403-969-2363 FirstService Residential Alberta Ltd

Selling a Good House in a Poor Neighbourhood

March 16th, 2016 by jesse.davies@equitycapital.ab.ca

In a buyers’ market, the sellers are often at loose ends for the ways in which they can go about the sale of their house. Are you the one who had put great effort in building a good home but years later, are stuck for its sale due to poor image of the neighbourhood? You are not alone. But there are ways out.

Here are a few things that can help you to speed up the sale of your current house before you buy a better one:

Present the most striking route to your house even if it is not the most direct one and promote it when you give directions (such as on MLS) to prospective buyers. Most of them may be looking at nearby parks, shopping centers, schools, banks and their own offices. Help them gauge the positives of the area and minimize the negatives.

Improve the curb appeal by cleaning the exteriors. You can place some green plants or bright flowers at the entrance. Ensure that the area, both outside and inside the house is well lit and uncluttered when a buyer arrives for inspection.

Where bad neighbours are a problem, it is important to schedule your open house sessions and inspection astutely. So if they are fond of playing loud music on weekends or at certain times of the day, it will be good not to bring prospective buyers in those hours. A better way to deal with bad neighbours is to block their view as much as practical, from your house. Consider fencing and planting of trees to add more privacy to your property.

Lowering the price can at times be the only option to speed up the sale of a house. But you can still gain from equity build up if your house was purchased more than 5 years ago. If price cut is necessary, spend judiciously on improvements so that you can maximize your amount earned.

Finding the right agent is the best thing that you can do to sell the house profitably. Experienced realtors are professionals who can assess buyers more accurately than you do. Partner with a trusty seller’s agent to highlight the strengths of your well-maintained house and fetch a great offer.

Three Reasons to Buy a Home in Calgary

February 16th, 2016 by jesse.davies@equitycapital.ab.ca

If you have been living in rented or shared accommodation and are contemplating over whether or not to invest in a home of your own, the confusion you feel is normal. Many of your friends, co-workers or family members may be encouraging you to take the step but you do wonder about the flexibility of staying on rent vis-à-vis having your own living space. Here are three factors that will encourage you to understand the advantages of latter more clearly:

Appreciation of property value

Real estate market conditions are related to the overall economy of the concerned city but even in a buyers’ market, the prices of homes do tend to move upwards. The logic is simple – world population keeps on increasing by seconds, but land is and will be a limited resource.

If you check the changes in prices of downtown Calgary condos over the years, it will be evident how the value has significantly appreciated despite “slow market conditions”. You may be looking for a house to live in or to rent out, now is the time to make that investment. It will help you reap good benefits in future.

Pride of ownership

This is the most evident reason for which anyone buys a home. You can personalize it the way you want, paint the walls in colors of your choice, and use permanent fixtures wherever you wish. With your own home, you enjoy a sense of security and stability. Your furry friend will also get free area to romp about.

Mortgage interest deductions at time of filing tax returns

With home ownership in Canada, you get tax benefits too. If your mortgage balance is smaller than the price of your house, the mortgage interest is deductible when you file your tax returns. And interest is a significant component of your mortgage payments.

Take the plunge this quarter! Be the proud owner of your own nest.

Get to Know the Neighbours around Your Calgary Condo

January 13th, 2016 by jesse.davies@equitycapital.ab.ca

Condos in Calgary

Preparing to move to a new area in Calgary and do not know your neighbours? By taking a few simple initiatives, you can create new bonds and meaningful friendships with people who will stay close to you.

An easy way to begin interacting with people is just to get outside. You can go on a stroll on the community sidewalks and say hello to people who regularly come out. Exercising or taking your fur baby for a walk are good ways to spend time outdoors and that is when you can meet and greet people with similar interests.

A housewarming cocktail party or pizza gathering is another interesting way to get acquainted with people in the neighbourhood. To keep it a low budget affair, you need not arrange for gourmet delicacies. Simple finger foods, beverages or pizzas with cola can also do the job and help you impress the people in your vicinity. Tip for the party – personalize the invitations and hand-deliver them to make the experience warm and friendly.

When you move in and start furnishing your condo, there may be instances where you need help – probably just the contact information for an electrician, a plumber or professional house cleaners in your area. Don’t hesitate to ask your neighbours for the same. What could be a better way to break the ice?

Moving into a house that you had been planning for is exciting. If you choose a location after much thought and comparisons, you are inclined to live there for years. It will be nice to be friends with the folks in the community.

Are you dealing with a Genuine Prospect for your Property?

December 15th, 2015 by jesse.davies@equitycapital.ab.ca

Closing a real estate deal successfully requires good knowledge about the market and the ability to recognize a genuine prospect.

