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Home owners and investors have long known about the Top 5 renovations for getting the best return when selling; but which renovations top the list for the WORST in terms of return on investment (ROI).  Here are the top 5 worst renovations.

EXTENSIVE LANDSCAPING - While many home buyers will appreciate a well-maintained yard or mature landscaping, don't expect the home's value to increase significantly because of it. Unless a buyer has knowledge of the costs, items such as retaining walls, irrigation systems and fences will probably not add significantly to the selling price. If a buyer is unable or unwilling to put in the effort to maintain a garden, it will quickly become an eyesore, or the new homeowner might need to pay a qualified gardener to take charge. Either way, many buyers view elaborate landscaping as a burden (even though it might be attractive) and, as a result, are not likely to consider it when placing value on the home.

HIGH-END UPGRADES - Putting stainless steel appliances in your kitchen or imported tiles in your entryway may do little to increase the value of your home if the bathrooms are still vinyl-floored and the shag carpeting in the bedrooms is leftover from the '60s.

Upgrades should be consistent to maintain a similar style and quality throughout the home. A home that has a beautifully remodelled and modern kitchen can be viewed as a work in progress if the bathrooms remain functionally obsolete. The remodel, therefore, might not fetch as high a return as if the rest of the home were brought up to the same level.

High-quality upgrades generally increase the value of high-end homes, but not necessarily mid-range houses where the upgrade may be inconsistent with the rest of the home.

In addition, specific high-end features such as media rooms with specialized audio, visual or gaming equipment may be appealing to a few prospective buyers, but many potential home buyers would not consider paying more for the home simply because of this additional feature. Chances are that the room would be re-tasked to a more generic living space.

OVERBUILDING FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD - Homeowners may, in an attempt to increase the value of a home, make improvements to the property that unintentionally make the home fall outside of the norm for the neighbourhood. While a large, expensive remodel, such as adding a second story with two bedrooms and a full bath, might make the home more appealing, it will not add significantly to the resale value if the house is in a neighbourhood of small, one-story homes.

In general, home buyers do not want to pay $600,000 for a house that sits in a neighbourhood with an average sales price of $400,000; the house will seem overpriced even if it is more desirable than the surrounding properties. The buyer will instead look to spend the $600,000 in a $600,000 neighbourhood. The house might be beautiful, but any money spent on overbuilding might be difficult to recover unless the other homes in the neighbourhood follow suit.

WALL-TO-WALL CARPETING - While real estate listings may still boast "new carpeting throughout" as a selling point, potential home buyers today may cringe at the idea of having wall-to-wall carpeting. Carpeting is expensive to purchase and install.
In addition, there is growing concern over the healthfulness of carpeting due to the amount of chemicals used in its processing and the potential for allergens (a serious concern for families with children). Add to that the probability that the carpet style and colour that you thought was absolutely perfect might not be what someone else had in mind.

Because of these hurdles, wall-to-wall carpet is something on which it's difficult to recoup the costs. Removing carpeting and restoring wood floors is usually a more profitable investment.

INVISIBLE IMPROVEMENTS - Invisible improvements are those costly projects that you know make your house a better place to live in, but that nobody else would notice - or likely care about. A new plumbing system or HVAC unit (heating, venting and air conditioning) might be necessary, but don't expect it to recover these costs when it comes time to sell.

Many home buyers simply expect these systems to be in good working order and will not pay extra just because you recently installed a new heater. It may be better to think of these improvements in terms of regular maintenance, and not an investment in your home's value.

THE BOTTOM LINE - It is difficult to imagine spending thousands of dollars on a home-improvement project that will not be reflected in the home's value when it comes time to sell. There is no simple equation for determining which projects will garner the highest return, or the most bang for your buck. Some of this depends on the local market and even the age and style of the house.
Homeowners frequently must choose between an improvement that they would really love to have (a home theatre for example) and one that would prove to be a better investment. A bit of research, or the advice of a qualified real estate professional, can help homeowners avoid costly projects that don't really add value to a home.

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Situated on a large landscaped lot, this spacious 2-storey split features 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and plenty of living area and is located on a quiet street but close to the entrance of the lake. Upstairs there are 3 bedrooms, including the master with ensuite. There are two separate living areas on the main floor as well as a large rec room in the basement.


Contact me today to view this amazing property before it's gone!

