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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Housewarming Party Checklist Part II

Show off your Red Deer real estate with these housewarming tips.

Having a new home is a special occasion that calls for celebrations with friends and family. If you are a first-time homeowner, it is all the more reason to show off your Red Deer real estate and throw a housewarming party. Below is the continuation of our checklist for you to follow that will help you throw the most successful housewarming party of your life:

 

Step 6: Safeguard your valuables

Resist the urge to display your most exotic and expensive decorative pieces in your new home, especially if they are made of delicate materials such as glass and crystal. There will be many people over in your house, and you will not be able to keep an eye on all the guests at all times to make sure your decorative items will not be damaged. This is especially important if your guests are bringing children.

 

Step 7: Decorate/prepare the house

Before the arrival of your guests, spray some air fresheners, refresh the washroom supplies, light up the candles and replenish the tissue boxes. Also, remember to dress yourself up for a special evening. Just because you have spent all day preparing for the party does not mean you need to look like a tired housewife or houseman when you greet your guests!

 

Step 8: Start the party

Once a few guests have arrived, you can start the party by putting on the music, inviting them in and making small talk. Make sure you greet each guest as they arrive and make sure they are comfortable. If you wish, you can show them around the house personally and offer them food and drinks.

 

Step 9: Socialize and mingle

Walk around and introduce your guests to each other so that they will know each other. Mingle with all the guests and let

them enjoy each other’s company. Remember to be mindful to your guests’ taste of music and change it if need be.

 

Step 10: End the night with grace

Accept compliments about your new home and endeavor with grace and end your night saying goodbye and thanks to each guest. The day after the party, you should follow up with thank-you emails to your guests to thank them for any gifts they have brought along.

 

We hope that this simple guide will help you throw a successful housewarming party. If you are interested in relocating to Red Deer and want to find out more about what our real-estate agents can do for you, please contact us today.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Housewarming Party Checklist Part I of II


Buying a house is worthy of a celebration and filling your home with love, laughter, friends and family is a great way to start. Once you're moved in and settled, how about showing off your new home by hosting a housewarming party?

 

If you are a first-time homeowner, all the more reason to throw a welcoming bash. Don't worry, we've got a great checklist for you to follow that will help you plan your party and make your night a success.

 

Step 1:  Make a guest list

Invite everyone who has helped you in your move (unless they are too far away), including your Real Estate Agent in Red Deer. Ask them to bring along clients who live in the area and to introduce you. Invite your neighbors and people you meet within the local community and you'll be making new friends in no time.

Once you have an idea of the number of people you will need to plan for, make sure you have plenty of appetizers and drinks (including non-alcoholic options) for them, as well as for the people they invite along. Decide whether or not your party will be "kids allowed"  and plan accordingly. You'll want to set-up a "kid zone" in the backyard, complete with food and games, and hire a reliable babysitter to keep watch over them while the adults mingle. Ask neignbours with kids if they can recommend a mature, level-headed and responsible sitter.

 

Step 2: Decide on a date/time

Send out your invites and ask people to reserve that date on their calendar. Remember to mention your new address and include an RSVP to get a good count of the number of guests you can expect. Make sure to make the RSVP deadline at least a week before the actual party. 

 

Step 3: Plan the food

Once you have an approximate headcount, start planning the menu. Appetizers and finger foods are your best bets as people will be mingling and walking around. Put all the food on trays on the dining room table, along with plates and napkins, so people can help themselves buffet-style. Keep an eye on the table and replenish often, and every once in a while, grab a tray and circulate with it. It's a great icebreaker to start a conversation. 

 

Plan a separate kids menu if you are having a family-oriented party and make sure to bring food out to the babysitter regularly. That way, the sitter doesn't have to stop watching the children in order to get more supplies.

 

Step 4: Buy the drinks

Stock up on the essentials, such as a selection of wines, beers, a few hard liquor options and mixers, as well as juices and milk for the kids. If anyone in your circle of friends or family can bartend, inform them about the range of drinks you have and ask for specific preferences on the selections. If not, decide between you and your partner who will be in charge of food and who will be responsible for serving drinks. Always include a pot of coffee in your beverage plan.

 

Step 5: Make the food

Order the food or start prepping whatever you can well in advance. If you are planning to make use of catering services, make sure to give the caterers plenty of time to prepare and always call the day before to check on/confirm the order. Remember to choose light items that will be easy to hold and eat. Also, ask your caterers about the ingredients in their dishes and be ready to answer questions your guests may have in regard to food allergies.
 

We hope that you will find yourself well on your way to throwing a great housewarming party! If you have yet to move and are looking for Red Deer real estate, please feel free to browse our listings.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

How to choose the right school for your child

 

When you move to a new neighborhood, the first thing on your family’s priority list is usually choosing and enrolling your child in school as soon as possible.  How do you know which one to choose if there are multiple options to consider within your local community?  Here are four factors to consider when choosing the “best fit” school for your child.

 

1. What your child will learn

Many schools offer different curriculum and extracurricular activities. Ask your child which subjects and after-school activities she would like and would suit her talents/abilities best and take this into consideration when selecting a new school for her.

 

2. How your child will learn

Your child’s learning style, academic motivation, physical and/or mental health challenges, conduct, learning disorders, individual strengths and depth of self-understanding will all affect how much he/she can absorb in a new environment.  

 

These aspects will also affect how teachers and peers will interact and influence your child.  Gather information about how that particular school will teach and interact with your child, both in and outside of the classroom.  Ask the school directly, and inquire with neighbours and ask other parents you meet as you get groceries and run errands.

 

3. Social interaction for your child

What kind of culture exists within the new school?  Is there a sense of community?  Are there clubs that mirror your child’s interests?  Does the school have any problems with bullying, drugs, or anything else you need to be aware of?

Peers hold considerable influence over your kids, so it’s important to carefully consider what kind of population you will be placing your child in to avoid potential problems.

 

4. Your child’s unique qualities and needs

Your child is like no other and possesses unique characteristics, yet also shares many qualities in common with other children. Consider your child’s capabilities, personality, talents, wants and needs.

 

Reflect back to how he/she performed in the last school and evaluate whether or not the environment at each school will meet your child’s needs. As a parent, you know your kids better than anyone and the type of environment in which they will thrive.

