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Discover Victoria By Bicycle

Wed, 03 May by Bryon Howard

Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, is famous for its thriving real estate market, magnificent scenery and stately Victoria architecture. The city and the surrounding landscapes present a feast for the eyes and memorable vistas that are best enjoyed on a bicycle. Blessed with mild winters and humidity-free summers, the biking trails in and around Victoria beckon riders of all ages, fitness and skill levels. The city can boast of more cyclists per capita than any other Canadian city and a ride along one of Victoria’s well-travelled bike routes is a great way to acquaint yourself with this southernmost major city in western Canada.

When it comes to cycling in Victoria, the options are infinite. Here is a newcomer’s guide to just a few of the city’s more popular trails:

The Galloping Goose – This relatively flat, 55-km trail is the perfect choice for families and casual cyclists. The trail starts in a busy section of town and then meanders through farmland and evergreen forests to an old abandoned mining town. Built on a former railroad, the terrain for the most part is flat with a few easily managed hills.

Hartland Bike Park – Serious riders in search of a challenge head to Hartland Bike Park – about 20 minutes from downtown Victoria. This woodland paradise offers options for all experience levels, but is used primarily by intermediate and advanced cyclists. Don’t forget a trail map if you visit Hartland since the complex network of trails can be confusing.

The Seaside Touring Route – This popular route, specifically designed for visitors, takes the rider by many of the city’s noteworthy attractions. This route has it all! Look one way and you will be treated to a surreal view of the mighty Olympic Mountains. Look the other way and breathe in the deep blue Pacific Ocean. The 39-km route can be modified to virtually any length with water views most of the way. Don’t forget to wave to the resident seals at Oak Bay Marina.

Given the abundance of bike trails and natural beauty, Victoria has emerged as a mecca for international bike racers. The annual Tour de Victoria takes place in August and is a mass participation event attracting both world class riders and weekend enthusiasts. There is even a 3k race for young children.

If you are contemplating a move to Victoria or just joining the thousands of tourists who visit each year, consider getting to know this beautiful corner of the world on two wheels. Grab your helmet and enjoy the view!

 

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.

Understanding Real Property Reports

Sun, 22 Nov by Bryon Howard

Understanding Real Property Reports

Before you list a property for sale in Alberta, it is important to understand that you are going to need an RPR. What exactly is an RPR? An RPR or Real Property Report is a plan or survey of the property that shows the location of all improvements on the property as they are situated in relation to the property’s boundary lines. The Alberta Land Surveyors Association states that the RPR should include a “written statement detailing the surveyor’s opinions and concerns” and “can be relied upon by the buyer, the seller, the lender and the municipality as an accurate representation of the improvements on your property.”

An RPR is required upon the sale of real property to ensure that the land and improvements comply with all municipal by-laws. In Calgary, upon receipt of an updated RPR, the city will review its records and, if everything is in order, issue a Certificate of Compliance stating that all improvements, including the house, sheds, decks and fences, are in compliance with all municipal regulations, including local setback requirements.

The Alberta Real Estate Association’s standard form of purchase contract states that a RPR is the obligation of the seller and should reflect the “current state of improvements on the property.” Municipalities and attorneys throughout Alberta tend to differ in their interpretation of this obligation. Everyone, however, seems to agree that the failure to provide an up-to-date RPR in a timely manner is a leading cause of closing delays.

To avoid this scenario, it is good practice to order an updated RPR as soon as the property is listed for sale. If there have been no changes to the property since the date of the original RPR, then the old one may suffice. If updates and modifications to the property need to be reflected, it makes sense to save time and money by contacting the land surveyor who prepared the original RPR to handle the update.   The important thing is to make sure all sides are in agreement and advance the process as soon as possible to avoid costly, stress-inducing delays.

RPRs have been in use in Alberta since 1987. Any homeowner who purchased property after that date should have one in their files. If you are having trouble locating an old RPR, you can try to obtain a copy through the current lender on the property or through the lawyer’s offices that represented the buyer and seller in the original transaction.

An RPR is a visual snapshot in time of a particular property and it provides everyone involved in the conveyance with valuable knowledge regarding encroachments, setback violations, chain of title issues, mislocated fencing and a myriad of other possible concerns. If you are a seller, make sure your RPR is up-to-date and reflects the current state of affairs on your property. If you are a buyer, rely upon your Realtor and lawyer to interpret the RPR and advise you of potential issues that might impact your closing and use and enjoyment of the property.

