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Moving Made Easy

Sun, 29 Jan by Bryon Howard

Woman with box moving, looking up

For many homebuyers and sellers, the prospect of packing up to move is the least enjoyable part of the process. While it certainly does involve a good deal of hard work, moving does not have to be so painful. Follow these simple tips to ensure a smooth, stress-free moving experience.

Get an early start. – It is never too early to start planning for the big move. Whether you are a seller preparing to list your property or a buyer looking to upsize, downsize or relocate, the time to start packing is when you first decide to make a move. Seize the opportunity and begin by decluttering and disposing of items you have not used in years. Consider yard sales and charitable donations as ways to lighten your load as you move forward to the next exciting chapter in your life. Next, focus on packing non-essential items that you do not need every day such as books, photo albums, seasonal decorations, fine china and collectibles. Aim to have the bulk of your belongings wrapped, boxed and ready to go well in advance of moving day.

Keep moving supplies handy. – There are websites that can help you estimate the number of boxes you will need along with rolls of masking tape, bubble wrap and markers for labeling contents. Order your supplies in bulk and remember to label boxes by room and contents. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you will remember what is in each box. You will not!

Stay away from oversized boxes. – Unless you a professional weight lifter, steer away from oversized boxes that are cumbersome to lift and often end up breaking under the weight of their contents. Stick to small and medium sized boxes and reserve a few large ones for lightweight pillows and comforters. Your back will thank you for this wise decision.

Invite friends and family to help. – Who says moving can’t be fun? Chances are you have helped someone move over the years. Give your friends and family an opportunity to return the favour. Crank up some music, supply food and drinks and enjoy the company of your favourite people as you pack your belongings.

Buying and selling property and uprooting your life to a new home can be a complicated affair. There will be countless dates and tasks to monitor and coordinate. On the business front, let a trusted Realtor guide you through the process and keep the stress meter as low as possible. On the home front, stay organized and follow these tips to stay on track for a smooth move.

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.

Five Reasons to Hire a Realtor

Sun, 15 Jan by Bryon Howard

Forget what you think you may have learned from watching HGTV.  There is nothing simple or routine about most real estate transactions.  Almost every home sale or purchase is accompanied by some complication that requires the knowledge, guidance and oversight of a trained, experienced professional.  So, before you consider going the FSBO route, consider these five top reasons for hiring a Realtor.

Realtors have access to all sectors of the local MLS data. – The general public can only access a small portion of the MLS information that is available to licensed Realtors who subscribe to the local MLS service.  Realtors, on the other hand, can view current and historical sales information and comparable sales data to measure market trends. This information is critical when it comes to pricing your home to sell for top dollar and finding the best home for you in the right neighbourhood.

It takes time to sell a house – lots of time. – Be honest.  Do you really have the time it takes to conduct open houses and arrange for showings on short notice?  Interested buyers will be put off if they cannot visit a home when it is convenient for them.  Today’s homes are marketed across multiple media platforms.  In order to compete with other buyers and sellers, you will need to utilize all available forums.  A professional Realtor is familiar with the process and prepared to market your home in the most efficient and effective manner.

Selling real property requires the services of a trained real estate professional. – Calgary is a volatile, fast-moving market.   Sometimes it seems that the rules and regulations governing our industry change as quickly as the market sometimes swings.  The paperwork alone is enough to drown a layman without proper training.  Think twice before treating the sale and purchase of your home – your most valuable asset – as a DIY project.  You would not try to take apart the engine on your new sports car without any mechanical training, would you?  Treat your home as the valuable asset it is and hire a professional to run the show.

It is very difficult to represent yourself. – The best negotiators are able to maintain complete objectivity at the bargaining table.  It is almost impossible to remain objective when emotion is involved and buying and selling homes triggers all kinds of emotions in buyers and sellers.  That is why you need a Realtor to represent you and defend your interests.

Successful Realtors work with a dependable network of professionals. – When you buy or sell a home, you will also be working with a small army of other real estate professionals – lawyers, mortgage loan representatives, home inspectors, appraisers and contractors – to name a few.  An experienced Realtor will have relationships with a network of proven professionals you can rely upon.  Even more importantly, your Realtor will serve as the team leader – pushing, prodding and cajoling when necessary to make sure your transaction receives the full attention it deserves from everyone involved.

