Give your home a once-over and tend to winter preparation tasks and repairs before the year’s first frost. “Getting the exterior of the home ready for the cold winds, snow and ice is critical for keeping Old Man Winter out and keeping it warm and toasty inside,” says Reggie Marston, president of Residential Equity Management Home Inspections in Springfield, VA. By being proactive, you’ll lower your energy bills, increase the efficiency and lifespan of your home’s components, and make your property safer.
Windows and Doors
Lawn, Garden, and Deck
Tools and Machinery
Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning
Gutters, Roof, and Drains
Done? Congratulations! You’re officially ready for winter.
Original Source: http://www.bobvila.com/articles/502-winter-preparation-checklist/#.VCGU9fldV8E
Come join us at 132 Hidden Ranch Hill NW on Halloween night between 5:30-10:00pm and get your pants scared right off of ‘ya! Donations are strongly encouraged, as all proceeds will be going towards the Alberta Children’s Hospital! Bring your entire family and lets, together, give them a Halloween they’ll never forget!
Few things have a greater impact on the atmosphere of a room than the color of its walls – maybe that’s why picking paint can feel so daunting. But with the help of these tips, you’ll be able to pick your paint colors with more confidence and get results you can happily live with for longer.
…and maximize the most income!
Many people want to know what the secret is to getting the most out of their real estate and to appeal to the consumers looking for real estate today. This report will guide you through doing many of those things that will help you get the most money when selling your property:
Have a happy New Year! No, really – make 2014, and the years to follow, more happy and less stressful for you (and other members of your household) by resolving to make some changes for the better where your home’s interior is concerned.
Rule No. 1: A property bubble isn’t a bubble till it pops. Whether it’s Shanghai, London, or Toronto, until the final blow-up, it’s just a rising market driven by rising demand.
Just ask the people who sell real estate. They will tell you we are nowhere near a bubble. And lately we’ve seen a number of opinion pieces by what you might call “bubble scoffers,” who are reacting to the loose use of the term that ascribes bubble characteristics to everything from bitcoins to stocks to the boom in technology start-ups.
My own prescription to prevent a bubble, a wider sense of caution, which I offered more than a year ago, still stands.
But as 2013 comes to an end, rather than join either the chorus of warnings or those of reassurance, I thought that in the spirit of the season, I would take a different stance altogether. I would like to look on the bright side. Certainly, we need some optimism.
Reason for hope
We’ve had another year of foreboding on global property prices from very respectable sources. New homes in big Chinese cities are up another 20 per cent despite attempts by the government to cool the market. In London, prices are rising at six times the rate of inflation.
Even Mark Carney, the Canadian-born head of the Bank of England, can’t keep a lid on it. Canada comes in for special treatment. The latest of the doomsayers, Deutsche Bank, said in a Scrooge-like pre-Christmas superlative that Canadian property was the most overvalued on the planet — some 60 per cent above what it should be. Just in November it was the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development — the rich countries think tank — that singled out Canada’s property market for a potential “disorderly correction.”
Economist Jean-Paul Rodrigue came up with this visualization for how most asset bubbles proceed. (Courtesy Jean-Paul Rodrigue)
That sounds worrying, but it’s actually a euphemism for something even uglier. Instead of dwelling on how much many of us — and me in particular — would lose if we had a 60 per cent correction in the Canadian property market, I thought it best to don my rose-coloured glasses and borrow from the subtitle of one of my favourite movies, Dr. Strangelove.
The theme for this holiday season bedtime story is: “Why I learned to stop worrying and love the property bubble.” Occasionally in economics, a rising tide raises all boats. But often it’s a lot more choppy. There are winners and losers.
‘Occasionally in economics, a rising tide raises all boats. But often it’s a lot more choppy. There are winners and losers.’- Don Pittis
To the economist, observing economic cycles is like the kid gazing at waves rolling in on a beach and thinking about the forces causing their repetition and patterns. The stock trader is like the other kid on the beach who thinks she has it figured out, wades in and keeps getting her good shoes wet.
So long as you don’t care about the exact moment of a peak or trough, watching economic cycles can teach you many useful things. One of the things they tell you is that the supply of new houses created by the economy does not grow in exact proportion to the growing number of households.
Peaks and valleys
Sometimes, the peaks of ocean waves are well above sea level. Sometimes the troughs are well below. The same things happen with the supply of houses. What causes the peaks and troughs in house construction is sometimes mysterious. But as someone old enough to have watched many little waves and at least three big ones, it is interesting how at the end of every big cycle, there is a glut of houses.
I remember the end of the “townhouse” boom as a kid. Townhouses went cheap and construction projects stalled unfinished. I remember two houses in Toronto’s now-pricey South Kingsway neighbourhood standing uncompleted for years afterwards.
These booms followed by busts are not a uniquely Canadian phenomenon. Pictures of luxury houses surrounded by weeds are a symbol of the end of the U.S. boom in 2008. More recently, property busts hit Ireland and Spain. The subject has been well studied. As this report from the European Central Bank shows, just about every industrialized economy goes through the cycle.
