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Allison James

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Archive for the ‘First Time Buyer’ Category

What Not to Do When Selling Your House

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Dirty dishes

Everybody knows what not to do when selling your home. It’s common sense – right?  Well, not always. Here are a few of my tips to sellers whose home is being shown. Some of my tips are just general rules for showing homes and others are pulled from my own amusing and very real experiences.

Forget to Take Out the Garbage

Garbage is unsightly and offensive odors leave a strong and lasting impression. Overflowing cans, even in the backyard or garage, are a turn-off.

Go on a Cooking Spree the Morning of an Open House

Limit heavy kitchen use and the accompanying mess and odors while your home is being shown. Stacks of dirty dishes will only serve to hide your beautiful countertop. While you may adore the smell of garlic and onions, not everyone does. Pungent cooking odors should be avoided whenever possible except for boiling cinnamon or homemade bread or cookies which seem to have a universal appeal.

Leave Out All Your Family Photos

Remember that the goal is to depersonalize the space to better enable a buyer to picture themselves living there. You may be justly proud of your kids’ report cards but put them away in a safe place together with the photo albums, diplomas and awards.

Leave Your Pet Home Alone

No matter how well-behaved your beloved little dog is, it’s best to arrange for doggie day care during showings. Many people are allergic, are afraid of animals or simply don’t like them. There are liability issues to consider as pets don’t always welcome strangers invading their turf and can turn nasty. Finally, accidents do happen. Just remember that piles of dog excrement or smelly litter boxes are not likely to ignite a bidding war.

Fail to Cover Your Aquarium Full of Snakes

Believe it or not, some people get jittery when it comes to large snakes. In fact, most people will, so do yourself a favor and send the snakes to a friend’s house. Your potential buyers and your realtor will all appreciate the effort.

Leave Your Sex Toys Out in Full View

I know. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and everyone does it, but please do us all a favor and put your personal pleasure items away. It’s much better to allow the buyers to conjure their own fantasy of living in your home – without the aid of your assistive devices.

Selling a home can be stressful. Remember that you hired an expert for a reason and my goal as a realtor is to sell your home as quickly as possible at the highest price. Pay attention to my tips and before your know it, you’ll be comfortably situated in a new space. Then you can cook any time of day or night, hang every piece of artwork your child ever brought home and even leave your “toys” out if you don’t feel like putting them away.

Do you need to move to celebrate the changes that are happening in your life? Let me serve you in helping you make the move to the place or home that reflects where you are in life’s journey! I will listen to your needs and use my knowledge and expertise to make this a smooth transition to the right place for you to call home in Calgary. Contact me at 403-708-5873, ajames16@gmail.com, or www.allisonjames.com and let’s get on with your journey!

About Allison James

has been a realtor® since 1999 with Century 21 Bamber Realty Ltd. in the changing Calgary real estate market. A Century 21 Centurion Award 2007 recipient and a member of CREA and AREA, she specializes in residential real estate and has her designations as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist and a Certified Condominium Specialist. These designations testify that she has the expertise and resources to help her clients make a smooth transition to the next step in their life journey. She enjoys helping her clients as they move through many of the same stages of life that she, too, has experienced. The fact that the majority of her business comes from past clients and/or referrals from satisfied clients speaks volumes about her dedication to the high quality of service that she offers her clients to meet their Calgary and surrounding area real estate needs. She is a mother of four who are all on their own now, and a grandmother of eight. Besides helping people buy or sell real estate, she loves spending time with her family, being active outdoors, traveling and meeting new people, photography, playing the drums, reading, scuba diving, listening to music, learning new things, and nurturing her spiritual growth.

Demographic Trends in Calgary

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Demographic Trends in Calgary

According to 2011 census figures, Calgary is Canada’s third largest city with a population of roughly 1.1 million. The median age of a Calgarian is 36 years, compared to 38 in Toronto and 40 for the nation overall. The past decade saw a mass infusion of youth attracted to the booming economy and robust employment opportunities.

Calgary appears to be a young city in every sense. After all, it is only 130 years old, and half of our current residents did not live here during the Calgary Olympics of 1988. It would seem that the mythical fountain of youth is alive and well and living in Calgary, but on closer inspection, there’s a catch.

The youngest city in Canada is aging and aging rapidly! In 2011, the first baby boomers turned 65 and their fellow boomers will follow in rapid succession. The coming decades will see dramatic growth in the senior population. The City of Calgary states on its website that “it took a full 70 years for Calgary’s population to climb from 5% seniors to 10% seniors…..it will only take 30 years to climb another full 10% to nearly 20% of the population.”

It remains to be seen if the new generation of senior homeowners will follow the downsizing trend established by their own parents. Over the years, I’ve worked with a number of clients eager to rid themselves of the large house and settle into a single story condo or apartment. Others choose to stay in the large family home as long as possible or buy a new single family home in a resort community once they’ve retired.

One thing is for certain – changes will be in store as we strive to meet the needs of an aging population. The shifting demands faced by the housing industry will also confront the health care, transportation and support service industries.

Among my own clients in the 55+ population, I see a renewed preference for downtown living. The active older generation is attracted to the same low-maintenance lifestyle as the younger folks. They want easy access to transportation, urban services and amenities. Several large-scale development projects are currently underway in the southeast quadrant of Calgary comprised of mixed-use communities with rental apartments, condos, office and retail space, schools, libraries, and assisted living facilities. In many respects, this represents a return to our past before the decades of suburban sprawl. Everything old is new again!

