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Tips To Make Thanksgiving Entertaining a Breeze

October 11th, 2015 by Allison James

Tips To Make Thanksgiving Entertaining a Breeze

We all love Thanksgiving, spending time with family and loved ones, eating till our bellies are full and simply creating great new memories. But as much as we love the holiday, it can be stressful especially if it’s your turn to host. From making a list to preparing for picky-eaters to making sure you leave enough time to defrost the turkey…here are some stress-free holiday tips that will allow you to sit back, relax and enjoy the day.

Plan Ahead

A few days before the big day, make sure you have everything you need from ingredients to utensils and all the other often missed necessities like paper goods, beverages and ice so you don’t have to make a mad dash to the grocery store.

Start Defrosting That Bird- NOW!

Don’t stress about that turkey. If it’s frozen, you may need to let it defrost for a couple of days so it’s ready to go. The earlier you leave that bird out the better, so even consider leaving it in the fridge to slowly defrost the week prior.

Have Guests Help Themselves

Serving buffet style is a great way to not have to deal with picky eaters or those with allergies. Setting up a buffet and drink station will free you up to mingle with guests and allow you to enjoy yourself too, at least until it’s time to clear.

Deal With Picky Eaters

These days, everyone seems to have some sort of dietary restriction, but don’t stress out about leaving anyone out. Ask your invited guests well in advance if they have any requests so you can make sure there is something for everyone on the menu.

Prepare For Little Ones

It’s great to have the whole family together, but having little ones at the “adult” table can sometimes be stressful. Be prepared with kid-friendly activities like a paper placemat and crayons to keep them entertained and have toys and games available throughout the evening to entertain them.

Overall, Thanksgiving Day is a time to enjoy and spend with family. So don’t stress if the turkey is a bit dry or your pumpkin pie too moist. Live in the moment and enjoy it.

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

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.

Calgary Real Estate Market News

September 27th, 2015 by Allison James

Calgary Real Estate Market News

As the summer of 2015 comes to a close, the Calgary real estate market reflects the uncertainty of the area’s economy, but the energy industry’s problems have yet to make a significant impact on property values in and around Calgary.  The latest statistics show that while prices are no longer climbing in many neighbourhoods, they are not dropping either.  Overall, the Calgary market remains fairly well-balanced with neither buyers nor sellers wielding a clear advantage.

At the start of the year, some experts were predicting major real estate value drops in Calgary in response to plunging gas and oil prices and energy industry layoffs, but that has not happened to date.  The latest statistics released by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) on September 1, 2015 indicate that August’s benchmark price for all residential (detached, attached and apartment) properties in Calgary was $456,300 – nearly identical to the benchmark price of $456,700 posted in August of 2014.  These stable overall market numbers do not extend to the apartment benchmark – $294,100. Calgary’s apartment sector has experienced a slight 1.44% decline in benchmark value during the same 12 month time period.

Any examination of the state of the Calgary real estate market should make note of the fact that market conditions vary considerably throughout Calgary’s diverse collection of neighbourhoods. While the overall trend is toward stability in pricing, some areas of the city have seen diminution in value while others are still seeing multiple offers on highly desirable properties in the right location.  The recreational property market centered in the mountain and lake regions immediately surrounding the city remains strong. American buyers, buoyed by a strengthening U.S. economy, are once again looking to purchase second homes in Alberta and Calgarians are looking to vacation closer to home in view of the current U.S. exchange rates.

The Calgary real estate market will undoubtedly continue to respond to the general uncertainty in the current economy.  Continued or increased unemployment is bound to impact supply and demand for housing.  On the upside, however, consumer optimism remains strong.  In its Mid-year Update to its 2015 Economic Outlook & Regional Housing Forecast, CREB remarks that “Positive long-term prospects and reduced concerns about the bottom falling out in the near term could minimize the pullback in demand, keeping market conditions in relatively balanced territory and preventing further aggregate price declines.”

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

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.

