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Celebrating Calgary’s Diverse Population

Wed, 04 Jan by Bryon Howard

Celebrating Calgary’s Diverse Population

As an increasingly influential centre in world social and economic markets, Calgary can boast of a strong and growing multicultural base.  Thousands of immigrants continue to relocate to Calgary each year and by 2020, the immigrant population is expected to exceed half a million people, or roughly 30% of the city’s population.

Calgary looks and sounds different than it did years ago.  In 1959, the ratio of Caucasians to visible minorities in the city was 350:1.  Today that ratio is 5:1.  Strolling through the city centre, you can hear conversations in English, Punjabi, Chinese and Spanish – just a few of the dozens of languages and hundreds of dialects found here.  According to census figures, a full 30% of the city’s residents report that English is not the primary language spoken in their homes.  The language, culture and rich ethnic foods that the immigrant population brings to Calgary all contribute to the city’s emergence as a vital and vibrant global city in every sense of the word.

While the oil and energy industries were booming in the early part of this century, highly-educated and highly-skilled young people poured into Calgary in search of economic opportunity.  They came, they worked hard and they stayed in a city that understands how to welcome immigrants and weave a multicultural thread through the city’s own unique fabric.

Life in a city as diverse and vibrant as Calgary infuses its resident with a sophisticated worldview, cultural appreciation and sense of tolerance that is second to none.   Calgary is a youthful city that embraces and celebrates its diversity.  In addition to the annual Stampede and arts & music festivals, anyone looking to sample a bit of ethnic food and culture on the weekend can do so at the city’s Serbian, Greek and Turkish Festivals, Fiestaval Latino, Carifest, Brazilfest, or any of the dozens of other events celebrating rich cultural heritages throughout the year.  For this and other reasons, many residents believe that Calgary is a perfect city for raising a family.

Canadians have a long history of appreciating multiculturalism and promoting inclusion – both in government policy and legislation and, in the legendary hospitality extended to newcomers in our day to day lives.  Appreciation for multiculturalism is just one of the many components that work together to make Calgary a great place to live and work.

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.

Do-It-Yourself Home Staging

Fri, 16 Dec by Bryon Howard

Home staging is a powerful tool in pulling in buyers and selling a home for the highest possible price.  It is all about creating a memorable first impression that will stay with homebuyers when they sit down to think about the homes they have visited. Professional home stagers do an excellent job in preparing properties to show, the added expense often brings a stronger offer.

Professional stagers may replace your furniture with updated trendy pieces that catch the eye of buyers. That being said… Here are a few do-it-yourself tips for effective staging – guaranteed to make your house stand out!

Let Your Light Shine

Buyers love homes that permit generous flow of natural light.  Pull back all curtains and window coverings and update light fixtures and lamps with newer, brighter, more energy-efficient bulbs.  Turn on all the lights for open houses and showings.  You don’t want buyers to think you are trying to hide anything.

Clean and De-Clutter

After a thorough cleaning of the house (inside and out) including closets, garages and storage spaces, conduct an exhaustive de-cluttering of the entire home.  This does not only mean putting away personal items, memorabilia and photos. All extraneous furnishings should be removed also.   The furniture that remains should be arranged in groupings to permit easy flow of traffic through the home.  Remember that the goal is to create a blank palate so would-be buyers can envision the home as their own.  Arrange for off-site storage of the extra belongings with a friend or at a storage facility.  Although it is a lot of work, the good news is that you will already be half packed when your house sells and it is time to move.

Send Your Pets on a Much-Needed Vacation

We know that you love your pets and think of them as members of the family, but the cold, hard truth is that everyone does not love them the same way you do.  If possible, make arrangements for pets to be out of the home during open houses and showings.  Many potential buyers are allergic or uncomfortable around animals and there is no bigger turn-off to buyers than unpleasant pet odors.

Focus on Curb Appeal

Make sure the lawn is cut and the bushes are trimmed.  Remove all dead flowers and then focus on the front entryway.  A fresh coat of paint on the front door framed with potted plants and flowers will impress buyers right away.   Do everything you can to make the home seem warm and welcoming.

Accentuate the Positive

Choose a room or focal point in your home that ranks among its best features and spend a little extra time and energy in staging that area.  It may be a fireplace or a state-of-the-art kitchen or an enchanting outdoor living space.  Remember what it was that made you fall in love with your home and then do everything you can to make sure buyers notice.

Home staging is all about taking control of that all-important first impression that buyers have upon walking into your home.  Follow these tips, take control and stage your home to sell!

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.

How to Choose the Right Realtor

Sun, 28 Aug by Bryon Howard

How to Choose the Right Realtor

Finding the right Realtor to work with is a key component of success in the real estate world. Whether you are looking to purchase your first home or expand an investment portfolio, you need to find an experienced professional with expert knowledge of the local market who will listen – really listen to your wants, needs and goals. Choosing the right Realtor will not only help you achieve the short-term goal of buying or selling real estate, but it will leave you more knowledgeable and better positioned for your next foray into the market. The wrong choice will leave you frustrated and regretful over wasted time and opportunity.

