Archive for January, 2014

Top 10 Mortgage Tips For 2014

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Your home may be the biggest investment you’ll ever make. That means you want to be smart with your mortgage. Although we can’t say for sure what mortgage rates will do – or how the housing market will shift – we have compiled our top tips for the year ahead; sensible strategies for today’s homebuyers and owners.


Home & Mortgage

  1. Variables are back. Several lenders are offering strong “prime minus” rates that could save you thousands in interest. And the Bank of Canada is still holding their key “overnight rate” very steady and very low… making variable-rate mortgages a sensible option right now. Fixed versus variable has always been a challenging mortgage decision. Let us help you decide which financing option best meets your needs.
  2. Don’t sleepwalk through your mortgage renewal. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to save thousands on your mortgage. When your lender sends you a letter saying it’s time to renew… then it’s time to get an expert second opinion. We’re independent and we have access to over 50 lenders. If there’s a better deal, we’ll find it.
  3. Pay your phone bill on time! Paying your bills on time has always been the most important credit habit. Equifax recently started to include phone companies on credit bureau reports – so your lender can see if you have any delinquencies with your phone bills. Look like a good borrower.
  4. Keep other good credit habits. Don’t let your credit accounts exceed 30 per cent of your limit. Don’t cancel an old credit card without getting advice. And don’t sign up for store cards: they often have crazy interest rates, and the application triggers a credit inquiry (you don’t want a lot of those).
  5. Mortgage versus total debt. Do you have high-interest debt outside your mortgage that you won’t be able to pay off in the next few months? Then think about rolling that debt into a new low-rate mortgage. This one, smart strategy could save you thousands… and boost your monthly cash flow. We can analyze your situation to see if you qualify.
  6. What’s the prepayment penalty? Don’t let anyone tell you prepayment penalties are “all the same”. They’re not. If you ever need to get out of your mortgage early, the right mortgage could save you thousands. Not all lenders calculate penalties the same way, and the differences can be substantial. It helps to know which lenders have the most fair prepayment penalties. With access to dozens of lenders – we’ve got that information at our fingertips.
  7. If one of you wants to keep the marital home. If you are going through a separation or divorce and one of you wants to keep the marital home, we’ve got some great mortgage options, including a mortgage to 95 per cent. Your home can be the asset that gives you both a fresh start!
  8. A paydown will pay it forward. Take every opportunity to beat down your mortgage principal using any prepayment privileges! Use tax refunds, bonuses, whatever. Or switch to weekly or bi-weekly payments. Every dollar you pay down on principal means every future payment goes further.
  9. Thinking renovation? We see what you see. Your reno will add value to your home. That’s why we have a special “Refinance Plus Improvements” mortgage that lets you refinance up to 80 per cent of the new, post-reno value of your home. Cool deal.
  10. Come in for a checkup. Your mortgage needs an annual checkup. Really. Life doesn’t stand still, which means your needs may have changed. Even a minor tweak can pay big dividends.


This week’s guest entry blog was courtesy of Jay Meakin, a mortgage associate at Mortgage Intelligence. If you are looking to get pre-approved for a mortgage to purchase a home or are interested in any information regarding mortgages for Calgary properties please contact him at (P) 403. 861.7399 or at (E)

We hope you found today’s blog useful and that it will aid you in being a smarter and more educated home buyer or seller. The Calgary Real Estate Market has got off to a rapid start in 2014. Home inventory is continuing to decrease as buyer’s demand is continuing to increase. This is pushing prices up and conditions in favor of sellers. If you are considering selling your home, now might be the right time to maximize the value of your property. On the other hand, prices are projected to keep on growing in the upcoming year. It might be the right time to start looking to buy the property of your dreams before the rush of the busy Spring Market arrives.

Please Contact Us today if you are interested in receiving a Free Market Evaluation on your home or if you would like us to set you up on a private home search  so we can narrow down what type of property you are looking for.


Home Sweet Home Team

Division of Century 21 Bamber Realty LTD.

