Date Night

Calgary – It’s Date Night!

Calgary is AMAZING!

I know, I might be biased – but there is so much to do in our city.  With everything the city has to offer date night should be easy and more than just dinner and a movie. 

How about these cool local date night ideas:

• Live Improv: Loose Moose Theatre 
• Handmade Pasta Making Lesson: The Spice Chica 
• Murder Mystery Dinner: Fort Calgary 
• Sunday Brunch: Monki Breakfast Club
• Drop in Volleyball: Rally Pointe
• Tacos and Bowling: National on 10th
• Escape Room Experience: Level 1 Escape / Escape Capers YYC 
• Surfset Group Fitness: Revolution Fitness 
• Live Music: There are tons of cool places like Ironwood and Wine Ohs

Everyone is different and the more you can personalize the experience the better it will be for both of you.  Remember that they love you  just spending time together and reminding them how important they are to you will win you major brownie points and fill your heart up with joy.

Or, “Netflix and Chilling” always works too  😉

Love Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day – Pamper Her or Spoil Him

Tis the season of love, tingly feelings and romance.  I adore this time of year, people being all mushy gushy with feelings, open hearts and public displays of affection. I mean, seriously, is there anything cuter than a couple holding hands walking in the snow and not feeling the cold. It doesn’t matter if you are in love with yourself, a partner, your family, your friends or even your pet – sing it from the rooftops during this time of year. It’s OK!

“BEING IN LOVE IS AN AMAZING THING; BUT BEING IN LOVE WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND IS EVERYTHING!”

There seems to be a lot of gift giving this time of year, but celebrating your love for another doesn’t mean you have to spend all your savings. There are many ways you can show you care … I’ve listed some of my ideas below that you can totally steal and take credit for on Valentine’s Day:

Pamper Her
  • Breakfast in bed or meet for breakfast somewhere instead of dinner
  • Send her a sexy text message or tantalizing voicemail
  • Have a romantic Valentine’s Day picnic on the floor. Use some candles and lay a soft blanket on the floor. Put on some soft music and white Christmas lights for additional romantic lighting
  • Share a warm bath with scented oil or bubble bath
  • Together write your love story – how you met and fell in love. Don’t forget “lived happily ever after”
Spoil Him
  • Hide post it notes around the house with cute little sentiments
  • Mail a love letter to his office so it arrives on Valentine’s Day
  • Use lipstick to make hearts and XO’s on the rear view mirror or bathroom mirror. Leave a kiss on his napkin for lunch or dinner
  • Do something together, go skating or tobogganing – its fun, seriously!
  • Break out his favourite board game, puzzle or video game

Asbestos – What We Did!

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral and for years prior to 1990 it was a popular in construction Canada wide.  Mainly used for insulating buildings and homes against wintry weather and noise. It has also been used, and, in some cases, continues to be used, in products like:

  • cement and plaster
  • industrial furnaces and heating systems
  • building insulation
  • floor and ceiling tiles
  • house siding

Here we were, looking to renovate a townhouse that was built in the late 1970’s – we were pretty sure that there would be asbestos. Therefore, during our home inspection period we had a testing company come out and grab samples from everywhere that could potentially contain asbestos. We were right, they did detect 2% Chrysotile Asbestos (which is by far the most common form) in the drywall joint compound no where else. The company said that it was often added to the mud as a binding agent – I sure didn’t know that. Anyways, we negotiated with the seller some of the costs and were off the races.

So, you know, Health Canada says there are no significant risks if materials containing asbestos in your home are:
  • tightly bound in products and are in good condition
  • sealed behind walls and floorboards
  • isolated in an attic
  • left undisturbed

Well, we were definitely going to be disturbing those nasty little asbestos fibres, so next came abatement. We hired M.A.R.S. Environmental Services to do the work for us as we wanted it done properly and safely. It was going to take them 2.5 to 3 full days to remediate all the areas that were going to be affected by our renovation plans. That even included around each of the electrical plugs we were either going to move or replace/repair.

