What to take with you when home shopping

by qdhanwantc 6. November 2012 05:21

You will want to make the process of shopping for a home as productive and enjoyable as possible. After all, you'll be on a quest to find your next dream home. That's why it's important to take the right things with you:


·         A digital camera, so you can take pictures of the features you like in the properties you see.

·         A notepad, so you can take notes.

·         Measurements of your largest pieces of furniture, so you can confirm they'll fit in the rooms of properties you like.

·         A measuring tape.

·         Some healthy snacks and beverages, (especially important if you're taking the kids along).

·         A map of the area, so you can check out local parks and other neighbourhood features.

·         Clear driving directions to each of the properties you want to see.


One of the best ways to shop for a home, and actually enjoy the experience, is to work with a great REALTOR®.


Home safety is more than locked doors and alarms

by qdhanwantc 6. November 2012 05:18

When it comes to home security, most homeowners think about door locks and alarms. These are, of course, very important. However, there is also a lot you can do around your property to prevent the possibility of a break-in.

One important part of home security is outdoor lighting. Your home doesn't need to be lit up like a baseball diamond at night, but your exterior lighting should illuminate your yard enough to be a deterrent to burglars.

 Some burglars hide around the property and wait for someone to arrive and open the door so they can use that opportunity to force their way into your home.

Security experts suggest that you walk around your property and look for areas where someone could hide, such as behind tall shrubbery like a cedar hedge or behind a tool shed. Make sure these areas are well lit.

Pay particular attention to lighting around exterior doors, especially the back door.

Home security experts also recommend that exterior lighting be installed with a timed dimmer. The lights can then be set to cast a bright light in the early evening, and then a dimmer light throughout the rest of the night.

Lights installed with motion detectors can also be effective in certain areas. The sensors will cause the light to turn on or brighten when someone comes onto that part of your property. Generally, thieves will flee as soon as they see a light turn on.

Do you hide a spare key under the front door mat or in a flower pot? No matter how clever you think you are, experienced thieves know all the common hiding places. So, if you need to have a spare key available, put it in a small combination lock box and hide the box. That way, if a burglar finds the box, he still won't be able to open it and access the key.



Easy Ways to "Go Green"

by qdhanwantc 26. October 2012 10:51

These days, most people want to do their bit to help the environment. Unfortunately, not everyone is willing, or able, to install solar panels on their roof or implement an in-ground heat recovery system.


Luckily, there are many smaller things you can do that can make a big difference. Here are some ideas that can help you "go green" easily and inexpensively.


Get a recycling bin and learn how to use it. Most jurisdictions have a recycling program. You may be able to get a rebate on your recycling bin or even get it for free. Keep a list of items that can be recycled on your fridge door, so that everyone in the family can participate.


Get a kitchen compost bin. Find out if your jurisdiction has a compost pick-up program. If they do, get a kitchen compost bin. Composting can reduce landfill waste by as much as 32%.


Use energy-saving light bulbs. Low energy light bulbs have come a long way in recent years. Their consistent glow and brightness now rival their incandescent counterparts. By replacing regular 40-watt bulbs with energy-saving 8-watt bulbs, you could save nearly 50% of the electricity you used for lighting. Results may vary by brand.


Shop for local produce. Many grocery stores and supermarkets offer produce – fruits, vegetables, – that are grown within a 100 mile radius. The short transportation distance, means significantly less fossil fuel is required to get the produce delivered to your local store. Keep in mind that some non-local produce, such as apples in the off-season, often need to be transported thousands of miles.


Let nature do the work. As an alternative to air conditioning, open windows and block out the passive heat gain from the sun with curtains. Do the opposite in winter. Strategically using curtains and windows can lower your energy bill by as much as 20%.


As you can see, you don't have to do much to have a "greener" home. Just a few little changes can make a big difference.



How to budget for closing costs

by qdhanwantc 26. October 2012 10:48

If you're shopping for a new home, you're probably aware that there will be some costs over and above the purchase price. It makes sense to budget for these costs so you're not surprised – and unprepared – when you get the bill.


Most of these costs fall into a category that the real estate industry calls "closing costs." The most common types include land transfer tax, lawyer’s fees and disbursements, sales taxes, and for newly-built homes, utility hook-ups.