 

We’re happy to be able to fill you in on the schools in the area. If you are considering purchasing a home in Red Deer, here is a little bit about us and how we can help you and your family find your “best fit” home. 

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Monday, August 11, 2014

How to Determine Which System is Right for You

After you have selected a home security company, the next step would be to determine which alarm system is right for you. There are many things to consider when it comes to choosing the right home security system. Here we provide you with some questions to ask to help you in this process.

 

Question 1: Are you a homeowner or a renter?

If you are a homeowner, you will have no restrictions, except for considerations in needs and budget, in what kind of security system you want. You may want to look into landline systems with a cell uplink backup that offers extra protection and foresee all eventualities.

 

If you are a renter, then you may want to opt for a wireless system that you can install yourself and can easily remove once you relocate.

 

Question 2: Do you plan to move in near future?

If you are a nomad, you may want to keep a closer eye on the contract and ownership of the alarm equipment. For example, if you are moving within the next three years, companies that require long-term contract would not work for your lifestyle. There are many other companies that offer flexible programs that will allow you to transfer services and equipment with no charge, but may require you to be a permanent customer.

 

Question 3: Do you want mobile access?

This is for those who want complete control over their own homes. Most security systems allow you to control your system with a key fob or other devices, but some offer extra features such as being able to control lighting and thermostat settings via mobile access. If you are interested in a high-tech home automation system, you would want to see the list of actions included in the security system of your choosing.

 

Question 4: Do you want or need security cameras?

If you are wary of intruders and/or would like to keep an eye on your own family members, security cameras are a great way to accomplish this goal. We do not encourage people to stalk their own family and invade individual rights to privacy, but, if warranted, security cameras would be something to look into.

 

We hope you have found these questions helpful in selecting a home alarm system. However, before you choose a security system, you need first a home! Please take the time to view our latest listings for Red Deer real estate properties.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How to Choose a Home Security Company

Protect your Red Deer real estate with home security.

After you become a proud homeowner, one of the things on your priority list is to select a home security company to protect your home. Below we provide you with five things to look for when choosing a home security companyto help you make the right choice.

Considerations for Choosing a Home Security Company

Long History:

Security companies that have been around for decades and have established themselves as a household name would be a safe choice for new homeowners. You can go around your new neighborhood and check out the signs and stickers people have put up to see the kind of alarm companies that are the most popular in your community.

Offers a warranty/certain guarantees:

You will always want to choose a company that offers warranty on their services, installation, and products. As well, you will want to have a company that stands behind their services and would be able to provide guarantees.

Offers free relocation:

If you move in the future, you will want to see if your home security company will offer free relocation of your house alarms for free. You will continue to pay for remote monitoring, of course, but the installer will come to remove all of the components from your current house to your new house and reinstall the system for no additional charges.

Offers 24-hour monitoring:

If you live in a rural area or have neighbors who do not respond to loud alarm noise, having remote monitoring would be a good idea. This means that a call center will be alerted upon the triggering of the alarm, which will then call your home. If no one picks up or the one who answers is unable to provide the correct password, local authorities will be notified.

Offers extra protection:

It is standard to have fire and carbon monoxide monitoring, and since you’re already installing a home security system, you might want to see if your company will offer them with no charge. Although you can install yourself, it is better to have them linked to one security system to offer online protection.

Every security company has its pros and cons. You should always choose one that fits your specific needs and one that you have found through Better Business Bureau. When it comes to choosing a Red Deer real estate, we can help you find a home that suits your needs and wants. Please contact us to learn more about any of our current listings.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Avoid These 4 Mistakes When Choosing a Neighborhood

Before buying your next home ensure you get along with your potential neighbors.

As a home buyer, you want to make sure that the home you are buying is something you won't regret. This is why there are plenty of home buyers who spend several months just looking at available homes. Not to mention, they spend plenty of time carefully thinking whether or not the home will be good for them in the long-run. Apart from finding a home that fits into their budget and lifestyle, the neighborhood is something that also needs to be considered.

                                 

Unfortunately, there are plenty of home buyers who do not pay enough attention to the neighborhood of the property they are interested in. Especially if they are attracted to the home right away. If you are planning to buy a new home, try not to make the following common mistakes:


Thinking short term

When you're buying Red Deer real estate, you will have many considerations to make. Purchasing a home is a big investment and most families tend to stay in their homes for many years. Anticipate the changes you and your family will experience and consider these changes when choosing your ideal neighborhood. The nighborhood should be safe, friendly, and include points of interest for you and your family. For example if you had small children, living close to a school would be convenient for the whole family.

 

Assuming without verifying

Another common mistake people make when they buy a property is that they tend to believe the things they have heard about the neighborhood are real. If you have heard something about a high crime rate in a neighborhood, it is best to verify facts. Make sure you research local newspapers and online so you know how factual the rumor is.

 

Underestimating the commute

For buyers that do not own a car, it can be difficult to choose a home that is not easily accessible. This is why you should always check how feasible it is to access the property using public transit. Are you okay with walking home? Or do you prefer having a car to drive to and from work? Will the area be congested with traffic during the time you need to leave for work? These are just some of the things you need to assess before you decide on a certain property. You can also test out the commute and traffic in the area by driving to the property during rush hour. Before you decide to purchase the property, you can try the actual commute that you will have to take. This will help you distinguish whether or not the commute will be worth it.

 

Failing to check out potential neighbors

Finally, the most common mistake that buyers make is failing to check out their potential neighbors. After living in the house for a few days, the buyers start to realize that their neighbor likes to entertain a lot. They later regret deciding to purchase the home because pf the noise and interuptions. Don't let this happen to you. Make sure to check out your potential neighbors before you purchase. You can do this by visiting the area randomly a few times on your free time. This way, you can see what the neighborhood is truly like.

 

As a home buyer, you will want to invest in a home that will not make you regret anything. Call us today so we can help you find a home in  the perfect neighborhood for you.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

5 Feng Shui Tips to Finding Your Next Home

Ensure your Red Deer real estate complies with these feng shui tips.
When it comes to buying Red Deer real estate, there are plenty of things you need to consider before you make a decision. As a matter of fact, you need to have a checklist of things that each property needs to meet. Setting these standards will help you decide whether or not the property is worth considering.

