Monthly Archives: February 2014

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING IN OKOTOKS ALBERTA

ITS OFFICIAL, I AM ADDICTED!

Okotoks homes for saleLet me introduce you to the wonderful world of CROSS COUNTRY SKIING.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have done the downhill skiing bit. Tried it didn’t like it! It does not help when you are scared of speed, have a dodgy knee injury and don’t like heights, not a great combination.

I went over to the dark side of cross country skiing, after I embarrassingly had to be sledded down the side of the slopes by the ski patrol after I was uncontrollably hurtling faster and faster down a BLACK (ok a green) run and wiped out without any grace or style whatsoever!

Now cross-country skiing to me is more controlled, enjoyable and friendly. Controlled because quite frankly as long as I can walk in a straight line, I can ski in a straight line. Yes I do have to do the odd snow plough but the courses I ski on I am prepared, I can see them in advance and I don’t have to break out in a cold sweat and wish I was somewhere else!

Now I am particularly lucky in the fact that I live in Crystal Green Okotoks and literally on my doorstep I have the wonderful Crystal Ridge Golf Course, host of the Crystal Ridge Nordic Ski club. Here I can practice my skiing ah hoc. Beautiful day, fantastic conditions, I can just pop across to the golf course and work on my to do list as I ski around. The course itself is ideal for beginners and the more experienced. Skiing around the course with the back-drop of the mountains is truly amazing. I have to pinch myself sometimes that we have this wonderful facility here in Okotoks. However without an amazing crew to keep it groomed it would be nothing. President of the club is Jim Hiscock and you can very often see him on the snowmobile making sure that the track is as perfect as it can be. Membership is incredibly affordable. Adult is $60 for the ski season and for a family it is $100. This includes unlimited skiing, insurance and the club fee!

Okotoks realtorA Friendly fun atmosphere is the ultimate one for me. My skiing partner June and I have a very civilized way of skiing. Invariably the tracks are well groomed, and if we are feeling particularly adventurous then we will ski for a good couple of hours. Now before you start mentioning how cross country is just a walk, I have to tell you that you are wrong. Yes I mentioned walking earlier but that was more for accessibility and ease. You can put as much or as little effort into cross country skiing as you wish. I always feel pretty virtuous after a particularly heavy session. Heavy as in working harder and faster than last time, and the time before that. Due to the fact that I am not skiing at break neck speed I can actually talk to my fellow skiers, and they talk back!

Basics of cross-country skiing

Wear layers!! It’s surprising how quickly you can overheat when you are gliding away over the course.

Skis and boots are much, much lighter than traditional downhill, so even the kids can carry their own. Go to the professionals and get properly fitted with these. It’s worth spending time trying the boots out. Nothing worse than numb toes!

Take some refreshments with you, obviously the more you eat the lighter the knapsack!

Most import – you much enjoy fresh air and beautiful scenery.

Hope to see you there!

About the Author

Samantha Clement is an Okotoks based Realtor who specializes in helping people buy and sell real estate in the Okotoks, Calgary and surrounding areas. Samantha is an accredited buyers representative, certified condominium specialist and a certified home stager. If you are considering selling or buying a home Samantha would love to help. You can contact Samantha through her website or by calling or texting Tel 403.605.7200

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OKOTOKS HOUSING MARKET

The Okotoks real estate market had a record year in 2013 and it looks like 2014 is going to continue where 2013 left off. The Okotoks housing market in 2014 is already indicating higher prices and we have a definite shortage of supply. This shortage of supply with high demand means we are in a seller’s market.

A record 547 homes were sold in Okotoks in 2013, a figure that is slightly higher than the previous record set seven years ago. The demand for houses coupled with the drop of homes listed on the MLS in 2013 has been driving Okotoks house prices up. The overall number of homes in Okotoks listed for sale in 2013 was down 13.5 % over 2012.

Single family home sales in Okotoks were up nearly 13% in 2013. Average sale prices were also up, they increased to $438,664 from $415,414 set the previous year. Three of the homes I sold in January attracted multi offers and two properties sold within 48 hours.