In a thriving Canadian city such as Calgary, many people wish to live in their own abode. Realtors receive frequent inquires concerning NW homes for sale, downtown condos for sale and for units in other quadrants too. At times, sellers of residential properties also get overwhelmed by the responses that they receive for a unit put up for sale. But if you are trying to sell your house in Calgary, can you identify a genuine buyer from the ones who just inquire but can’t really afford to buy?

Given below are some traits that authentic buyers exhibit:

Playing the game as per current market conditions – A buyer who keeps grudging, “all houses in this community are overpriced, I cannot pay so much”, is not in tune with the marketplace. Someone who is serious about buying a house will do their research on real estate market conditions and have a reasonable expectation of the price.

Having pre-approved mortgage or proceeds from another sale – Creating a sum for home purchase is a task in itself. Each month, some amount needs to be saved for sudden and unforeseen expenditures. Someone who recently sold his/her residential or commercial property will have funds to be invested in a new home. While mortgage lenders also want prospective property buyers to have a security reserve, people with pre-approved mortgage can present themselves as genuine leads.

Interest in visiting the property and asking relevant questions – The people who are keen to move to a particular locality and financially prepared to make the investment will want to see a house physically before they negotiate for a price. They will ask you (the seller) for a suitable time to a visit and put up relevant questions such as: the age of construction, the booking amount that you expect, and the time within which you can provide the property for move in. A practised realtor can help you further in this regard and in closing the deal effectively.

Three Tips for Maintaining Your House

November 15th, 2015 by jesse.davies@equitycapital.ab.ca

In Calgary, real estate agents can help you in buying the home of your dreams. But how do you go on from here? Once you have invested a big amount in your very own house, it is also important to maintain it and keep it attractive for years.

While condo owners get some maintenance services through their corporation, single family home owners should take care of their residence on the basis of following points among others:

Gutter cleaning – Gutters often go unnoticed but they have the significant function of capturing debris, water and snow runoff from the roof and drive it away from the foundation of the building. So clean your gutters at least once every year by physically eliminating debris from channels and rinsing them with a hose.

Roof maintenance – Inspect your roof periodically for damage. Discoloured and gravel-less shingles need to be replaced to prevent the need for full roof replacement or drywall when you finally see a leak. While checking the roof, play special attention to shingles surrounding skylights, vents, and chimneys, as these are most prone to leakage.

Drafty windows – These can become a major cause of high energy bills in summers and winters. From time to time, check the condition of the caulk lines that hold your windows. If they seem to be dry, cracked, or weathered, remove the old caulk with a sharp knife and run a new bead of caulk along the seam. You can also insulate your windows with the application of an insulating window film over the glass.

An experienced realtor can help you to find your perfect home in Calgary. But the onus of maintaining it lies upon you. So do take care!

How’s a Condo Different from a Townhouse?

October 22nd, 2015 by jesse.davies@equitycapital.ab.ca

The concept of a detached, single-family home is clear to most home buyers. But Calgary real estate agents often find their clients confused between a condo and townhouse. The ownership styles of these two residential properties are quite similar but there are some differences that make them distinct.

A condo (or condominium) is a kind of housing wherein specific part of a large property – within a complex – is privately owned by the homeowner and all other connecting areas of the complex are jointly owned by the residents on the condo. The condo is often a multi-storey building but it could also be a part of low rise apartments.

Townhouses are individual houses located adjacent to each other. They are row houses where one or two walls of each house are common between it and the next house.

Usually, condos have a higher homeowners association (HOA) fee and are smaller in size. The HOA fee for townhouse is lower but they have more square footage. All differences between the two can be summarised in a table that follows:

Condominiums Townhouses
Housing structure that is a part of a bigger unit or multi storey building A style of housing where a row of autonomous but identical houses share walls
Home owner owns only the interiors of the unit Homeowner owns the land in addition to the interiors, and often a yard at front or back of the house
Are governed by legal statutes No such provision
Condominium Association is responsible for regular maintenance of building, its exteriors and the common areas in complex Home Owners Association is responsible for maintenance of exteriors and other shared areas
There is less privacy as compared to townhouse There is more privacy as compared to condo
There is more safety as compared to townhouse There is less safety as compared to condo

Which of the two suits your lifestyle?

Avoiding Real Estate Deals Mistakes

September 17th, 2015 by jesse.davies@equitycapital.ab.ca

Linda is a financially independent customer service executive in a private company and moved out from Toronto after separating from her husband. In her hurried search for SW homes for sale in Calgary, she ended up buying a condominium which is close to her office but proved to be a rather expensive purchase. She now feels the pinch as the mortgage instalments are paid each month. Also, the 30 miles distance from home to her 4 year old daughter’s new school bothers her and she is now planning to sell the unit.

