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What to do in Parkland County – Summer 2019

If you are living in or just visiting Parkland County this summer, here are a few things to consider checking out to get the full experience!

 

  1. Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary – Check out the amazing view and wildlife on a nice stroll through the sanctuary. There is a boardwalk, walking trails and great picnic area.

 

  1. Putting Horse Ranch – Head out for a round of golf and/or a guided horseback ride. This is a great way to get your children introduced to horses! https://www.puttinghorseranch.com/

 

 

  1. Get Hooked Fishing Adventures – This year-round guided fishing tour has been around since 1994 and they will be able to show you the ropes! https://www.gethookedfishing.com/

 

 

  1. University of Alberta Botanic Gardens – Explore the many themed gardens, tropical showhouse that has many species of butterflies and the outdoor café! https://botanicgarden.ualberta.ca/

 

  1. Aspengrove Country Market – The market runs Saturday’s from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. & Sunday’s from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Aspen Grove Nurseries. aspengrovenurseries.com

 

  1. Do some shopping! https://www.parklandcounty.com/en/explore-parkland-county/Shopping-and-Stores.aspx

 

  1. Chickakoo Lake Recreation Area – Enjoy 11 kms of trails used for walking, mountain bike riding and horseback riding. With over 480 acres of woodland Chickakoo is also home to so many different species of wildlife!

 

  1. Trestle Creek Golf Resort – stay a while, while you catch a few rounds of golf! trestlecreek.ca 

 

If you are looking for more activities to do this summer check out https://www.parklandcounty.com/en/explore-parkland-county/Explore-Parkland-County.aspx

 

*All information gathered from https://www.parklandcounty.com/en/explore-parkland-county/Explore-Parkland-County.aspx *

 

Budgeting for Moving Day Expenses

On moving day, you’ll have a big task. You’ll need to get your possessions from your old property to your new one — ideally without delays or damage! Surprisingly, many people underestimate the time and costs involved in doing that. Careful planning and budgeting are crucial to ensuring moving day goes smoothly.

You basically have three options:

  1. Hire a moving company to handle everything.
  2. Hire a truck and crew, while doing some of the work yourself. (For example, you can pack and help with loading.)
  3. Do it all yourself by renting a moving van and getting friends and family to help.

If you’re going with option one, get quotes as early in the buying/selling process as possible. Services, costs and quality vary widely among full-service moving companies.

If you’re going to do some or all of the move yourself, the best place to start is by making a list of what you’ll need. In addition to renting a moving van, or hiring a truck and crew, there are many supplies you may require. For example, you’ll need boxes, protective fill and/or wrapping (i.e. bubble wrap), markers for labeling boxes, packing tape, and more.

You may decide to rely on friends to help load the truck on moving day. That’s fine. Just be sure you have enough people to do the job within a reasonable time frame and confirm everyone’s attendance at least a couple of days before.

For more information on todays market contact Deanalee at (780) 718-1052!

April 2019 Market Update

Take a look at the month of April’s real estate market update for Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Rural Parkland County and Rural Lac Ste Anne County below. If you have any questions about the real estate market, buying or selling, please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to answer them for you!

 

Spruce Grove:

Single Family

  • Currently active – 289
  • Sold in April – 55
  • Average sale price – $362,501

Condominium

  • Currently active – 53
  • Sold in April – 7
  • Average sale price – $235,142

 

Stony Plain:

Single Family

  • Currently active – 150
  • Sold in April – 27
  • Average sale price – $350,033

Condominium

  • Currently active – 39
  • Sold in April – 6
  • Average sale price – $176,383

 

Rural Parkland County:

Country Residential

  • Currently active – 333
  • Sold in April – 28
  • Average sale price – $519,517

Vacant Lot

  • Currently active – 185
  • Sold in April – 8
  • Average sale price – $177,175

 

Rural Lac Ste Anne County:

Country Residential

  • Currently active – 232
  • Sold in April – 21
  • Average sale price – $315,683

Vacant Lots

  • Currently active – 138
  • Sold in April – 4
  • Average sale price – $135,624

As you can see, there is a surplus of inventory on the market. What does this mean? This means that it is 100% a buyers market! If you are considering purchasing your first home or investing in some properties it is a great time to do so. If you are considering selling your home in todays market there are a couple things to consider. You can price aggressively and show perfect for a hopefully quick sale or you can price at market value and be patient for the absolute right buyer to come along and give you an offer.

For more information on today’s market contact Deanalee at (780) 718-1052!