Some of the problems the housing market in Okotoks is facing is the dwindling supply of land available for builders and new development. This dwindling supply of land is largely to do with water supply. Okotoks simply does not have a enough water available for new development.

Many people who are buying homes in Okotoks are moving here from outside of the area. My website is seeing a huge increase in traffic from people living outside of Alberta and Canada. Okotoks has got a fabulous reputation as being one of the best small towns to raise a family.

Many of the people who contact me want to come and live in Okotoks for its family friendly appeal. I have seen an increase in people relocating for work reasons, many of whom work in the oil and gas industry. When you are away working in the oil patch for two weeks at a time you want to know your family is safe at home. Okotoks definitely offers this comfort to families.

Okotoks is also attractive to people who have to work in the City but want to live in a small town. Many of the people who live in Okotoks work in Calgary and commute each day. The newly opened Stoney Trail has made the daily commute to the City much easier for Okotoks residents.

If you are looking to sell a home in Okotoks I would like the opportunity to discuss your options with you. Demand is very high so right now is a good time to sell.

If you are looking to buy a new home in Okotoks I would recommend you seek the services of a Realtor who lives in the town. Local knowledge and the ability to react quickly to new homes as they come on the market will be key to your success.

About the Author

Samantha Clement is an Okotoks based Realtor who specializes in helping people buy and sell real estate in the Okotoks, Calgary and surrounding areas. Samantha is an accredited buyers representative, certified condominium specialist and a certified home stager. If you are considering selling or buying a home Samantha would love to help. You can contact Samantha through her website or by calling or texting at Tel 403.605.7200

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HOW TO LOVE YOUR HOME

Improving Your Life, One Home Improvement At A Time

Your home’s aesthetic appeal can really change your mood. You should feel comfortable in your home, since that is where you relax and spend time with your family. You will feel happier if you decorate your home in a way that is functional and expresses who you are. Read this article for some tips on how to love your home even more.

Eliminate the problems in your home that cause disruption and discomfort in your life. If there is a part of your home that you feel could be suited to you better, focus on that area. What is important is how comfortable you are in your own home and how much you love it. Many people make neutral updates to their home because they are thinking of future sales value. However, you should do what makes you happy, whether it’s painting a room in a bright primary color or carpeting over your hardwood floor. If future buyers are unhappy with any aspects of the house, they can remodel themselves once it becomes their home.

Try to add more entertainment features to your home. Home theatres and facilities, such as workout rooms, are highly desired. Another great thing about adding recreation items is that they will enhance your home’s value.

You may want to consider looking into your lighting to see if it needs changing. Modern lighting will provide a brighter atmosphere for your home. If you install different lighting, it can make you feel more comfortable in your home. You can install most lighting fixtures on your own. You will find lighting can completely change the mood of your home and they even now make wifi lighting that can be changed from your iphone.

Grow a garden; it will make your yard enjoyable, and you will want to spend more time there. Whether you tend the garden yourself or hire a professional, you are sure to enjoy the many pleasures and positive aspects offered by this type of outdoor space. Some of these benefits include better air quality, having fresh flowers and having vegetables to eat.

There are many ways to improve the external appearance of your home. Changes like a new roof or a paint job can make your home look so much better. Curbside appeal is something that you will appreciate every day and buyers look for curbside appeal.

Creating a comfortable and enjoyable home is crucial to your quality of life since you spend so much time at home. Fixing up your home increases its value, but more importantly, it makes you feel better.

About the Author

Samantha Clement is an Okotoks based Realtor who specializes in helping people buy and sell real estate in the Okotoks, Calgary and surrounding areas. Samantha is an accredited buyers representative, certified condominium specialist and a certified home stager. If you are considering selling or buying Samantha would love to help. You can contact Samantha through her website.

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ABOUT THE NEW ALBERTA HOME WARRANTY

WHAT IS HOME WARRANTY?

A new home warranty is an assurance from a builder that the new home is reliable and free from known defects and that the builder will, without charge, repair or replace any defects which arise within a given period and under certain conditions. In the unlikely event that a builder who is a member of The Alberta New Home Warranty Program does not comply, the Program ensures the homeowner is similarly protected.The mandate of the Program is to provide a suite of warranty products that offer a fair level of protection and provide builder members and their homeowners with the tools they need to resolve issues, honour specific industry standards and become better educated about the new home construction process.

