Cameras EavesdroppingAs more homes are equipped with “smart” technologies for everything from surveillance to home automation, the real estate purchase process is changing.

Home sellers are increasingly using video and/or audio surveillance to eavesdrop on potential buyers, using the information gleaned as leverage. This places the buyer at an obvious disadvantage during negotiations.

With many of today’s sellers using technology to their advantage, it pays to exercise caution. If you are viewing a home, a good rule of thumb is to assume you are being recorded and act accordingly.

Although it can be a challenge, especially since a home purchase can be such a personal and emotional process, try to keep any comments to yourself. The home showing is not the time to gush…

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Calgary Downsizing your Home

If you're wondering when the right time is to say goodbye to your family home and downsize to a home more suitable for your lifestyle and needs, consider these scenarios:

  • You plan on travelling: if you're nearing a time in your life when you plan on seeing more of the world, then leaving a big home just sitting doesn't seem sensible. You can downsize to a home that's more appropriate, and then rent it out for the months you are away. 
  • The kids have moved out: with your kids moving out and you becoming an empty-nester, you likely don't need the same amount of space anymore. This also leads into the next point...
  • You have empty rooms: if you have rooms in your house (especially bedrooms) that are sitting empty and you can't come up with a…

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Inspecting your Home

Finding a home, you know you can live with can be difficult business. Whether buying a brand-new house from a builder or a resale home there are a number of things you should look for. It’s also important to keep in mind that new homes can be just as problematic as older homes. First of all, let me start by saying it almost always makes sense to hire a qualified home inspector and it can potentially protect you from costly surprises down the road. 

However, if you anticipate serious problems (that you’re not prepared to remedy) in the house, you’re better off saving the cost of a home inspection and moving on to a more suitable prospect. Here are some things to watch for to determine a house’s overall quality before you commit to the cost of hiring…

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Summertime in Calgary means something different to everyone. For some, it means floating down the Bow River with their friends; for others, it means hiking through the mountains or taking walks on our world-class pathways. Of course, there’s also the world-famous Calgary Stampede that takes over the city for two weeks in July. It is deemed to be the ‘greatest show on Earth,’ but we also boast a wide variety of other festivals. There is always something for everyone here in Calgary. Here’s a list of the best festivals around this summer:

  • Sled Island Music Festival takes place each year in mid-June, bringing together over 200 performers that range from comedians and artists to films and, of course, live music. Spread over five days and 35…

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Calgary Coffee Shops Best

To some people, okay most people, coffee truly is their lifeblood. Coffee in the morning, coffee at work, coffee with friends, coffee in ice cream – our society really loves this little bean! Whether it’s the flavour you love or the caffeine you crave, coffee has become a staple in our everyday lives that simply can’t be ignored. 

There are hundreds of coffee shops scattered around Calgary and you have to wonder: which ones are the best? Whether you like a large cup of joe or a sweet, milky latte, every shop makes it uniquely. Different machines, new ingredients, beans from around the world – coffee at one shop can mean something completely different at another. If you frequent the northwest corner of the city, it might help to know which coffee…

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Mortgage Stress Test Calgary

Starting on January 1, 2018, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) set a new minimum qualifying rate, or “stress test” for all prospective home buyers, even those with a down payment of over 20%.

Before the new rule, only buyers that had a down payment of less than 20% had to make sure they could pass a stress test. Now it doesn’t matter how much money you save for a down payment, if you don’t pass the new stress test, the bank will not give you a mortgage.

Under the new mortgage stress test, potential home buyers need to qualify for a mortgage at a rate that is either 2% higher than the mortgage rate they qualified for, or the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate.  For most, that will mean qualifying for a home…

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The University District Calgary

Noble in The University District is a new townhouse and condo development currently under development at 32 Avenue NW, Calgary.  This exciting new project by Truman in Northwest Calgary is scheduled to be complete in late 2018. The University District is a collaboration of residential, retail and office buildings along with dining, shopping and entertainment venues all within a tranquil setting with spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains.  

Noble Condos & Townhomes: Contemporary Architecture & Affordable Pricing

With over 15 fabulously designed floor plans for one to choose from, Noble by Truman offers a perfect combination of versatility, sophistication, and affordable pricing. There are a wide variety of…

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Hamptons Condos

In the heart of the Hamptons in NW Calgary, you will find the quiet condo complex of La Vita. Built in the last years of the century by Calbridge and surrounded by the Hamptons Golf Course, La Vita offers 2 story and bungalow style living. There are 156 units in the complex, and many of them have large, bright walkout basements. The two storey units are a favourite for younger families and vary in size from 1,400 square feet to 1,700 square feet along with a single or (if you're lucky enough) a double tandem garage. The bungalows have some of the best views of the golf course are typically 1,100 square feet with a double attached garage.  View units for sale in La Vita here.

La Vita is aesthetically a beautiful community. The exterior of the homes…

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Edenwold Heights, Edgemont
Arriva Calgary Condos

Perched atop of Edgemont and Nose Hill Park is the 252 suite condo complex known as Edgecliff Estates. Built in the early 1990s of wood-frame construction, the complex was always designed for young buyers who wanted to leave their parents’ home and still be close to the University of Calgary and SAIT.

The 9 building, 3 storey complex is completely a walk-up (no elevator), so unless you’re on the main floor, you’ll be carrying your groceries and asking your friends to help you move. The size of the condos vary from 1 bedroom units at 700 square feet to 2 bedrooms nearing 1000 square feet.  The South facing units of Buildings 1 and 2 boast some spectacular views of downtown Calgary and the Mountains. They rarely come up for…

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650 - 10 Street SW
Arriva Calgary Condos

The Axxis is a 25 storey building in the Downtown West End part of the core.  Built in 2000, the Axxis offered high quality views bundled with ordinary finishes and affordable prices. These days the Axxis sits in the middle of many high-rises but hasn’t lost its charm or affordability.  View units for sale in Axxis here.  Some of the units have updated the original maple cabinets and the white appliances but the prices are still about $400-450 per square foot. All of the 156 units in the building offer 2 bedrooms and 2 baths with most of the floor plans having the living space separating the bedrooms. There is an owner’s lounge on the main floor as well as an updated gym right next to it.

These days there is renewed interest in…

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