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Info, tips & advice relating to the Calgary & Okotoks
real estate market presented by The Jay Magnussen Real Estate Team

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6 Easy Ways to Save Money on Gas

Over the past number of years we have seen the price of gas inflate in Alberta - affecting daily life, our commute and travel plans. The days of cheap gas are over! To ease pain at the pump follow these easy tips to improve your gas mileage. 


Go the speed limit.

 

By following the speed limit and swearing off rapid-acceleration and deceleration, drivers can improve gas mileage by anywhere from 12 to 55 percent. Edmunds.com tested the idea and got similar results. They also found that using cruise control improved mileage by an additional 7 percent.


Stop idling.

 

This leads to mileage improvements of up to 19 percent. If you’re going to be at a standstill for 10 seconds or more, say at the drive-through lane at a fast-food joint or an outdoor deposit at a bank, it’s better to cut the engine and do your business inside.

 

Avoid hard stops and starts.


Rapid acceleration and hard braking = throwing gas away. Instead of braking hard at a red light, coast from a distance. Come to stops slowly and gradually (if there is no one behind you, coast to the red light if you can). And there is no need to put the metal to the medal on a green light, accelerate slowly. 

 

Keep your car in shape. 

 

A well-tuned car burns less gasoline. So make sure that you get your oil and air filters changed regularly, and that your tires are always properly inflated.


No junk in your trunk!


For every 30 pounds of extra weight your car carries, gas mileage decreases anywhere from one-tenth to one-hundredth of a percent. That may not seem like much, but mile per mile it adds up. So de-clutter your car!

 

Change your commute. 


Sitting in rush hour traffic burns gas and gets you nowhere. If possible, adjust your work schedule so that you avoid the heaviest traffic. 

 

Are you the type to seek out the cheapest gas you can find?

Try using one of the many GAS-WISE smart phone apps available today which uses your location via GPS and provides you with a list of the nearest gas stations and lists their up to date per litre price. POYNT, Cheap Gas or GasBuddy are a few Canada-friendly iPhone apps. .   

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Please visit our Open House at 106 660 EAU CLAIRE AVE SW in CALGARY.
Open House on Sunday, March 24, 2013 1:00 pm
*** Open House Sunday, March 24 from 1:00 - 4:00 pm *** WELCOME TO THE PRINCETON - CALGARY'S PREMIER DOWNTOWN CONDO COMPLEX ! Just steps from the BOW RIVER, PRINCE'S ISLAND PARK & EAU CLAIRE SHOPPING, this SPOTLESS, 1130 sq. ft. LUXURY condo has it all ! This main floor unit features a bright, open concept with the living room ( WITH GAS FIREPLACE & PRIVATE GARDEN PATIO ACCESS ), kitchen ( WITH GRANITE COUNTERTOPS, BREAKFAST BAR & STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES ) and large dining area all flowing together ( OVER HARDWOOD FLOORING & UNDER 9 FT. CEILINGS ). You'll love the large master suite ( WITH GAS FIREPLACE, WALKIN CLOSET & LARGE 5 PC. ENSUITE ) as well as the private den ( WITH A QUEEN SIZE, CUSTOM MURPHY BED & VAULTED CEILING ) along with a 3 pc. bath ( WITH SEPERATE ACCESS TO THE 3 PC. BATH ) and large storage / laundry room. This home also comes with ONE TITLED UNDERGROUND, HEATED PARKING SPACE and a TITLED STORAGE UNIT. Call today for your personal showing !!
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Photo by Grant Neufeld on Flickr.

More and more people are choosing an active and environmentally friendly mode of transportation when commuting these days, riding their bike into the downtown core, according to recent statistics released by the City of Calgary.

The number of bike commuters in Calgary increased by 20% in 2012. 

Over 12,000 people cycled to and from work every day in 2012. If you add together all the Calgarians who either walk or bike into downtown, 1 in 10 choose this mode of active transportation. Here are some more numbers to throw at you - out of all the vehicles entering Calgary's downtown core, 1 in 17 is a bicycle.


Bike Calgary advocates for better cycling infrastructure, safely shared roads, and public and government acceptance and support for cycling as a means of transportation. They add that these statistics are impressive since there are no roads in the central business district that have distinct bike lanes.

 

Check out BIKE CALGARY's infograph on bicycle statistcis for Calgary. 

Another sign of this growing trend is a new skyscaper building, in plans by Brookflied, was recently approved by City Council will see the underground parkade at 225 Sixth Ave. S.W. designed with several special features for cyclists. This new skyscraper will offer cyclists their own entrance & exit ramp, as well as storage lockers, showers and a bike repair facility for riders. About 3% of workers in Brookfield’s other Calgary towers — Bankers Hall, Suncor Energy Centre and Fifth Avenue Place — commute on two wheels. Read more about the new twin skyscraper project. 


WalkScore, which offers a "Walkability" index based on nearby ammenities, pathways, etc., also has a feature to gauge a city's BikeScore (BikeScore not yet available in Calgary, but coming soon). Calgary's overall WalkScore is 48, which makes us a car-dependant city. But if you hone in on a specific neighbourhood you will get an individualized score for each community - Calgary's inner city neighbourhood's are much more walkable with a scores ranging from  90-98 in Eau Claire, the Beltline, bridgeland, etc.  

