Thursday, July 24, 2014
5 Feng Shui Tips to Finding Your Next Home
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.
Friday, July 18, 2014
What to Look for in a Good 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:
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.
Monday, July 14, 2014
5 Useful Tips to Redecorating Your New Home
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.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Pros & Cons of Owning a Vacation Home
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:
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:
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.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
3 Red Flags to Look for When Buying a Home
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:
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:
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.
Friday, June 20, 2014
Safeguard Your Red Deer Real Estate Property for Summer
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.
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.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Red Deer Asks for Taxpayers Opinion for Year Ahead – And They Mean It
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Red Deer Homes Make Good Sports Out of Residents
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.
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.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
4 Tips to Optimized Spring Cleaning for Red Deer Home Owners
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.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Late Spring? No Need to Stay Locked Away in Your Red Deer Homes
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.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Four Season Reasons to Move to Red Deer
Why the Changing Seasons Make Red Deer the Place to Call Home:
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.
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.
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.
"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.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
5 Tips for Couples Moving In Together
This Friday is Valentine’s Day. One of the gifts given from one to another on this special day will be a key to the giver’s home. This key will serve as a romantic gesture of commitment, an invitation to move in together. Other couples will simply discuss the prospect as they enjoy their candlelight dinner. Marriage proposals are also being accepted and a new home together becomes inevitable. No matter the process, the next few weeks and months ahead will see a merging of households for many. Moving in together is a big step and while the prospect is certainly an exciting one, it is important to start the new foundation with a solid plan and a few household guidelines in place. In the spirit of this coming Valentine’s Day we thought we’d deliver some valuable pointers that will protect your burgeoning relationship better than Cupid’s arrow itself.
Moving in together means doubling your household possessions instantaneously. Unless the two of you are moving into a new home that is collectively double the square footage of the ones you separately reside in at the moment, it won’t work without creating a cluttered mess. Simply make decisions as to who has the best of each duplicate item (LCD TV, sofa, bed, etc…) and donate, sell, or store the rest. A happy home is one not hoarded.
You’ve moved in together to be closer together, and that’s great. But don’t forget to create a place in your home for just you and you alone. We all need a little “me” time and thus it is important to have an area designated accordingly. Whether that space is the garage (for you gearheads), the guest/fitness room, the basement, or attic, decorate it according to your tastes to make your mark and claim your space in the home. A little short term separation actually keeps the two of you closer in the long run.
We’ll make no assumptions as to which one of you has the biggest collection of clothes and accessories but one of you most certainly will overshadow that of the other. Granted in today’s more fashionable day and age both of you could come packing a closet to rival the nearest Macy’s. Either way, one of the best ways to keep the peace between a couple having just moved in together is to keep separate closets and dresser drawers. There should be no mingling of holed gym socks with fishnet stockings, no overlap of sneakers and stilettos, and no crisscross of t-shirts and well, t-shirts.
This tip is most notable for those couples where one is moving into the existing home of the other. It is important that the unique decorating tastes of each of you is represented within the home. While it can be a challenge you can find compromise. If one prefers pink and the other blue, consider purple. If one prefers hardwood floors and the other carpet (when considering renovations) opt for area rugs. Perhaps one of you will be in charge of decorating the bedroom while the other the living room? You get the idea.
Still have that life size mascot statue that you and your high-school friends took from the rival town’s stadium on the night of the prom? What about your outdoor recreational equipment that’s two sizes too big (kayak, SUP, etc…) to fit into your merged dwelling? No need to part with either. Some possessions are simply a part of who we are. Even though we make sacrifices in our household lives to accommodate moving in together we need not get rid of all the excess. Hold on to your memories and toys by looking into a storage locker located conveniently near your home and visit them whenever you need. Just don’t keep a box of letters from an old flame in there, or anywhere for that matter - you don’t have our permission on that one.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Protecting Your Red Deer Home During the Thaw
Whether you intend on getting a head-start on your snow melt preparations or will refer to this article again as spring nears, the following tips will help you best protect your home from the thaw that comes with warm late winter / early spring days in Red Deer.