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Where are the most active communities in Calgary, in terms of total sales? Find out where your community ranks in Total Sales in May 2017.
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When writing an offer to purchase a property, there are many primary elements to the offer to understand and discuss with your real estate agent. These different elements can greatly affect whether or not your offer is accepted and if the transaction completes.

Purchase Price
– This is usually the first thing a potential seller will look at when receiving an offer and is the total price, including deposits, that the buyer is willing to pay for the home. This will often be the primary negotiation point when dealing with a counter-offer.

Deposit Amount
– There are two types of deposits in a typical real estate transaction; Initial Deposits and Additional Deposits.  Initial Deposits usually accompany the Offer to Purchase, or can be submitted upon the acceptance of the Offer depending on how the contract is drafted.  According to the standard AREA (Alberta Real  Estate Association) Residential Purchase Contract, the Initial Deposit needs to be deposited no later than 3 business days after final signing of the purchase contract.

Additional Deposits are funds that are due usually at particular milestones of the Purchase Contract, such as when conditions are removed. Like Initial Deposits, Additional Deposits are due at the time these milestones are achieved, or as per the terms agreed upon on the Purchase Contract.

All deposits are generally held in-trust by the listing real estate brokerage and form part of the down-payment, or is applied to the purchase price, at the time of completion.

– A condition on a real estate contract is an act or event that affects a party’s contractual duty in regards to the sale or purchase of a property. These conditions must be waived by the specified time and date, otherwise the contract becomes null and void.

Examples of the most common conditions are Financing, Property Inspection, Condo Documentation Review and Sale of Buyers Home.

– Similar to a Condition, a term is an agreement between two or more parties to complete a particular action or task by a particular date.  Terms, however, do not affect the validity of the contract and instead carry other consequences in not completed; usually monetary.

Closing (Possession) Date
- This is the date that the ownership of the property (and the transfer of money from the buyer to the seller) takes place.

Inclusions and Exclusions – These are specific items which are to be included or excluded in the terms of the deal, such as appliances, window coverings or furniture.

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HIGHEST MARKET VALUE – Many listing agents will tell you your property has a higher market value than it actually does, just to get the listing. They will then proceed to ask for price reductions to get the price down to where they should have listed in the first place (or lower). This approach, however, tends to backfire as the property listing will become ‘stale’ and potential buyers will ignore the listing, regardless of the reduction, until it is well under market value.


QUICK SALE STATISTICS – Some agents will boast that they consistently sell for 99% (or more) of listing price and that they will sell your home quickly. Although this can happen occasionally to any agent, if an agent is consistently doing this, it can be a sign that that agent underprices your property; which means you are selling for less than market value.


THE ‘ADVERTISING EVERYWHERE’ AGENT – There are many large agents in Calgary that you see or hear advertising everywhere including billboards, buses, radio ads, paid celebrity endorsements, grocery stores etc.; and I admit they can be impressive. As a consumer, however, you will most likely be passed down to a team member with considerably less real estate experience and knowledge, especially if you are a potential buyer. Most consumers will never even meet the agent they see on these ads at any time during their real estate transaction.


FRIEND/FAMILY & INEXPERIENCED AGENTS – “Giving a Chance’ to someone who is new to the industry, or simply inexperienced in real estate marketing, can cost you $10,000’s when selling a home. Selling a home for MAXIMUM VALUE requires extensive marketing knowledge and systems that new/inexperienced agents simply don’t know how to use or don’t have the financial resources to utilize.


LOWER COMMISSIONS – Choosing an agent based on their commission rate is one of the worst ways to choose an agent. There are many examples as to why, but they all boil down to this… Properly marketing a property to receive the highest offers is expensive; and most lower-commission agents are spending considerably less on marketing.  A $2,000 savings on commission could easily cost you $20,000+, and cause you to be on the market longer, because you will have considerably fewer potential buyers viewing your property.


GUARANTEED SALES – A Guaranteed Sale is offered by a Brokerage (not an individual agent) and often contains several Terms and Conditions that are not favorable to the consumer. These Terms and Conditions are designed to remove all risk from the Brokerage involved, and can greatly reduce the amount a seller receives for their property (sometimes under 80% of market value). In most instances, the Guaranteed Sale offer does not apply to properties such as condos, townhouses and acreages, and also includes a maximum market value, usually around $450,000-$600,000.