Despite being new in the city, Linda failed to consult an experienced real estate agent and spent funds on a home that did not really meet her needs. This is a common issue when buyers try to move into a new residential property without weighing all their options. At times, just to save upon the fee paid to a realtor, they actually end up paying more than what is reasonable while closing the deal for the house.

Working with a professional realtor in Calgary can help both buyers and sellers secure an appropriate deal. There is a bunch of work paper work involved for both the sides. Furthermore, the buyer needs to have access to a good source for mortgage and the seller need to ensure that the unit is ready to move in once all dues are paid to her/him.

If you are a buyer, your agent can help you to check a bigger number of options before you zero in on a deal. If you are a seller, your realtor will help you connect with more buyers looking for a property like yours and facilitate your movement from the home.

Benefits of Owned House over Rented House

June 11th, 2015 by jesse.davies@equitycapital.ab.ca

One of the key questions likely to pop up in your mind when you decide to look for a new place to live is, whether you should go for a rented house or buy a new house. There is no argument in the fact that both, renting and buying come with their individual pros and cons, and it is totally up to the person to decide with which he/she would move forward. But then admit it, there is really nothing greater than the feeling of owning a house. Here’s a list discussing the top benefits of buying a home over renting.

Family Stability: When you decide to buy a house, you set the stage for years of memories with loved ones and these are just priceless. No wonder, the sense of nostalgia that comes with it and seeing your family prosper is immeasurable.

Investment: Buying a home is more of a lifetime investment. Each time you make an improvement in your home, you indirectly increase the value and equity of the home.

Safety Net: In this world of unpredicted inflation, your own home acts as a safety net to protect you from those frequent spurts in house rents.

Sense of Community: Owing a home makes you much more responsible towards the neighbourhood and encourages you to participate actively in the community. This also helps in enhancing your image publically.

Why use a Realtor in Calgary ?

October 14th, 2014 by jesse.davies@equitycapital.ab.ca

Why Use a REALTOR®?

Value of a REALTOR®

Whether selling your home, or looking for a new one, the over 5,200 REALTORS® in Calgary and the surrounding area work together to help you! This REALTOR® network allows them to share information and resources that place you in the best position possible to secure the biggest financial investment most people experience in their lifetime.

Learn more about how REALTORS® help.
Who is a REALTOR®?

Not all licensed or registered brokers and salespeople are REALTORS®. Only real estate licensees who are members of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), and subsequently members of CREB®, are REALTORS®. These REALTORS® are committed to a high standard of professional conduct, ongoing education, and to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice (1.6MB PDF). Using the service of a REALTOR® helps in disclosing maximum property information and facts, therefore reducing your risk.
Your Benefits
Teaming up with a REALTOR® provides you with invaluable access to professional real estate expertise and knowledge. You benefit because:

Your representative can help determine your buying power and refer you to lenders best qualified to maximize your loan and minimize your cost.
Your REALTOR® has full access to all the features of the Multiple Listing Service®, Canada’s most powerful real estate marketing network.
Your representative provides local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, etc. They can assist you in making the best choice selecting an environment where you and your family can grow.
Your representative has a finger on the pulse of the housing market and is knowledgeable about developments and trends in real estate; and,
Your REALTOR® has access to the MLS® System for facts on comparable pricing, neighborhood trends and housing market conditions, data you can use to set your best course of action and maximize your homes resale value when you are ready to sell.
Your representative can negotiate the best deal. There are myriad negotiating factors, including price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings or equipment. By negotiation alone, you often save more than the cost of their service.
Your representative assists you in providing due diligence to evaluate the property. This may include inspections for mold, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your representative can assist you in determining what conditions to recommend and assist in finding qualified professionals to investigate and provide report to you.
Your representative can guide you through the sales process making sure everything flows smoothly from initial offer to closing.
Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often REALTORS® will provide guidance on staging or repairs that enhance the salability of your property. Your REALTOR® will harness the power of the MLS® System to expose your property to a large network of qualified buyers as well as coordinate marketing through the most effective array of other advertising media. Only CREB® REALTORS® have access to the marketing exposure of industry publications such as CREB® Real Estate News.