5 Tips to Protect Your Home from Snow Melt
It can be amusing to hand the kids a broomstick and watch them walk the perimeter of the home, knocking down icicles in anticipation of a sudden thaw. However this can cause more harm (gutter damage, personal injury, etc…) than letting the icicles run their natural course as the weather melts them away. But take note of tip #2 below.
2. Protect Base of Home from Roof Draining
To protect the drip from the aforementioned icicles and snow melting off of the roof be sure to protect the base of your home by piling up dirt or top soil in a downward sloping motion away from the exterior walls. You will first need to shovel snow away from the edges of your home’s base (a tip within itself) and dump it out on a flat portion of the lawn, far enough away from the house.
3. Clear Obstructions from Gutters, Drains, and Catch Basins
When clearing the snow accumulation away from the base edges of your home be sure to include the gutters, drains, and catch basins in the “sweep”. In addition to the snow, clear away any obstructions that may have collected on or near them (leaves, litter, etc…) during the season so that nothing prevents the melt from draining away properly.
4. Ensure Shingles are Secure
This can be tricky if your roof is snow-caked at the moment, but if you have taken precautions early in the season to prevent a foot of snow accumulation on the roof, or have brought in a professional, then inspection of shingles are imperative. Check to see that shingles are secure and tightly in place so that no further damage is sustained nor is the underbelly left more susceptible to the thaw.
5. Inspect For, and Seal, Cracks on the Outside of Your Home
Walk the entire exterior of your home, inspect every single nook and cranny from the base and stairwells to window edges and doors, and check for cracks or fractures. If you spot even the smallest or slightest fissure be sure to seal it well before the full thaw arrives so that the exterior of your home is water tight.
We hope these tips help your household remain dry and cozy during the snow thaw that will arrive soon enough in Red Deer. For any other inquiries regarding homes for sale in Red Deer please feel free to contact Benedict Devlin anytime.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Red Deer Realtors Recommendations for Keeping Your Green Resolutions
5 Tips to a Greener Household
1. Make Your Own Green Cleaners
At first we were going to suggest that you buy only environmentally friendly household cleaners from now on (which is still a good idea) but we thought we take it one step further by recommending that you learn how to, and start to, make your very own green cleaning solutions. While we could dedicate an entire article to this process (and we intend to when spring cleaning season rolls around in a few months) this article from Good Housekeeping will point you in the right direction for the time being, with some great DIY recipes using items you likely already have around the home and kitchen.
2. Lower Your Hot Water Heater Temperature (when applicable)
How often do you take a scolding hot bath or shower? Our guess is never. You won't be pushing your threshold for pain in the near future so there is no need to push the limits (and energy consumption) of your home's hot water heater. Turn the temperature down a notch and you won't skip a beat while still protecting the environment from within the comforts of your abode.
3. Water Household Plants (and more!) w/Rain Water and Snow Melt
Prepare to get downright medieval this year by collecting water from outside and using it within the home. In the fall/winter you can catch snow and in the spring/summer you can catch rain water by strategically placing a bucket on your patio (etc...) and when full (enough) bring it on in to water household plants, wash your car, and any other creative way you can imagine. No need to drain water (energy consumption) from the faucet when Mother Nature provides accordingly.
4. Replace Paper with Cloth Wherever Possible
Forget cleaning (when using homemade solutions of course) with paper towels. Instead repurpose your old clothes and linens for household cleaning. You'll find that they leave less residue on windows and countertops so in addition to being green it also equals being more clean.
5. Repurpose Jars and Containers
We're not just referring to store bought "canning" jars used during the harvest (that's a given) we talking about any old jar/container that you end up with after consuming the foodstuff within. Of course peanut butter labels (and the like) don't look all the appealing so simply peel the labels off and repurpose jars for storing anything from small knick knacks (tacks, nails, screws, loose buttons, pens, coins, marbles, etc...) to bulk foods (grains, spices, nuts, etc...).