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Finding a GREAT Real Estate Deal - Part 3

Click Here to read: Find a Great Real Estate Deal - Part 1

Clues to look for – When viewing a property, there may be a number of clues as to how seriously the seller wants to sell.  Here are some of the clues to look for when visiting a property.


Vacancy – As mentioned previously, a vacant property is costing the owner money every day that it sits empty.  Usually offers with a quick close date will be preferred by the seller, especially if they can’t afford to maintain these costs for an extended period of time.


The Fridge – The contents of a fridge can be an indicator of whether a home is actually being lived in, or is simply staged. If there are condiments and beverages, the seller may simply rely on takeout whereas if it is completely empty, the home is most likely staged.


Moving Boxes – If there are a lot of moving boxes in the garage or basement, this can be a tremendous indicator that the seller is ready to move.  Look for boxes which are labelled for specific rooms or contents, not ones that are seasonal, such as Christmas decorations.


Closets – Divorce and death are unfortunately a reality of life, and may be the reason that a property is being sold. Sometimes the key thing to look for is not what is in a closet, but more about what isn’t.  If closets seem bare, or are only a male or females clothing.  


Click Here: Find a Great Real Estate Deal - Part 2



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Finding a GREAT Real Estate Deal - Part 2

Click Here to read: Find a Great Real Estate Deal - Part 1

Ability to React Quickly – The second important factor in getting a tremendous deal on real estate is the ability to react quickly to the market and opportunities. The following tips will ensure you have the best chance to secure the next hot real estate deal.


Get Pre-Approved – Consulting a Licensed Mortgage Broker about your plans to purchase property will a) help to ensure that you are not wasting time looking for properties outside of your abilities and b) reduce the length of condition dates when making an offer.


Create Custom Searches/Email Notifications - Some sellers have to sell quickly, possibly because of a relocation, divorce or unfortunate circumstances. Therefore they will price their property aggressively at the start. Often these properties will sell quickly, before even being posted on public listing sites, such as MLS or Realtor.ca. Creating custom searches with your real estate agent will ensure that you receive immediate email notification of the latest listings which fit your criteria so that you can react quickly and not miss out.


Choose a Reliable, Accessible Real Estate Agent – Some licensed agents only work in the industry part-time, while others may travel frequently, be too busy or simply have a number of other commitments that would prevent you from quickly viewing a new listing.  This might cause you to miss out on the opportunity to buy a property at a bargain. Ensure the agent you choose can react quickly and within your schedule.


Click Here: Find a Great Real Estate Deal - Part 3



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Finding a GREAT Real Estate Deal - Part 1

When searching for a great real estate deal, or negotiating the best price on a home, there are many keys to getting the best price on your next home or condo purchase. Whether you are a first-time buyer, searching for a family home or trying to find an amazing bargain, these tips will assure you get the best deal possible on your next property.


Get a great Realtor® - The single most important factor in getting real estate deals is information; and the key to getting the most reliable, accurate, up-to-date information is a professional, full-time real estate agent. Real estate agents have access to the significant information needed such as days-on-market, history, price reductions, occupancy and keyword searches/private comments.


Days on Market (DOM) – DOM can be used to possibly determine when a seller is becoming desperate to sell.  Depending on the market, potential buyers might look for listings that have been on the market for a certain amount of time before making an offer.


History – Having access to the history of the listing will reveal information such as how many times the property has been listed, when the current owner purchased the property and for how much.


Price Reductions – As part of the history of a property, real estate agents can also see if the property has been reduced in price, when it was reduced and how much it was reduced by. There are also dedicated websites, such as www.pricereducedhomes.ca that post the most significantly reduced properties in the Calgary area.


Occupancy – Knowing whether or not a property is vacant is an important factor in getting a deal. Simply put, vacant properties are costing the owner money every month to maintain, which gives you increased leverage when negotiating.


Keyword Searches/Private Comments – Real estate agents have the ability to search listings for keywords whether in the reports or realtor-to-realtor private comments for words such as ‘foreclosure’, ‘estate sale’, ‘motivated seller’ or a number of other terms commonly used within the industry.


Click Here: Find a Great Real Estate Deal - Part 2



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Condo Sizes: Builder vs MLS Listing


When shopping for a condo, it is important to ensure that you are comparing the size of Builder represented condos in the same way as MLS (Realtor®) represented condos.