You should also consider other expenses you will incur, such as home insurance and moving expenses.


Of course, if your new home is a condominium, you’ll also have to account for the monthly condo fees.


Closing costs can vary depending on the type and location of your new home. A good REALTOR® can help you determine the costs you will incur.



Hiring The Right Moving Company

by qdhanwantc 27. July 2012 07:40

How do you select the best moving company for your needs?

Ask for recommendations from friends other professionals in the local

real estate industry.

Beware of fly-by-night operations. They may seem like a bargain, but

you get what you pay for.

Does the company provide you with a written estimate and contract?

(Beware of movers that just give you a price over the phone.)




Ask if they are covered by insurance, and what their policy is

regarding lost or broken items. Make sure you receive a copy of their

insurance certificate.

Finally, always ask what circumstances would result in extra charges being

applied. The number one complaint received about movers by the Better

Business Bureau is unexpected extra charges.

Questions about moving? Call today


One School in Varsity

by qdhanwantc 18. April 2012 11:58
Varsity Acres School


E-mail: VarsityAcres@cbe.ab.ca
Phone: (403) 777-6090
Fax: (403) 777-6093

School Hours: AM: 8:10 ~ PM: ~ 2:35
School Location

4255 - 40 Street NW
Calgary, AB
T3A 0H7

Varsity Acres School is located in the community of Varsity Acres, next to the Varsity Community Center. Some of our families make use of the before and after school care at the Community Center adjacent to the school. Varsity Acres School serves the following NW communities in Calgary: Bowness, Greenwood Village, Citadel, Montgomery, Scenic Acres, Silver Springs, Crestmont, Valley Ridge, Varsity Acres, Tuscany, Sherwood, Ranchlands, Hawkwood, Arbour Lake, Hamptons, Nolan Hill and University Housing.


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Home Ownership for First Time Buyers

by qdhanwantc 12. April 2012 11:58

Considerations Before You Buy
The first thing you'll need to determine is what your long-term goals are and then how home ownership fits in with those plans. It could be that you're simply looking to transform all those "wasted" rent payments into mortgage payments that actually give you something tangible. Others see home ownership as a sign of their independence and enjoy the idea of being their own landlord. Narrowing down your big-picture homeownership goals will point you in the right direction. Here are five questions to ask yourself:

  1. What type of home best suits your needs?
    You have several options when purchasing a residential property: a traditional single-family home, a townhouse, a condo, or a multi-family building with two to four units. Each option has its pros and cons, depending on your homeownership goals, so you need to decide which type of property will help you reach those goals. You can also save on the purchase price in any category by choosing a fixer-upper, although the amount of time, sweat equity and money involved to turn a fixer-upper into your dream home might be much more than you bargained for. (To examine your options, check out Does Condo Life Suit You? and Is A Housing Co-op Right For You?)

  2. What specific features will your ideal home have?
    While it's good to retain some flexibility in this list, you're making perhaps the biggest purchase of your life, and you deserve to have that purchase fit both your needs and wants as closely as possible. Your list should include basic desires, like neighborhood and size, all the way down to smaller details like bathroom layout and a kitchen that comes with trust-worthy appliances.

  3. How much mortgage do you qualify for?
    Before you start shopping, it's important to get an idea of how much a lender will actually be willing to give you to purchase your first home. You may think you can afford a $300,000 home, but lendersmay think you're only good for $200,000 depending on factors like how much other debt you have, your monthly income and how long you've been at your current job.
  4. How much home can you actually afford?
    On the other hand, sometimes a bank will give you a loan for more house than you really want to pay for. Just like with the purchase of a new car, you'll want to look at the house's total cost, not just the monthly payment. Of course, looking at the monthly payment is also important, along with how much down payment you can afford, how high the property taxes are in your chosen neighborhood, how much insurance will cost, how much you anticipate spending to maintain or improve the house, and how much your closing costs will be.                
  5. Who will help you find a home and guide you through the purchase?
    A real estate agent will help you locate homes that meet your needs and are in your price range, then meet with you to view those homes. Once you've chosen a home to buy, these professionals can assist you in negotiating the entire purchase process, including making an offer, getting a loan, and completing paperwork. A good real estate agent's expertise can protect you from any pitfalls you might encounter during the process

Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/articles/mortgages-real-estate/08/first-time-homebuyer-guide.asp#ixzz1rrVAN1xC

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by qdhanwantc 11. April 2012 12:23

Varsity is an established neighbourhood in the Northwest quadrant of Calgary, Alberta. It was developed in the 1960s and early 1970s on a plateau to the north of the Bow River valley, and is primarily composed of Single-detached dwellings on wide lots. The neighbourhood comprises three major areas: Varsity Acres, Varsity Village, and Varsity Estates.