 

For some individuals however, choosing a home to invest in does not just end with a checklist. There are some who hire a Feng Shui expert to help them identify how good the chi of the house is. If you would like to know if your home qualifies as a good Feng Shui investment, follow these tips:

Feng Shui Tips for Home Buyers

Tip #1: Investigate

Feng Shui specialists believe that if a property has bad karma, it will carry over on the family of the next homeowner. Make sure that you research the history of the property so you know how the land was used prior to when the home was built. Since bad karma can impact the peace and harmony of your family, you need to ensure that this will not happen when you purchase the property. You can ask current neighbors, owners, or even check public records for any negative news on the land or home.

Tip #2: Light

When picking out a home, make it a point to visit so you can see how mucn natural light it gets. At the same time, consider the feeling you get about the property. If you feel heavy upon entering the home, it may be because of the bad karma that is still lingering around the walls. Another reason why you need to opt for a well-lit home is so the natural sunlight will produce beneficial chi into your health. You'll feel a lot lighter and happier compared to living somewhere in the dark.

Tip #3: Electromagnetic Fields

Feng Shui experts believe that you should not reside in an area nearby electromagnetic fields. See to it that you choose a home at least two kilometers away from a hydro tower, railroad track, or multiple power lines. Since these sites are equipped with high and dangerous levels of electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs), you might risk long-term health hazards.

Tip #4: Location

Apart from electromagnetic fields, see to it that you live in a home far away from cemeteries, churches, and garbage dumps. For sanitary reasons, it is not a good decision to live in a home nearby a landfill as these can contaminate the air and other natural resources that surround your home. For Feng Shui experts, it is important to have a home with a distance of at least 300 meters from a church or cemetery as these two sites have an excessive Yin energy. Without the right balance of Yang, this can provide a negative atmosphere for residents.

Tip #5: Main Door

A Feng Shui belief shows the importance of an uncovered or unblocked main door. Since this acts as the area where positive energy first enters the home, it is best to leave the front door free from trees, bushes, or overgrown shrubs. At the same time, the interior staircase should not face the front door entrance. If this is the case, the positive chi will enter the home and head directly to the second floor. It is important to allow positive chi to reach every area of your home so that good health, harmony, and opportunities will follow.

 

Follow these five important Feng Shui tips to help promote a good atmosphere in your living space. If you're still looking for a property to purchase, give us a call. We can help you find a home with positive Feng Shui ambiance.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

What to Look for in a Good Interior Designer

Dress your Red Deer home up with the help from an interior designer.
Interior design is one of the things that new homeowners are concerned with, particularly after they just purchased the property. Whether the home is new or pre-owned, the new homeowner will want to redesign the home and make it appeal to their interests. They may either choose to draw inspiration from one of the home design magazines available or go for the convenient option of hiring an interior designer.

 

If you are one of the many who recently purchased a property, you may be considering hiring a specialist to help you with your new home's design. Whether you choose an architect, draftsman, or an interior designer, the important thing is that you hire someone who can get the job done properly. Through this, you can ensure that your new Red Deer home will be designed the best way possible.

 

When looking for a home designer, you need to know what it is that you need. Here are some tips to help you find the right designer for your home, especially when you're interviewing them:

 

  • Go for someone who's attentive. One of the things you should look for in a home designer is how capable he is of listening to what your needs and wants are. Since you need someone who'll be able to get the job done right away, you need to hire a home designer capable of meeting your requests. And the true test of this is to gauge him on how well he understood you. This will prevent you both from dealing with issues later on.
  • Go for someone who understands your daily routine. Another quality you need to look for in a home designer is someone who asks you lots of questions about your daily life. The reason why he needs to know these things is because he will need to understand how to create a harmonious flow inside your home based on your daily activities. By understanding your lifestyle, he'll be able to make that happen.
  • Go for someone who shares the same values as you. If you have a strong preference against the use of a particular product, the home designer you choose should respect that. He should not try to enforce what he wants to do in your home. After all, it is your home-- not his.
  • Go for someone who you can rely on. Apart from just decorating your home, the person you hire needs to be reliable. He needs to be there to supervise how the design will turn out to be. This way, you can easily have him fix something urgent.

There are plenty of home designers who would be willing to help you out with your Red Deer real estate. While you can easily choose from any of them, you still need to hire someone who's truly capable of providing a good job. This way, you won't have to deal with someone who'll only waste your time and money on your new property.


If you've been thinking about purchasing a home in Red Deer, get in touch with us. We can show you some homes you'll love.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

5 Useful Tips to Redecorating Your New Home


For anyone who has just purchased a home in Red Deer, it can be a thrilling time for you; especially if you’ve already decided that you will be redecorating your property. If this is something you aspire to do in your newly purchased home, you can make the process a lot easier by following these simple tips:

 

Tip #1: Opt for rearranging the room

One of the easiest and cheapest ways you can redecorate your home is to rearrange each room carefully. Before you go out to purchase new furniture, try to think how you will be able to rearrange each room using the pieces that you already have. Plot it out thoroughly so you can maximize the space you have. If you are happy with the outcome, then there’s no need for you to buy new furniture for your home.

 

Tip #2: Go for signature touches

If you’re planning to have each room painted with a new color, try to envision it decorated with other options. Instead of painting a room, you can simply add signature/artistic pieces that will highlight the room. You won’t need to spend too much money on it anymore.

 

Tip #3: Preserve its history

If you have inherited some family heirloom pieces such as furniture and paintings, make sure to use them in your home. They are valuable pieces that will personalize your home and make it feel like it is your own. At the same time, if you do not use the piece, it will only collect dust.

 

Tip #4: Use color

When decorating different rooms in your home, try to experiment with color. Don’t stick to the usual options. Instead, go for pieces that you actually like. This will help you appreciate the pieces of furniture you have installed in your home. Also, you won’t need to re-paint your room when you add in colorful pieces as part of your decoration.

 

Tip #5: Get inspired with your own style

While it is true that you may draw inspiration from home design magazines, nothing truly beats going with a style you are personally interested in. You may get inspired through magazines but at the end of the day, it is your own preference that needs to be followed. Go for what you truly like instead of something trendy. This way, you can have a home that will be a timeless classic.