In Alberta, Developers have a great deal of leniency in what can be included in their advertised size, such as the inclusion of wall thickness, storage areas, parking spots and balconies.


Alternatively, condos which are listed on the MLS are required to be measured using guidelines known as Residential Measurement Standards (RMS). RMS Guidelines were developed to protect the consumer and ensure that all condos listed on the MLS are comparable using the same measuring standards. Basically, in regards to condos, RMS measurements include the total heated indoor living area 9known as paint-to-paint) and does not include separate storage units, parking, balconies or other similar areas.

This difference in measuring can mean that Developers are misrepresenting the size of their condos by 20% or more.


When buying a new condo, as with all new construction, the best way to ensure you are getting what you pay for is to enlist the services of a licensed real estate agent. Using an agent doesn’t cost you anything because the Developers (sellers) are the ones who pay the Buyers agent, and you will have the reassurance that there is someone representing you (and only you) in the transaction.


For more information on any real estate related questions, please feel free too contact me at 403-837-1195 or dave@rightagent.ca.

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2017 Nashville North Schedule
  • Chad Brownlee – July 6, 2017
  • Aaron Goodvin – July 7, 2017
  • The Dungarees – July 8, 2017
  • Endless Summer – July 9, 2017
  • Neal McCoy – July 9, 2017
  • The Cadillac Three – July 9, 2017
  • Cam – July 10, 2017
  • The Dead South – July 11, 2017
  • Jess Moskaluke – July 11, 2017
  • Doc Walker – July 11, 2017
  • Cold Creek County – July 12, 2017
  • JoJo Mason – July 13, 2017
  • Chris Buck Band – July 14, 2017
  • Meghan Patrick – July 15, 2017
  • Trevor Panczak – July 16, 2017

Special Guests:

  • Drew Gregory – July 6, 2017
  • Jason Greeley – July 6, 2017
  • Raquel Cole – July 7, 2017
  • Tristan Horncastle – July 12, 2017
  • FOXX Worthee – July 12, 2017
  • Tanya Ryan – July 12, 2017
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#2601 220 12 AVE SE - $5,500,000

The entire floor of Keynote boasting over 6,000sqft. From 26 storeys up and with floor-to-ceiling windows you experience panoramic mountain, river or city skyline views in every direction. When you step out of the elevators, you’re in your own private foyer.


#2004 108 9 AVE SW - $3,250,000

With its distinctive Groupe Germain signature architecture, this masterpiece is luminous and modern, incorporating glass, natural stone, works of art and creative details all inspired by the city that surrounds it. The amenities are best described as first class & unsurpassed.


#2300A EAU CLAIRE AVE SW - $2,595,000

This 2 level Penthouse occupies the entire 23rd & 24th floors & showcases breathtaking 360 degree views of the Bow River, Prince’s Island Park, the dynamic downtown skyline & the Rocky Mountains.


#2302 836 15 AVE SW - $2,299,000

One of the nicest penthouses in Calgary which offers over 3000 sq.ft of incredible entertaining & living space. Completely renovated from top to bottom in 2013 and designed by Doug Cridland, with every luxury afforded


#2700 817 15 AVE SW - $1,790,000

Considered one of the most luxurious and well located condos in the city, this one of a kind Penthouse unit has over $500,000 in luxury upgrades, not to mention a multi-million dollar view of the city and the mountains.


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Featuring a fantastic layout and stunning panoramic city and mountain views, this immaculate 2 bedroom/2 bathroom condo in South Calgary boasts over 1,000 sq/ft of living area on the 16th floor, plus an amazing wrap-around balcony. This floorplan is the most popular and sought-after in the entire complex. High ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows in the Living Room and Dining Room allow you to enjoy the scenic views from almost every room and ensure plenty of natural light in the afternoon/evening. Both bedrooms are spacious with plenty of storage space and the master bedroom has a large walk-in closet and 4-piece ensuite. The contemporary kitchen includes granite counter-tops, black appliances and plenty of storage space. Other highlights of this property include air-conditioning, gas outlet on balcony, building and nearby amenities, direct access to the Heritage LRT station and unbeatable location.  Watch Listing Video




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Looking to buy a brand new home or condo? Learn why you should hire your own agent!!!