Canada’s Booming Senior Real Estate Market

September 13th, 2015 by Allison James

Canada’s Booming Senior Real Estate Market

Canada’s growing demographic of retirees and senior citizens is already having a strong impact on real estate market trends. This group of senior buyers and sellers will undoubtedly continue to play a key role in Canada’s real estate market in the years to come.

The numbers are indeed quite staggering.  The older population is booming and according to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), in 2011 there were approximately 5 million people, aged 65 or older, living in Canada.  By 2036, that number is expected to approach 10.4 million, meaning roughly 1 in 4 Canadians will be a senior citizen.  Clearly, the real estate industry needs to pay attention to this growing population.

One of the many fine qualities of this demographic is that they usually know exactly what they want when it comes to buying a new home.  Interestingly, many are following the same path as younger buyers who seek an urban lifestyle that provides easy access to amenities – restaurants, recreational facilities, cultural centers, etc.   They enter the market with higher income and educational levels than previous generations.  Many of them are also experienced in having lived through numerous real estate transactions during their lives.  They understand the responsibilities of home ownership.  In every respect, they are savvy buyers and sellers.

When representing senior buyers and sellers, I work closely with my clients to help them achieve their own unique goals as they transition into a new phase of their life.   For some, that might mean downsizing to an upscale downtown condo, purchasing at an assisted living facility that caters to their immediate needs or even buying a quaint farmhouse outside of the city.  Since every client and set of circumstances is unique, the possibilities are endless.  As a Realtor, my senior clients pull me in new directions every day and that is a large part of what makes my job fun and exciting.  In every instance, it’s all about embracing the positive aspects of life’s passages and celebrating change with a house that fits.

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

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.

How to Ensure Your Home will Get Showings

July 27th, 2015 by Allison James

How to Ensure Your Home will Get Showings

Real estate is a highly competitive business.  When you list your property for sale, you immediately enter into competition with every similar property in your neighbourhood that is for sale.  You are all competing for the attention of buyers.  Even in our digital age, very few people purchase a property sight unseen.  Phone inquiries and internet hits are all fine and good, but in order to sell a home, you really need to generate floor traffic and showings.

If you are working with a Realtor and have not had many showings, you need to sit down and pinpoint the problem.  There is a market and a buyer for every home out there, including yours.  You just have to find them and invite them in.  Start by focusing on those factors that are within your control.  You cannot change your neighbourhood and there is not much you can do about your competition, but there are some things you can definitely do to drive traffic toward your property.

Make the home available and easy to show.

Even though it may be inconvenient, you really have to be ready to let prospective buyers into your home at a moment’s notice.  Your Realtor must be reliable and reachable and so must you.  Buyers often view several homes in a neighbourhood at a time and if the house is not available for a showing when they are around, you could lose the opportunity.  Homes that require too much advance notice and complicated instructions for showing are often a turn-off for buyers and their agents. In addition to being accessible, the home should be tidy and free of pet odors, if possible.

Make sure your marketing is up-to-date.

Marketing is the responsibility of your Realtor and to maintain a competitive edge in today’s world, homes are marketed using both traditional and digital outlets.  It starts with good photos and perhaps, a video that entices buyers to want to see more.  In addition to traditional advertising through signage and newspapers, your property should appear in the local MLS and a host of other internet sites catering to buyers in your area.  Your Realtor should be familiar enough with social media to arrange for well-placed postings on Facebook, Twitter and other sites.

Make sure the price is right.

There is no quicker or easier way to discourage showings than to overprice your home.  Your sentimental attachment to your home does not necessarily translate into real value.  That is one of the many reasons you need a professional Realtor to price the property from an objective point of view – free of emotional attachment.  If you are not getting any showings, the first thing to ask is, “Are we priced right?”

These are just a few of the items to consider when listing your home for sale.  If you are not getting the foot traffic you feel your home deserves, sit down quickly with your Realtor and strategize to increase the number of showings.  Price it right, market it effectively and stay accessible to real estate agents and their buyers, and the property will sell itself.

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

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.

What’s Going On In Calgary?

July 14th, 2015 by Allison James

What’s Going On In Calgary

What’s Going On In Calgary? Click on any of the links below to find out more!