 

When it comes to redecorating your Red Deer real estate, you may choose to hire a professional to do it for you. Through this, you can have an expert get to fix your new home without worrying how everything will turn out to be. Otherwise, if you’re up for the challenge, you can redecorate your home on your own. Not to mention, it is also the most cost effective option available to you. Try to weigh your options and see which one will work best for you. Either way, your main goal is to beautify your home.

 

If you’re on the lookout for a new home in Red Deer, give us a call. We’ll be happy to show you some of our available options.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pros & Cons of Owning a Vacation Home

Red Deer offers fantastic real estate options for vacation homes.
If you're considering purchasing a Red Deer real estate property to turn it into your vacation home, you may need to think about it carefully. First of all, you have to understand that buying a second home might just be an extra expense on your part. As such, you really need to assess your reason for purchasing a vacation home. By thinking about your decision carefully, you'll be able to make a reasonable and economically wise choice.

 

Before you purchase a vacation home, you have to determine whether or not it is a necessary expense. Big decisions like this one require careful planning because if not, it just might do a huge impact on your life. Here are some of the things you need to know about buying a second property:

 

Pros of Owning a Vacation Home:

  • If you frequently visit a location, it may be good to think about purchasing property there. This way, you no longer have to rent out an expensive hotel room for the night.
  • One of the good things about owning a second property is that you get to enjoy tax advantages. However, this is dependent on how you will be using the property. If you simply buy the home for personal use, you might be able to deduct interest on its mortgage payment. But if you plan on making money off the property by leasing it, this advantage is not applicable.
  • If you plan on having someone rent out the property but for only a few days (no more than 15 days a year), you can avoid income taxes imposed on it.

Remember that tax law is a very complicated topic and that it frequently changes. Make sure you speak with a tax advisor or your accountant before you make a final decision about buying a second property.

 

Cons of Owning a Vacation Home:

  • Among the biggest disadvantages of owning a vacation home is the maintenance that you will need to spend for its upkeep. A large portion of the time, it will be left vacant. But because you need someone to look after its maintenance chores and security, you need to hire someone to stay in the property while you're away.
  • A loan for a second property may end up being more expensive as it is a very risky move. There are even some that will require you to pay between 30% and 40% down when you purchase the property. If you do decide to turn the property into an income generating option, you might end up paying up to 2% points higher than your primary residence.

Carefully decide whether buying a second home is a wise move for your current financial situation. Also, think about how often you'll be staying in the property so you can decide if it is an investment you're willing to make. If you are serious about purchasing a Red Deer home for sale, make sure you give us a call today. We'll help you choose the right property that you can call your vacation home.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

3 Red Flags to Look for When Buying a Home

Let us help you look out for red flags when considering if Red Deer real estate if right for you.
When you're shopping for a home to invest in, it is easy to fall in love with one right away; especially if the property comes with a price that's too good to be true. However, instead of deciding which property is the best right away, it may be in your best interest to wait and rethink your decision. You might not have realized it but the home you have fallen in love with may not be the best investment.

 

One way you can make credible decisions when shopping for a new property is to not allow your emotions get in the way. True, you can easily fall in love with a home, especially if it looks great. But there are some things you have to look out for when you visit the property. By acknoweldging these red flags, you'll be able to determine whether or not the home will be a good investment for you.

 

Red flags that you need to look out for when buying a new home

 

Red Flag #1: Sloppy Maintenance

Anyone who's selling a property knows that you need to make the home look presentable, no matter how busy they are. If the home has a number of neglected areas that you feel will take you extra effort and money to clean up, it may not be wise to invest in that home. Some of the things you need to look out for include:

 

  • Ceiling stains
  • 'Spongy' feel on the bathtub and toilet floors
  • Low water pressure (indicative of a plumbing problem)
  • Cracked window glass and torn window screens
  • Signs of roof wear/ missing roof shingles
  • Peeling paint/ plaster cracks

 

Unless you have an inspector who can help you assess the extent of the damage, you may need to put off your decision of getting the property.

 

Red Flag #2: Foundation Issues

Another important factor you have to look for is if there is any problem with the home's foundation. One way you can determin if there is a water problem is when the yard is sloping towards the property instead of otherwise. The condition is commonly known as 'negative grade' and calls for an expensive and tedious repair. Because the yard directs rainwater to the basement, it destroys the home's foundation. If this problem exists, you might be better off looking for a new property instead.

 

Red Flag #3: Declining Neighborhood

Finally, make sure to check out the neighborhood where the real estate property in Red Deer belongs to. Usually, there is an old saying that the real estate industry is knowledgable of-- if there is a home that goes on sale, a couple of others will follow. But if there are more than two properties for sale in that neighborhood, it's time to be alarmed. There just might be a reason as to why those homeowners have decided to sell their homes. Common issues include:

 

  • Increase in crime rate
  • Local government action
  • New zoning restrictions
  • Traffic rerouting
  • Urban decay
  • Fleeing businesses
  • Bad neighbors

As your trusedt Red Deer real estate agent, I am always be on the lookout for these red flags so you don't have to be. After all, a home is not a simple investment-- you need to ensure that it's right for you and that it will stand the test of time. Call us today so we can help you find the right home for you and your family.

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Safeguard Your Red Deer Real Estate Property for Summer

Protect your Red Deer real estate while on vacation.
Summer is the perfect time to go out of town with your loved ones. Since this is the time of the year when everyone in your home is free to go on a trip, you can take this opportunity as a way to bond with each them. But before you start planning your trip, it is important that you think about your home’s safety while you’re away. 

                                            

An empty house can be a welcome invitation for criminals to break in, especially if it is very obvious. While you go on a much needed trip with your family, you still have to ensure that you do the necessary precautions to safeguard your home. Here are a few preventative measures that can do a great deal in keeping your home secure while you’re away for the summer:

 

Ask a Friend for Help

Do you have a friend who lives in close vicinity to you? Perhaps you’re close with one of your neighbors? If not, this is the perfect time for you to get close with one of them. You can ask your friend or a next door neighbor to keep watch over your Red Deer real estate property during your vacation. When it’s their time to go on a trip, they know whom to call for help too!