In the final analysis, you are unlikely to save any money by foregoing the services of a Realtor.  Savvy buyers who do stumble upon your listing often feel entitled to deduct the cost of a commission from their offer.  Even worse, properties that languish on the market for too long become stale and subject to speculation about hidden defects.  In the end, sellers are forced to drop their price and accept less than the home is really worth.  Save yourself time, stress, and money and work with an experienced Realtor to achieve your real estate goals.

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.

The Rise of Purpose Built Revenue Properties

Sun, 21 Feb by Bryon Howard

The Rise of Purpose Built Revenue Properties

The real estate landscape in North America is in the midst of an historical shift. The era of the coveted McMansion is quickly coming to an end. Today’s pool of home buyers have an entirely different set of priorities than their parents when it comes to housing – with the most notable difference being that many are not buyers at all and they will probably not become buyers in the foreseeable future. They are renters and they are here to stay!

The Calgary real estate market serves as a perfect backdrop for the shifting landscape. Canada’s young population includes 7-9 million residents classified as millennials. While they are by no means the only demographic group turning their back on home ownership, they are definitely the most influential.

Perceptive buyers looking to build wealth for their own retirement know that investment in purpose built revenue property stands out as one of the safest and most lucrative vehicles available to investors in today’s volatile world.   In addition to the social and economic trends fueling the shift, recent changes to Calgary’s by-laws have further served to fan the flames by making it easier and more cost-effective to construct a purpose built revenue property.

While the nation’s Liberal Party platform embraces purpose built rental housing as a means to provide all Canadians with access to affordable housing, low-income residents are not the only sector of the population in search of a good rental. Large groups of residents from all income strata are moving toward renting as a lifestyle choice and investors looking for the best returns are wise to target housing geared toward the upper middle layers of the rental market. The best rental property to invest in is priced to attract this group, located in a desirable neighbourhood and constructed of good materials with low maintenance and durability in mind.

Investing in a purpose built revenue property in Calgary, as opposed to condominium or a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust), affords the individual investor direct control of the asset, low maintenance, freedom from condo fees and bothersome boards, monthly residual income and the opportunity to realize appreciation in Canada’s strongest real estate market.

My advice for any serious real estate investor in Calgary is to start crunching numbers with a knowledgeable Realtor and do not miss the opportunity to profit from this seismic shift in the real estate landscape.

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 Importance of Curb Appeal

Sun, 10 Jan by Bryon Howard

The Importance of Curb Appeal

Potential buyers may be visiting numerous properties on a Saturday afternoon. As a seller, your first priority is to get them in the door. If your house’s curb appeal is not eye catching, they may simply decide not to stop at all. Your home’s curb appeal will always set the tone for what potential buyers expect when they first walk inside.

Most people’s buying decisions are based on emotional responses and the curb appeal starts the love affair or will end it before they even walk in. This doesn’t mean you have to completely overhaul the outside of your home for it to sell. Just pick a few exterior home improvements that will have the most impact and go from there.

Here are a few tips to add some curb appeal for your home to achieve a higher market value.

1. Add planters

Adding planters can go a long way toward creating the perception of a well-kept home. Planters can add colour to a porch or patio and are quit eye-catching.

2. Spruce up your driveway

The driveway is one of the first things a buyer will see, so it’s a good idea to freshen it up. Adding a sealer can refresh a tired driveway and is an inexpensive makeover that can be accomplished in a short time by almost anyone.

3. Create a welcoming porch

An empty porch can look stark and cold. If you have a porch large enough to accommodate furniture, set up a nice table or a bistro set for dining and lounging. It’s also a good idea to add some colour with plants in containers.

4. Repaint

Giving the exterior of your home a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for curb appeal. Try painting your house in the colour of homes in a more expensive neighbourhood. It’s a great way to create the perception of quality while doing something you probably already should have done.

5. Spring for new accent pieces

Adding a new mailbox, house light or house number is a cheap and cheerful way of updating your home’s exterior. Shops like Walmart and Canadian Tire usually stock simple yet stylish, well-priced options for these items.

Other simple things you can do are putting a fresh coat of paint on the front door, mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes, cleaning the windows, sidings and gutters, and add a wreath to the door to enhance that welcoming feeling.

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 your first home? Think nothing can go wrong? Think again

Tue, 02 Sep by Bryon Howard

 

 

Sometimes buying your first home isn’t as glamorous as you may think. We go over some common first time home buying disasters to help you know what you should watch out for. It is important to be prepared as sometimes these disasters can happen. Learn what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation! http://ow.ly/ASCrP

Should You Invest In A Condo?