Did we learn a lot through the process? Yes. Was it a bit costly and time consuming? Yes. Was it worth it? YES!! The health of my family, and the ability to confidently say it has been remediated when we go to sell, is totally worth it.  I would say that if you are going to be renovating or flipping an older property, get the testing done prior to waiving your conditions for peace of mind and to ensure you still have a profit margin in that flip!

JUST LISTED : 88 Prominence View SW

This bright & well-kept San Francisco-style end unit town house with double turrets is located in the beautiful community of Patterson. This home is surrounded and backing on to a green belt, it is uniquely situated in the Capilano Gardens condominium complex. The features include a tiled foyer with mirrored entry closet, gorgeous cherry oak built-ins and cabinetry. There is rich oak flooring throughout the main floor and neutral carpeting upstairs. There is a desirable large south-facing deck that has an expansive and private view. It allows for a wonderful summer retreat for BBQing or hosting friends and family.

This two-storey townhouse offers a grade-level foyer with access to double tandem attached garage. The kitchen includes a wall pantry and island, turret-style breakfast nook with a magnificent view. Don’t forget about the granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances. The open concept living/dining room has a marble-faced gas fireplace and built in bookcases. The main floor also has a 1/2 bath and in-suite laundry.

The upper floor has open hall plan with built-in cabinetry and a den with more large windows. The spacious master bedroom retreat features a mirrored by-pass doors into a semi walk-in closet. There is also an ample second bedroom. And a large 5-piece bathroom with a corner jetted tub.

This is one of the most sought after locations and town house in the area. Be sure to call your favourite REALTOR for a tour today.

For more information click here.

For the virtual tour click here.

Patterson 88 Prominence View SW Townhouse   Patterson 88 Prominence View SW Townhouse

Patterson 88 Prominence View SW Townhouse   Patterson 88 Prominence View SW Townhouse

 

About Coach Hill Patterson Heights:

Coach Hill Patterson Heights is a well established community in the city of Calgary. It is located in close proximity to downtown, Canada’ Olympic Park and one of the most geographically unique areas of the city.  Whether it is the rolling hills, bubbling waterfalls, sloped ravines, or natural fauna – this community is beautiful. There are also interesting bike paths and friendly people that make Coach Hill Patterson Heights their home, our community has a lot to be thankful for.

JUST LISTED : 167 Douglas Woods Hill SE

Welcome to this show stopping family home in sought after Douglasdale.

This open concept home has been recently updated for a polished, modern look. You’ll be impressed as soon as you step inside this gorgeous home. It features hardwood floors, a spacious living & dining room, main floor laundry & a discrete half bathroom. The home opens up into a family room with huge windows and a corner fireplace. Once in the kitchen your eyes are drawn to the details which includes high end cabinets, stainless steel appliances & shining granite countertops.

Upstairs is your extra large dream master suite – a large 4 pc ensuite with corner jacuzzi tub & a walk in closet. There are 2 additional bedrooms & a kids/guest bath up.

The fully finished lower level is ideal for family entertainment. Space includes a supersized recreation room, built in office space, a 4th bedroom & storage space!

The backyard is enormous, did we mention there’s a POOL? The property is well manicured with a large multi-tiered deck. Welcome Home.

For more details click here!

Check out the virtual tour here.

JUST LISTED : 409, 59 22 Avenue SW

Discover contemporary condo living in River Grande Estates, and relax into convenience, amenities, and distinct downtown lifestyle.

Two bedrooms and two bathrooms offer everyone comfort and privacy, while 9-foot ceilings, new flooring throughout and attractive, brand new stainless steel kitchen appliances are sure to impress your guests. A huge walk-in closet and a 5-pc ensuite off the master will make you never want to leave home.