As the report also shows, while Germany gets credit for low rents and a stable property market since 2008, it is no coincidence that as of 2007, the country had just gone through a seven-year property bust. Because that’s what happens after an excessive boom.
As the famous graph from Canadian economic geographer Jean-Paul Rodrigue shows, after a bubble pops, valuations plunge with demand to a level well below the average expected price levels. We have seen the same thing in oil, natural gas, gold, potash.
High prices push up production, followed by a point when too much is being produced and prices fall. In the housing market, where the construction cycle of a single building can take at least two years and the product lasts decades, it is not so easy to turn off the tap. Market economists often complain that rent and price controls distort the market for property because under pricing fails to instruct the market to produce enough.
But the factors the ECB blames for inciting a boom — “including short-term interest rates, local and global money and credit developments, and the incidence of mortgage market deregulation” — can also distort a market the other way, producing too much.
And this, finally, is the good thing about a property bubble. While you may suffer personally when the price of your house falls, and while the wider economy may suffer a contraction when homeowners suddenly feel poor, the greater Canadian economy will benefit.
Here’s why: During bubbles, a country grows its housing stock, over-investing in the construction of new properties so that the supply is more than sufficient, allowing prices to fall relative to income. At the end of a bubble, finally and for quite a while afterwards, there is enough to go round.
Reason for optimism
As the ECB report says, “there has been a strong correlation between the persistence and magnitude of booms and of subsequent busts.” And that’s why, when I take a long view through my rose-coloured glasses, I feel good when I see signs for new luxury homes and condos. That’s why there should be no restriction on building them.
Luxury homes are well made and made to last. Just like the bedraggled mansions in older parts of town I remember as I was growing up, luxury housing may not stay luxurious forever, but it contributes valuable housing stock during the downward part of the cycle.
What Canada is experiencing now may or may not be a bubble. Today, I promised to be agnostic on that point. If this is not a bubble, then we are producing just the right amount of housing to supply our needs and we can keep on doing that forever. Prices in the new paradigm will stay at the current permanently high plateau.
If it is a bubble, unfortunately for those who want to buy low and sell high, we have no idea how long it might last. Remember rule No. 1. But if you do hear the pop, think of it as a champagne cork celebrating a new era of property stability.
All the best for 2014.
To learn more about the Chinese Property Bubble, Click here.
Some people are aware of our Christmas tradition of giving away cards filled with large amounts of money with nothing more than the words of “Live life generously”. The rules are simple;
Here are our 2013 stories:
On Christmas Eve day, Lindsay went to a local Mac`s to get ice (holiday drinks and all…) – and while she was hunting down the ice, she noticed that many people were buying last minute gift cards at the front check-out. Although overly stressed, which isn’t an excuse, these individuals were not acting at all pleasant, and she didn’t hear one of them say thank-you or “Happy Holidays”. It turns out, this Macs convenience store didn’t have ice, but after hanging out for a bit, and seeing how the cashier was being treated, she stood in line, and when it was her time she handed the cashier the card and said “I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas”, and walked out of the store, without purchasing anything!
During a matinee at Cross Iron Mills mall Robyn was walking out and noticed that there was an employee holding the garbage waiting to clean the theatre after the movie was finished. Everyone was walking out, not even acknowledging his existence. One man even missed the garbage and just kept walking. The young man bent down quietly and placed the garbage where it properly belonged. Being close to the back of the line Robyn noticed how many people walked past him not appreciating the job he was doing, for close to minimum wage. Robyn felt he was a good recipient because he is one of those invisible workers that we can so easily take for granted. Thank you to the young man who cleaned up the movie theatre after us.
Jemmie was at the dollar store by Westbrook Mall picking up some last minute gift wrap when she noticed a young lady trying to change out soiled mats. While trying to change them, numerous customers continued to step on them as she continued to politely say “excuse me”. Jemmie chose her because she handled herself so well as so many people rushed about their day, not noticing that she was working on Christmas Eve doing a job they so much take for granted, like clean mats to wipe their shoes on. She realized that this kind of event was not isolated to Christmas Eve but this most likely happens to her many days out of the year. Thank you for allowing us to have clean mats!
On December 26th Crystal stopped by Chinook mall to check out all the Boxing Day fuss. She popped by later in the day because she didn’t want to be trampled by unruly shoppers pushing their way to get that store bought present they didn’t receive on Christmas day. With the mall closing in less than an hour but still packed with shoppers, it was definitely a long day for all the store staff who were exhausted from the hustle and bustle of Boxing Day. As Crystal was walking by, she noticed a cheerful cleaning lady in the food court. She was cleaning garbage off of almost every table in the place; without her, the food court would have been a disaster! She looked so pleasant as she smiled and said “Merry Christmas” to all the people passing by. Her happiness made Crystal happy. It brought her to remember what Christmas was all about when she was a kid. Those days around Christmas that where spent with family doing nothing more than enjoying each other’s company. Crystal walked up to her as she was busy working away, wished her a Merry Christmas and handed her the card. She then left the mall with nothing but a huge smile on our face.
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:
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
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.