9 Steps to Finding your Next Dream Home

If you’re thinking ahead to your next dream home, the road you need to take to get there may seem confusing. Do you search for listings online? Drop by Open Houses on the weekends? Call the number on For Sale signs?

Let’s break it all down! Here are the specific steps you need to take to ensure you find a home that fits your wants, needs and budget.

  1. Find out how much your current property will likely sell for on today’s market.
  2. Arrange for financing, so you know what you can afford.
  3. Select neighbourhoods you’d love to live in. (That may involve some fun exploring!)
  4. Decide on the type of home you want to buy. (For example: detached, three-bedroom, etc.)
  5. Prioritize the property features you want most, so you can be flexible if a feature is missing from a home listed on the market that is otherwise ideal.
  6. View properties on the market that closely fit your criteria, particularly new listings that may not yet be posted online. (Tip: Arrange to be immediately notified of new listings that are a good fit for you.)
  7. When you find a home you want, make an offer designed to get the property — without overpaying.
  8. Negotiate until you secure the deal. This may involve counter-offers.
  9. If the negotiation is skillfully done and all goes well, the home is yours.

As you can see, there isn’t a lot of mystery in finding your next dream home. You just need to take the steps and get the professional help you need along the way.

Looking for a real estate agent that can get you to the finish line?

Contact me today at (780) 718-1052!

Staging your Home in a Hurry

Ideally you should have a week or two available before you list your property in order to stage your home and make it look its best for buyers. But, what if you listed quickly and within hours of the For Sale sign going up a buyer wants to view your property?

In that scenario, you need to do some quick “staging” to get your home ready. Let’s assume your property is already clean and tidy. Here are some other things you can do.

  • Open the curtains, even at night. This will make each room seem brighter, more appealing and more spacious.
  • Pull out some boxes or storage bins. Put away personal knick-knacks (like that bowling trophy) and other personal items to reduce clutter on shelves and countertops.
  • Clear countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms. Put the old toaster oven out-of-sight.
  • Make sure lighting throughout the house is bright and comfortable. In darker areas, plug in a lamp.
  • Clear away as much as you can in the foyer. Make that space look open, uncluttered and welcoming.
  • Move cars out of the driveway. Give the buyer a convenient place to park!
  • Make the beds. Fluff pillows on sofas.
  • Clear away as many items as possible from the closet floors (such as shoes.)
  • Open a window and air out the kitchen, especially if you just finished cooking.
  • Make sure your pet is in a crate or, if possible, out for a walk. Not everyone loves pets.

These staging tips take only a few minutes each, but can make a big difference in the impression your home makes on a buyer.

Want more home selling advice? Contact me today at (780) 718-1052.

How a Professional Chef Would Remodel Your Kitchen

Watch any TV cooking show, and you’ll notice that a chef’s kitchen looks quite a bit different than what you’d find in most homes. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have one just like it in your home! With a little remodeling, and splurging on some new items, you too can have a kitchen worthy of Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, or Rachel Ray.

Chefs love counter space. So, when remodeling, plan to create as much as possible. If you have an existing island, for example, you can replace the countertop with a larger one. Just adding eight inches in both directions will make a big difference.

Most chefs have more than one oven. If that’s impractical for you, consider buying a double-oven stove. Also, chefs prefer gas burners for quicker heat-up times and exacting control of cooking temperature.

One thing you’ll notice about chefs is they love stainless steel.
That’s because it’s easy-to-clean, hygienic and durable (assuming you take care of it).

Finally, because chefs spend so much time in the kitchen, they want the space to be attractive and comfortable. So, when remodeling, keep decor

in mind.

Even if you’re just an amateur chef, creating a chef-worthy kitchen will make the foodie in you smile.

Taking the Stress Out of Selling your Home

For some people, the thought of listing their home for sale is stressful. They worry about all the things they have to do — and all the things that might go wrong.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some tips for making your home sale go smoothly:

  • Give yourself time to prepare. If you’re thinking of selling six months from now, start preparing your property now. Do any necessary staging, and get it looking its best. Avoid doing these tasks at the last minute.
  • Set the right price. Pricing your property too high will likely result in few, if any, buyers coming to see it. You might end up having to lower your price later, causing your home to linger even longer on the market. That’s stress you don’tneed!
  • Have a flexible viewing schedule. If you make it too difficult for buyers to see your property, they might lose interest or simply choose to buy another home. Be as flexible as possible when a buyer wants to view your property.
  • Plan get-away activities. When a buyer comes for a scheduled viewing, don’t be home. Instead, plan some fun activities for your family. Think: playground, shopping, cycling, the zoo, etc.
  • Accept the ups and downs. Prospective buyers might say they love your home and plan to make an offer. Then you don’t hear from them again! It happens! Accept the inevitable ups and downs of selling your home.
  • Get help with repairs. You’ll probably have things that need to be fixed around the home, like a dripping faucet that needs repair or a room that needs painting. If possible, hire a professional to do some of that work.
  • Finally, work with a great real estate agent. That will make the biggest difference in ensuring your move goes smoothly and stress-free.