There is assigned storage, in-suite laundry and underground parking! No where compares to Mission for restaurants, shopping, transit and fitness opportunities; your lifestyle is about to experience an upgrade. Additional features include underground visitor parking, a car wash, a library and an entertainment room.

What else do you really need!? See it today!

For more details click here!

Housing market retains momentum in April

City-wide prices hold steady as labour market improves

Calgary’s housing market continued to show signs of stability in April. With improvements in the labour market and a balanced detached sector, city-wide benchmark prices reached $439,600 in April, similar to the previous month, but 0.90 per cent below last year’s levels.

“More jobs means less uncertainty for people who are sitting on the fence,” said CREB® president David P. Brown. “There also tends to be fewer people who need to sell when employment improves, and that can prevent inventory gains and further price reductions in the market. It’s a good scenario for sellers who are entering a spring market that’s in better shape than anything we’ve seen in recent years.”

While adjustments are still occurring in the apartment condominium sector, the detached segment of the market is improving across all price segments.

“Detached product has not faced the same supply pressure as the apartment sector,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “Detached supply from new construction didn’t surpass previous highs. That helped prevent steeper price adjustments in the detached sector when demand eased.”

The relationship between sales and inventory will be a key driver for pricing in the months ahead. Total transactions improved to 1,917 units in April, while inventories totaled 5,495 units, pushing months of supply below three for the second consecutive month.

With sales up and overall market inventory down, months of supply has already pulled back from elevated levels recorded over the past two years. While activity continues to vary by location and product type, more balanced conditions will help to support overall price stability.

“Improvements in the employment situation were necessary to prevent further declines in the housing sector,” said Lurie. “However, economic recovery is still expected to be slow, impacting the pace and quality of job growth. Based on current expectations this should translate into a more prolonged period of recovery in the housing market.”

Give me a shout  if you want to know the specifics about your property or neighbourhood!

JUST LISTED : 306, 3650 Marda Link SW

Modern, luxurious living begins and ends in fashionable Marda Loop. Tired of cookie-cutter layouts and unimaginative design? This extraordinary penthouse suite of the coveted Courtyards at Garrison Woods speaks to a new class of contemporary Calgarians. Incredible double-height ceilings and a sunlit, open plan impress straight through the door, while a corner gas fireplace and oversized garden-facing windows make entertaining an effortless thrill. The peninsula kitchen features upgraded appliances, a tiled backsplash, a sizable pantry and slate flooring. Under the stairs is a built-in office nook, and around the corner a convenient powder/laundry room and a spacious balcony.

Last but certainly not least, atop the elegant staircase is the inspiring master retreat — a private loft that stretches the entirety of the suite and features an interior balconied view of the living-space below, and the courtyard beyond. A roomy mirrored closet and 4-piece, modern master-bath polish off this compelling upper floor.

This is a secure, upscale 18+ building with exceptional recreational features including a lap pool and change rooms with shower facilities. The exercise area includes stationary equipment. There is also a clubhouse with a fireplace, kitchen facilities and furnishings. Guest suites are available. Also note there is an assigned, secure underground parking stall, storage locker, air conditioning and integrated sprinkler system. Two blocks from everything you need from, restaurants, groceries and coffee shops to Village Ice Cream. Just a quick trip to Mount Royal University, Glenmore Athletic Park or Downtown.

For more details click here! Call 403-370-2620 to book a private showing!

cropped-IMG_8778.jpg img_8704 img_8780b IMG_8824

How to Start a Remodeling Project

When the itch to remodel hits you, create a plan that works. The first step in all remodeling projects, large or small, begins with careful planning to ensure you get the most out of your budget.

From designing many projects over the last decade on HGTV and with my firm I can confidently state that you really need to stay focused on your design style and direction. Being consistent and following your path will ensure your project is seamless and less stressful.

