Elegant and beautiful executive infill close to amenities, schools, LRT with easy access to the city core. With upgrades throughout and a well thought our floorplan this property stands out. Touches include custom built-ins, sound system, vaulted ceilings, granite counters, upgraded insulation and noise reduction, bamboo flooring, Italian tile and beautiful skylights. The main level provides a front open den or family room, stylish kitchen with stainless appliances and eating bar, dining area and living room beyond as well as a half bath. Upstairs is an open bonus room; laundry; master bedroom with stone surround gas fireplace and a 5 piece custom ensuite and walk in closet; additional full bath and 2 more bedrooms. The basement with in floor heat and built in custom bar in the rec room also provides a full bath and two more bedrooms with large windows throughout. The two tiered deck and low maintenance yard out back are perfect for entertaining or relaxing. Detached double garage. 


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Spacious home in Tuscany located on the inside of a cul-de-sac and backing onto environmental reserve greenspace. The main floor offers an office, laundry, open concept living room, dining room and very large kitchen with walk thru pantry. Custom cabinets surround the stainless steel appliances and 7 foot island. Large windows look out to the landscaped backyard, cedar shed and tree grove beyond. Upstairs is a vaulted bonus room, master bedroom with sitting area and 5 piece ensuite including soaker tub, separate shower and custom walk in closet. Two additional bedrooms and full bath complete the upper level. The basement is fully finished with a large rec room, media area, bedroom and full bath with in floor heating. Professionally developed with dricore subfloors, large windows, extra lighting and acoustical insulation. The tot lot is a short walk and the local school bus stops are just behind the home and up the path. Warm and inviting for your family, this home is a must see. Fully finished garage.

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As Canadians we are spending more on renovations than ever before. TD recently released their renovation spending report. According to TD, "At 7% per year since 2003, spending gains in this area have outshone other components of household spending. During the 1990s, outlays for home renovations accounted for just over 25% of total residential investment. Currently, that share is almost 40%."


Many of us renovate for our own use and to add features we wish to have such as upgraded mud rooms and laundry rooms, media rooms, new fireplaces, spas, modern kitchens, high end showers, basement bars and rec rooms, new exterior finishes, sunrooms and even pools.


So when it is time to sell, are your renovations going to increase the market value of your home?


Well, it depends.


1. What did you renovate?

Typically a kitchen or bathroom renovation can see an increase up to 75% to 100% of the money spent, but it depends on what existed before and what was put in. The answer comes only from a review of other comparables homes in your area. If you have a 30 year old kitchen in disrepair you will see a large return on investment if you modernize to current standards. If you however, have a well maintained relatively new maple kitchen and you replace it with a different style or layout of a similar standard you won't see much change. As well, a poor installation of expensive materials will not be well received by buyers.


Replacing old carpet and worn wallpaper and paint with more new can have a huge impact on a home, but choose colours carefully. Pink carpet or paint is not popular no matter how new or expensive it was to install.


When already renovating, attention to future homeowners needs are well worth the planning and additional attention to detail. For example, changes to a bungalow that remove stairs, open up flow in the home and improve access to sinks, laundry and kitchen appliances will remain in high demand as will lot and home design that reduces maintenance and allows for easier access during the winter.


2. Where is the property?

Especially in some parts of Calgary, older homes are being torn down and replaced with new construction (infills). Putting money into smaller renovation projects in these homes requires careful review as it is builders and not home buyers that are buying these properties. A builder will not pay a premium for improvements that are just going to be demolished.


Depending on the community, holding the budget to stay within typical sales patterns in the area is key. If you add a $40,000 custom kitchen to a home worth $260,000 you will not see a $40,000 return on your investment. Each community and style of home has a ceiling of sorts as a 1600 sq ft two storey home will only sell up to a certain value before buyers start looking at larger homes or homes in more desirable areas no matter the finishings.


The recent flood events need to be acknowledged. Homes in flood fringe areas now require special attention to flood proofing and acknowledgement of potential future buyer fears.


3. Do you have your paperwork in order?


Buyers are asking more and more questions about renovations and permits than ever before. They are checking for asbestos in older homes as part of home inspection. Insurance companies and lenders are also asking more questions especially related to major renovations so ensure you have the required permits before you start your renovation. As of February 2014, the new home warranty rules will come into effect. Major renovations that require a building permit will also require a home warranty so even handy home owners will require documentation, permits and warranty to sell their homes.


At the end of the day, if you are making a substantial investment in renovations, do your homework. Very often sellers believe their home is worth more due to the actual cost of renovations and can be disappointed when it comes time to sell. At the same time, well thought our designs have fetched sellers sizeable increases in sale price.

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2013 was a year of larger than anticipated price increases and sales volume for both single family homes and condominiums. Will the trend continue for 2014?

The month on month news calls of increased pricing have caused some sellers to unfortunately over price their properties. I've represented a few buyers that have offered strong values but were not successful as sellers decided to hold out for more. In almost all cases, the properties my clients offered on sold for less or have not yet sold and my buyers have moved on to purchase other homes. Potential sellers with homes close to new developments need to also consider builder options when evaluating their competition in the marketplace. Many buyers are newcomers to Calgary so are looking for a move in ready home. If they are coming to Calgary from cities with longer commute times they seem to be willing to travel the extra distance for a new home compared to purchasing an older home closer to their area of employment.

At the same time buyers do need to review recent sales to understand that pricing has gone up significantly in the last year. It is shocking to some folks that there are very few 'great deals' out there that don't have strings attached and it is in fact a seller's market.

I believe prices will continue to climb, but not as quickly as last year. Buyers are focusing more on the quality of homes and are willing to pay for preferred materials, best building practices, and quality renovations but they are also saavy and want to see information regarding flood history, permits, builder backgrounds, warranty information, and more. Builders have also responded to the lack of inventory so will have to wait and see how many new starts and build outs become available in the spring.

The numbers in the statistics package are a snapshot of history for the resale market only and I encourage you to review them. The future pricing growth depends on many factors including new listing availability, migration to our city, mortgage rates, and lender policies. I also believe that the school capacity issues around Calgary will begin to push folks either to or away from certain neighbourhoods.


Full CREB Statistics Update

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Over the last few weeks we've all been busy with the festivies of the season and listings slowly declined and sales slowed as the season came upon us.


Now that we focus again on the year ahead, many folks are going to start planning an upcoming move. If you are considering a sale give me a call now so you have time to make preparations and plan for your move.


If you are now listing your home and are ready for showings, here is some advice to make those showings count.


1. Folks that view properties in the winter tend to be serious buyers.  Those folks just having a look tend to look more during the spring / summer open house season. Try to accommodate showing times and requests.


2. Shovel your driveway and sidewalk or hire a service. This past weekend a home I showed required us to walk through 2 feet of snow with the side access frozen shut. 


3. Please provide a carpet or entry mat at your front door so we can leave our shoes and boots without creating too big a mess.


4. Leave the lights on outside. It is much more inviting and makes access easier in the cold.


5. Please allow your property lockbox to be at or very close to the front door. They don't fare well frozen into the ground, buried in snow, attached to side back fences and other fun places to access.


6. Leave the heat on. Cold floors and drafts aren't showing features. Please keep the heat on for comfort.


Thank you and good luck with your sale.


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