For some, it is an easy task to choose an agent, particularly if they act upon the referral of a trusted friend or family member. If you do not have anyone specific in mind and are searching for a trustworthy real estate professional, here are a few pointers to help you select a Realtor with the right skills, experience, competence and reliability to get the job done.

Interview prospective Realtors.Increasingly people interview a number of agents to determine if the “chemistry” works. At the Howard Team, we are happy to sit down with prospective clients and share with them the reasons others have chosen our team to represent them in buying and selling real estate. During the interview, clients inquire about our qualifications, experience and knowledge of the local real estate market. We encourage them to ask as many questions as they can to determine if we are the right fit for them. Here are a few basic questions to start the dialogue:

• How long have you been a full-time Realtor?
• How many transactions have you been involved with over the course of your career?
• Do you work primarily with buyers, sellers or both?
• What price range do you generally work in?
• Do you work with an experienced network of other real estate pros? Mortgage loan reps? Appraisers? Home inspectors?
• What is your advertising strategy? Do you have a marketing plan for my home?

If you are a seller and a Realtor recommends an asking price for your home, ask to review the recent neighbourhood comparable sales or other data upon which the asking price is based. Beware of red flags – such as an agent who is quick to overvalue your home.

Be forthcoming about your own goals. – Remember that we cannot properly represent your interests unless we are familiar with your long and short-term goals, likes and dislikes. Be prepared to answer a few questions about yourself, your plans and your lifestyle. We are not prying; we simply need to get to know you in order to help make your dream a reality.

Ask for testimonials.Any agent who has been working for a while should have a list of satisfied customers. Don’t be afraid to request references and follow-up to see what they have to say.

Most of our clients at the Howard Team tell us that they chose to work with us because we provide the mix of expertise and experience that makes them comfortable. Most importantly, we listen to our clients, share our knowledge and craft a plan to help them achieve their goals.

Choosing a Realtor is an important decision. Hopefully, the person you select will be a good fit and end up being your Realtor for life. Among other things, your Realtor should be someone you enjoy conversing with and spending time with, especially if you will be house hunting. Like any relationship, successful business relationships require an investment on everyone’s part. It takes time to build a mutually-beneficial relationship based on trust.

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.

Buying the Home You Want

Sun, 12 Jun by Bryon Howard

The home buying process can be very exciting…choosing the neighbourhood you want to live in, scouring through listings and checking out weekend open houses to find the home of your dreams. I enjoy helping my clients through this process – it’s one of the many reasons I became a Realtor. My job is to give my clients the tools to buy with confidence, which is why I work with specialists and ensure that I am keenly up to date during the many ebbs and flows that is the real estate industry. If you are thinking of buying your first home, or ready to get back into the market after several years of home ownership, a licensed Realtor is essential to help you understand all your options.

Once my client has made the decision to purchase a new home, I help them to weigh their options. These options can be anything from location to budget restrictions – but whatever they are I use my years of experience to help guide them in the right direction. Providing them with a good understanding of what their desired locations means for their budget and lifestyle, as well as ensuring that they are making a good long term investment that will help secure their future golden years.

I also work alongside accredited mortgage brokers who are experienced and knowledgeable. Having them as part of my team allows my clients to secure their financing in the early stages of the process. This relationship bodes well especially when a client is self-employed or has a non-traditional source of income. A mortgage professional can help to easily navigate home buyers through the labyrinth by assisting in getting the required documentation and advising on what type of mortgage and payment plan suits their financial needs.

Whether you are a typical buyer looking for your next place to call home or an investor who would like some assistance in buying additional properties, my team and I have the qualifications you need to make the process a seamless one.

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.

Nominate Bryon Howard and The Howard Team for the Metro Calgary Community Choice Awards

Sun, 20 Mar by Bryon Howard

Nominate Bryon Howard & The Howard Team for the Metro Calgary Community Choice Awards

My team and I are proud to announce that The Howard Team/ReMax House of Real Estate and I have both been selected as possible finalists for 2016 Metro Calgary Community Choice Awards. In order to be nominated and included in the final voting, we need our clients, colleagues, fellow real estate professionals, old friends and new friends to click on the link below to nominate us both in the categories of “Realtors” and “Real Estate Companies.” Voters are free to nominate their favourite business and business people once every 24 hours now through May 25th.

The Metro Calgary Community Choice Awards provides an opportunity for the citizens of Calgary to vote for their favourite Calgary businesses in many categories – everything from hair stylists to auto mechanics to Realtors! My team of top producers and I have worked hard for years to earn the respect of our clients and peers through exceptional service and it is always satisfying to be recognized for a job well done.

We love the fact that the Community Choice Awards allow the residents of Calgary to shine a spotlight on their favourite Calgary businesses and then vote those businesses to the top. The list of the top ten nominees in each category serves as an excellent source for anyone looking for business and service provider referrals.