We hope you enjoyed this article and are able to put it to good use. Check back on our blog frequently for other ideas on how to maintain a green household. For all other inquiries regarding real estate in Red Deer please feel free to contact Benedict Devlin anytime.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Highlights from the Red Deer 2014 Winter Community Services Activity & Program Guide
Recommended City of Red Deer 2014 Winter Activities & Programs:
Aqua Boot Camp
Fulfill your 2014 New Year resolution to get more fit by participating in this unique boot camp fitness regime with a liquid twist. The Aqua Boot Camp focuses on muscle toning, endurance, and overall conditioning through aquatic circuit training and other pool based exercises. This program is available at two different Red Deer facilities. At Collicutt Centre the boot camp runs from Jan 6 - Mar 19 on Mondays and Wednesday from 5:45-6:30AM. Pre-dawn too early for you? Then Fridays at the Recreation Centre from Jan 17 - Apr 11 from 2-2:45PM is much more humane.
Ukulele for Beginners & Beyond
No need to depart from Red Deer International Airport for a trip to Hawaii to get a taste of aloha this late winter - a visit to the local Culture Services Centre every Friday from 7-8PM from Feb 5 - Apr 16 will do the trick. Learn to play the most fun instrument in the world as instructor Rick Moore teaches ages 16 and up the basic skills and theory of ukulele so that when you do take that next trip to the islands you will blend right in with the locals (just leave the loud floral aloha shirt at home).
Learn to Waltz
Mingle and learn the elegant dance of the Waltz at the Culture Services Centre on Monday evenings (6:30-7:30PM) from Jan 20 - Feb 24. The Waltz is the perfect dance to learn for our neck of Central Alberta, combining both country and ballroom styles apt to the culture of Red Deer. Knowing this little dance number will serve you well at weddings and other fancy shindigs in our community for years to come. Make 2014 the year that you put some pep in your step, with the Waltz.
Learn to Skate
This program is invaluable to any household that has moved to Red Deer as it's darn near expected that the city's residents know how to skate. All kidding (sort of) aside, one can never truly take full advantage of all that Red Deer has to offer during the wondrous season of winter without taking advantage of the vast availability of amazing indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks in Red Deer. If you are new to town and are new to ice skating as recreation you will triple axel for joy when partaking in Red Deer Skating Club's adult Learn to Skate Program, slated for Mondays (7:30-8:15PM) from Jan 6 - Mar 17.
Capture Red Deer Through a Lens
One of the most brilliant ways to enjoy the winter season in Red Deer is to capture as many moments of it as possible and to preserve them as memories via film, or an SD card depending upon your weapon of choice. If you have always wanted to hone your photography skills then you have arrived in Red Deer just in time as the 2014 Winter Activity Guide presents Photography Level 1, a two-day course on the Saturdays of Jan 18 and 25 at the Culture Services Centre from 9AM - 4PM. Understand the concepts and terminology of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and much more to the point that you may very well become an Anne Geddes or Herb Ritts in the making.
For more detailed information on the many other official winter activities and programs made available by the city of Red Deer you can download the PDF guide here. For inquiries regarding Red Deer real estate please feel free to contact Benedict Devlin anytime.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Red Deer Realtor, on Ice
Central Alberta got slapped silly with snow over the first couple of days of December and the "feels like" (which is the real thing as far as we're concerned) temperatures are expected to go as low as -35 Celsius according to recent forecasts. So perhaps you are expecting an article about the best ways to stay warm this coming weekend in Red Deer? On the contrary. You see, our city has become a popular moving destination for households from across the country and international borders not only because of the opportunities that exist in Red Deer, but because of the climate's exquisite attention to delivering the four seasons as they should be delivered. There is simply no better place to experience winter than here in Red Deer Alberta. One of the reasons for this (beyond the winter wonderland aesthetic of it all) is the ice skating scene in town. Red Deer is home to some of the best indoor ice skating facilities and outdoor ponds and rinks around. In fact we have a total (indoor and outdoor) of 68 "rinks" combined! For those that love the sensation of gliding atop a frosty sheet of ice or have always wanted to learn there is no better option to reside than within the arms of our Central Alberta hub. This week we provide you with a few destination recommendations for all levels of ice skaters (and soon-to-be) in Red Deer.
