You can’t have your avocado toast and eat it too…

I’m so far away from being cool (which I found out, may actually make me cool), I actually had to look up what avocado toast was. I heard that people were spending big bucks on this magical food, so I figured it must be incredible.

Well guess what. It’s avocado. On bread. The bread is toasted. That’s it. Seems the folks who name foods went all out for creativity on this one.

People want to buy homes. Whether it’s a condo, townhouse, infill, or detached house, home ownership isn’t really a dream for many people. They just assume they’ll own a home.

I have to say, though, that if you think regular consumption of avocado toast is a good idea, you may not be ready to buy a home. Buying a home can be very easy (*cough cough*, with the right agent to help you), but owning a home takes discipline and oftentimes sacrifice. A mortgage payment always has to be paid, and there is no “minimum payment due” option.

The good news? There are options. Continue reading

Do You See It? That’s The Real Estate Elephant, and He’s In The Room

I don’t think a single Canadian would deny that, in the last 12 to 18 months, there have been drastic changes to our economy. Job security or simply HAVING a job can no longer be taken for granted.

Chances are someone you know has had their wages cut or lost their job altogether. Current and foreseeable economic conditions make finding a new job difficult. Payments become increasingly hard, if not impossible, to make. With this in mind, serious questions need to be asked even though it’s natural to want to avoid them.

There is an elephant in the room of many Canadian homes right now. This elephant is foreclosure, and it’s a real possibility for many families. The good news is that options exist to avoid foreclosure and retain some of the equity you have worked so hard for. From your lender’s perspective, they DO NOT want to foreclose on your home. It’s time-consuming, a logistical nightmare, and they rarely recuperate their costs. Speaking with a mortgage specialist colleague, it’s in the lenders best interest to work with you so you can keep your home.

So what are potential options to avoid foreclosure? Naturally, each situation is unique. In some cases, lenders will work to implement an extended “skip-a-payment” with few, if any, penalties. Mortgage life may be extended to consolidate higher-interest debt whereby making payments more manageable. If these options aren’t available, then the best suggestion is to sell your home to maintain your equity while you have it.

With home prices decreasing in hardest hit markets, the goal is to extract as much equity as possible before all is lost. Selling your home in the current economy is not only possible, but you may sell for more than you think. Determining how to make this happen can seem overwhelming which is why you need professional help on your side. The key is having a knowledgeable, focused real estate agent that will give you no-holds-barred advice about your home’s value and target demographic, as well as a comprehensive advertising, marketing, and sales plan. You need someone who will work with you to preserve as much of your hard-earned equity as possible.

Benefits are two-fold. First, you keep as much equity as possible. Second, no elephants are harmed in the process.


Soft Close Drawers – Finally Someone Accepts Your Berzerking Rage

I’ve been a real estate agent for over 10 years. Over the course of those ten years, I’ve shown hundreds of buyers thousands of homes. Starter condos to enormous mansions.

The one thing that happens during every showing where buyers are remotely interested is they open and close the kitchen drawers. Do they want to make sure there aren’t questionable items in these drawers? Make sure all the forks and spoons are in the right spots? Nope. They want to see if the house has soft close drawers. Continue reading

So We Got A Puppy…

Last week, after much humming and hawing and debating, my wife and I (and my daughter, of course) got a puppy. Eight weeks old, small-for-now-but-will-get-giant, the only thing he is trained for is to be unpredictable.

We already have a dog, whom we also got when he was eight weeks old… That was almost eight years ago. He is calm, predictable, a known evil if you will. Getting a puppy is a lot like when you decide to move, and need to sell your home, or help you buy one.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far about getting a puppy… It’s remarkably like deciding to move. Continue reading

Top 3 Ways to REDUCE The Value Of Your Home – From Your Calgary Real Estate Agent

Agents always get asked about ways to increase the value of a home.  Renovations and improvements are the prime examples.  Agents (and let’s face it, Canadians) don’t like offending people, though, and as such, things people do that reduce the value of their home are never talked about.

Here they are, though…  The top three things people do to reduce the value of their homes…  Sorry if it offends some, but it’s all true. Continue reading