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Why Experience Matters

Sun, 12 Mar by Bryon Howard

Why Experience Matters

Do not make the mistake of placing your real estate affairs in the hands of an inexperienced agent. In red hot real estate markets, it seems that everyone wants to be a Realtor. After one rainy day of binge watching HGTV, people start to believe that anyone can flip a house and make a fortune. It all looks so easy on TV, but in reality, it is not. A successful career in real estate requires knowledge, hard work, formidable people skills and EXPERIENCE! Sure – we have all gone to school and earned our credentials, but the real training in this business comes on-the-job. It is the oldest way to learn and still the best.

As experienced Realtors and business people, we bring to the table everything we have learned through hundreds of unique transactions. Our clients today are the direct beneficiaries of our years developing a “feel” for real estate and fine-tuning our negotiating skills. We also bring along our network of proven professionals – appraisers, lending officers, contractors and home inspectors. We know who is good at their job and who is not, as well as who can be counted upon to move quickly when time is of the essence.

The HGTV fans can easily get the impression that real estate is just a fun exercise in matchmaking – nothing more than bringing buyers and sellers together and hoping for a match. In reality, there is so much more to a Realtor’s job. We know from experience how to make sure our sellers reap the highest and best price for their property – even when that involves looking them in the eye and advising that their property is not worth what they thought it was. We know from experience that we should introduce out buyers to a neighbourhood not on their wish list but worth investigating. And we know from experience how to whittle down a long list of home inspection deficiencies that leaves our client satisfied while getting the deal done.

Experienced Realtors tend to have more resources – including advertising funds, state-of-the art digital photography equipment and administrative support. Perhaps most importantly, experience breeds confidence – an essential tool of successful Realtors and all business professionals. If you do choose to work with an inexperienced agent, make sure he or she has the full backing of an experienced broker and team of professionals.

Experience is not the only factor when it comes to selecting a Realtor, but it certainly belongs at the top of the list. Many real estate transactions start out simple before taking some tricky turns. Make sure your Realtor has the experience needed to help keep your goals and dreams on track.

 

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.

Bike – Being Stoic – some ‘how to’s’ on packing and traveling with a bike

Fri, 26 Feb by Bryon Howard

Since Tim Ferriss came out with his book, The 4-hour Work Week, I’ve been following him. He’s a fan on Seneca and Stoicism.

I like to bike. I don’t think I love to bike … but I love what biking brings me.

I suppose my favourite thing about cycling is experiencing the weather. I love it all … too hot, too rainy, too windy and too cold. I can pretty much dress for whatever the weather and enjoy the ride.

Next up … I enjoy the elevated heart rate. Cycling is good for the body and the brain.
I prefer to ride with others who are of similar ability … I like to race. However, I also like to ride alone. I like leaving … and I like getting back home. I especially enjoy early morning rides when the sun is rising … or later evening rides when the sun is dropping. I like riding in mid morning, mid afternoon – or even high noon. I like exploring new routes, seeing new things … and when traveling – experiencing new cultures from a bike saddle.

In this brief blog, I want to explain that to travel with a bike, you will be much happier and more successful if you practice being Stoic.

I have many friends and acquaintances who are triathletes. Many of my friends are Type “A” personality … and have done or are planning to do an Ironman. In training, they will travel to Mallorca, Maui, and/or California and travel to races in Quebec, Arizonia, Germany, and “God willing”, Kona.

For this group … you have no choice … you MUST pack and transport your bike. Your family understand this. Being Stoic during the process will help you.

I’m currently travelling at 3,800 ft on West Jet to Calgary via Toronto from Dominican Republic.

I spent a few days in Cabarette and about 10 days in Las Galeras, the Samana Peninsula. It was my Mom’s 80 birthday celebration. My 5 brothers and sisters were there, my wife and kids, and most of my nieces and nephews. We were 22 people – and it was great.

Margaret Howard - 80th Birthday

My Mom’s 80th Birthday

However, I wasn’t going on a cycling trip. The priorities were clearly: family, hopefully some kite surfing with my son, perhaps some cycling … ‘god willing’.

If you fancy yourself a cycling enthusiast … a cyclist … then you may wish to bring your bike on your next travel. Your next travel could be for work, it could be for a one week vacation with your sweetheart, or it could be a 3 month bike touring trip. If you plan to be successful on actually ‘getting out the door’ and bringing your bike, you should practice being Stoic.

You see, nearly everyone will try to convince you not to take your bike. Your friends and family love you. They think that you will die. People fear the unknown. I fear the unknown. It is much much easier NOT to bring your bike. Your spouse will be happier. Your kids will be happier. Your Mom will be happier. They think you will live … and be safe.

However, if you are like me … you will be much happier to have your bike along … and sneak out for at least one ride. When your spouse, kids, and Mom see your smile after your ride, or from your selfie on Facebook or Instagram … they will smile too.