June 14 – Aug 24 Banff Summer Arts Festival
July 10 – 19 Cyclepalooza
July 17 – 19 Fiestaval
July 18 – 19 Franco Festival Calgary
July 19 Creekfest 2015
July 23 – 26 Calgary Folk Music Festival
July 25 Taste of Okotoks
July 25 Pet-A-Palooza
July 27 – Aug 2 Calgary Int’l Blues Festival
July 31 – Aug 8 Calgary Fringe Festival
Aug 1 Calgary Fringe Festival
Aug 1 Inglewood Sunfest
Aug 1 – 2 Calgary Slide the City
Aug 1 – 2 Kensington Beach in the City
Aug 1 – 3 Canmore Folk Music Festival
Aug 3 Heritage Day
Aug 5 – 8 Afrikadey!
Aug 8 Chinatown Street Festival
Aug 8 – 9 Calgary Arab Festival
Aug 9 Marda Gras Street Festival
Aug 14-15 Calgary ReggaeFest
Aug 13 – 16 Taste of Calgary
Aug 13 – 22 Opera in the Village
Aug 20-29 GlobalFest
Aug 22 Brazilian Heat
Aug 22 Carifest Caribbean Festival
Aug 22 – 23 Dragon Boat Race & Festival
Aug 28 – 30 Expo Latino
Aug 29 Okotoks Chili Fest
Sept 5 Calgary Highland Games
Sept 7 Labour Day
Sept 16 – 20 Beakerhead
Sept 23 – Oct 4 Calgary International Film Festival

Calgary’s Balancing Act

July 12th, 2015 by Allison James

Calgary's Balancing Act

Continued uncertainty surrounding the oil and gas industry has definitely had an unsettling impact on the Calgary real estate market in 2015, but several indicators in recent months point to positive trends.  Viewed separately, these statistics may not seem like much, but viewed together, they point to a balancing trend that may be exactly what the volatile Calgary market needs.

In its June 2015 report, entitled Calgary Regional Housing Market Statistics, the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) reports that May 2015 marked the first time this year that residential sale prices improved over the previous month. In addition, CREB Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie states, “For the third month in a row, new listings have eased compared to last year, helping push the market toward more balanced conditions, despite the current environment of slower sales activity.”   CREB President Corinne Lyall added, “While some challenges continue to exist for sellers, depending on the property type, price and location, the decline in the months of supply points towards more stability for both buyers and sellers.”

Despite a steep drop in the total number of sales from 2014, home values have not suffered a significant hit yet.   The median sales price in Calgary for residential property in May of 2015 was $433,000, down only .26% from a year ago.  Prospective buyers waiting for the anticipated declines in value have yet to see that occur.  Homeowners with lower-priced entry level homes still find themselves firmly entrenched in a sellers’ market, especially those in sought after neighbourhoods.  Higher-priced homes in the luxury market are remaining on the market longer, but most owners are not yet rushing to drop the price.

After an extended period of steady gains and a robust sellers’ market, the balancing act that is currently underway in Calgary may be exactly what is needed to fend off a steep decline in value across the board.   The 2014 freefall in oil and gas prices was largely unexpected and led to uncertainty and erosion in confidence for prospective homebuyers.  Market movement in the coming months will depend largely on the duration of this economic uncertainty.

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

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.

Looking for Something Different on Canada Day?

June 28th, 2015 by Allison James

Looking for Something Different on Canada Day

Calgary puts on a great show on Canada Day.  There are historical-themed events, music, food, parades, festivals and more food – all capped off with brilliant fireworks over the Bow River.  There is no shortage of activity and you are sure to find a patriotic celebration whichever way you turn.  Here are a few suggestions for Canada Day fun and adventure a little off the beaten path:

Chinatown Fest

Following its debut last year, Calgary’s Canada Day Chinatown Fest is back by popular demand.  Come on down to Chinatown between 3:00 pm and 10:00 pm to celebrate Canada’s birthday surrounded by the unique sounds, sights and aromas of Chinatown.