Perhaps we represented you in the purchase or sale of your home or both. Maybe you are a mortgage loan officer, home inspector or appraiser who has worked with us on many occasions. Anyone who has worked closely with my team and I understands that our clients come first and we receive highly positive feedback from everyone in our network of clients and contacts on a daily basis. The Metro Calgary Community Choice Awards and its easy to use portal will permit us to share with Calgary readers what we already know – that our clients respect and appreciate our representation and continue to hold us in high regard.

It only takes a few seconds to vote! Thank you for taking the time.

 Click here to nominate The Howard Team

 

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.

Creating the Right Strategy for a Quick Sale

Sun, 05 Apr by Bryon Howard

Creating the Right Strategy for a Quick Sale

What do buyers really want? Achieving a quick and stress-free sale requires a unique strategy for each home. The Calgary real estate market is in a much different place than it was last spring, but that doesn’t mean you should put your real estate goals on hold. These four smart tips will help your property stand out and appeal to the right kind of buyers:

Know how your property compares to the competition. It’s important to understand what buyers are looking for. Check out some of the listings nearby, and work with your Realtor for an honest evaluation on how your home stacks up. Does your home have certain features such as a larger yard or updated finishes that others might be lacking? Be sure to showcase the details that make your property stand out from the rest.

Take the time to make a great impression. Getting your home prepared for the market is hard work, but it will be well worth the effort. Whether it’s a professional staging or deep cleaning, give your place the TLC it needs to look its best. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are a lot of competent people just a phone call away.

Price it right. Price is the number one driving factor for a quick sale. Particularly in a challenging market, it’s important to fine-tune your strategy. Buyers are highly educated, so they won’t be willing to pay more than the market value in today’s economy. Take a look at recent sales in the area, and determine an asking price that will motivate buyers to check out your listing as soon as it hits the market.

Anticipate deal breakers before they happen. Ordering a home inspection ahead of time is a great way to avoid potential problems during the sale process. This will give you the opportunity to fix any problems with the home or detect some of the bigger issues that might scare buyers away. Some buyers try to use the details of a home inspection as a bargaining tool, which is why the home should be presented with no surprises. This will help you finalize the negotiations on the spot.

 

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.

Preparing to Close Your New Home

Wed, 12 Nov by Bryon Howard


Preparing to Close Your New Home

You’ve found the perfect home, made an offer, and signed the deal! The hard work is done, right? Not so fast. There are a few important things to keep in mind before closing to make sure your new home purchase goes exactly as planned.

Get your paperwork ready. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to provide all the necessary documentation to your mortgage lender. They will need a copy of the signed purchase and sale agreement, as well as the paperwork that verifies your income. This can include tax returns, T4’s, a recent paystub, and anything else that is relevant to your type of employment.

Don’t make any large purchases or apply for additional credit. Keep in mind, your mortgage approval is based on your financial situation at the time of your application. Even though it seems obvious, some buyers do make the mistake of switching jobs, racking up a loan, or purchasing a car right before closing. Big changes in your financial situation could void your mortgage approval.

Have your down payment and closing costs ready to go. Your lawyer will require a bank draft at the time of closing to cover your legal fees and the remainder of your down payment. Make sure your funds are in an accessible account so that you can retrieve them a day or two before closing. If you are withdrawing from an investment account or an RRSP, move the money as soon as you can to avoid delays.

Organize your move and set up your utilities. Hiring movers? Call around ahead of time to get a few quotes, and make sure the company you choose is available on your moving day. If you are moving into a condo, book the elevator with the building’s superintendent. Next, make sure all the utilities are set up in your name.

Book an appointment with your lawyer. Your lawyer will need you to sign off on a pile of paperwork for the lender, verify your ID, disperse the funds, and hand over the keys to your brand new place. After that, you’re all done! Welcome, home.

 
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 GreetingsCalgary.com.

 
About Shirley Wright

Like everyone, I have been involved in real estate my entire life! Like you, I grew up in a home! My husband and I purchased our first home in 1998, and since 2001 I have been assisting my husband, Bryon Howard, in our real estate investments and his work as a Top Producing Sales Professional.
I assist sellers and buyers meet their goals, efficiently and have fun doing it.
To serve you better, I network daily with top producing REALTORS in various markets across North America, keeping abreast of the many and varied trends and cycles of real estate.
I look forward to serving you to help you find what you want in our exciting city. Please take some time searching my website www.GreetingsCalgary.com. Many of my clients have advised that the search engine incorporated here is very user friendly.

How is getting a mortgage for a second home different than getting a mortgage for my first home?

Mon, 29 Sep by Bryon Howard

 

As part of my customer service to my sellers, we ask that our buyers are pre-qualified. We have made it easy for you to get pre-qualified by visiting https://www.mlenow.ca to get step #1 of our process started. In less than 3 clicks you will be on your way to pre-qualifying yourself … and will be closer to your new home!

I would consider it an honor and a privilege to work together with you to achieve your real estate goals! Please feel free to contact me on my cell at 403-589-0004, or visit my Web site at http://www.TheHowardTeam.net for more information.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LivingInAltadore
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Calgary_Realtor/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+BryonHoward/

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.