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The REPs

Fall…. back to school, routine…..

All words we think we dread but like everything are able to embrace it because it’s simple, everything has a season. As much as we love all that summer brings our families there is something to be said for routine, and there is comfort in knowing what each day will bring, even if it is full of activities. 

As we enter September take the time to reflect on all the joys and memories summer brought your family and reflect on the year before…. what worked last year and what could be tweaked to make the transition into fall and winter more seamless? 

What are some things you could do to simplify fall- is it big cooks, meal planning, a colour coded family calender, hiring a cleaner? Any or all of the above can help seasonal transitions go smoother, don’t be afraid to try, tweak where needed and modify to work best for your family.

Try not to add too many big make work projects in September, like building a fence….allow yourself and the kids to adjust to all of your fall programs.

Don’t be overwhelmed by all of the fees for school and sports often there is payment plan options- just ask , you will not be alone- programs are designed for families and organizers understand how stressful this time of year can be. Ask about cancellation options as well – there is nothing worse than paying for years worth of piano to discover your child has 2 left hands….. not everything is for everyone!

Season changes are a great time to spruce up your front door with a new mat, different cushions on the couch and start cleaning out those flower beds before the snow flies. 

Remember to everything there is a season, a time to plant, grow and harvest- embrace every season — The season of pumpkin spice lattes, amazing colour changes, crisp morning air and earlier nights. Welcome Fall! 

Back to School

Back To School…10 reasons why moving your family in the summer is a positive move!

New school, new friends, new wardrobe, new backpack, new home! Summer’s a great time to make a move and here are 10 reasons why!

1) Kids will start off on a fresh foot. Schedules are not uprooted mid-year.

2) Explore the community! Take the last couple weeks of summer after your move to learn about your community, meet new friends, and get comfortable.

3) More time to enjoy your new home and community with your family. With school activities ceased and organized sports not as busy, take advantage of quality family time.

4) Purging… Summer is the best time to declutter, have a garage sale & prepare for your move.

5) Block parties and neighbourhood BBQ’s are often held at the end of the school year. If you’re lucky enough to land in a neighbourhood that celebrates, it’s a wonderful time to get out a meet everyone.

6) Seasonal employment is at a peak. If your teenagers are looking for any part time work, they can take advantage of the many job postings that come up in the summer.

7) Potentially lower moving costs… The trucks don’t have to warm up or run as long, roads aren’t treacherous, and overall it’s a more enjoyable experience for your movers.

8) Know what kind of yard that comes with the house! Is there grass? Does it need a little bit of TLC? Don’t be fooled by the snow… Buy your home in the summer.

9) More daylight hours to move, or work on any household projects. Bring on the vitamin D… It’s motivating!

10) Two words: NO SNOW!

For further information on schools near you, visit these websites:

Golden Hills School Division

Ghsd75.ca

Rocky View School Division

Rockyview.ca

If you’re thinking of making a move before school starts up, give The REPs Group a call.

There’s plenty of time left and great places to choose from!

The REPs

Well, 2017 has proven to be an interesting real estate year so far.  Better than 2016 and looking like a good recovery year all around.

We are seeing final price corrections and some regions improving in sales.  East of Calgary communities like Strathmore, Chestermere and Langdon are seeing steady sales although it’s taking a little longer.  It is starting to quiet down a bit for the summer.  That being said it`s still a great time to buy and sell!  There are many beautiful listings available in all our East of Calgary communities and some terrific acreage properties as well!

Now that summer is upon us we can take a look back at the end of the school year and give a special shout out to our teachers, teacher assistants, school staff, administrators, volunteers, bus drivers and all the people who take on the education of our students.

Without their continued effort, commitment and hard work it would be a bleak outlook indeed.  As volunteerism continues to drop off and with Canada`s 150 birthday coming up many communities are celebrating with a give back program.  What can you do in your community to make it better…. Spend time at the school, help with neighbourhood clean-up, volunteer for your child`s sports team, donate to the food bank, pop popcorn at a local community event, help at the humane society… there are so many great organizations looking for volunteers like the Lions Club or Rotary Club and local community clubs.  `You may even have a neighbour that needs you – take a moment or an hour it’s priceless when you give someone your time.

So many individuals who give back to our communities are unrecognized and continue to give their time, money, ideas and effort – this is a shout out to you and your tireless spirits.

It is going to be a terrific summer!  Watch for something special coming up as The REPs celebrate Canada Day.  We will also be participating in several upcoming events including Canada Day and Langdon Days to name a couple.   

We also hope you will continue to shop local, support local, give local and spend your time and money local.  Have a wonderful July everyone!

Happy Spring!

As I sit here writing this article, the birds are out and singing a happy tune. Spring is definitely in the air.

This idea made me reflect on outdoor activities and how many of us will be venturing outside now, enjoying the fresh air and shaking off the dust from being indoors most of winter.