Where you need to be Stoic:
-Announcing to your family a few weeks prior … I’m going to x and I’m taking my bike; (Actually, I suggest you say … “I’d like to take my bike”. At this point it is kind of far into the future … and they will not normally object … yet.)
-Googling bike routes near x place. If you are like me … you won’t find any … and begin to question if you should bring your bike; (While googling x place, you will learn about why it’s dangerous to bike here.)
-A week to a few days prior to departure. If you are like me … you have not organized a bike box. You need to either: find your bike box which is back far in the garage behind many things; go to a bike store and ask for a used card board box; buy a proper bike box; or borrow a bike box. This is the most important place to be stoic.
-The day prior to travel. You will be too busy to pack your bike. If you tell your spouse, or your Mom … they will emphasize with you … and remind you about all the reasons why you should not take your bike anyway. I suggest waking up really early prior to your spouse and “Just Do It” … pack your bike while they are sleeping. When they wake, act as if it was not big deal.

It gets easier from here … but you must still practice Stoicism.

-Driving to the Airport … which car will we bring. Will the bike fit in?
-Checking in at the Airport. You Made it! Now the surprises begin. Keep a straight face … don’t let the surprises bug you. Expect to pay $100 for your bike at check in. Always say Thank You no matter what they charge you … it’s never the same. You get to travel with your bike!!!
-Security … checking your bike bag at Over-sized security. You are committed at this point … and will be taking your bike. It is here that you must remain stoic to enjoy yourself. If you are traveling with you non cycling spouse, they will be watching over you … possibly adding to the stress .. and huffing and puffing. About 80% of the time, I will have to unpack my bike for security. (Really … it’s no big deal.) Just unpack it. Note: when packing at home … don’t use a lot of tape.
-Some tips: Don’t deflate your tires too much (80psi is fine for tires that can run 110); don’t take CO2 cartridges; bring a pump that fits in your jersey (try using it at home); you can pack a lot of stuff in the bike bag (your cycling gear, kite surfer, etc. However, be sure to keep it under 50lbs … and lighter is better.
-This morning when checking in my oversized baggage at Toronto … I had the very worst ‘duck’ like person. She was a real cow. For the first time ever, I had to take everything out of my bike bag … place it in tubs, and run it through the scanner. She was rude, spoke like a squirrel, and was really unpleasant.

Time to pack the bike box.

A 75 km ride to El Catey Airport in Dominican Republic. It took 18 min to back the bike & kite surfer.

Traveling with a bike has gotten tricker in the 15 years since I started doing it. I expect it will continue to be even more unpleasant and difficult at the airport – as our ‘officers’ become more like robots and less like people. You see, we slow things down with our bikes … and their bosses are watching … and there are people lined up behind us … who get cranky as well.

Screw them … you got your bike.

I need to practice being stoic.

//

Related & Recommended Posts:
Is cycling in Dominican Republic Safe.
How to unpack your bike in 11 min -Just Do it.

Why I like to lend my bike box.

Laos Getting a Flat

Calgary Revenue Properties Generating Immediate Returns

Sun, 24 Jan by Bryon Howard

Calgary Revene Properties Generating Immediate Retutrns

What do you think of an investment that comes with the promise of long-term appreciation plus an immediate return? It sounds like it may be worth looking into – right? With interest rates at an all-time low and stocks and bonds seesawing between volatility and the doldrums, real estate investment has emerged once again as a reliable vehicle for those seeking to build wealth. It is the rental market in specific that is enjoying a renaissance of sorts. For a number of reasons, urban dwellers are drifting away from home ownership and toward the rental market.

In Calgary, for the first time in several decades, investors in rental housing are realizing an immediate income stream while building equity at the same time. This is due largely to the low cost of borrowing money combined with high rents, low vacancy rates and societal changes that are pulling people back toward city centres. The result is that thousands of renters are now living in single-family homes or owner-occupied single-family homes with brand new secondary suites.

On top of the economic and social conditions that favor the growth of the rental market, the City of Calgary has recently enacted building code changes that make it easier to create a secondary suite or legalize an existing suite. Many homeowners are using income from secondary suites to pay down their mortgage, supplement monthly income and help elderly relatives and young adults in need of a private, but affordable space. In doing so, they are also building equity and adding to the value of their property at the same time. Others are purchasing a second investment property and using the revenue from the investment property to pay down the mortgage on their residence.

To illustrate how this works, let us take the real life example of a brand new Highland Park property valued at $750,000 with a $562,500 mortgage balance to see how the presence of a walkout rental suite together with the main house rental generates immediate value for the property owner.

 

Building Summary:

Completed Value of Home $750,000

Deposit $187,500

Mortgage Balance $562,500

 

Rental Summary:

Main House Rental (3 bedroom 2.5 bath with garage) $2400/mo     

Walkout Rental (2 bedroom, 1 bath with garage) $1600/mo.   

