Calgary Luxury Portfolio Blog

Some home renovations are purely for your own enjoyment—and that’s not a bad thing. Many homeowners, however, upgrade their house with the ultimate goal of boosting property value. In most cases—especially when it comes to kitchens and bathrooms—that notion holds true but, in these 5 instances, that upgrade could add little or no value (and in some instances, even decrease) the worth of your home! Read on before you make that call to your contractor:

  1. Truly customized anything: Perhaps you have fallen in love with that rose-quartz coloured tile for your master bath, but chances are, prospective buyers won’t share your unique taste. Making a design choice that deviates too greatly from ‘standard’ aesthetics won’t add value to your home—regardless of
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I get asked this question frequently. And here is my answer: When you decide to put your home on the market, you want the property to look its best. For some sellers, achieving this goal means hiring a stager—someone who will decorate your house with everything from knick-knacks to furniture—to maximize its attractiveness and help potential buyers see the place as move-in ready. Staging does require a bit of an investment: depending on how many pieces your home requires, the service can cost between $500 to $10000 for a whole house. This makes many sellers ask the question: is staging worth the cost? And, almost unequivocally, my answer is yes.

Here’s why:

1. Staging makes homes photograph better: Professional stagers know how to place furniture,

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When you walk through a prospective future home, there are always amenities that you look for: bedrooms and bathrooms, updated kitchens, highway proximity…everyone’s list is different. While you are drooling over the kitchen, there can be many problems being hid from potential buyers. Here’s how you can spot the worst issues that homeowners try to cover up:

1. Leaks- From improperly finished basements to aging pipes, there are plenty of ways water can make its way into and damage a home—and plenty of ways that a homeowner can cover up the problem. If you notice a very recent paint job, or find lots of detritus pushed up against the basement walls, ask more questions about the water situation. Sellers are legally required to disclose known problems or

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Have some great news to share with Calgary homeowners: after a challenging 2015, sales of luxury homes are actually on the rise! According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, 318 properties sold for over 1 million dollars in the first six months of 2016, compared to just 221 sales in the second half of 2015—that’s an almost 10% uptick!

If you’re curious about the breakdown, 289 of those 2016 sales were properties costing between $1 and $2 million; the rest sold for between $2 and $4 million. To date in 2016, there have been no Calgary sales for homes costing over $4 million. The good news doesn’t stop at the number of sales taking place in this city…Luxury listings also spent less time on the market this year, taking an average of 52 days to sell

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Curb appeal can have a huge impact on the perceived value of your home. Here in Calgary, the rough winters can take a major toll on our lawn, landscaping, roofs—pretty much everything! What’s the key to having a home that looks good all year long? Follow these six tips and your house will have great curb appeal each and every day.

  1. Cleanliness is key. You may already be in the habit of power washing your home, patio and driveway each spring in order to get rid of residual grime, but it’s a good idea to add a fall power wash to your schedule as well. This will get rid of leaves, rust and stains from the summer and autumn, giving you a clean slate before the snow starts falling.
  2. Garden for all seasons. When landscaping, include a mix of varietals:
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There’s always an upside to a downturn in luxury home pricing and here’s the silver lining for Calgary shoppers: Spring 2016 will be an amazing time to purchase your dream home. There’s been a decline in real estate prices and a weaker Canadian dollar will make Calgary’s million dollar home market attractive (and attainable) for both local and foreign investors.

The first three months of 2015 saw 99 sales of homes over $1mm in Calgary, while 118 homes with a million dollars-plus price tag sold in the same time period this year. We believe the local luxury market will be great for buyers’ in the months ahead.

Prices today have settled to a more approachable level—in fact a gorgeous home on Sifton Blvd that cost $6.5mm to build just sold for $3.3mm.

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So, you’ve bought a 5-bedroom luxury home, and one of those extra spaces is just calling out to become a dedicated home office. Or maybe you’ve already set aside an office space but you never want to actually work when you’re in there. How can you turn a spare room into a space that will truly be conducive to productivity? Just follow these 4 simple guidelines:

  1. Ensure privacy. Whether your home office will be a place to pay the household bills or a spot in which you can field conference calls, privacy will always be crucial. When selecting an area for the home office, make sure it can be closed off from the rest of the household and, if possible, set it up in lower traffic areas of the home.
  2. Keep it quiet. This point builds off the previous
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Ever since the huge market crash of 2007, we’ve heard that real estate is no longer the smart investment that it was always considered to be. As a realtor, I don’t believe the naysayers; there are still four tried-and-true benefits of real estate investment that, when taken together, can and will help you grow your overall wealth. You just need time, patience and a good advisor!

  1. Increase your cash flow: When you buy an investment property, you get to pocket all the rent money that’s left over once you’ve paid expenses on the property (i.e. mortgage, repairs, home owners’ association fees etc.) The math is simple—the more properties you own, the more the potential cash flow boost, so long as you don’t overextend yourself.
  2. Positive ROI: Home value
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You’ve bought your dream home and it’s everything you’ve ever wanted. You’ve spent time, money and lots of effort transforming your purchase into the perfect space—you maintain your lawn, you paint every few years. In short, you take pride in your property so that it maintains its value.

Unfortunately, you don’t live in a bubble. You live in a neighbourhood and, no matter how great that neighbourhood was when you first moved into your home, it may change over time. The key to surviving a downturn on your block is to sell before everyone else figures out what’s happening and property values decrease.

Here are 4 signs to watch for: if you notice any of these happening on your block, it means your neighbourhood is changing (and not for the better!)

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    Visit Montreal in December, and you’ll see that half the city has flown south for the Winter. Down in Florida, the opposite is true—tons of sun refugees there hit the slopes in Vail or Aspen every year.

    Even those of us who don’t live in extreme climates often have vacations spots we keep coming back to, again and again. In fact, you may get there so often that you start to think of it as a second home. But does it actually make sense to put your money where your heart is and buy a vacation property? Before you make that leap, let’s look at what’s really involved in making that decision:

    1. The expense—the cost of buying a second home is much higher than the purchase price. You’ll also have to buy second sets of towels, sheets and dishes, not to
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