2013 – Robyn Moser & Associates Christmas Display Contest – WINNERS

The neighbourhoods of Hidden Valley & Hanson Ranch sure did impress us last night. The pure amount of lights was astonishing, and the displays, cannot be described with any word in the English language – they were THAT impressive.

Outside – 11130 Hidden Valley Drive NW – Video of the outside of the winners house!

Thank you SO much to our THREE judges: Sean Chu (Councillor of Ward 4), Erin Wilde (Mid-Day Host @ Kool 101.5) & Jordan Gooden (Celebrity Photojournalist) – for providing us with some entertainment, along with great judging standards. We had a blast!

We had FIFTEEN houses that got a score of 15/30 or higher! Better than any other year! Here is a list of the top 15 houses in Hidden Valley/Hanson Ranch for 2013:

2013 Robyn Moser & Associates Christmas Display Contest Winner - 1st Place Winner

2013 Robyn Moser & Associates Christmas Display Contest Winner – 1st Place Winner

  1. 11130 Hidden Valley Drive NW 30/30 (The winner was chosen by the judges when we realized we had a tie! Stiff competition!)
  2. 2938 Hidden Ranch Way NW 30/30 
  3. 79 Hidden Valley Park NW 29/30
  4. 54 Hidden Ranch Boulevard 28.5/30
  5. 16 Hidden Vale Crescent NW 27/30
  6. 207 Hidden Vale Place NW/133 Hidden Cove NW/50 Hidden Springs Green 24/30
  7. 67 Hidden Park NW 21.5/30
  8. 111 Hidden Vale Close/83 Hidden Hills Road 21/30
  9. 21 Hidden Circle NW 20.5/30
  10. 103 Hidden Vale Crescent NW/87 Hidden Hills Road 20/30
  11. 10205 Hidden Valley Drive NW 19.5/30
  12. 256 Hidden Circle NW/316 Hidden Hills Place NW 18/30
  13. 50 Hidden Springs Green NW/116 Hidden Ranch Road NW/428 Hidden Valley Grove NW 17.5/30
  14. 6 Hidden Ridge Place NW 17/30
  15. 108 Hidden Ranch Close NW 15/30

We have TWO honourable mentions this year – The ridge of Hidden Cove & Hidden Circle – for decorating their back fences that look over the school yard! Also, Hidden Ridge Close & Hidden Ridge Place for bring such holiday spirit to their community!

11130 Hidden Valley Drive NW – Video of the cheque presentation to the winner!

We were on CTV: Check it out here –  http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=264329

Robyn Moser on CTV News Calgary

Robyn Moser on CTV News Calgary


Thing’s to Avoid While Selling Your Home During the Holidays

We know that potential buyers can be put off by a home that has too many personal items or clutter. So while trying to manage the Christmas decorations, sellers should also remove items that remind buyers that the home belongs to someone else. A top ten list of things to avoid when selling a home during the holiday season is here! Enjoy.

  1. Too many lights: A home will dazzle more if lights are kept to a tasteful minimum. Sellers should opt for white lights instead of multi-coloured flashing bulbs to provide a more neutral glow to a home.
  2. Forgetting to clear the snow:  Snow can look beautiful on trees, but driveways and walkways should be cleared as soon as the flakes fall.  Buyers should be able to move freely during an open house so it’s important to remember all the outdoor paths and patios around your home. Plus, it’s dangerous if it isn’t cleared!
  3. No life or landscape: Give buyers a chance to imagine the potential in your landscape. Frost-resistant plants like flowering kale or miniature trees allow sellers to liven up walkways without taking away the buyer’s ability to envision his or her dream outdoor spaces.
  4. Not cozy: Everyone appreciates a warm, cozy home – especially in the winter. Set the thermostat at a warm temperature for the whole day, and be mindful that some thermostats have low temperature pre-sets during the day when no one is at home. When the home is attended, fireplaces and candles could also be lit to create a comfortable environment throughout the day.
  5. Engage the senses: Simmering a pot of cider with cinnamon during open houses or showings will create a warm and festive feeling. Apple cinnamon Glade plug-ins are always popular too!
  6. Lingering odours: Be aware of those holiday dishes that may leave a strong odour. If possible, wait until showings are completed before cooking those traditional favorites — potential buyers will appreciate a neutral environment.
  7. Hiding a home’s seasonal bests: Photos of the home’s back and front yards, gardens and patios in spring and summer will show potential buyers what the house looks like when it is not buried under snow and when the leaves are still on trees. Leave these out for the potential buyers to browse.
  8. Don’t let the tree take over: A smaller Christmas tree, with minimal decorations, will create the appearance of more space. A huge tree, on the other hand, will make the room look smaller, and busy decorations can intensify clutter – turning off a potential buyer.
  9. Presents should not be present: It is important to cut back on clutter when showing a home; hide the wrapped presents to keep them out of eyesight. This is also a safety thing for you and your family.
  10. Too many decorations: Remember, when selling a home during the holidays, less is always more. Whimsical ornaments can be great accents during the holidays, but be mindful not to go overboard. When it doubt, remove it!