 

Alert the Police

Also, see to it that you give your local police a heads up that you’ll be away for more than a week. If you reside in a small town, your local police may even do routine house checks on your property.

 

Don’t Post Your Travel Plans Online

As much as you can, avoid posting any of your vacation plans on your social media accounts. You never know who is already following you and just waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. At the same time, don’t give any specifics on your answering machine. Instead of saying you’re away for a few days, just say that you can’t come to the phone. This will already be enough to let people know that you’re unavailable for the phone call.

 

Invest in a Light Switch Timer

It is unwise to leave your house lights on throughout the duration of your vacation just so it will appear that someone’s home. Not only will this cause a costly electric bill, it will also be bad behavior. So instead of doing this, invest in a light switch timer that automatically turns on and shuts off the lights in your home based on a pre-programmed schedule. This will help you save money on your electric bill and make it appear that someone is actually home to flip the lights on and off. As such, it can help ward off criminals with negative intentions on your property.

 

Remove the Spare Key

If you have chosen to hide your spare key underneath a decorative outdoor piece in your home, make sure that you hide it during your vacation. Especially with the obvious areas where spare keys are hidden, they will be the first places that criminals will look.

 

By following the above-mentioned tips, you can safeguard your home while you go away for a summer vacation with your family. Plus, it also helps that you reside in an area with low crime rate. Contact us today to learn more about purchasing a home in Red Deer.

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Friday, June 6, 2014

5 Tips for Getting Your Home Ready for Summer



Summer has arrived and it’s high time that you prepare your home for it! Especially since the weather will be a lot different compared to the cool breeze brought about by winter, it is important that you take time to relax and enjoy during this season. One way you can do this is by redecorating your home and transforming it into an inviting home for the summer vacation. If possible, you can even throw an outdoor BBQ with some friends so you can enjoy a relaxing ambiance. You can make the most of summer in your Red Deer real estate property by following these easy tips:

 

Clean Your Windows

An easy way you can welcome summer into your home is to ensure that you have clean and welcoming windows. Get rid of outdoor debris with the help of a cloth or brush. This will enable you to discard the dust that accumulated over the winter months, while you kept your windows closed. With the summer season, there’s no better reason not to have your windows and drapes open. At the same time, you can trade your thick winter curtains with light, breezy options.

 

Replace Damaged Window Screens

When you have finished cleaning your glass windows, you can check your screen for any rips or holes. If you find any, you can have them replaced. This way, you do not have to worry about any wasps entering your home and disturbing you while you watch your favorite TV show.

 

Check Your Roof

Now is the perfect time to take inventory of your roof. Take time to have a professional check for loose or any broken shingles, as well as loose chimney bricks and mortar. From inside your home, make sure you check your skylights for any stains; as they are indicative of water leakage. By checking your home for these things, you get to have them repaired before the damage becomes worse.

 

Check Your Drainage and Gutters

Take this time to clear debris off of your gutters so you get rid of the dirt and grime that have accumulated over the previous months. This is also a great time to check for damages and bends so you can have them replaced as soon as possible. Consider hiring an expert to help you check these things so you avoid any weak drainage from ruining your home’s foundation.

 

Clean or Repair Your Patio/Deck

Summer is meant to be spent outdoors. If you have a dirty or broken patio, you might not want to spend your time outside. Ensure that you take time to clean this part of your home, especially if you will be inviting friends over for an outdoor BBQ afternoon. If you have the budget for it, you can also upgrade your patio with new equipment. A new BBQ grill will also work wonders and will be perfect for the season.

 

Make your Red Deer real estate property summer ready with the tips above. If you’re looking to sell your property, you may get in touch with us for assistance during the summer season. 

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Red Deer Asks for Taxpayers Opinion for Year Ahead – And They Mean It



Over the last few months the City of Red Deer had been asking its residents (via social media and community periodicals) to come on down to Festival Hall for the May 21 open-forum discussion titled Let’s Talk Budget 2015. In the past turn-outs for these community budget meetings have seemed less than stellar so in preparation for this annual meeting of community minds the City put its best foot forward in ensuring residents that their input has been and will continue to be valued, perhaps even more than ever this year. Residents put this to the test and showed up in fairly large numbers to join in on what turned out to be a fairly positive discussion. In this week’s blog post we provide Red Deer homeowners (and those of you considering a move to our fine city) with a casual summary of the Let’s Talk Budget 2015.
 

Highlights from Red Deer Community’s 2015 Budget Discussion

Arts & Culture

It was nice to see that this town hall format resulted in more than chat about potholes and parking meters. The city of Red Deer is comprised of a culturally rich community and thankfully our craving for arts & culture is never fully satisfied because it simply serves to bring new and creative ways to further enrich the scene. Every year the City is encouraged to offer residents more in the way of one-off and on-going events that cater to the public demand and this voice was heard at the Let’s Talk Budget meeting. In turn, the City has pledged to continue to do so. Look forward to bigger and better in Red Deer’s arts & culture scene in 2015.
 

Transit

A call to continued improvements to the city’s transit system was on deck at the open-forum as the Red Deer County population grows with homes being built both within the city and on the outskirts of town. With such expansion in the girth of Red Deer’s resident population distribution it only makes sense that the transit system grow to accommodate the widening trend. Indicators from the budget meeting point to these new transit initiatives moving forward. In fact, an existing transit project connecting residents of Red Deer with outlying communities breaks ground in September, so we will see transit improvements already reach fruition come 2015 as budget initiatives become a reality.
 

Local Businesses

The City of Red Deer is a BIG supporter of start-up businesses. A structure is in place to provide a foundation not only to launch a business here but to maintain it well into the future, as dictated by the Red Deer Community Futures support system. It was great to hear residents relate almost every initiative discussed at the Let’s Talk Budget to local businesses. Discussions on arts & culture (above) detailed how growth in festivals and events will serve local businesses and create new ones in the process. They (residents) logically stated that the above-mentioned transit improvements will allow them better access to these burgeoning entrepreneurs, connecting consumers to providers of products/services. Yes, our wise residents know how to tug on the right cords as they even equated fixing the likes of potholes and parking to more success for local business owners. It was great to see this kind of support system in action.
 