Sun, 16 Feb by Bryon Howard

 
 

bigstock-apartment-building-with-outdoo-48764642

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.

 

The Craftsman Bungalow

Mon, 27 Jan by Bryon Howard

Image Courtesy of Photo Dean

Recently, I had a number of clients who were looking for a Craftsman bungalow in Altadore. It’s a pretty interesting architectural style, so I figured I’d dig up some info on it and share it with you. Who knows, it might catch your fancy too.

Historical treasures

The Altadore area of Calgary was established in 1945, when the classic Craftsman bungalow was at the height of its popularity. Many of these original bungalows have been restored to their classic style, and others have been torn down to make way for more spacious contemporary living. Some of these original homes were actually sold from the Sears catalog and came as a kit to assemble on-site. The design was typically one or one-and-a-half stories, with a long and low profile characterized by a large front porch beneath an extension of the main roof, also referred to as a “veranda.” These houses are usually small, with some having less than 1,000 square feet of living space.  

The Charm of Bungalows

Bungalows in Calgary are becoming increasingly popular options for empty nesters and downsizing seniors who prefer not to constantly navigate up and down stairs. Most of the living space is on one floor that offers convenience with a very comfortable style and layout. Features often include a single bathroom, two or three bedrooms, an eat-in kitchen, and a living room. Some have a detached garage, which is a real plus in an in-town setting. These homes are also a good option for first-time home buyers who want to get into a neighborhood that might otherwise be out of their price range. In some houses, there is the opportunity to expand the second floor living area by taking in the large eave spaces. Every once in a while, an original bungalow will come out on the market as a “fixer upper” for people who want to build equity over time. These can be real gems in the rough.

Because the style has a lot of contemporary appeal, in-town builders often use the  bungalow style but break with the traditional layout to offer a separate dining room, up to six bedrooms with a large garage, and the luxury of higher-end homes. You will also see the style out in suburb communities, in houses that have a hint of bungalow but with much more contemporary space.

I enjoy showing this style to my real estate clients because it is so unique to Altadore. If ever you’ll find yourself here, give me a call and I’ll take you to see 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 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.

Inner City Calgary Building – Infills

Mon, 13 Feb by Bryon Howard

I’m currently marketing both 50′ lots and new infills in Altadore, SW and Montgomery, NW.  I thought it would be interesting to compare median prices of a few inner city neighbourhoods.

I went back 6 months and looked at homes that were built since 2009 with a maximum lot frontage of 8 meters (25′) that have been sold:

  • In Altadore there have been 13 sales with a median price of $864,492
  • In West Hillhurst there have been 7 sales with a median price of $820,000
  • In Montgomery, there have been 5 sales with a median price of $533,930.

What is the Median SALE price of a 50′ building lot? (Past 6 months)

  • In Altadore, there have been 15 reported MLS sales with a median price of $594,200
  • In West Hillhurst there have been 15 sales with a median price of $567,283
  • In Montgomery there have been 16 sales with a median price of $320,000

Assuming nothing was to change and you were going to buy land at median price, and sell at median price, where would you buy land in order to sell at the highest profit?

Knocking Doors

Tue, 11 Oct by Bryon Howard

Frequently I knock doors around great properties that I list. I want the neighbors to know when I list a great property … as often they will know someone who wants to move into the neighborhood.

Recently, I was knocking doors recently around a “Just Listed” property in Montgomery and I met the fabulous Janice MacKett of PowerHouse Architecture.

She is currently building a fabulous home on the hill in Montgomery. She also built that cool house on the North Side of the Bow River near Edworthy Park.

… the thought of knocking doors can be a bit painful … however, I always get some great leads … and more importantly meet some great folk.

Here’s a bit about Janice and her biz.
PowerHouse Architecture
Phone: (403) 286-1294
Type of Firm: Architecture

Firm Profile: PowerHouse Architecture is an energetic and progressive design studio specializing in residential architecture and exhibit design. We are committed to creating design solutions that reflect the client’s programming needs and budget. This office has a special interest in providing sustainable designs that focus on building envelope, water conservation, energy use and materials selection in creating an energy efficient and healthy living or work environment.

Special Capabilities:Residential: R-2000, Built Green, Strawbale construction, Energy efficienct design. Exhibit Design and Programming for Interpretive and Discovery Centres.

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.