Home Safe Home

Do you have small children, or will you be playing host to guests with a child or children this holiday season? If so, consider the tips below to make your home a safer place both for the kids who live there and those who are just visiting.

  • Cover electrical outlets with safety caps, or, safer still, replace regular covers with sliding ones, which automatically slide closed when plugs are removed; this way, you needn’t worry about children pulling safety caps out or remembering to re-insert them when finished using an outlet. Un-plug appliances when they’re not being used and keep electrical cords wound up and out of kids’ reach.
  • If they don’t have them already, any electrical outlets that are near sources of water should be outfit with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), which stop the flow of electricity in the event an appliance should fall into the water. And speaking of water, anti-scalding devices should be installed on all faucets and shower heads.
  • Install safety gates at the top and foot of stairs and in the doorways of rooms that pose hazards for children (IE the kitchen). Keep in mind that tension-mounted gates are not as secure as those that affix to walls with hardware; children may use gates, as they use furniture, to pull themselves up, making pressure-mounted gates especially dangerous for stairs. Avoid accordion-style gates – they can ensnare little limbs and heads.
  • Take precautions against poisonings. Amongst other items, cleaning products, cosmetics, medications and vitamins, and even some indoor house-plants can be toxic to children. Make sure they are inaccessible by keeping them high enough to be out of reach, or storing them in drawers or cupboards that can be locked or latched.
  • Inexpensive and available in various sizes, window stops or guards should be installed in order to prevent falls. Easily screwed into the sides of window frames, stops and guards should have easy-release mechanisms allowing older children or adults to quickly open them in case of fire. Additionally, make sure that window coverings don’t have cords that could pose a strangulation hazard.
  • Install childproof safety latches on all cupboards and drawers to keep children away from hazardous items and substances, as well as on dishwashers, chest freezers, mini-fridges and any other airtight spaces where a child could become trapped. Consider outfitting toilets with lid locks too.
  • Use anchors and brackets to secure heavy furniture such as bookshelves, televisions, and dressers so they don’t topple over should children attempt to pull themselves up on such items. Equip furniture corners and edges with bumpers to prevent injury in the event of falls. Be conscientious about where your furniture is situated – you don’t want it to be placed where children could use it to get a leg up to where they shouldn’t be.
  • If decorating a Christmas tree, avoid hanging breakable tree ornaments or ones with small, detachable parts, on the lower branches, where small children can grab them.

Edmonton Weekly Real Estate Update

3153 homes for sale in metro Edmonton
751 homes sold in the last 30 days
4.20 months worth of inventory
Market conditions : Buyers
24% of the homes statistically to sell in the next 30 days
Average List Price : $362,365
Average Sale Price : $351,443
Average days on market : 58
Average list to sale price ratio : 97%

Calgary Weekly Real Estate Update – Dec 09, 2013

3026 homes for sale in metro Calgary
1531 homes sold in the last 30 days
1.98 months worth of inventory
51% of the homes statistically to sell in the next 30 days
Market Conditions: Sellers
Average List Price : $461,705
Average Sale Price : $450,629
Average days on market : 41
Average list to sale price ratio : 97.6%

Markets are holding strong into the Christmas season. My beliefs are that we may seem some activity quiet down Dec 22-26 but expect to see things start full steam on Dec 27th again.

Engaging the Senses

They may be called viewings or showings, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enlist your other senses, in addition to sight, to help you sniff out the right home when visiting potential properties.

Smell: Odours caused by pets, smoking, cooking, or trash are always off-putting, but may or may not be difficult to get rid of. Musty odours, however, may be bigger cause for concern: where there’s a musty odour, there may be mold, and where there’s mold, there maybe a water problem. Whatever strange or offending odour you smell when you walk into a home, make sure you determine its source in order to ensure it’s not symptomatic of a serious problem.

Hearing: Dripping faucets, squeaking doors, running toilets, and rattling appliances might signal a home that hasn’t been well maintained. What about traffic noise? Can you hear music pumping from the corner bar? Can you tell what TV show the neighbours are watching? Is there a train that passes through the area? Be sure to revisit any home you’re considering at different times of the day and week. While things might be quiet on a weekday afternoon, things might sound distinctly different during the morning commute or on a Saturday night.

Touch: Your sense of touch is handy in determining whether a home might have water problems. Note whether hardwood feels soft or springy underfoot. Do carpets feel damp? Press your food down on the flooring around the base of toilets, sinks, fridges, and washing machines to see if there is any give. Feel discoloured spots on the walls – are they damp or soft to the touch? Press a finger into the wood around windows; if it’s soft, there’s rot.