Education

With the population of family households growing the number of youth in Red Deer grows quickly along with it. Education was thus another notable talking point at the meeting and the new elementary and high schools slated for Red Deer were discussed, as were initiatives to support (school transit, nutrition, etc…) the entire educational system in the county.
 

On-Going

The open-forum was a success for those in attendance as far as an exchange of back-and-forth dialogue is concerned. However if you are a resident and happened to miss the meeting you have the opportunity to be heard up until the 30th by completing the survey on the City of Red Deer site. In the year ahead you can also expect the City to ask for feedback as each new initiative is put into play.
 

Red Deer is a GREAT place to live and with each passing year that statement becomes truer and truer. If the Let’s Talk Budget open discussion is any indicator we can expect even bigger and better things in 2015 and beyond. For those of you moving to the Red Deer area to join in our exciting, dynamic, and ever-growing community we encourage you to contact Benedict Devlin today for your Red Deer real estate needs.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Keeping Your Riverside Home Nice & Dry During Rising Water Levels

This past weekend regulatory bodies in the province asked homeowners living along the rivers in a zone that spans from Jasper National Park to Calgary, Edmonton, and Red Deer to take extra precautions against rising rivers and streams. We all know we enjoyed quite the winter wonderland during the 2013/2014 season and now that spring has arrived the snow has melted into our waterways. Factor in a forecast for heavy rainfall and homeowners living on the water's edge certainly take note. However Red Deer residents' ability to thrive in our environment is a big part of what adds to our countryside charm and as an agent serving the community we once again use our voice to provide some helpful tips on this local current event.

 

5 Tips to Protecting Your Home on the River from Rising Water Levels

 

1. Know the Levels

 

Knowing the lay, or more specifically the elevation, of the land is the key to keeping your peace of mind during these small bouts of rising water levels. Home builders in Red Deer county are of course extremely conscious of flood levels when building homes in the community however we encourage residents both old and new to further educate themselves on the land surveys where their homes reside. You can refer to this study from the province for more information.

 

2. Ensure Utility Connections Are Above Level

 

Once you verify your home's flood level you will want to check that all of the electrical wiring that powers your utilities are installed one foot above said level. Light switches, circuit breakers, outlets, and sockets too should follow suit.

 

3. Anchor Outside Energy Resources

 

Living in the country often means that your home may borrow energy from fuel tanks, generators, and air conditioning units. You will of course want to make sure that these are placed above the aforementioned flood level and are even anchored down for those rare circumstances when necessary.

 

4. Install a Backflow Prevention Device

 

In the event that your riverside home is not already outfitted with one, you may consider a backflow preventive device to accommodate strains put on your rural home's sewage system. Simply Google "backflow prevention Red Deer" (or any city you reside in) to find a solution suitable for your needs.

 

5. Clear Drains, Gutters, and Swales

 

Make sure that your drains, gutters, swales and anything else meant to catch and deter water from your property is kept clear of debris. This is especially true if you are going out of town for a significant period during the wetter season. Add "clean drains, gutters, swales" to your neighbours list of to-do's (feed cat, etc...) when covering for you when on vacation.

 

In the end there is little concern when it comes ensuring the safety of your home on the river in Red Deer when you've used a reputable community real estate agent. The duo of Benedict Devlin takes care of this groundwork and homework for you so that you have complete peace of mind when moving into your new county home. Every region in the country has its seasonal quirks that residents work around and none do it better than here in Red Deer Alberta. Contact Benedict Devlin today, whether you are looking for a home in the city, or along our expansive countryside - rivers and streams included.

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Red Deer Homes Make Good Sports Out of Residents

Red Deer Real Estate offers tips for nearby outdoor activities.
The recent news that the Tour of Alberta was not only returning to the province for its second year (after launching in 2013) but that it once again was including Red Deer as one of its host communities sparked this week’s blog entry. With Red Deer being added as Stage 2 (including Innisfail as the starting point) of this world class event in 2014 our growing city is further solidifying its place on the global map as being a premier destination for sports recreation.
 

Many households considering a move to the Central Alberta area greatly factor athletics into their lifestyle. They seek a community that can accommodate their taste for sports, be it for health, leisure, or even amateur to professional level aspirations (for those with budding athletes in the family). While major provincial metropolises such as Calgary and Edmonton receive much of the notoriety for such a thing it’s the city of Red Deer that heralds per capita accolades when it comes to access to sports that accommodate a wide variety of tastes – located right at one’s doorstep. Here we identify a few in particular that make living in Red Deer all the more…perfect.
 

Information about Sports in Red Deer Alberta for Homeowners

Biking – It only makes sense to take the lead in this list by addressing the very thing that sparked this thesis. The cycling and mountain biking scene in Red Deer is one of the best in the entire province in the warmer spring and summer months. The access to safe yet challenging roads, paths, and trails that vary in levels of difficulty make biking in Red Deer a truly enjoyable experience. For those of you that prefer to go a bit more feral, departing from concrete directions, the Red Deer Mountain Bike Park is one of the best of its kind in the country in our not-so-humble (we’re proud of our county) opinion.
 

Hockey – You can’t step either in or outside in the winter months without stepping on one of the many ice rinks in Red Deer so you may as well strap on some skates and pick up as tick. Yes ice hockey is a BIG deal as far as sports in Red Deer go, so much in fact that it is home to the province’s official hockey organization. Instead of us spending an entire page describing Red Deer’s unparalleled access to this Canadian Sport of Kings we encourage you to visit Hockey Alberta in person (located on College BLVD) or online to learn about how you and your household can get involved.
 

Baseball – The boys, and girls, of summer come out in full force in the spring here in Red Deer Alberta. We swear that with each passing year this city is becoming more and more of a baseball town as teams and leagues pop up to accommodate both fans of the hard and soft ball. Parents drop their kids off and hit the stands to proudly cheer them on in the minors. The entire town comes out to cheer on the 2013 Provincial Champions, the wild and talented Red Deer Riggers. For those that wish to participate themselves (the point of this article) then all you need to do is ask your neighbor or local coffee shop barista because one of the two (if not both) is likely signed-up for a fast or slow-pitch league at this very moment.
 