(P) 403. 874. 9021 / 403. 542.6926



JUST LISTED- # 306 3950 46 Av Nw, Calgary

Friday, January 24th, 2014

The Home Sweet Home Team JUST LISTED a stunning, chic condo in the desirable NW Calgary community of Varsity Acres. Take a look below for the details. If you like what you see and would like more details on This Property or to schedule a private viewing to see it for  yourself, please Contact Us today.

# 306 3950 46 AV NW AD

You will fall in love with this bright and open 1 bedroom + den in the desirable Varsity Landing building. The moment you walk in the door you will notice the vaulted ceiling with huge windows, which allow tons of natural light into this great space. This unit has a great living area which leads out to a sunny south facing balcony perfect for barbecuing! The spacious kitchen has darker cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. A good size bedroom with wall-to-wall armoire, den and 4 piece bath make up the rest of this 630 sq. ft. well laid out unit. Other great features include titled underground parking, storage locker, in-suite laundry & bike storage. This property is in perfect shape and you will notice the pride of ownership the moment you walk-in. This lovely condo is in a perfect location close to schools, parks, public transit (C-Train), malls and all other amenities.


 Home Sweet Home Team

403.874.9021 / 403.542.6926

STAGING: 12 tips to stage your home

Friday, January 24th, 2014

STAGING: 12 Tips To Staging Your Home

As a Real Estate agent I see multiple homes on a daily basis. I can say with full confidence that a home that is staged, clutter free and clean will sell faster than a home that isn’t. 63% of people will pay MORE for a move in ready home.
Here you will find 12 Helpful tips to stage your home


1. CLUTTER KILLS SALES: The most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. Make a house rule that for every new item that comes in, an old one has to leave. Downsize, purge or store unused items.

2. BRIGHT IS RIGHT: What makes a staged homes look so warm and welcoming is great lighting. To remedy the problem, increase the wattage in your lamps and fixtures. Dark spaces/rooms can appear to be small, cold and uninviting. Open up your curtains. Allow the sunshine to brighten rooms.

3. IN THIS CASE BIGGER IS BETTER: To make a room appear to be bigger, paint all rooms the same color. If you have a small kitchen and dining room, a seamless look will make both rooms feel like one big space. Adding a glass table will give the illusion that it is invisble, making the room appear bigger.



4. WHAT’S THAT SMELL? Best smell in the house is NO smell! However if you need to have some smell to mask cooking or a dog etc, try to find something that is not too offense. Like, a vanilla scented candle.

5. YOU SAY BORING. I SAY NEUTRAL: Painting a living room a fresh neutral color helps tone down any dated finishes in the space. Also try to have a unisex bedding, linens and towels. When you are selling, your master bedroom should appeal to buyers of both sexes. Get rid of features that seem too gender-specific.

6. ROSE ARE RED,VIOLETS ARE BLUE: Staged homes almost always have fresh flowers and a some kind of orchid arrangement, but you can simply venture out in your own back yard and raid you garden. This will add a delightful fragrance and pop of color in your home.

7. FACELIFT:If you can’t afford new cabinets or big upgrades in your home, do simple and afforable upgrades.  Update lighting, paint and replace hardware.

BEFORE                   AND                  AFTER

8. KISS THE COOK:  52% of buyers will purchase a home based on the kitchen. The number one thing buyers look for is storage in the kitchen.  So if your kitchen lacks storage space, add additional storage  by adding shelves, cabinets or even a extra pantry. Lastly…..PLEASE Make sure your kitchen is CLEAN!

9. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: Buyers will often open bathroom cabinets and closets. So, elimanate the clutter and clean out your cabinets. You want to show buyers storage, not a lack of storage.

10. PERSONAL PICTURES: Remove personal pictures. You may be very photogenic, but many buyers are distracted by portraits of the sellers, and miss out on key selling points of the home. You want the buyer to in vision themselves in the house. The reality is that people judge! You want them to judge the house, not the people living in in it. So place art work, or scenery pictures instead.

11. PUPPY LOVE: You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you’d be wrong. Not everybody is a dog- or cat-lover. Make sure that during your listing period, you are cleaning up after them. You want it to seem like no pet has been there. So take a sniff test. Make sure it doens’t smell like your furry friend. Consider buyers with pet allergies. If possible remove your pet while buyers are viewing your property.