Show & Shine

Calgary’s favourite classic car show, Show & Shine, will be held on Canada Day in the East Village in collaboration with the East Village Street Fair.  From 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, in addition to ogling the fine array of festooned classic cars, enjoy the work of local artisans and musicians while sampling some of the fine East Village food.

Celebrate Canada

Celebrate Canada, organized by Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at (AMJ) Calgary, will be held at Prairie Winds Park from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm.  This event beautifully represents Calgary’s tremendous cultural diversity and aims to promote both national pride and neighbourhood spirit. There will be speeches from local and national leaders along with educational displays and recreational activities for children and adults.  You can also participate in guided tours of Calgary’s Baitun Nur Mosque.  This 48,000 sq. ft. building with a steel dome and minaret tower is Calgary’s largest mosque.

Canada Day in Canmore

If you are in need of some fresh mountain air and natural beauty that defies description, head on out to Canmore for your Canada Day festivities.  Canmore’s Canada Day Parade begins at 12:00 noon and the intersection of Fairhoime Dr. and 15th Street.  After the parade, segue into a Centennial Park celebration featuring marching bands, musical acts on a main state and a huge family area with something for everyone.  The music will continue between 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm with live acts on the Civic Centre Center Stage.  Canmore’s fireworks extravaganza will kick off at 10:30 pm in Millenium Park – just a short stroll from Centennial Park.  It all sounds like the ingredients for a perfect day.

On our country’s birthday, we are reminded of all that we, as Canadians, cherish and hold dear.  Despite our differences, there is so much that we all share in common.  Canada Day affords us the opportunity to commemorate the achievements, vision and values of our ancestors while embracing the contributions of today’s generations.

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

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.

Meaningful Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

June 14th, 2015 by Allison James

Meaningful Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

Do you struggle to think of a good gift for your dad or other dads in your life on Father’s Day?  If you answered “yes”, you are not alone.  The challenge in finding the perfect gift probably stems from the fact that so many of us feel that no gift can every really convey the depth of the love and gratitude we feel for our dads. When we think back on our lives, it’s not the expensive gifts that we remember, but precious time spent with loved ones. So, here’s a tip for Father’s Day this year – stop trying so hard and instead, consider these ideas for meaningful gifts for Dad.

Tickets to a Sporting Event or Concert

Think about buying your dad tickets to a sporting event or concert with a favorite musician.  This does not have to be done on a large scale.  In fact, small is probably better.  Think minor league baseball game instead of the World Series.  The goal is to spend quality time with your dad while also enjoying something he loves.

Plan a Nature Hike

The sights and sounds of nature tend to bring out the best in all of us.  While taking in a healthy dose of fresh air, seize the opportunity to reminisce with your dad and share a few laughs.  It’s also a good way to catch up on current happenings in your busy lives.

Take a Road Trip

Everybody has someplace they’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t managed to find the time.  Make the time this year and plan a road trip to that place on your dad’s bucket list.  If you can’t come up with a suitable destination, just meander and go where the road takes you.  Enjoy the time with your dad along with whatever sights and sounds come your way. The trip might only take a weekend, but the memories will last forever.

Pay it Forward

What better way to honor Dad for all he has done and continues to do than by paying it forward and helping someone else?  Let’s face it – many dads pretty much have everything they need.  If they don’t have it and decide they want it, they go and buy it owing to their status as grown men.  So instead of stressing over some gift your dad doesn’t even want, remind him just how much you appreciate his love, hard work and sacrifice by making a donation in his name to one of his favorite organizations or charities.  It’s a gift that it is guaranteed to make him proud.

So before investing in another loud tie for Dad or the latest gadget that will gather dust in the back of a closet, think about gifting Dad with the one thing he probably wants the most – a little time with you!

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

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.

Calgary’s Vibrant Ethnic Mix

May 31st, 2015 by Allison James

Calgarys Vibrant Ethnic Mix

Add ethnic diversity to the long list of reasons why Calgary is a great place to live in. The economic surge of the past decade has become an open invitation for young people from other provinces and countries to migrate to Calgary and be on a hunt for good jobs. The result is Calgary can now boast of a strong multicultural base with more diversity than any other time in the city’s history. To put it in perspective, in 1959, only 1 in 350 Calgarians was a member of a visible minority. Today, that ratio is 1 in 5, and growing. By 2020, the city’s immigrant population is expected to grow to half a million people speaking 120 different languages.

