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Friday, October 17, 2014

Three Easy Tips to Improve the First Impression of Your Home

Tips for improving the look of your Red Deer home.

First impression is the key to everything, including selling your home. If you are planning to sell your house or have been going at it for a while now, we recommend that you take a look at these quick tips to improve the first impression of your house and get the “selling energy” going to speed up your sale.

 

Tip 1: Improve the exterior of your house

Call a friend who has not seen your house for a while and, together, go outside to take a good, hard look at your house, home, condo or duplex from a distance. Write down the first impressions he or she has about your house gained from the first few minutes. Be receptive to their thoughts and opinions and use them to motivate you to improve the presentation of your house. Be mindful of the overall quality of flow and energy of your house, especially the main entrance: Make sure it looks and feels fresh and inviting.

 

Tip 2: “Green” up your home

Invest in improving the landscaping to increase the value of your property as well as to attract better-quality energy to your home. If you live in condos or a duplex, you can invest in lush, green plants or fresh-cut flowers to freshen up your main entrance. Make sure you have good lighting and tasteful art, as well as strategically-placed mirrors and fresh wall paint to create a sense of spaciousness and elegance that will entice the prospective buyers to fall for your home upon first sight.

 

Tip 3: Make “less is more” your new motto

Walk around your home and see if you can get rid of any items that may make your home look too personalized. If you have too many items around your house that give off sentimental feelings, this will make it difficult for potential buyers to feel like they belong to your home. You can best showcase your home by using furniture and decorations, but try to avoid leaving the impression of too much “personal touches”. 

 

First impression is the key to a quick and easy sale, but the hard work that goes on in the background is also important. We wish to be part of your success when it comes to selling your real estate and would be glad to take on the grunt work for you. For more information on what we can do for you to sell your home in the Red Deer area, please take a look at our selling information.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

6 things a home seller should never do: Part II of II

 

Selling your home can be emotionally challenging and time-consuming. Strangers will invade your home to sneak peeks into your closets and cabinets, and will criticize the home that you have so lovingly cherished for years. Then, to make matters worse, they may offer you less money than you think your home is worth.

With no experience in dealing with such a complex transaction, it's easy for first-time home-sellers to make mistakes. Continuing from our Sept 15th post, read on to find out what these pitfalls are to avoid them altogether.


4. Getting emotionally involved


Try to approach the transaction from a purely financial perspective to distance yourself from the emotional aspects of selling your property. Yes, you would no doubt have created many memories in your home, but also try to remember that most buyers will be emotionally invested in their purchases too.

If you become too sentimental when selling your property, you will be less likely to put in the extra effort of staging and remodeling to get top dollar for your home. Making these changes will not only help the sales price, but will also help you distance yourself emotionally from your property once your home looks less familiar.


5.  Not hiring an agent


Although real-estate agents will often command a commission, if you have not sold a home before, it would be ill-advised to go about it without guidance.

A good agent will help you set a competitive selling price and will increase your odds of a quick sale. You can also avoid some of the common emotional pitfalls by hiring an agent to interact directly with potential buyers so that you will not have to deal with them. The experience and expertise they offer will be worth the price you pay.


6. Assuming you must hire an agent
 

This may sound contradictory to our preceding advice, but there is also the common notion that every sale needs to have an agent in order for it to succeed. There are cases in which people do sell their properties themselves, but this is less frequent and you do need to do your own research very carefully.

If you have the expertise in this area and would be able to handle the time-consuming, stressful, and emotional act of negotiating the sale with the buyer’s agent, then by all means go for it.
 

It is best to prepare yourself well for less-than-ideal scenarios in the tricky real-estate transactions. If you are ever in need of assistance of buying or selling, please make sure to check us out to find out how we can help you navigate the Red Deer real estate market.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Reasons to have Presale Inspection of your Home



It is very common for the buyer to arrange for property inspections. However, if you are the seller, you might want to consider having your home inspected before you put it on the market. There are many reasons to do so, all of which are in your favor. Below are the top three reasons to have inspections done before you list your home.

 

Reason 1: A strong sign that you are transparent, upfront and honest

When you have a presale inspection completed and the written report available to potential buyers, this will instil confidence in them as the ones looking to purchase your home. Seeing the inspector’s report will help filter out the buyers who do not wish to undertake small fixes throughout the house (if there are any) and convince them to make an offer on your property.

 

Reason 2: Boosts your price and marketability

A presale inspection will let you find and fix issues in desperate need of home improvement, which will help boost your price as well as marketability of your property. For example, if you know that your carpet has gotten mouldy underneath and needs to be replaced, you can have it done before listing or factor the need for replacements into the price. The latter option will help you avoid potential buyers who wish to negotiate down the price even more after the initial negotiation.

 

Reason 3: Gives you the advantage in negotiations

If you have a presale inspection done, you will gain the upper hand during potential negotiations. The truth is, any serious buyer will eventually find out about any flaws your house may have anyway, so if you actually are honest and upfront in the very beginning, you can negotiate from a place of strength.