12. READY. SET. GO. Your house needs to be “show-ready” at all times – It’s a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold!! Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling , clutter to a minimum and carpets dust free.

BEST of luck selling your home. /hope these few tips will help geting it from staged to SOLD!




Rocio Radke
1612 17 AVENUE S.W.
Office: 403-245-0773
Fax: 403-229-0239

Home Sweet Home Team Listings Hitting the Calgary Real Estate Market

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

The Home Sweet Home Team hopes everyone is having as great and busy of a hump day as we are! The new year has been extremely busy for the Calgary real estate market thus far. Listings inventory is continuing to decrease and buyers demand is stronger than ever, pushing conditions well in favor of sellers.

Due to this low supply of housing inventory in many Calgary communities, we thought we would provide our loyal followers with a little bit of a sneak a peak of a few of our listings hitting the market in the next week or so:

4 Suite Attached Home In Bridgeland

408 7A ST NE- New Listing

In the next couple weeks, we will be listing this classic 4 suiter attached home in the desirable inner-city Calgary community of Bridgeland. We don’t expect this one to be on the market for long as it is a great investment opportunity. Not only is it located near downtown where there is little to no home inventory but it is also rent-able and currently full with tenants.


SW Calgary Townhouse

NEW LISTING- # 24 4810 40 AV SW

We are also listing this great 3 bed, 2 bath townhouse is the SW Calgary community of Glamorgan. Similar to that of inner-city calgary, the SW quadrant of Calgary is extremely low on housing product and we would recommend that you contact us ASAP if you are interested in details on this newly updated home. This home is priced very affordable and has everything a prospective buyer could want in a Calgary townhouse.

1 Bed, 1 Bath + Den, Condo in Varsity Landing

Varsity Landing


Welcome to Varsity Landing. This spacious 1 bed, 1 bath + den condo is located in the perfect location in NW Calgary, near the University of Calgary. Standout features include vaulted ceilings, underground parking and the unit includes a storage locker. The unit is ideally located on the top floor. If you are a first time home buyer, or a savvy investor looking for a great condo, this one is for you!


The Home Sweet Home Team will be sure to update our followers on any other new listings we have hitting the market in the upcoming months. We understand this is a tough market for buyers trying to find a home that fits their needs.

We will put even more effort in to educating our home buyers and helping them beat the rush of a large pool of home buyers looking for similar product. If you have considered selling your home and wanted to wait until it was the right time to maximize the value for your home, that time is now!With such low home inventory, home prices are reaching record highs, days on market are continuing to decrease, and sales are continuing to peak!

Contact Us today to find out how we can help you with your buying or selling real estate needs.

Home Sweet Home Team

~ Passion ~ Integrity ~ Honesty ~

(P) 403-874-9021

(P) 403-542-6926




Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

New HSH Profile PictureThe Home Sweet Home Team – Century 21 – Calgary Real Estate takes pride in servicing our clients to the highest standard of customer service and are constantly striving to improve. We would appreciate if you could please take a minute out of your day to rate and review our services on

The Roar Awards (Recognizing Our Accomplished Realtors®) are a unique opportunity to celebrate the exceptional talent and hard work of Calgary and area REALTORS®. They recognize REALTORS® for their professionalism, excellence and dedication to their careers, mentorship, and how REALTORS® contribute to their communities.

These prestigious awards identify each recipient as a true professional, with qualities to which all REALTORS® can aspire.

There are five categories: Marketing Excellence, Mentorship Distinction, Community Impact, Commitment to EducationPeople’s REALTOR®

If you are satisfied with the real estate experience that you had with the Home Sweet Home Team, we would greatly appreciate if you nominated us for a CREB ROAR award recognizing real estate excellence in Calgary.

THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT! We will continue to be your connection for all things real estate in Greater Calgary. Whether its buying, selling, investing, or commercial real estate, we have a specialist for you!

Home Sweet Home Team

Century 21 Bamber Realty



JUST LISTED- 4213 26 Av SE, Calgary

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

SUITE DEAL! Live upstairs and rent downstairs! The Home Sweet Home Team JUST LISTED a suited half duplex in the SE Calgary community of Dover. This home is ideal for a first time buyer or someone looking for an excellent investment / revenue generating opportunity.