The young settlers populating Calgary are well-educated, bilingual or trilingual, entrepreneurial and keenly interested in maintaining the quality of life here that we all love. There’s an abundant ethnic mix in all quadrants of the city. Large numbers of Filipino, Chinese, Indian and African immigrants have established themselves in neighbourhoods that reflect the rich societal and culinary influences of their respective groups. The ability to explore and share the delicacies and traditions of different cultures promotes tolerance and appreciation in any community. It helps to cut through the stereotypes and preconceived notions which are the basis for racism, and instead, create a milieu in which racial and cultural diversity is celebrated.

During the annual Calgary Stampede celebration, the faces lining the parade route evolve to have a more mixed look than a few years ago. On weekends, city neighbourhoods play host to dozens of ancestral festivals that pay homage to cultures born in other parts of the globe. The sights, sounds and aromas are so intoxicating that it draws locals and visitors by the thousands. It’s a fun and inexpensive way to enjoy fine weather, good music and delicious food. For those in search of a more sedate experience, fine dining establishments such as Anju and Deli Darbar serve traditional Korean and Indian/Pakistani cuisine, respectively, in ultramodern settings.

Fueled by the energy hike and the need for a learned, skilled labour force, the city known as Cowtown has broadened its horizons and welcomed young workers from other parts of Canada and the rest of the world. The energy boom may have already subsided, but the migration trend is expected to continue, and Calgary will sustainably lead the way as one of Canada’s most diverse and exhilarating cities.

 

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

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 Living – Is it Right for You?

May 17th, 2015 by Allison James

Condo Living - Is it Right for You?

The Calgary real estate market has witnessed a major boom in condominium development and sales in the past few years. It is fueled by the influx of people wanting to move to condos – a part of an overall urbanization trend.  More and more home buyers, many of which are young, single professionals, dual-career couples or empty nesters looking to downsize, are becoming attracted to the condo lifestyle.

Although condo living represents the perfect blend of affordability and simplicity for numerous home buyers, it doesn’t always follow that it’s what everybody wants. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when deciding if a condo would be suitable for you:

Pros

In many instances, a condo purchase is simply the more affordable option than a single-family home. Reduced square footage and property means reduced expenses, which is particularly beneficial when it comes to saving for a down payment. Condos require less maintenance – a LOT less maintenance. The fact that they require little work means that many on the market are truly in move-in condition. A good number of today’s consumers are no longer attracted to the classic suburban tract home with large yards. Young and older buyers alike are looking for a more carefree lifestyle that provides plenty of time for leisure activity.

Some condo buildings and associations provide round-the-clock security for residents. This greatly contributes to a heightened sense of security for the occupants. If downtown living is what you seek, then the condo life is probably the right choice for you.

Cons

Generally, condos are more susceptible to downward fluctuations in value. In weak real estate cycles, they tend to depreciate faster and appreciate at a much slower pace than single-family homes. This is a distinct disadvantage if you are not intending to stay for more than 5 years.

Definitely, the lawn mowing, snow removal and exterior upkeep will be taken care of. However, someone still has to pay for such services. Membership in a condominium association comes with a price, and it is in the form of monthly homeowner association fees. This is actually your share in the maintenance and repairs of the building. You would need to add this to the principal and interest dues under their mortgage loan when calculating the affordability of a condo unit.

If you have children or just like to relax in a backyard, realize that in a condo, your activity will be limited to the community’s common areas. Although it is free for use, it is important to know that condo association membership comes complete with a long list of rules and regulations governing everything from pets to outdoor grills to window treatments. Some people find this reassuring and necessary, while others take offense at the very notion of being told what to do. If you are a non-conformist at heart with little patience for rules and regulations, condo living may not be for you.

Condo living is a lifestyle choice. Take a minute to carefully deliberate on all the pros and cons before deciding if it’s the perfect fit for you.

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

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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