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 You Should Buy a New Construction Home

Mon, 28 Sep by Bryon Howard

Why You Should Buy a New Construction Home

When you’re ready to buy a home, there is definitely something very appealing about choosing a brand new home. With a new home you get to pick out the countertops, finishes and so much more – basically have it designed just the way you like it. New houses often come with more space and better appliances, require less immediate renovation work, and are more energy-efficient than older ones — and all at a competitive price.

New developments are continuing to pop up all over the city, so buying a new construction home in Calgary is fast becoming a great option for prospective home buyers. Before undergoing the process you should be aware of the how buying a new construction home is different from buying a resale home. First of all, you typically won’t have the opportunity to walk through the home before you sign on the dotted line.  Most brand new homes are purchased using specs and a floor plan, the house won’t be built for a few months or more.

In Calgary, new homes are covered by the Alberta’s New Home Warranty Act.  The warranty will protect new home owners if upon completion, your new home has any deficiencies with the workmanship or materials.  It also applies to both houses and condominiums, and typically the standard coverage lasts for up to five years after you take possession.  The foundation of the home needs a year or two to settle so structural issues may not be discovered early on. As the foundation of your new home settles, you will be able to tell if there are any issues that need to be addressed, and have them dealt with at no additional cost as it is covered under warranty.

With a new home comes the ability to purchase upgrades such as top of the line appliances or better finishes. This is a great opportunity for buyers to get what they want while working within their budget. Upgrades can become costly, so it’s a great idea to work with an experienced Realtor to negotiate your behalf.

It’s my role to help buyers make sure they are getting the best value for every dollar they spend. If buying pre-construction is something you’ve been thinking about make sure you and your realtor do your research on potential builders and developers. Basically, don’t buy a house — buy its builder. As an expert in the Calgary real estate market, I have the knowledge and the negotiating skills to help you find the home of your dreams.

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.

Planning Your Real Estate Strategy in 2015

Mon, 27 Apr by Bryon Howard

Planning Your Real Estate Strategy in 2015

The spring market is already in full swing in Calgary. There is no doubt that our real estate climate is quite a bit different during the same time last year. Although we’ve had a bit of a slow start, it’s important to remember that we are constantly comparing the market to 2014, which was a record-setting time. If you are seriously considering making a move, the changes in the economy have made it essential to have a smart plan in place.

As a buyer, you are in an excellent position to find exactly what you are looking for, without finding yourself in a bidding war over and over again. First-time buyers need to take advantage of the current market conditions while they last. The interest rates are unbelievably low and entry-level homes are in abundance. Still, many like to exercise caution in the market – values may decrease or a better deal maybe just around the corner. The key is to not wait too long. We have seen similar states in Calgary in the past, so there is really no guarantee that this buyer’s market is here to stay for the long haul.

As a seller, recognize that buyers are still seeing the value in the real estate market. They may be a little more cautious than they were in 2014, but they certainly know good value when they see it. Homes are taking a little longer to sell simply because there is no shortage of inventory. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to have a strong pricing strategy and go the extra mile to make sure your home shows a 10+. There are plenty of resources available, and home stagers, in particular, can make an ordinary home look quite exceptional for a reasonable investment.

If you are finding yourself on both sides of the transaction, be sure to work with an experienced Realtor who can help you create the right strategy to accomplish your real estate goals. Should you buy first then, put your house on the market? Should you set out to find your ideal home after selling? The right answer varies depending on the type of property you have and are seeking to upgrade to.  In a buyer’s market, it is advisable to sell your home first. This will allow you to move forward knowing exactly how much equity you’d be able to bring into your new purchase.

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.

Selling in a Buyer’s Market

Sun, 12 Apr by Bryon Howard

Tips on how to sell your home in a buyer’s market.

Find out more!
Website: www.TheHowardTeam.net
Facebook: Calgary Real Estate by The Howard Team
Twitter: @Calgary_Life
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/bryonhoward

What to Expect During This Year’s Spring Market

Sun, 22 Mar by Bryon Howard

What to Expect During This Year's Spring Market

There is no doubt that this year is much different than the last.  As we head into the spring market, many home owners are wondering how the recent changes in Calgary’s economy will affect their real estate decisions.  Here are a few things worth noting:

Homes may take a little longer to sell.  According to CREB, homes are taking an average of 38 days to sell.  This is longer compared to the 33 days last year during the same period.  Consequently, the number of sales transactions has dropped significantly.  This means that buyers would rather wait on the sidelines for a better deal to come along if they are skeptical of the value.