Check out the details below!

4213 Ave SE AD







The Upper level has been totally updated which includes an open concept living room/dining room, along with a bright new kitchen (cabinets, counter top, back splash & sink) + a gas range. The main floor also offers two bedrooms & a fully renovated bathroom (new toilet, vanity, sink & tile). The lower suite (illegal) also features 2 good sized bedrooms, spacious living room, updated kitchen, separate dining area, updated 4 piece bath, and extra storage under the stairs. Other great features include new carpet, new ceramic tile, new light fixtures, new front door, fresh paint, kick sweep, vacuflow system + attachments, vinyl windows, separate laundry, south facing fully fenced back yard, storage shed, side patio & parking pad. This property is in outstanding condition! Schedule your private viewing today!

Please Contact Us directly today at the Home Sweet Home Team if you are interested in additional details on this property or if you would like to schedule your own private viewing of this well maintained Calgary property for sale.

For all of your Greater Calgary real estate needs please think of the Home Sweet Home Team.

Do It Yourself Home Improvement Goals For 2014

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

From the Home Sweet Home Team to you, we want to wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year!! We are proud to announce that we finished 2013 being ranked in the top 3 teams at Century 21 Bamber Realty Ltd. for the year. It was truly an amazing year and this success would not have been possible without the support of our clients, referral partners, friends, family and everyone else who has supported us along our journey. We are looking forward to carrying this success over to an even BIGGER and BETTER 2014.

2014 is looking like it will be another very exciting and dynamic year for the Calgary Real Estate Market after a record setting 2013. Calgary home sales and price growth are set to keep up pace with the high rates of last year. For all of your Greater Calgary real estate needs please think of the Home Sweet Home Team.

The New Year is also a busy time for current homeowners to get a start on their home projects for 2014, or get to those ones that always seemed to end up on the back burner in 2013. Below you can find 5 do-it-yourself (DIY) home projects to focus on in 2014 that are relatively inexpensive and easy enough to tackle on your own.


1) Paint Touch-up

Touching up the paint in your home is a great, and inexpensive way to upgrade it and make your rooms appear sparkling new again. We have all seen that room that is a sight for sore eyes and the color does not match the theme of the rest of the home. Choose a color that is neutral and visually appealing. This will go along way in attracting potential buyers when it comes time to you wanting to sell your home!

2) Map Out Your Homes Electricity Circuit

This is one of those projects that seems like common sense but for whatever reason many of us forget to do it or ignore the importance of it. Properly labeling circuits will allow you to know which circuits relate to which outlets. lights, rooms etc. Next time you go to start a project that requires you to work with electrical circuits in some form such as change a light fixture your life will be made a lot easier.

3) New Light Fixtures

The majority of homeowners aren’t comfortable doing electrical home improvements themselves. However, if you are in that group who is comfortable carrying out such projects, upgrading light fixtures can go a long way in brightening up your space. Look for unique, modern light  fixtures that can provide some needed personality to rooms such as kitchens and living rooms. Depending on the cost and quality you should have plenty of options to find the right light fixtures for you.

4) New Blinds and Drapes

It happens to the best of us, but as years go by those outdated blinds and drapes continue to hang in your room and make your room look as out of date as them. Replacing the blinds and drapes is an easy project to tackle yourself and can go along way in making your room look much more appealing. If you recently bought a house and aren’t a fan of the blinds and drapery, this gives you a chance to start from scratch and put up something that matches the design and style of your home. Not too mention that you can replace them in the entire house for relatively cheap by visiting places such as Walmart, Home Depot or Ikea.

5) New Doorknobs

Adding new doorknobs is another relatively easy project to take on yourself. Replacing out of date and defected door knobs can make your home much more functional and up to date.

We hope that you find these home tips useful and that they motivate you to complete some of these home improvement projects that you have put off for some time.

If your New Years Resolutions include buying or selling a home, we are here for you! We are your Greater Calgary Real Estate Connection. At the Home Sweet Home Team we ensure that every real estate transaction you have is flawless and that you are offered the best customer service on the market. To find out more how we can assist you please CONTACT US today!


Home Sweet Home Team



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