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A Stroll Along Victoria’s Inner Harbour

Sun, 09 Jul by Bryon Howard

A visit to Victoria is incomplete if it does not include time spent enjoying the city’s majestic Inner Harbour. Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade and you will discover the magical mixture of scenery, activity, architecture and ecosystems that keep tourists and locals alike coming back whenever they can to breathe in the fresh ocean air and take in the views.  Look one way and you will see Victoria’s iconic Parliamentary buildings and the historic Empress Hotel.  Look the other way toward the sea to behold a colorful flotilla of yachts and boats against a backdrop of azure blue sky and water.

Situated fully within the city of Victoria, the Inner Harbour, also known as James Bay, bisects the downtown area to the front of the Empress Hotel and extends northeast to the Johnson Street Bridge. Home to dozens of restaurants, breweries, whale watching tours and ecotourism activities, the Inner Harbour serves as a port of entry to Victoria and Vancouver Island.  Ferries and small cruise ships shuttle tourists who, in only a few steps, can embark into the heart of the city.  The Harbour is a whirlwind of activity during the day and well into the evening – in good weather and bad.  As dusk settles, the lights come on, the local buskers start playing and people-watching kicks into full gear.

Throughout the warm weather months, the Inner Harbour plays host to a series of music festivals, art fairs, boat shows and sailing events.  There is always something going on.  You can enjoy a local craft beer and watch the sunset, take an ecotour to the regions of the Outer and Middle Harbours, or just sit on a bench surrounded by overflowing flower baskets and watch the rest of the world go by.  Amateur photographers are everywhere –  waiting for the perfect light.  The iconic architecture of British Columbia’s capitol city combines with the vibrant flower arrangements and natural beauty to create one of the most-photographed locations in Canada.

If it is your first visit to Victoria, you are bound to end up at the Inner Harbour.  Hop a ferry, stroll the promenade, and enjoy some fine street musicians and a good meal.  If you are fortunate enough to visit again, we will know where to find you because everyone falls in love with Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

 

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 403-465-0210 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 Victoria is a Great Place to Live

Sun, 25 Jun by Bryon Howard

Natural beauty, good weather and a highly-coveted lifestyle are just a few of the reasons Victoria is a great place to live. The city manages to combine old world charm and ambience with ultra-modern amenities in a seductive island setting. A 2016 Conde Nest Traveler reader’s poll chose Vancouver Island, where Victoria is situated, as “the Top Island” in the continental U.S.A. and Canada, as well as one of the “Best Islands in the World.” In 2015, Travel & Leisure named Victoria one of the “Top 10” cities in North America. The Conde Nest readers understand what Victoria residents and repeat visitors have known all along – Victoria is hard to beat!

The city offers four seasons of fun and outdoor activity. Due to the sub-Mediterranean climate, gardens bloom in early Spring and last long into Autumn. The views in and around the outskirts of town are magnificent. Golf, hiking and cycling are year-round activities here. A rich British lineage is apparent not only it the city’s name, but in its impressive Victorian and Edwardian architecture, stately homes and gardens, tea rooms and horse-drawn carriages.

With a vibrant downtown center surrounded by huge areas of undeveloped wilderness and azure blue harbour waters, Victoria is home to more than 80,000 residents enjoying an enviable quality of life. The technology industry has a strong foothold in the city and employs upwards of 15,000 people. Tourism is another major business, contributing more than a billion dollars per year to an already healthy economy.

Anyone thinking of relocating to Victoria or just coming for a visit should think about timing their trip to coincide with one of the city’s music and cultural festivals that dot the calendar. Theatre lovers will enjoy the late summer Fringe Festival which hosts 50 different productions spread over 17 venues. There are music, dance and art festivals along with beer fests, Celtic festivals and Scottish Highland games.

The real estate market in Victoria is HOT and is expected to remain so throughout 2017. Homebuyers have a variety of housing options to choose from, including many newer single-family homes with income-producing secondary suites.

Victoria is a city where you can play golf in the morning, ski in the afternoon and still be home before dark. Come for the weather, come for one of our festivals, or just come to enjoy a taste of our unique brand of island life. History, culture and opportunities for adventure await your arrival!