New home buyers don’t want a used house when only new will do. They don’t want to inherit somebody else’s worn carpeting, personal taste in kitchen appliances or look at some kid’s initials scrawled into once-wet cement that they didn’t put there. The home must be brand spankin’ new, fresh and clean without so much as a finger print on the walls.


If this describes you, and you have always fantasized about buying a brand new home of your dreams, here are a few tips that can help you to protect yourself - to make the process a pleasant experience.


Hire Your Own Agent - The builder’s representatives are paid to represent the builder, regardless of what they may tell you. Many will use high pressure tactics to persuade you to sign the contract. Due to the high volume nature of brand new home sales, lots of builder’s representatives are paid less than a traditional commission; some earn a salary plus incentives, so turnover is important to their livelihood.


Hire a Buyer’s Agent to represent you. As long as you involve your agent from the beginning, they will be paid by the builder.


Your own agent will represent you, be your fiduciary and is required to disclose the positives as well as the negatives about the transaction. Builder’s representatives don’t discuss drawbacks.


If your contract contains a contingency to sell your existing home before buying, again, hire your own seller’s agent to list your home. Be aware that buying before selling is not always in your best interest because hard bargaining goes out the window when you’ve emotionally moved out of your home.


Don’t Automatically Use the Builder’s Lender - Builders often prefer their own lender because the builder will be kept fully informed of your personal progress; it’s one-stop shopping for a builder. But a builder’s lender might not offer you the best deal. Moreover, the builder may own the lending company.


Consider alternate sources to find a lender. Your own bank or credit union might offer you very attractive rates and terms, based on your banking history with that institution. Your agent may refer you to his or her private list of wholesale lenders.


Shop around and interview your lender. Find a banker or mortgage broker whom you can trust and with whom you feel comfortable doing business. Ask to see a copy of your credit report. You can order your own free credit report before shopping for a new home.


Obtain Legal Advice Before Buying a Brand New Home - Before you sign a purchase contract, talk to a real estate lawyer. Standard purchase agreements are designed to keep everybody out of court, but they don’t necessarily contain language that protects the buyer.


Ask questions about removal of contingencies and your cancellation rights. Make sure you understand your liability and commitments.


Find out if the materials used by the builder contain chemicals that are hazardous to your health. If your contract contains a warning about health issues, it’s probably because it’s a valid concern and other buyers have gone to court over it.


Verify Option and Upgrade Pricing - Determine which options and upgrades you want. Bear in mind that for many builders, the profit margin is highest in upgrades. Some builders can sell a home for almost bare construction cost because they make the bulk of their profit in the upgrades.


Find out whether your lender will lend on all the options / upgrades you have chosen. If your lender will not finance 100% of your selections, you will be required to pay for it in cash.


Ask about cancellations and whether you will be held liable for items the builder cannot return to a vendor.


Some contracts give the builder the right to choose your upgrades if you do not submit your request within a certain period of time.


To save money, consider which upgrades you could purchase and install yourself. However, realize that some upgrades such as security wiring inside the walls are easier to do before construction.


Check Out the Builder’s Reputation - If a buyer has a bad experience with a builder, the word spreads rapidly throughout a community. But you won’t know if a bad rep is an isolated experience or if the builder repeatedly brings bad publicity to itself without checking and verifying the public records for lawsuits.


Talk to the neighbors and scrutinize the construction quality of surrounding homes. Is the builder consistently building identical or larger homes in the area or is construction lagging and homes shrinking in size?


Find out whether the builder sells to investors. Some builders require all their homes to be owner occupied. Others eagerly sell as much inventory to investors as profit margins will allow. If the market suddenly dips, investors are typically the first to bail and, besides, part of the reason you are buying in a new subdivision is to be surrounded by other buyers just like you, not tenants.


Hire a Home Inspector - Always, always, always get a home inspection when you buy. And hire a licensed and accredited individual to perform the inspection -- not your dad or your buddy contractor, get a real inspector. Be there for the inspection and ask questions because a new home can contain defects. The HVAC system might be too small or the plumbing could be installed backwards. Construction workers make mistakes.


If the inspector calls for further inspection by another professional contractor, find out if the inspector is telling you there could be a serious issue or if the inspector isn’t licensed to address that particular issue. 

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Data supplied by CREB®’s MLS® System. CREB® is the owner of the copyright in its MLS® System. The Listing data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by CREB®.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.