Values have dipped slightly, but there hasn’t been a dramatic drop.  Does a challenging economy impact our real estate values?  To a certain degree, yes, but it would seem that the headlines have a more significant effect on consumer behaviour.  In fact, a recent article in the Calgary Herald explained that our city has actually been through a similar slump five different times in the last thirty years.  Home values were only slightly affected in each case and always managed to bounce back eventually.

Buyers are out there; they are simply exercising caution.  Have consumers lost interest in Calgary’s real estate?  Are buyers unwilling to trade up to their next home?  The truth is, buyers are still active in the market.  Some are just holding off on making a purchase in case prices drop, while others are simply hoping for a little more clarity on what the future holds. 

Buyers have far more to choose from this year.  If you were house hunting last year, one thing was for certain – there was very little to choose from.  Today’s market is quite the opposite.  Inventory is plentiful, and there is less competition.  If you are selling your home, but aren’t desperate, price it well and don’t feel pressured to sign the first offer that comes your way.  Remember, this isn’t the first time Calgary has weathered a tough economy. Despite everything, this city remains a highly desirable place to live and own a home in.

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.

Growing Up Fast – How Calgary Is Keeping Up With Its Increasing Population

Tue, 02 Sep by Bryon Howard

Bow Tower

If you thought Calgary already felt like a big city, stay tuned for what the future holds.  Over the next 50-60 years, analysts are predicting that the population of Calgary will double.  In a city that already accommodates 1.15 million residents, this is an enormous growth projection over a relatively short period of time.  In the next five years alone, an estimated 100,000 people will move into Calgary.

So how will Calgary handle its rapid growth, and still maintain all the desirable qualities that make this city such a popular destination?  According to the Municipal Development Plan, we can expect to see a progressive expansion of the suburban areas that surround the downtown core.  Proper planning and infrastructure development is crucial in a growing city.  Building desirable housing on the outskirts of the city will prevent congestion and alleviate strain on the current infrastructure.  By the year 2069, city planners expect that at least 50% of the residents in Calgary will live in outlying suburban areas. 

Improving the transit system has also been a priority for the city of Calgary, and the benefits are already being enjoyed by the people who live here.  Creating convenient and affordable transportation options is the only way to convince people to park their cars, reduce emissions, and turn to public transit as a convenient way to travel to and from work.  The CTrain now services 44 stations that stretch as far north as Crowfoot and Saddletown, and as far south as Somerset-Bridlewood. 

Like many other growing cities in Canada, affordable housing is an important issue.  If you were born and raised in Calgary, there is no doubt that you have noticed house prices increasing steadily.  Even the flooding couldn’t dampen the appeal of our local market.  However, compared to all major cities like Toronto and Vancouver, Calgary is still considered to be an affordable city to own a home.  House prices are much lower, and on average, household incomes are higher.  Calgary is a fantastic place to live, work, and raise a family.  As long as the city can continue to keep up with the growing population, the future of Calgary is bright.

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

Rental Properties: Determining Your Investment Strategy

Mon, 18 Aug by Bryon Howard

Signed Rental Application Document

In a strong real estate market, many people turn their attention to investment properties as a secure and profitable way to grow their money.  Unlike other means of investing, buying real estate allows you to secure your money in a profitable, tangible and desirable asset.  If you have considered investing in real estate as part of your overall financial plan, asking the right questions is a good place to start.

What is your long term plan?  Buying an investment property is not a one or two year strategy.  It requires patience for your investment to reach its full potential, but allowing the property to appreciate can be highly rewarding.  Whether you are considering purchasing a condo, house or multi-family dwelling, you need to evaluate your short term and long term expectations to choose the ideal property.

Are you looking for a property that will provide cash flow on a monthly basis?  The right property will bring in a few hundred dollars extra each month after the mortgage payment, property tax and any other fees.  If generating extra cash is your priority, you need to find a relatively inexpensive property that will bring in a higher monthly rent.

Are you looking for a property that will offer maximum appreciation over time?  Even if a rental property doesn’t provide a monthly cash flow, it can still be an incredibly lucrative investment.  Not only is someone else paying down most of your mortgage, but they are occupying the property as it goes up in value.  Once you decide to sell or refinance, you will have access to the return on your investment.

So why is Calgary a great place to buy a rental property? Over 43,000 people have moved into Alberta in the last twelve months.  This is the largest number in 23 years.  Most newcomers are looking to rent for the first few years that they are here, and this is putting a high demand on the Calgary rental market.  Worried about being a landlord?  There are many property management companies that will handle the responsibilities on your behalf.  Determine your expectations, find a great property, and let your money work for 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.

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.