Looking for a real estate agent like that? Call me at (780) 718-1052!

Finding a New Home on a Tight Schedule

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had all the time in the world to find your next dream home? You could leisurely browse the current listings, select homes you’d like to see, schedule visits on dates that are most convenient for you, and make an offer on a property only after you’ve had plenty of time to consider all the alternatives.

Sure, that sometimes happens, but it’s not typical. Often, people shopping for a home are on a timeline. Sometimes a very tight timeline.

So how do you find your next dream home when you don’thave all the time in the world?

First, you need to develop a clear picture of the home you’re looking to buy. How many bedrooms? What size of property? What type of structure (two story, back split, etc.)? Then, you need to list your preferences. These might include “large kitchen” or “main floor office”.

Once you’ve completed that exercise, you’ll have a more detailed profile of the type of property you want. That will make it easier to decide which of the listings on the market you want to see.

You should also narrow down the area in which you’d like to live. If you have three or four targeted areas, and only consider listings in those areas, your home search will be much faster.

What if you don’t know the neighbourhoods well? Visit a few. Drive around. Explore. Get as much neighbourhood data as possible, such as demographics, recreational activities, parks, shopping, schools, etc. Then choose the neighbourhoods that fit your lifestyle.

Finally, the best way to find a new home on a tight schedule is to work with the right real estate agent — someone who, like me, is experienced in the local market.

Call me anytime at 780-718-1052!

Setting Your List Price Requires Calculation and Savvy

When you’re having a garage sale, one of the toughest tasks is pricing your items. If you put a price tag on your old golf clubs that’s too high, no one will buy them. If you make the price too low, they might sell quickly, but you’ll spend the rest of the day wondering if you could have gotten more!

 

It’s similar to selling your home — except with your home, the stakes are much higher. You want to price your property to sell, but you don’t want to leave any money on the table.

 

How do you accomplish that?

 

Setting the right list price for your home requires a combination of skilled calculation and industry savvy.

 

Let’s start with the “calculation” part…

 

When you work with me, I’ll review recently sold properties that are similar to yours in type, size, features and location. Then, using that data, we’ll calculate a range that represents your property’s “current market value.”

 

For example, consider a spacious 15-year-old bungalow in a nice neighbourhood. If similar homes in the area have sold for $475,000-$550,000 in the last six months, then it’s obvious that your home should sell in that range too. A list price above or below that range would be in the danger zone.

 

But skilled calculation is only half the task.

 

Setting your list price also requires expertise in the local market, combined with good old-fashioned gut instinct. That instinct comes from being on the front lines of many property transactions.

 

That’s why working with a good real estate salesperson is so important, when you’re deciding on the list price for your home.

 

Want to discuss selling your home? Call me at (780) 718-1052.

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Balancing the Emotional and Practical Sides of Buying a Home

 

Imagine this scenario…

You’re shopping for a new home. You drive to visit a recent listing. As you walk through the front doors, you’re impressed. Every room looks fantastic. You see yourself relaxing on the spacious patio, cooking in the modern kitchen, and enjoying evenings with the family in the cozy living room.

Your emotions are on overdrive. This is your dream home! 

Should you make an offer? Probably. In fact, you should make that decision quickly in case there are other interested buyers.

However, your decision shouldn’t be guided purely by emotion. You want to make sure you take practical matters into consideration too.

For example, you’ll want to consider:

  • Is the property within your price range?
  • Does it have everything you need?
  • Do you like the neighbourhood?
  • How old is the property? Are there items, such as the furnace, that may need to be replaced soon?
  • Will it need any major repairs or upgrades?
  • What are the average monthly costs of carrying the home? (Property taxes, utilities, etc.)

Once you’ve considered the purchase of the home from a practical standpoint, you’ll have a lot more confidence in your decision when you make an offer.

 

Need help? Call me today at (780) 718-1052!