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Please visit our Open House at 26 Summit Pointe DR in DE WINTON.
Open House on Saturday, March 9, 2013 1:00 pm
This custom built home has over 6000 sq ft of living space. Quality and thought were put into every detail of this home - custom walnut cabinetry, solid walnut core 8 ft doors, rounded drywall edges, painted ceiling boarders, tray ceilings, walnut columns, extensive built ins, 3 zone in floor heating on main floor with in floor heating in the basement and many more details. This home has recently been painted top to bottom with new travertine flooring installed on the main floor. Relax outside and enjoy the south facing views of Heritage Pointe Golf Course, backing onto the 9th tee box. The downstairs offers a media room, fitness room, wine room, complete wet-bar, bedroom and steam shower bath and more fantastic views from the walk-out basement. Upstairs are three additional bedrooms, two enjoy their own private sink area and the third large room has plenty of room for a generous sitting area. It's hard to find a family home of this size and quality, this is a must see.
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Avoid Common Buyer Errors

Shopping for a new home

Shopping for a new home in Okotoks or Calgary can be an emotional experience. It is also time consuming and comes with a myriad of details. Some buyers, however, caught up in the excitement of buying a new home tend to overlook some important aspects. Their home purchase turns into an expensive process. These errors generally fall into three areas:

 

  • Paying too much (ouch)
  • Losing a dream home to another buyer (disapointing)
  • Buying the wrong home (hindsight)


Working with an experienced and diligent Realtor is important to avoid these commom mistakes. Our Re/Max Real Estate Team has a systematic plan to approach the task of buying a home so you will be sure to avoid these costly errors.

 

Here are Some Tips on Making the Most of Your Home Purchase:


Making an Offer Without Sufficient Information


What price do you offer a seller? Is the seller's asking price too high? Is it a deal? Or is it a dud? Without research on the market and comparable homes, you could lose thousands of dollars. Before you make that offer, be sure you have researched the market. Our Okotoks & Calgary Real Estate Team can offer you an unbiased opinion on the value of a home, based on market conditions, condition of the home and neighborhood. Without knowledge of the market, your offer could be too much. Or worse, you could miss out on a great buying opportunity.


Buying a Mis-Matched Home


What do you need and want in a home? Sounds simple... Yet, clearly identifying your needs and bringing an objective view to home shopping, leaves you in a better position. Sometimes, home buyers buy a home that is too large or too small. Perhaps they didn't consider the drive to work, the distance to school, or the many repair jobs waiting for completion. Plan ahead by making a NEEDS vs. WANTS list before you start shopping for a new home and use it as a guideline for every home you view.

 

Click here to see our blog post on how to start making your NEEDS vs. WANTS checklist! 


Unclear Title


Before you sign any document, be sure the property you are considering is free of all encumbrances. As part of our  services during a real estate transaction, our Re/Max Realtors will supply you with a copy of the title for said property to ensure there are no liens, debts, undisclosed owners, leases or easements. As well, your lawyer will ensure that you do not assume anybody else’s liens.


Unexpected Repairs

 

For $300 - $500 a professional inspector will conduct a thorough inspection of the home. This way, you'll have an idea of the cost of future repairs. Most home inspectors will provide information on the maintenance of your home to avoid costly future repairs. Make the final contract subject to a favourable report.


Shopping Without Mortgage Pre-Approval

 

It only takes a few days to get financing pre-approval from a lender. When you are shopping for a home, this gives you more power and ensures you won't waste your valuable time looking at homes beyond your affordability. 


Remember Additional Costs

 

Besides the funds for the purchase of a home, you will need funds for items such as insurance, legal fees, surveys, inspections, moving costs, etc. Our professional Re/Max Realtors can provide you with a detailed list of costs you can anticipate to incur during the process of buying a new home as well as refer you to trusted vendors. 



Our professional Okotoks & Calgary Real Estate Team can assist you in shopping for the best home at the best price! 


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Please visit our Open House at 106 660 EAU CLAIRE AVE SW in CALGARY.
Open House on Saturday, March 2, 2013 1:00 pm
***Open House Saturday, March 2 from 1:00 - 4:00 pm*** WELCOME TO THE PRINCETON - CALGARY'S PREMIER DOWNTOWN CONDO COMPLEX ! Just steps from the BOW RIVER, PRINCE'S ISLAND PARK & EAU CLAIRE SHOPPING, this SPOTLESS, 1130 sq. ft. LUXURY condo has it all ! This main floor unit features a bright, open concept with the living room ( WITH GAS FIREPLACE & PRIVATE GARDEN PATIO ACCESS ), kitchen ( WITH GRANITE COUNTERTOPS, BREAKFAST BAR & STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES ) and large dining area all flowing together ( OVER HARDWOOD FLOORING & UNDER 9 FT. CEILINGS ). You'll love the large master suite ( WITH GAS FIREPLACE, WALKIN CLOSET & LARGE 5 PC. ENSUITE ) as well as the private den ( WITH A QUEEN SIZE, CUSTOM MURPHY BED & VAULTED CEILING ) along with a 3 pc. bath ( WITH SEPERATE ACCESS TO THE 3 PC. BATH ) and large storage / laundry room. This home also comes with ONE TITLED UNDERGROUND, HEATED PARKING SPACE and a TITLED STORAGE UNIT. Call today for your personal showing !!
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The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
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