1. Begin with Inspiration

Even your favourite travel destination might inspire you to remodel. Create a stylebook and fill it with photos of your favourite kitchen, decor and artwork. I often have design sessions with clients who just want some ideas, inspiration and rough sketches. This is a great opportunity to hone your style and colour palette while picking your designer’s brain for reno tips.

2. Define Your Goals and Priorities

Think about what you want to achieve from your remodel. What are your goals? Create a list and prioritize all the projects to complete and any major repairs. No matter what size your reno is, you have to consider all the details – from plumbing and electrical to HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). If your renovation includes any of these elements, ensure that you have a game plan for relocation and contingency.

3. Create a Budget and Timeline

Determine the money you have to spend and define a timeline for completion. Knowing this will help you stay on budget and ensure you reach your goal without steering down a path you didn’t plan for. I always tell my clients to put aside 15% for a contingency fund, not to be confused with overspending, it is used for unpredictable construction costs. Make sure to work and consult with a designer, and invest in floor plans.

4. Find a Contractor

Interview at least five contractors, and look for ones that work regularly in your area. This will avoid having them travelling across the city to get to other job sites and possibly abandoning your project for days at a time to complete others.

5. Set Your Plan in Motion

Allow your vision to take shape by researching paint colours, furniture, lighting, accent pieces and anything else you would like to incorporate into the design of the space.  Sometimes, choosing the right decor can be overwhelming. I often get called-in to help make colour suggestions and the right choices to match your budget and vision. A short design consultation can take a lot of stress of your plate.


Toronto-based celebrity and award-winning designer Dvira Ovadia, principal of Dvira Interiors, is known for her appearances and design work on various HGTV shows. Dvira and her team uses their profound understanding of design to create stylishly smart spaces. Servicing clientele throughout Ontario and Greater Toronto Area.

www.spray-net.com  @DVIRAdesigner

Five Things About Population Impact On Housing

Weak net migration expected to impact Calgary’s housing market

Population growth in Calgary will moderate moving forward and contribute to a decline in housing demand, according to a market brief issued earlier this month by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC).

In the release, the national housing agency noted net migration is expected to remain relatively weak over the next two years, which will have a trickle-down effect on the local real estate market.

CREB®Now breaks down five things you need to know about how population will impact housing demand in Calgary this year and next.

The History

Calgary’s population outpaced the national average for the 10 years preceding 2015. From 2006 to 2015, the city’s population increased an average of 2.81 per cent per year, compared with 1.12 nationally. CMHC credited the growth to favourable economic conditions, which attracted prospective workers to the region. This also boosted demand for housing, with total starts and MLS® sales both reaching record highs in 2014.

The More Recent

Calgary’s population growth started to level off in 2015, when the rate of newcomers to the city grew at 2.44 per cent, down from 3.55 a year earlier. CMHC attributed the moderation to weak oil prices that ultimately impacted investments in the energy industry – and, thus, employment prospects in the city.

The Employment Picture

While 2015 might have looked and felt like 2008, it will be considerably different moving forward. CMHC said economic recovery will be more gradual this time around, resulting in job losses – especially in full-time positions. In the first quarter of 2016, the city’s unemployment rate increased to 8.96 per cent compared to 5.67 in the same period in 2015.

The Outcome

With fewer employment opportunities in Calgary, along with stronger labour market conditions in other areas of the country, CMHC said net migration to the city will decline and remain relatively low. Net migration is projected to decline from 21,057 in 2015 to 14,000 in 2016, and then rebound slightly to 14,500 in 2017. This will limit Calgary’s population growth and temper housing demand.

The Outlook

Following several years of elevated growth, Calgary’s population will rise only 1.91 in 2016 and 1.81 per cent in 2017, said CMHC. This will bring the population in Calgary to 1,466,500 and 1,493,400 in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

“Total population in Calgary is forecast to grow at its slowest rate since 2010, largely due to a decline in net migration, and contribute to weaker demand for housing,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for CMHC’s Prairie region.

 

CREBNow By: Jamie Zachary