It’s a great opportunity to go for a walk or run, and soon the bikes will be on the pathways as well. Strathmore has many beautiful neighbourhoods (we are pretty lucky and these neighbourhoods are all interconnected by a series of pathways that link our town.

Did you know that we have over 20 km of pathways? And guess what else we have? An app! It’s called Smore Paths and it was designed by SAY (Strathmore Assembly of Youth). It is very user friendly and gives you great details on 15 different pathways around town. Go to www.smorepaths.ca or to the Apple App Store to find the app and add it to your mobile devices. I am a runner and I’ve come to know our path system very well over the 17+ years that I’ve lived here. At first, I had to be a little creative to run “off the roadway” but over time, the path system has gotten better and better.

Now, while I’m tracking my progress or planning on meeting a fellow runner. I can name the paths that we plan to use.

There are many reasons to enjoy the great outdoors here and another one is Disc Golf. The Disc Golf Course weaves its way around various parks and playgrounds in Strathmore. What is Disc Golf? It is a game where you throw a disc (like a frisbee) and try to land it into a net. It’s a lot of fun and you can get some great exercise and enjoy the spring weather at the same time.

The maps are available at the town office or online at www.strathmorediscgolf.com

We have to thank the Strathmore Assembly of Youth for pursuing this great idea and making it a reality.

My plan is to take advantage of this game when my family comes to tow for Father’s Day. I am organizing a Disc Golf Tournament with prizes – it’s going to be so fun!

What I love best about the pathways and Disc Golf is that they are all literally right outside our front doors.. Our Communities in Strathmore are excellent for families trying to create ways to enjoy outdoor fun. Go explore!

Happy Spring… See you on the pathways!

Staging Your Bathroom

Last time I wrote an Article about staging details, the theme was “making a bed” 

Today, the topic is Bathrooms 

Baths and Kitchens sell houses, so the preparation here is very important, so we REPs are going to recommend … 

A bathroom remodel should work within your budget and can be super luxurious But also does not have to be expensive. The room is typically small and the impact is dramatic. We want you to consider investigating the cost. 

A new toilet, a new floor option (if needed), a new vanity and sink, paint, a light and you have completely transforms the room.

If you have a tub, if it’s in good condition, leave it. If it’s not white, then contact a professional tub refinisher .. Blackstone tub refinishers are one such company. Harry would be happy to help you

Let’s start with everyone’s friend, the toilet. If you don’t have a low flow toilet, buy one and get it installed. There are great local plumbers out there who can help. The REPs group know a few contacts that we work with all the time and we would be happy to recommend a name to you. If you are a very handy person, there are definitely options for the “do it yourselfer” …. But this is your toilet, so be sure you know what you’re doing. 

If you did decide to remodel the bathroom and its complete… Woohoo!!- this will make a great selling feature  Continue reading

Spring Has Sprung

Well, we have all sprung ahead and as the debate continues as to whether or not Alberta should participate in Daylight Savings Time, the question remains… is this really what makes it feel like spring?

The compilation of longer days, shorter nights, more rays of sunshine and an increasing list of to-dos as you plan for home, yard and garden projects – not to mention the thoughts of summer loving plans of backyard fires and BBQs with friends and family – I am sure you are like me and can’t help but be excited for the season change!

Springs brings all kinds of changes everywhere you look, even in things we don’t have the touch – from the building, trees, the greening grass and the tulips that start to peak through the dirt and the sounds of the bids. Everything naturally feels freshened up! Often providing motivation to modify and adjust, make changes in your home, garage and yard and maybe even make some changes to yourself as well!

Whatever spring brings your way, make sure you are looking within – ask yourself what held you back through the winter? Was it a coset full of too many unworn clothes? Was it an unused treadmill that serves as a coat rack for most of the winter months? Was it too small of a space – is it time to move up? Were the rooms you did not even go in during the winter months – is this time for a downsize?

Don’t fret and feel overwhelmed by these questions. Just remember, it is never too late to start a new project either for your home or for yourself. A great philosophy to stay is to “write it down and make it happen”. It is so rewarding to look back at the list as the days, weeks and months go on to see all the things that you have checked off your list! Celebrate each accomplishment.

Spring is a fabulous time to set new goals, start a journal, clean closet, was walls, as well as tackle outdoor projects, move things around or repurpose furniture, get a gym membership or simply go for a walk. The more more you love what you are surrounded by, the more motivated you will be to try a new recipe, walk a different route, try a different golf course, a whole new sport, or project.

Season changes always fills the local groceries store with new variations of fruits and vegetables, inspiration can be anywhere you look – don’t be afraid to try something simple as a new salad mix! I am sure it will be something that would pair perfectly with anything fresh off the grill.

And with all that being said, maybe there’s not a darn thing bugging you… you are just simply thankful it is not -30c anymore! But at any rate, get out, get active and love where you live! Hello Spring!

 

 

Moving with Our Household Pets

Moving can be very stressful for your entire family, but can be especially overwhelming for your pets.

