary remains Canada’s fastest growing city.

The unemployment rate in Calgary right now is hovering around 7% – similar to most of the country. The newcomers still flocking to the City are putting their faith in the belief that Calgary’s diversified economy will enable it to weather the storm and handle the seemingly random spins of economic cycles. The manufacturing, finance, construction and transportation sectors remain viable sources of employment for Calgary’s growing population.

While the promise of good jobs may have been a driving force during the city’s exponential growth over the past twenty years, there were other factors at work that caused the newcomers to stay and make Calgary their permanent home. The City consistently ranks high in MoneySense magazine’s annual list of “best places to live” in Canada. The MoneySense editors understand what Calgary residents already know – the weather, spectacular scenery, emphasis on active lifestyle and strong sense of community combine to make Calgary a very livable city. In fact, The Economist has declared Calgary to be in the top five “most livable cities” in the world and awarded the City perfect or near perfect scores in the categories of “stability”, “education”, “healthcare” and “infrastructure”. Residents, visitors and pundits the world over agree that Calgary is a very good place to live.

When it comes to urban planning, cities throughout North America and the world look to Calgary as a model in the ongoing fight to balance growth and development with environmental concerns. Many residents choose to bicycle to work and even more enjoy the City’s vast network of hiking trails and paths on a daily basis.

Even in the face of economic uncertainty fueled by energy industry woes, Calgary’s diversified employment opportunities and high wages keep workers coming. Our healthy, active lifestyle, incredible natural beauty and intact pioneer spirit compel them to stay.

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 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.