Do you need to move to celebrate the changes that are happening in your life? Let me serve you in helping you make the move to the place or home that reflects where you are in life’s journey! I will listen to your needs and use my knowledge and expertise to make this a smooth transition to the right place for you to call home in Calgary. Contact me at 403-708-5873, ajames16@gmail.com, or www.allisonjames.com and let’s get on with your journey!

About Allison James

has been a realtor® since 1999 with Century 21 Bamber Realty Ltd. in the changing Calgary real estate market. A Century 21 Centurion Award 2007 recipient and a member of CREA and AREA, she specializes in residential real estate and has her designations as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist and a Certified Condominium Specialist. These designations testify that she has the expertise and resources to help her clients make a smooth transition to the next step in their life journey. She enjoys helping her clients as they move through many of the same stages of life that she, too, has experienced. The fact that the majority of her business comes from past clients and/or referrals from satisfied clients speaks volumes about her dedication to the high quality of service that she offers her clients to meet their Calgary and surrounding area real estate needs. She is a mother of four who are all on their own now, and a grandmother of eight. Besides helping people buy or sell real estate, she loves spending time with her family, being active outdoors, traveling and meeting new people, photography, playing the drums, reading, scuba diving, listening to music, learning new things, and nurturing her spiritual growth.

Condo or Single-Family Home for First-Time Buyers?

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

 

Buying your first home is a huge, life-changing event.  First-time buyers face a gauntlet of difficult choices – from budget considerations to neighborhood choices to financing options.  For many, the first and sometimes most difficult decision is whether to buy a condo or a single-family home.

As an experienced real estate professional and Certified Condominium Specialist with a large family of my own, I am well qualified to coach my young buyers in their first dive into the real estate pool.  I urge those who are not quite sure what they want to carefully consider the following questions.

How much money do you have to spend?

While there are certainly many high-end expensive projects, condominiums are, in general, more affordable than single-family homes, even after factoring in the cost of monthly maintenance fees.  For many first-time buyers, owning a condo is the perfect avenue to becoming a homeowner.

Do you plan on having children in the near future?

As any parent will tell you, having kids changes everything.  If you plan on having a large family quickly, you may well want the added square footage and yard space that comes with a single-family home.  If you’re not planning to have children for five or more years, consider starting out with a condo and then moving on to a single-family home when the time is right.

How do you spend your spare time?

Owning a house is a major responsibility and a lot of work.  If you work full-time during the week, that leaves weekends for housecleaning, gardening, lawn mowing, etc.  Snow removal can’t even wait for the weekend.  Imagine yourself with a beautiful day with nothing to do.  How do you want to spend the free time – gardening or snowboarding?  Houses need constant maintenance and repair.  How handy are you when it comes to fixing things?  If you can’t tell a hammer from a screwdriver, start with a condo.  It’s a great way to begin your education as a property owner and begin to understand how things work.

In the end, the most important consideration is often a lifestyle choice.  In general, I believe that many first-time buyers will do well by starting with a condo.  There are countless complexes located in the hub sections of town in walking distance to transportation, shops and restaurants.  It can be a very attractive lifestyle for young professionals.  If you do decide to buy a condo, make sure you are informed and educated as to what you are buying.  Condominiums come with associations, fees, rules and regulations.  Read and understand the rules with the help of a professional and make sure you can live with them.

Life is a series of continual transitions and home ownership is no different.  Many of my clients have found themselves going from a rental apartment to owning a condo to a single-family home and then back to a condo.  It is my pleasure and privilege to help at every stage in the remarkable journey.

 

 

Do you need to move to celebrate the changes that are happening in your life? Let me serve you in helping you make the move to the place or home that reflects where you are in life’s journey! I will listen to your needs and use my knowledge and expertise to make this a smooth transition to the right place for you to call home in Calgary. Contact me at 403-708-5873, ajames16@gmail.com, or www.allisonjames.com and let’s get on with your journey!

About Allison James

has been a realtor® since 1999 with Century 21 Bamber Realty Ltd. in the changing Calgary real estate market. A Century 21 Centurion Award 2007 recipient and a member of CREA and AREA, she specializes in residential real estate and has her designations as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist and a Certified Condominium Specialist. These designations testify that she has the expertise and resources to help her clients make a smooth transition to the next step in their life journey. She enjoys helping her clients as they move through many of the same stages of life that she, too, has experienced. The fact that the majority of her business comes from past clients and/or referrals from satisfied clients speaks volumes about her dedication to the high quality of service that she offers her clients to meet their Calgary and surrounding area real estate needs. She is a mother of four who are all on their own now, and a grandmother of eight. Besides helping people buy or sell real estate, she loves spending time with her family, being active outdoors, traveling and meeting new people, photography, playing the drums, reading, scuba diving, listening to music, learning new things, and nurturing her spiritual growth.

Allison James, Century 21 Bamber Realty Ltd.
1612 17 Ave SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2T 0E3
Tel: 403-245-0773 Toll Free: 403-708-5873 Cell: 403-708-5873 Fax: 403-592-9187
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