We humans have an entire world outside of our homes but for our pets (be it dogs, cats, reptiles, birds etc) our homes, and we humans, are their ENITRE world. Moving them from one place to another can be stressful and in some cases health compromising for your pet. Then can get lost in the shuffle or worst case scenario end up sick.

There are some steps to make the transition a bit easier for them:

Prior to moving day, make sure your pets are fitted with collars and ID tags with your name and current cell-phone number

An excellent option is to kennel them if one is available during your move, a pet vacation may be the answer.

A crate is an excellent alternative. Make sure it`s large or small enough with plenty of circulation.

It`s hard to move without the doors wide open providing the perfect escape. Crates and cages give your pets a feeling of security and safety. Make sure some of their favorite things are in there.

In extreme cases with very anxious pets, a trip to the vet for something to take the edge off may be in order.

Watch for signs of dehydration and ensure water is fresh and accessible during the transition.

Upset tummies can be treated with a bit of mashed pumpkin mixed in with food and a touch of lemon in the water. But always check with your vet first.

At the new house get an area ready for your pet and fill it with familiar things such as blankets, toys and food and water dishes. Let them explore the new place slowly and a little at a time so as not to overwhelm them too much and before you know it they will start to settle in. For dogs, ensure you accompany them outside for the first few bathroom breaks and help them explore their new environment.

Remember extra love and attention will be required for both your human and non- human family members during our move.

What Does It Mean to be Best in Business?

When I think about a business that is the best in their service or industry, I think of excellent customer service. As a consumer, I think we have adjusted as a population to accept the service we receive at any given time simply because there may not be an alternative for that service. As a result, businesses come to adjust their practices in accordance with a lower expectation of good quality customer service.

What does it mean to have excellent customer service? In my view, excellent customer service involves effective communication between the service provider and the client, an overwhelming willingness to solve any issues that may arise, and being easily accessible to the consumer.

In our society today, we are finding more businesses straying from excellent service practices and making moves towards quantity over quality. The idea being, how much product can we pump out to the public with the emphasis being on sales and profit, instead of taking the time to make service-consumer relationships? Especially in larger markets, we are seeing these practices detract from experiencing a positive consumer experience.

However, that being said, the Best in Business, whether they are the only one that provides the service or not, will always go above and beyond the bare minimum of what is required. An idea comes to mind for me when I recommend a business or service to anyone, it is based on the fact my experience with them personally has EXCEEDED my expectations.

For example: When you call a business to request information, book an appointment, or make an order, is the person on the other end of the line cheerful and treats you, the potential customer, as though you are the most important call of the day or do they sound annoyed by the fact you did call? When you went to the grocery store, did someone offer to help you find what you are looking for? Or when you went to the bank, were you politely greeted and helped in a timely manner? This is often the first point of contact to the public for many businesses, was your experience one you will remember, or was it one that affected your mood, negatively, for the rest of the day?

Often, what I look for is how I am treated as a consumer and I will remember that business in the future. The beauty of shopping local or in small market areas, such as towns and hamlets, service providers will often know your name, perhaps what you might regularly purchase, and make an effort to get to know their consumers better. This type of customer service will have a longer lasting effect on the consumer, even in downturns in the economy.

If you enjoy these types of services, make sure you recognize the businesses that shine in these aspects of the positive consumer experience.

I Can Renovate My Home, Myself…Right?

So you’ve decided to renovate your home. You’re excited and nervous, but confident as you’ve done your due diligence and have tons of information, pulled permits, and have quotes from contractors. Some of them seem reasonable, and others were ridiculous, not to mention some of the contractors were as colourful as their quotes. Sound familiar?

Well, here is the skinny on home renovations from a Realtor’s perspective. If you’re considering a renovation, you owe it to yourself and your home to protect your home’s equity. After all, you don’t want to put in all that money on the renovations just to have it be a complete waste of your time, money and efforts. Homes that have DIY renovations completed, tend to be very obvious, as they lack quality and sell for less. I’ve yet to hear a buyer say, “Oh, I can fix this.” I always hear, “This all has to be torn out and redone” or “What were they thinking?” Then, I generally will hear, “I wonder what else wasn’t done well, maybe the plumbing and electrical are bad too, or worse, who knows…let’s just move onto the next house, please.”

Bottom line, if you’re not able to complete the renovations like the pros, go ahead and hire them. You will not only come out with more equity in your home, but you will sell your home easily when you’re done with it. Buyers will instead say, “WOW, these sellers really took care and did great quality renovations here.”

So, how do know if your DIY is good enough? Go and visit some show homes in your area. They will give you a good idea of everything, from what’s expected in quality of workmanship, to what’s current in décor.

And don’t forget, your Realtor can recommend great contractors in your area. Your Realtor can also give you a good idea of your home’s current and post renovation values. Ask your Realtor if the renovations you’re planning to do are going to give you the return you anticipate. Your Realtor is your ‘go-to’ for all your home needs and is always ready to help.