January 2014

Found 9 blog entries for January 2014.

The Calgary Zoo has lined up an amazing evening for Valentine's Day called "In the Heat of the Night.” You'll sit down and enjoy a romantic dinner and then you can make your way over to the conservatory to find out how animals and plants court and mate with each other during the special seasons of the year. It's a night of special love that you can share with your favorite animal lover.

During the intermission there will be fabulous desserts served in the main foyer of the conservatory. Gillian Cardwell from the Calgary Zoo along with other guest speakers will be making presentations. The theme that is being presented this year is named "Who's your daddy?" You'll be able to find out exactly what spurs on the mating between different animal and plant

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With all the snow that has come down in Calgary this winter, city council is going to debate whether or not it would be a good idea to make snow tires mandatory in the city. Some council members believe that the idea is a good one while others think that looking at solutions to reduce the amount of ice and snow on the city streets would be better.

Thousands of Calgary residents were upset with the snow conditions of the roads this winter. In December, record-breaking snowfalls came down and the city just wasn't prepared to remove all of the snow on the streets. The city couldn't keep up with the snow - as fast as it was removed the white flakes would fall from the sky once again.

It is mandatory in the province of Québec to have winter tires

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If you're new to the world of real estate there are probably going to be some terms that you don't understand. Here are some basic real estate words defined to help you get more familiar with the language.

Appraisal - This is an analysis conducted by a qualified appraiser that provides an estimated property value in writing.

Closing - This is the last step in the process of purchasing a home that involves transferring the title over to the new owner.

Escrow - A third party holds the title to the property and the cash deposit until all of the agreements have been fulfilled. Once this has taken place, the third-party will give the buyer and the seller their assets.

Amortization schedule - This is the schedule followed when paying down a

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So you've decided to purchase your first home here in Calgary! Good for you! The first thing you'll need to do is put together a down payment. This is the biggest hurdle for a lot of people since you'll have to be saving money while you continue to pay rent. There are some things you can do to help speed up the process though so that you can get into your new home faster.

Trim the fat off your budget

Take a look at your existing budget to see how it can be trimmed down to add extra savings to the down payment pot. For example, if you go out to eat once a week you can trim back to dining out once every 2 weeks instead. If you're spending $75 per meal for you and your spouse, you'll end up saving $150 per month. If you take this money and put it right

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Plants make a beautiful addition to any home no matter how it is decorated or what colour themes are used from one room to the next. They bring a touch of nature into the home and at the same time can improve the indoor air quality. While we are all busy trying to save energy by making sure that there is no way for air to leak into the building, we are forced to breathe in potential pollutants from the building materials in the home.

There's a solution, however, to this common problem. There are different types of plants that can remove some of the toxic chemicals from the home and can reduce the levels of carbon dioxide.

If you're thinking of adding more green to your home, here are some of the most beneficial types of plants that will help to

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Canadians with a high net worth are busy saving up for their retirement in order to experience the ideal lifestyle of their dreams. In fact, the average amount saved by the average affluent Canadian is $2.3 million for retirement. These are the results that are coming from a new survey that was done by Pollara for BMO Harris Private Banking, which examines the trends of affluent Canadians across the country.

The survey asked 305 Canadians that had investable assets that were worth a minimum of $1 million about their retirement goals and savings. This $2.3 million retirement savings goal is approximately 2 1/2 times more than the average $908,000 that most Canadians consider to be an optimal retirement amount.

The majority of the people polled also

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If you're thinking of finishing your basement you're probably interested in finding out how much of the investment you'll see back on the resale of the property. It makes a lot of sense to finish a basement since it takes up about a third of your home’s total square footage. On the other hand, you will lose out on some of your investment when you go ahead and get your basement finished.

Approximately 2/3 of the money that you put into finishing your basement will be put back into your pocket upon the resale of the home. This means that you will lose about 1/3, but on the other hand a finished basement is a definite plus point when it comes to selling a house and may very well lead to a faster sale.

It's not always about the money

When you

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Up until this point, requests for laneway homes in the city of Calgary have been dealt with on an individual basis. Now we are going to see a test case of laneway homes in the city on 10A St. Northwest. It's a pilot project that will lay the groundwork for any future decisions about going forward with laneway homes in the city.

What are laneway homes?

These are small housing units that are often built above a garage. Usually they can be accessed from the back of a laneway. They are also commonly known as garden suites or granny suites but they can also be a residence for a single-family.

Laneway housing gives the city a chance to start expanding inwards instead of outwards. Rollin Stanley, the top city planner in Calgary, is in favour of pushing

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We have sailed into 2014 and it's going to be a great new year. It seems as though 2013 has passed us by in the blink of an eye with all of the activity that has been going on in the city. Now we forge ahead into a new year full of excitement and anticipation.

Looking back on the year as a whole, it has been an incredible 12 months of growth that has been seen in the city and in real estate in general. The flood proved what the residents of Calgary already knew - the city is resilient and knows how to fight forward when necessary. We have been a bit bruised and battered but have come out the other side with a new sense of strength and community spirit.

Now it's time to look ahead into 2014 and welcome it with happiness, peace and open arms. It's

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