THE ACT IS GREAT NEWS FOR NEW HOMEBUYERS IN ALBERTA!

By establishing a consistent, province-wide approach to new home warranty, the legislation will nurture common understandings between all builders and buyers. Many purchasers of new homes in the past assumed home warranty was a given. Now it is. No more confusion or surprises.In fact, clarifying service standards and bolstering professional promises is what The Alberta New Home Warranty Program is all about. We were founded in 1974 by Alberta homebuilders to provide a package of warranty protections and promote higher standards in their industry.

COVERED FOR DECADES:

If you are a homebuyer purchasing from one of the of the 700-plus builder members, you already enjoy comprehensive warranty protection, along with clear expectations and an ownership experience protected from unpleasant surprises. In fact, we have had Alberta homeowners covered for almost four decades.

FULFILLING PROMISES:

The Alberta New Home Warranty Program is all about providing clear information and consistent protection. Our builder members have established their reputation by fulfilling their promises. In addition, a warranty from The Alberta New Home Warranty Program provides proof to discerning homebuyers that their builder’s commitment is more than words.

BENEFITTING ALL:

New home warranty ensures all new homeowners have peace of mind if there is an unfortunate instance of a claim – from labour or material defects to major structural issues. Previously, such protection was available only to homebuyers whose builders opted for the coverage – now it is mandated for every builder to carry it – benefitting all Alberta homebuyers.While the majority of credible builders offer warranty as standard business practice, the Government of Alberta has estimated that prior to the legislation, about 20% of new homes constructed in Alberta were not covered by warranty.

About the Author

Samantha Clement is an Okotoks based Realtor who specializes in helping people buy and sell real estate in the Okotoks, Calgary and surrounding areas. Samantha is an accredited buyers representative, certified condominium specialist and a certified home stager. If you are considering selling or buying Samantha would love to help. You can contact Samantha through her website.

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TIPS ON SELLING YOUR HOME

ADVICE TO HELP YOU SELL YOUR HOME

It goes without saying that attempting to sell your home can cause a lot of stress. It can be a maze littered with hazards like how to price your home, preparing for a home inspection and dealing with legal contracts. These tips will help you make good decisions concerning these factors and the process.

Prior to placing your home on the market, have your heating and air conditioning unit serviced. Expensive and essential updates, such as repairing or replacing a furnace, are not something that most buyers want to have to deal when they purchase a home, so you can increase your chances of selling your home more quickly and for a better price if you ensure that your heating and AC systems are working smoothly.

When selling your home, you need to act in part as an information hub. Someone will always want answers about something. Create a list of all the contractors who have worked on the house and all the work they’ve completed. This allows prospective buyers to appreciate the fact that you took an active role in the upkeep of your home. It’s a good idea to leave copies of maintenance work receipts out so that prospective buyers can see the home has been well cared for.

Increase your chances to sell your home by including extras. For example, you might’ve seen listings in which people include appliances such as washer & dryer in their home’s purchase price. Offering something like this will give prospective buyers a little extra encouragement.

Be sure that the first impression that a buyer has when pulling up to your home is an inviting one. It will definitely impact how potential buyers view your home. Most buyers form an opinion within 30 seconds of walking into the house.

If you’re thinking about doing an interior paint job before listing your home, don’t choose colors that reflect your own individual tastes. You should instead choose traditional, neutral color schemes, such as off-white, eggshell, or taupe. A home is always more appealing to a prospective buyer if it has a brand new coat of paint.

Before embarking on expensive upgrades to your home, speak with a Realtor who has good understanding of the market. Some upgrades are not financially sensible as they will not increase the value of the home significantly. If you are painting speak with a Realtor who is certified home stager regarding colour schemes. A home stager will be able to advise on colours that work with your own furniture and a home that looks nice will sell quickly.

Selling a property can be very challenging, especially if the market is saturated or the economic outlook is not good. There are quite a few factors to consider before even considering selling your home. There will also be others to consider from the time your home is listed until it sells. The advice you have read here, however, will help you during this process and hopefully reduce the stress surrounding it.

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