You are protected when you work with a REALTOR® for a number of reasons:

All REALTORS® are graduates of a real estate education program and are committed to pursuing ongoing professional development courses;
REALTORS® must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice (1.6MB PDF); your guarantee of professional conduct and service excellence.
All REALTORS® carry errors and omissions insurance;
The Real Estate Assurance Fund is available to you in the rare event of fraud, or breach of trust by a REALTOR®. It is your protection against financial loss. This fund is financially supported by our members; and,
A licensed brokerage supervises the business conduct of all REALTORS® to ensure their compliance with Alberta law.

Article courtesy CREB http://www.creb.com/public/why-use-a-realtor/value-of-a-realtor.php

Jesse Davies is a Calgary Real Estate agent eager to work with sellers and buyers in helping them sell or buy their home. Visit his website at www.jessedavies.ca or call him at 403-969-2363.

Alberta bucket list – moving to Calgary

July 5th, 2014 by jesse.davies@equitycapital.ab.ca

What to Do: After Moving to Canada’s Most Beautiful province:

After moving to a new city you’re often far more interested in exploring what the area has to offer than the steadfast locals who’ve spent years there. It’s not uncommon for people to take for granted the unique wonders of their city, and that’s especially easy in provinces like Alberta where just outside of city limits the adventures are plentiful. This sense of childlike splendor about your new environment is beneficial for you and the locals you’ll encounter. Seeing sights through a newcomer or a tourist can reinvigorate a person’s sense of amazement in their city’s charms. So if you’ve a recently moved to Alberta or are thinking of moving to Alberta, grab a new friend and cross these off your bucket list within your first year.

Explore Rat’s Nest Cave
Rat’s Nest Cave is a popular attraction at Canmore Caverns, and for excellent reasons. The cave is located under Grotto Mountain and despite the guided tours Rat’s Nest remains completely undeveloped—meaning no hand rails, lighting or walkways. The caving experience begins after a serene 30-minute hike, and then tour guides take cavers through the underground world and discuss the geological history, animal and human uses for caves, and fossils. Although no artificial lights (outside of headlamps) are in the cave, the adventure still offers plenty of opportunities to capture wonderful photos.

Royal Tyrrell Museum
Dinosaur aficionados will adore the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, which has one of the world’s largest dinosaur collections, many of which are full scale. The museum is surrounded by the Badlands, an eerily-beautiful landscape of towering rock formations and strips of dinosaur bones. The museum also has kid-friendly activities like creating fossil casts to unearthing replica bones.

Attend the Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival held every July in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The ten-day event, which bills itself as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”,[3] attracts over one million visitors per year and features one of the world’s largest rodeos, a parade, midway, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuckwagon racing and First Nations exhibitions.

Attend a Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers Match
If you’re able to get a ticket to one of the few Flames versus Oilers games that occur during the NHL season, then be sure to do so. Both teams have die-hard fans who truly make these rival matches something to behold.

Drive the Icefields Parkway
Some of Canada’s most majestic scenes are found in the Icefields Parkway, a 232 kilometer-long drive that winds through the Canadian Rocky Mountains. This adventure offers access to an unbridled wilderness of pristine mountain lakes, ancient glaciers and extensive valleys.

Edmonton Summer Festivals

Once people have shed their winter attire, the areas two greatest festivals pop up: Edmonton Folk Music Festival and Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival. The Folk Festival is one of the world’s leading music attractions, annually bringing in about 80,000 eager music fanatics to appreciate various musicians and concerts on the banks of the river valley. For theatre devotees, the Fringe Theatre Festival is the world’s second-largest theatre extravaganza with 500,000 visitors and 1,000 performers.

Visit Fish Creek Provincial Park
Fish Creek is one of the world’s biggest urban wildernesses clocking in at 54 miles of territory to explore. The park offers an abundance of biking, hiking and running.

Jasper Sky Tram
For any wilderness photographer taking the Jasper Sky Tram is an absolute necessity. The lift ride offers unmatched sweeping views of the Canadian Rockies from a truly unique angle.

Calgary Zoo
The Calgary zoo is a phenomenal attraction showcasing more than 1,000 different species and a nearly six-acre botanical garden. Founded in 1929, the zoo is Alberta’s oldest registered charity, and continues being a North American leader concerning wildlife conservation and public education.

Remember to Breathe
If you’ve already completed the above options, or if none of them suit your fancy, then watch Travel Alberta’s “Remember to Breathe,” video. It offers a splendid sight into what opportunities await in Alberta for those willing to seize them.

If you are considering moving to Calgary it is essential you choose the right Real Estate agent to help you with your transition to a new city. There are a number of unique communities in Calgary and picking the right one is essential. Depending on your requirements when purchasing bouncing ideas off your Real estate agent who knows each community and has experience in the real estate transaction is essential in making a smooth transition to a new city like Calgary.

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.