There are many amenties in this area and one is Market Mall, one of Calgary's major regional interior malls is located in Varsity Village, along with most of the neighbourhood's multi-family dwellings.

Varsity Estates is Varsity's most upscale area. It is almost entirely made up of single-detached dwellings without rear lanes, and much of it lies adjacent to the Bowmont Natural Park or the Silver Springs Golf and Country Club.

The community is served by F. E. Osborne Junior High School, Jerry Potts Elementary School, Marion Carson Elementary and Varsity Acres Bilingual Elementary public schools, as well a by St. Vincent de Paul Elementary & Junior High (Catholic).

Varsity is very active on a community level. Its Community Centre offers an out of school program and a playschool for local children. The Centre also houses a community kitchen which is used for more than 40 special events each year. In addition, twenty-five different users groups make use of the centre for a variety of activities, including the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, University of Calgary ball room dance, bridge clubs, seniors fitness classes and sports activities. The Varsity Community also offers two innovative programs, the Good Samaritans and Youth Scholarship Programs. The Good Samaritans aid the community’s seniors by providing help with tasks ranging from gardening to changing light bulbs. The Youth Scholarship Program rewards outstanding leadership and volunteerism in youth by providing scholarships for use in post-secondary school. All of these programs help to contribute to Varsity’s outstanding sense of community.


This community association also offer summer camps which run for 9 weeks -Registration is May 2, 2012 5:00-6:00 pm call the association for more details.




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by qdhanwantc 3. April 2012 12:51


Spring Home Tune Up Checklist


After consulting your hot water tank owner’s manual, carefully test the temperature and pressure relief valve to ensure it is not stuck.


Caution: This test may release hot water that can cause burns.


Check and clean or replace furnace air filters each month during the heating season.


Ventilation system, such as heat recovery ventilator, filters should be checked every two months.


Have fireplace or wood stove and chimney cleaned and serviced as needed.


Shut down, drain and clean furnace humidifier, and close the furnace humidifier damper on units with central air conditioning.


Switch on power to air conditioning and check system. Have it serviced every two or three years.


Clean or replace air-conditioning filter, if applicable.


Check dehumidifier and drain — clean if necessary.


Turn OFF gas furnace and fireplace pilot lights where possible.


Have well water tested for quality. It is recommended that you test for bacteria every six months.


Check smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms, and replace batteries.


Clean windows, screens and hardware, and replace storm windows with screens.


Check screens first and repair or replace if needed.


Open valve to outside hose connection after all danger of frost has passed.


Examine the foundation walls for cracks, leaks or signs of moisture, and repair as required.


Ensure sump pump is operating properly before the spring thaw sets in. Ensure


discharge pipe is connected and allows water to drain away from the foundation.


Re-level any exterior steps or decks that moved as a result of frost or settling.


Check for and seal off any holes in exterior cladding that could be an entry point for small pests, such as bats and squirrels.


Check eavestroughs and downspouts for loose joints and secure attachment to your home, clear any obstructions, and ensure water flows away from your foundation.


Clear all drainage ditches and culverts of debris.


Repair and paint fences as necessary — allow wood fences to dry adequately before tackling this task.


Undertake spring landscape maintenance and, if necessary, fertilize young trees.









When is the best time to sell your home?

by qdhanwantc 3. April 2012 07:28

If you've been thinking about selling your home, you might be waiting until the "market is right". After all, if the local market suddenly booms, your property will likely sell for a higher price.

That may be true. However, there are other factors to consider in your decision to list.

For example, will you be buying a new home as well? If so, then the higher selling price will probably be offset by the higher cost of the new property.

In addition, there may be characteristics of your home that will help sell it quickly and for a good price – today – regardless of the market conditions.

A good REALTOR® will help you make the right decision. Call today.


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