 

Expense Summary:
Mortgage @2.8% $2,808/mo.
Taxes $360/mo
Management Fee $100/mo
TOTALS: $4,000/mo $3,268/mo
Net to Owner $732/mo $8,788/year

 

Combine this $8788 annual income stream with a mortgage principal pay down equal to $16,000 and a modest assumption of 1.5% annual appreciation and this property owner can boast of an investment yielding a 19% annual return – a healthy number by any standard!

If you are interested in becoming a real estate investor or if you are already an investor looking to enhance the value of your existing assets, work with an experienced Calgary Realtor. Returns like this sometimes only around only once in a lifetime. Do not wait too long.

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

What do I need to watch out for when purchasing a home?

Tue, 26 Aug by Bryon Howard

 

 

Make your first time home buying experience a good one! There are some things you need to look out for to ensure your experience goes smoothly. It is important to do your homework and work with a great real estate agent. See more tips here! http://ow.ly/AxYvU

What is mortgage insurance?

Wed, 16 Jul by Bryon Howard

 

 

This video explains what mortgage insurance is and how it protects the lender. It explains that based on the amount of your down payment customers may need to purchase mortgage insurance. How this cost is determined is then further explained to give individuals a full understanding of how mortgage insurance works.

1.99% Mortgages

Thu, 10 Jul by Bryon Howard

 

This video addresses lenders who are offering low interest rate mortgages. It explains that customers should be aware of other terms and conditions when agreeing to such mortgages to ensure they are receiving the same value. Examples of banks and lenders who have offered such deals are further investigated.

Making Decisions in a Sellers’ Market

Mon, 23 Jun by Bryon Howard

 

by Andy Dean Photography

by Andy Dean Photography

If you have been paying attention to local real estate trends, you are probably well aware that this year has been considered a strong seller’s market.  So what exactly does this mean?  Low inventory has reduced the amount of properties available for purchase.  This is causing buyers to become more competitive.  If houses are well priced, they are selling very quickly- usually with multiple offers.  As we head into the summer, we are expecting the number of listings to increase which will gradually shift us back to a balanced market.

If you are thinking of selling this year, you may have an advantage if you list sooner than later.  Listing at fair market value while the market is hot will almost guarantee you a quick and profitable sale.  Some sellers are taking the approach of listing slightly higher than current market value.  If the demand in the area is high enough and the property shows well, they are walking away with top dollar for their homes.  In a city with such a rapidly growing population, real estate is a hot commodity and buyers recognize the value in owning their own home.

The challenge may arise when you start looking for your next property.  Buyers are having a tough time finding the right home with fewer properties to choose from.  Some are getting discouraged after losing a few bidding wars and have decided to shelf their property search until the market balances out.  As we head into the summer, it’s safe to say that listing inventory will increase.

As always, it’s important to educate yourself throughout the process.  Ask plenty of questions, and align yourself with knowledgeable professionals who will represent your best interest along the way.  If it’s time for your next home, do your research and have a good idea of what you are looking for so when the right property comes up, you are ready to buy.

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.

Warming Up for the Summer Market

Tue, 03 Jun by Bryon Howard
Peace Bridge Courtesy of Jeff Whyte Photography

Peace Bridge
Courtesy of Jeff Whyte Photography

There is no doubt that 2014 has unfolded so far as a seller’s market. Inventory is low and homes are selling incredibly fast. The value of real estate continues to increase in major cities across Canada, and Calgary is certainly keeping up with the pack. People who are looking for homes need to be prepared to act quickly. With the reduced inventory of properties to choose from, it’s important to come forward with a serious offer if you find the home that meets your needs and your budget.

If the last few months have been any indication, it appears that inventory is slowly on the rise. Although it will take some time before we transition back into a buyer’s market, having more to choose from is always a welcome scenario when you are looking for your next home.

Thinking of buying this summer? Mortgage rates are sitting at record lows for yet another season. This makes a tremendous difference in terms of affordability and saves you thousands of dollars over the course of your mortgage. If you are thinking of buying in the next few months, it’s a good idea to speak to your mortgage broker and request a rate hold so you are ready to make a move when the right property comes on the market. Keep in mind, a rate hold doesn’t require any obligation on your part, but it does give you the ability to determine your monthly payments more accurately. Particularly if you are a first time buyer, choosing a home that fits into a monthly budget that you are comfortable with is important to meet your short and long term objectives.

Whether you are planning on buying a home in Calgary, looking for your first investment property or thinking of building the home of your dreams, you can make a decision with confidence. Calgary continues to a desirable and profitable place to invest. This city has established itself on a strong foundation and the future is looking bright. So many people move to Calgary because they are looking for new opportunities. Your next real estate opportunity could be just around the 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

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 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.

 

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.