Hiking – Hiking is another inevitable addition to this sports activities summary. Red Deer County is lined with trails that range from casual to extreme, making more than a sport out of it. The famed Trans Canada Trail is marked at Red Deer’s Bower Ponds for which enthusiasts can take their pick of the direction they want to go, and how much of a muscle burn they’re prepared to take on. Visit the official Central Alberta Regional Trails Society (CARTS) website for access to maps and other local hiking resources.
 

The above is just the beginning of your athletic “career” in Red Deer. As stated there is absolutely something for everyone (curling anyone?) within minutes of your current, or prospective, Red Deer home. We look forward to seeing you out there on one of our many roads, rinks, trails, and/or diamonds. Thanks for being a good sport and reading this week’s blog entry – stay tuned for next month when we dig into more resources for our residents of Red Deer.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Protecting Your Red Deer Home While Away on Vacation

 

The long 2014 winter of Central Alberta has inspired many households to call it "enough already" and book an impromptu vacation. The warm spring weather that launched this week only serves to egg us on to take a trip, knowing that the single digit temperatures are forecast once again for the next few weeks ahead. Unplanned excursions however, while spontaneously fun, leave homeowners with little time to prepare. While our communities in Red Deer are safe and sound you still find solace in knowing that you've done all that you can to protect your temporarily vacant home while out of town. In an effort to ease your mind while on your trip we thought we'd offer some easy to follow tips on how to ensure your home indeed remains at peace.

 

5 Tips to Protecting Your Red Deer Home While Out of Town

 

1. Front Yard Maintenance

 

Your front yard (where applicable) is the gateway to your home. It tells passer-byers, including the off-chance passing of an ill-intentioned individual, everything they need to know - such as whether or not the residents are away. Ensure that your front yard is maintained by someone you trust when away during a season that makes your absence noticeable. In the warm spring/summer months keep the lawn cut, watered, and hedges trimmed. In the cold winter keep the walkways and driveways salted, swept, and shoveled.

 

2. Don't Allow Mail to Pile-Up

 

Another telltale sign of a vacant home is a collection of mail, flyers, and subscriptions either spilling out of a mailbox, door slot, or stacking up on the front porch. Once again solicit the services of a trusted neighbor, friend, or family member to stop by once every two days to collect the deliveries.

 

3. Keep the Right Lights On

 

A living room light left on through the entire duration (and thus through the night) of your vacation is as much of a telltale as a home that is pitch black. Be strategic with your lights, leaving on only the subtle ones in the hallways.

 

4. Take to Technology for Mobile Control

 

In today's day and age you need not even resort to the tactic detailed briefly in #3. There are a wide variety of smartphone apps that you can download and program your modern lighting lamps and home theater sound systems to (where applicable). These brilliant tools allow you to turn electronics off and on at your leisure from the comforts of your Waikiki Beach resort.

 

5. Invite Someone to Housesit

 

Of course the best way to give your vacated home that "lived-in" look is to actually have someone stay there while you are away. Hopefully you surround yourself with responsible people to give you a pool to choose from when you are out of town. A few incentives can be thrown in such as a fully stocked refrigerator, and bar. A word to the wise on this tip however, don't invite the in-laws to cover while you are out of town - they will snoop.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

4 Tips to Optimized Spring Cleaning for Red Deer Home Owners


Spring has officially arrived this week. Feel free to vent about how Central Alberta weather has neglected to recognize this fact. Nonetheless it is that time of the year where households throughout the Red Deer area begin their annual ritual of a thorough spring cleaning. As Red Deer Realtors continually providing comprehensive advice to all homeowners on the home-life experience we've decided to set the tone for the season with our general guide to optimal spring cleaning.

 

1. Start from the Outside-In By Tending to the Outside Thaw

 

As hinted above, the temperatures of Central Alberta haven't kept up with the changing of the calendar however sunny day Celsius readings do indeed tip passed freezing which has resulted in the seasonal snow melt. Before tackling spring cleaning in your home show it the proper TLC on the exterior first. Refer to our guide to protecting your Red Deer home from the spring thaw and you'll be well on your way to the ultimate optimized spring cleaning.

 

2. Clear Out the Excess Before Cleaning the Rest

 

Now that you have the messy outdoor stuff out of the way it's time to direct your focus indoors. However before you reach for the mop, broom, and cleaning rags we suggest you first stop and take an accounting of your household possessions. Spring cleaning offers the exquisite opportunity to finally get rid of those space consuming items in your home that you no longer use (or never have) that clutter up your living space. Thought that bamboo tiki bar in the basement was a good idea but it has yet to serve one single cocktail? Does that stationary bike in the guest room serve as nothing more than a clothes hanger? You get the idea. It may be time to sell (your local Craigslist) or donate (not sure if charities accept used tiki bars) these possessions and free up space for a much more efficient and cleaner clutter-free home.

 

3. Start the Spring with Green Cleaning

 

We find that spring offers a better time to start resolutions than New Years' Day. This is especially true when it comes to adopting a greener lifestyle in the home. There is no better time to be more eco-friendly than when it comes to cleaning. The chemicals used in cleaning products not only can wear away at your homes' surfaces it is actually detrimental to the long term health of those residing within. Once again we encourage you to revisit a past article from our informative blog, with this one on green resolutions for home owners touching not only on eco-friendly cleaning products but on other ways you can go-green and get off to the best spring cleaning you've ever had.

 

4. Reorganize Your Interior Decor

 

Once your home is clean, green, and clutter-free it's time to step it up a notch and add some variety to your home-life. Nothing better represents a fresh seasonal start with a renewed feeling than reorganizing the interior decor of your home. Use spring cleaning as an opportunity (another one!) to change up your scenery by moving around your furniture and decorative accents until you find a Feng Shui to suit your household personality. It's actually an invigorating feeling to return home from a long day at the office to an entirely new set-up - especially for those of you having lived in your current home for quite some time.