Recommended Ice Skating Spots in Red Deer
1. Collicutt Centre Arena - 3031 30 Avenue (indoor)
This popular community indoor ice skating arena is home to an NHL sized rink for those that want to compare their endurance to that of their favorite pro-hockey players, or for young budding talent that may make the NHL Draft one day. However Collicutt Centre is welcoming to all levels of ability (or lack thereof) on the ice so there is no concern for those that spend more time on their bums than on blades. Skating and hockey programs run all year long but feel free to check out their drop-in schedule for something more casual.
2. GH Dawe Arena - 56 Holt Street (indoor)
GH Dawe is another open-armed to the public ice skating arena that is popular with residents of Red Deer. This skating facility serves as a great alternative to Collicutt should your schedule not coincide with the above's drop-in availability. Click here to plan your family skate at GH Dawe Arena.
3. Family Skating Oval - 4620 47 Avenue (outdoor)
This outdoor ice skating option is located in Red Deer Rotary Park near the Red Deer & District Museum. The vast greenspace (during the summer) glows with a powdery coat of white in the winter as residents take turns circling the oval shaped ice track. There's enough room to enjoy a casual pace or to time your laps while envisioning yourself competing one day at the Winter Olympics.
4. Bower Ponds - 4707 Fountain Drive
Bower Ponds recreation area is located within Waskasoo Park and is the official gathering place for many Red Deer residents all year. In the winter Bower Ponds is transformed into a quintessential winter wonderland. The iced over pond is Red Deer's answer to skating at Manhattan's Central Park, with trails and trees surrounding the picturesque scene as couples, families, and friends enjoy to-go cups of hot chocolate and peppermint mochas before and after they strap on skates. The Bower Ponds Pavilion is open from December to March.
If you are joining our Red Deer community during this oh-so-perfect time of the year we encourage you to contact Benedict Devlin for all of your Red Deer real estate needs. Until then, we'll see you out on the ice.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Red Deer Realtors Tips to Protecting Your Home in the Snow
5 Tips to Protecting Your Home from Snow
1. Removal from Wells & Walls
Keep your basement stairwells, window wells, and exterior walls free from snow at all times. Snow melt concentrations at these points could very well lead to intrusion of moisture and ultimate water damage if not attended to. In addition, seal all cracks and holes in both the above mentioned zones in addition to water pipe foundations with caulking.
2. Raise the Roof, from the Burden of Snow
Snow blanketing the roof of your home may make for a great photographic moment in time but over time that wet weight is detrimental to the health of the abode. After every major snowfall be sure to remove the snow from the roof to reduce downward forcing pressure and to prevent one of the most common issues that homes face - the formation of ice dams. Never let more than 8-12 inches accumulate (varying upon age of home) without having the snow removed. If you are looking at homes in the Central Alberta area ask your real estate agent about the type of roof, its age, and the overall condition of its structure.
3. Insulated Attics Are Not Scary
Attics can be a little creepy but there is nothing scarier (to the health of your home) than one improperly insulated after a snowstorm. Keep this space at the peak of your home properly insulated to prevent the cycle of melting and freezing - a process conducive to the creation of those darn ice dams.
4. Go on an Icicle Chopping-Spree
Another aesthetically pleasing postcard perfect picture of your home in the winter is found when icicles line the edges of your roof. Resist the temptation to look at those glistening shards as decor and chop them down to their demise instead. They may not necessarily indicate the existence of ice dams but it makes sense to remove them for common sense reasons - sharp pointed tips of ice do not fare well for anyone passing underneath. Be sure to sweep the broken pieces to the snow-caked grass and keep the ice away from the base of your home and off the pathways.
5. Keep a Pallet of Ice Melt in the Garage
Don't be the last one to show up at Canadian Tire combing the aisles for a bag of ice melt after the forecast has called for a major snow storm. Chances are they'll be sold out and your only alternative will be to hit Craigslist and pray someone has a flame thrower for sale (not recommended) to melt the snow on your home's walkways, driveways, and paths. While you don't actually need a pallet, buy a couple more bags than you anticipate you need to ensure that you are fully stocked for the snowfall that can accumulate on your concrete throughout the winter season.
I hope the above straight forward tips help put you on the right path to yet another successful season for your home in the snow so that you and your family can enjoy all of the benefits that the winter wonderland season of Red Deer can bring. For more information on Red Deer real estate please contact Benedict Devlin anytime.