 

There are many good reasons to do a presale inspection of your property before you put it up on your market. Doing so will make any issues with the house transparent to the buyer before his or her offer. Although doing so seems counterintuitive, it is actually in your favor to have your inspection reports done before putting your home up for sale. If you are putting your home up for sale and are wondering about the real-estate markets here in Red Deer, please feel free to browse our reports.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

6 things a home seller should never do: Part I of II

 

Selling a home can be a stressful endeavour. You want your house to get traffic and to sell at a good price, so you do everything you can to make it happen. However, sometimes you may not even realize that your efforts are actually working against you. To help you avoid some of the common mistakes that keen sellers do, we have compiled a list for you to take note of in your next selling:


1. Don't market your home at a higher value than its worth


There is no doubt that you value your home very much and see it as a special and unique piece of property. You put in your heart and soul into taking care of it and have invested in a lot of money to fixing it up. Although your efforts were not in vain, unfortunately it does not make your home any more unique than others on the market. Unless your home truly has some remarkable features, you may fall into the trap of believing your home is worth more than its actual value and start fixating on asking prices that may be too high. If you do so, your home will sit on the market for a long time, which will make potential buyers wonder why you still have not sold your home. In this case, you will end up getting forced to substantially decrease your selling price and sell for less money than you might have gotten if you had taken care to appropriately price your home in the first place.


2. Never Leave your house "as is" during showings


It is important to clean your house before a showing. No potential buyer will appreciate seeing piles of garbage or toys on the floor, no matter how lovely your home is. They will want to see a home that is clean and well-maintained, not a home that is not taken care of and waiting for a good owner to make it presentable. If they do not like what they see, your potential buyers will soon move on to the next home.


3. Don't linger during open house


Many real-estate agents will advise against owners to be present when potential buyers arrive. Even if you are amiable and charming, you can unknowingly alienate buyers or make them feel uncomfortable. You will want your potential buyers to feel at home, so seeing you there will make them feel like they are just guests and difficult for them to picture their life in their new homes.


Check back for the next three top "don'ts" for home sellers, We hope you will make use of our recommendations to make your selling a great success. If you are looking at real estates in Red Deer, we would be happy to help you buy or sell in this area. Learn more about us and feel confident that you are in good hands.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Six Questions to Ask your Real-Estate Agent: Part II of II

 

When searching for a home, it helps to have a list of questions ready for your real estate agent. More questions will arise that will be specific to the houses you are browsing, but here is part II of our six essential questions you should ask agents every time when you see a new listing:

 

Question 4: Building permits and inspection reports for previous work
 

You will likely need building permits from your local building authority to conduct renovations. These permits, as well as the inspection reports made during the work stages, are important records that should have been kept by the previous owner to be made available to prospective buyers. If you have hard evidence for the work that was done and approved by building authorities, it would provide an extra layer of security for you.
 

Question 5: Previous business operations (if any)
 

With the prevavance of home-based businesses in today's economy, you will want to know if any businesses have operated from the property which may have involved structural alterations which could lead to problems. Ask your agent to disclose whether or not the house was previously used for business of any kind.  Your agent might be able to spot telltale signs of structural damage as well. 

 

Question 6: Risk of flooding and earthquakes
 

Sometimes a house with an attractive price may have a dicey geographic location that puts it at risk for certain natural calamities, such as floods and earthquakes. Is the area at risk for flooding? Verify if the property has ever flooded in the past. Find out if the location is on a fault line and whether or not there is a history of earthquake activity in the area. Always make sure to ask if the house is at any risk for natural disasters before making the final purchase arrangements. 

 

Your real-estate agent should be able to provide you with answers to all these questions. For questions specific to our listings in Red Deer, please don't hesitate to ask. We will be more than happy to help.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Six Questions to Ask your Real-Estate Agent: Part I

 

Many questions will come up once you start your search for a new home. While many of these questions will be specific to your needs and wants, as well as to the houses are you looking at, there are a few questions you need to ask every time you see a new listing.

 

Question 1: The age of the house


KNowing the age of a house will give you an indication about its condition. It goes without saying that the older the house, the more likely it is that it will need repairs and renovations. Never assume that new(er) homes will be free of problems either. If they were built within a short time, chances are that the problems just aren't visible yet. 

 

Question 2: The time it was owned by the vendor


Brief ownership (i.e. less than a year) may indicate hidden problems or that the house was flipped - purchased only to be fixed up and put on the market for profits. If the previous owner did a good job at renovating the house to justify its increased value then great, but make sure they didn't focus solely on cosmetic changes to cover up mechanical and structural issues. 

 

Question 3: Renovation and sales history


You’ll want your agent to give you a list of the recent sales activity of the house to see the number of previous ownerships. If the house has changed hands often, it might suggest major problems.

 

On the other hand, having a list of the recent sales can help you assess whether or not the selling price is fair. You’ll be able to see how much the previous owner paid for the house and find out what changes or improvements have been made to justify its current asking price.

 

You can't ask too many questions from your agent when buying a new home, so feel free. If you have any questions about the Red Deer real estate listings, ask away and we'll be happy to answer all your queries.

 

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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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