 

That's all for this week folks - hope we inspired you to get started on the season before the weather itself kicks in. For all other inquiries about Red Deer homes please feel free to contact Benedict Devlin anytime.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Late Spring? No Need to Stay Locked Away in Your Red Deer Homes


OK, so spring seems to be nowhere in sight for us folks in Central Alberta. Back in February Punxsutawney Phil told us to expect 6 more weeks of winter and he wasn't kidding around. In fact he seems to have undershot that prediction for the Red Deer area. The first week of spring is being peppered with a snowfall warning leaving spring breakers and all residents alike with seemingly little to wander outdoors for when it comes to leisure.


However us Red Deer residents are a resilient bunch. It's the new arrivals, those of you recently relocated to the area after buying a new home in Red Deer, that may need a little encouragement. For those households falling within this category we thought we provide you with a few event recommendations for Red Deer in the early (yet late!) spring season.
 

Murder Mystery Dinner @ Cronquist House - March 21 (6:30 PM to 9:30 PM)

Nothing like a spine tingling murder mystery to warm your bones on a cold night. The historic Cronquist House hosts its Murder Mystery Dinner this coming Friday where attendees (maximum 24 people) come to enjoy a four course feast concluded by a first degree crime that turn each guest into an impromptu Sherlock Holmes. Stop by the Cronquist House between 10 AM and 4 PM to see if there are tickets available for this weekend or to at least plan ahead for future events of this nature.
 

Jazz Nights @ Red Deer College & Arts Centre - March 28 (7:30 PM TO 9:30 PM)

What better way to soothe your chilly soul than a night of smooth sounding jazz. The Red Deer College & Arts Centre’s Big Band is putting on an assortment of performances along with the student and faculty jazz groups for a swinging good time next Friday night. Tickets for the event are available at Red Deer’s Black Knight Inn or can be purchased by calling 403-755-6626 or 1-800-661-8793.
 

Dim Swim @ GH Dawe Community Centre - March 29 (8 PM to 9:30 PM)

You just read that wrong. No, we’re not suggesting dim sum (granted that sounds tasty at the moment), instead this clever play on words is being used to introduce Red Deer’s homage to Earth Day 2014 as the GH Dawe Community Centre hosts an evening swim under the dim lights of the roof.
 

Mother & Son Fun / Daddy & Daughter Dance - April 2 / 9

We absolutely love the concept behind these two successive family events in Red Deer. It sings the praises of our city being steeped in family values. For starters, Mother & Son Fun on April 2 creates an evening for moms and their sons (aged four to ten) to enjoy some quality time through a series of fun sports based challenges. The event takes place at the St. Francis of Assisi Middle School and is capped off by a free photo shoot that captures the special day for moms and their little fellas. Moms, you can register for the event at www.reddeer.ca/looknbook or simply call (403) 309-8411. Then, on April 9 the Daddy & Daughter Dance arrives which may very well serve as the cutest event the city sees all year as dads and their little princesses hit the dance floor and enjoy an evening of two-steps, games, and sweets. Candy Land is the theme of this year’s Daddy & Daughter Dance at the Black Knight Inn and is expected to fill up fast so (again) you can register at www.reddeer.ca/looknbook or call (403) 309-8411.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Four Season Reasons to Move to Red Deer



The thaw of spring will be here before you know it, with just over one month left of calendar winter days. As we enter the season of renewal we thought we'd reach out to those of you considering a move to Central Alberta, in particular to Red Deer. Many are pondering a career advancement in our energy resource rich region. Others are looking for the perfect place to start a family. Some are seeking a spot to retire and enjoy their latter years in a community that rejuvenates the mind, body, and soul. No matter the reason the four seasons of Red Deer offer enough incentive alone and have thus found their way into our most recent letter to you.

 

Why the Changing Seasons Make Red Deer the Place to Call Home:

 

1. Spring

 

The late winter thaw of Red Deer serves to create an unparalleled crispness in the spring air of the region. As the greenery returns to our landscape a wave of hidden outdoor recreation makes itself visible once again to residents while surprising those recently arrived. Spring in Red Deer marks the perfect time to explore the area while hiking our numerous TransCanada linked trails on foot or peddling while perched on a mountain bike through one of the best mountain bike parks in the country. The hot summer air has yet to arrive so you'll be able to enjoy our trails for hours on end. Spring in Red Deer also presents the perfect opportunity to try your hand (and rear) at horseback riding as our expansive hills host some of the most remarkable trolloping trails in Canada.

 

2. Summer

 

We won't lie it can get darn hot here in the summer months but once again this seasonal personality is a big part of what attracts households from across the country to Red Deer. Summer heat in our neck of the woods isn't just "bearable" it's downright celebrated as residents and visitors flock like seagulls to the many lake shores of the region. Communities like Gull Lake and Sylvan Lake become resort towns in the summer as water recreation enthusiasts dive on in. Sylvan Lake is also home to the best outdoor water park in the province. On those warm summer days where you don't feel like taking that few minute road trip you can enjoy the water scene all the same by spending that day at our iconic Bower Ponds where you can Stand-Up-Paddle, row, or simply dip your toes in to cool off between bouts of sun worship.

 

3. Autumn

 

Fans of the harvest scene of fall will find no better place to live than right here in Red Deer Alberta. This agricultural rich region is known for its farmers markets and bounty of autumn produce and crafts doled out by long-time residents and new arrivals looking to make a name for themselves in the harvest scene. If decorative gourds and canning isn't your thing then autumn in Red Deer is bountiful on the other side of the spectrum. Those that place golf as an identifier in their lifestyle will love the links in Red Deer and early autumn is the perfect time to enjoy it. The tourists have retreated and the crisp fall air makes afternoon play on the green a Canadian paradise for those that prefer tee time to tea time.

 

4. Winter

 

"Winter Wonderland" is a descriptor often used for Red Deer during the season and for good reason. The slight hilled prairie landscape when coated in white, dotted with the glowing lights of homes, creates the seasonal greeting card look that makes our city so special. Aesthetics aside, access to winter recreation is abundant, drawing in snowboarders, skiers, ice skaters, snow-shoers, and more importantly your little snowman builders and snow angel makers. For households that love the season of winter as it should be, it gets no better than Red Deer Alberta.

 

If you are looking to move to a city that celebrates the best of all seasons then you've come to the right place in your search. Contact Benedict Devlin today for all inquiries regarding real estate in Red Deer.

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