 

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 403-465-0210 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.

Tips for Avoiding Nightmare Tenants

Tue, 02 May by Bryon Howard

Success in real estate investment is totally dependent on the property owner’s ability to find and lease space to qualified, dependable tenants.  Good tenants are building blocks for a solid investment.  Each turnover in tenancy involves costs – in lost rent and the cost to prepare space for a new occupancy.  There can also be substantial legal costs involved in removing problem tenants.  While a certain amount of turnover is both inevitable and manageable, the goal must be to keep turnover to a minimum.  Turnover is a landlord’s greatest enemy.

Here are a few valuable tips for pulling in quality tenants and avoiding every landlord’s worst nightmare – the deadbeat tenant from hell who does not pay rent and destroys your property.

Don’t take shortcuts when it comes to tenant screening. – Order background and credit checks on every tenant applicant you consider and have them provide proof of income, such as a current pay stub.  Also, ask for landlord references and make every effort to contact those references.  It is also fair game to check out the social media pages of prospective tenants.  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are home to treasure troves of information when you are trying to find out more about a person.  Just because one report or reference comes back looking good, don’t neglect to follow-up with the other checks.

Try a little patience! – Yes, we have established that turnover costs money, but do not lease to the first tenant who comes knocking just to avoid a short-term vacancy.  The costs associated with evicting a tenant will far exceed the costs of a brief vacancy.  Develop patience and wait, if necessary, for the right tenant to come along.

Look for obvious red flags that may signal a problem tenant. – There are signs that alert landlords to tenants that are best avoided.  Anyone who is in a big hurry to move in immediately should cause you to slow down and ask a few questions.  What is the big hurry?  Were they evicted by another landlord or thrown out by their parents?  Also, beware when throngs of friends and family show up to look at a simple one-bedroom apartment.  An excessive number of people living under one roof will result in increased wear & tear and higher utility costs and may even violate the rules of your condo or homeowner’s association.  Finally, watch out for applicants who have multiple addresses over a short period.  This means they move all the time.  Before you know it, they will be moving from your property and you will be back at the drawing board in search of a steady, long-term tenant.

Consider employing a professional property manager. – If your budget has some wiggle room, you may want to opt for the services of a professional property manager.  They have websites designed to attract tenants and are already set up to screen prospective tenants in assembly line fashion.  Best of all, many investors report that property management pros can negotiate better rents than they were getting on their own.

Another way to avoid bad tenants is to be a good landlord.  Honor your own obligations under your rental agreement, respect your tenant’s privacy and your good tenants will be more inclined to renew the lease.  You may even persuade them to accept a little bump in rent to sweeten the deal!

 

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.

Should You Invest In A Condo?

Sun, 16 Feb by Bryon Howard

 
 

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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.

 

WOW Marda Loop – Just Listed – # 203 2420 34 AV SW

Tue, 17 Apr by Bryon Howard

Marda Loop Condo

Stunning one bedroom condo in the appropriately named building, Dream. This complex offers a beautifully designed courtyard, heated underground parking including visitors’ parking and separate storage. #203 is bright and open with 9′ ceilings. The well designed and functional kitchen includes lots of cupboards, black appliances and a breakfast bar. A spacious dining area provides plenty of space for a table and chairs. The gas fireplace adds a great deal of warmth in the living room. The balcony is a good size and great for entertaining. The extra large master bedroom offers a large closet area and cheater door to the 4-piece bath and insuite laundry. The den makes a perfect computer room. If you desire a great place to live in the best location in Calgary – this is it! In the heart of Marda Loop – Shopping, transportation, restaurants, entertainment & Parks are within walking distance. Close proximity to Westhills, downtown and the road to the Mountains.

MLS #C3517656   Offered at 259,900

206, 315 50 Ave SW Windsor Park, SW Calgary

Wed, 28 Apr by Bryon Howard

Just listed a great 1 bedroom condo in Windsor Park.

Since I love being a star in movies … and no one else wants me in their movies … I made my own.

Please take a moment to view … and let me know if you know of anyone who is looking for this type of condo.

206, 315 50 Ave SW Windsor Park, SW Calgary

Thank you.

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.