Real Estate Blog

I'm not an engineer, evidenced by the fact that I have people skills. 

Just kidding. My brother is an engineer and he is brilliant. For the most part, engineers get things right. But when they don't, it's really fun to mock them.

For years, issues keep popping up with post tension cables in condo buildings. Since I had no concept of what those are, I tried to get into the headspace of an engineer - I locked myself in the basement with multiple laptops and a single flavor Slurpee. Eventually, I developed a fictional story of the origin of post tension cables to explain some very relevant facts that have a huge impact on many condo owners in Calgary

This is how I imagine post tension cables were created:

The boss, probably an architect

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I've never met my condo manager but I imagine she looks exactly like Gollum, hugging our condo bylaws in a cave and repeating 'my precious' all day long.

Every interaction I have with Gollum is trite and aggravating. I shouldn't like her. But I do.

All condos have a condo board made up of owners. I like to imagine that my condo board is comprised of Hobbits living at the far end of the complex.

I worry about everything inside my walls. The Hobbits take care of those walls and everything outside.

The Hobbits (should) meet regularly to ensure the buildings, grounds, parkades, and everything else the condo owns is taken care of. They (should) be watching the condo's finances and spending our condo fees wisely. They (should) make sure the reserve

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Buying a home is exciting. It's also hella frustrating and requires way more effort than anyone anticipates. You're spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, so it makes sense that it takes more gumption than walking into HMV, taking a tape off the shelf, paying with your allowance, and popping it into your walkman.

We see this scenario all the time: 

You’ve done everything right. We met for coffee. We discussed your must-haves, your make you happy's, and your brick walls. You're in an auto email search. You're determined to find the perfect home. Anything less than the best is a felony.

Now we've seen a handful homes that enticed you with great pictures online. But in real life, they’ve all been dives. Even the one on A1A Beachfront Avenue.

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I sat beside a horrible human being on a flight last week. As horrible as Justin Bieber. I'm not exaggerating. Of course, it was in the USA, Houston to Orlando.

I was in the middle seat. She was in the aisle.

The first thing she did was kneel on her seat, pushing her 50+-year-old breast into my neck while she violently adjusted that little thing that blows air on you, repeating the elegant phrase 'come on bitch'. The blower thing was obviously working just fine. So maybe that was directed at me.

Her awful personness continued throughout the flight. She went to the bathroom for at least half an hour while the line grew. When she came back to her seat she sat down with such gumption that she gave me a commendable body check, were we playing hockey

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Arthur called me out of the blue on a Tuesday. He got my name from Mike at Worry Free Mortgage. He had a mortgage pre-approval and was ready to buy a condo. Extremely ready. If you could buy a condo at Walmart, he would have picked one up that day.

But it's not that easy to buy a home quickly.

We arranged three showings on Thursday morning. The first one was perfect. We canceled the other showings and wrote an offer. Arthur planned to take possession and move in two weeks.

Then things got tricky.

Every real estate purchase requires a deposit. But Arthur planned to use RSPs for his downpayment. Converting your RSPs into liquid cash for a down payment takes time. Sometimes weeks. Arthur rushed to the bank.

We were able to negotiate a low

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I keep telling myself that summer isn’t over yet! 

Okay... maybe I'm holding on a little too tight and it's time to face reality. But there's is still at least one weekend left to fire up the grill and cook something delicious. 

Here are my top 5 things to grill up from the Calgary Farmers' Market

To make your life even easier, I’ve added an accompanying spice from the Silk Road Spice Merchant. Pick your meat, grab a spice, get some wine/beer (more on that later) then soak up what's left of fall. Sounds like a good weekend to me.

5. Elk Steak From Bauer Meats

Even though we live so close to the mountains, most of us have never really tried game meats. Elk steaks are my personal favorite game meat. More lean, but just as flavorful as beef.

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It was raining again one Sunday in August. So my family tried out the new Remington YMCA in Quarry Park. A few days later we got a family membership. We've been there almost every day since.  Here's why...

The Pool Is Awesome

'Daddy, can we go to the pool tomorrow?' I've been asked this before bed, at breakfast and dinner, while we're watching the Olympics, and as we're leaving the pool. The kid's pool is perfect for small children. Absolutely perfect. There's a shallow pool with an epic play structure, water toys, and spraying water everywhere. There's also a larger kids pool that's WARM. They can splash and play in one pool, then put life jackets on and swim in the larger pool. All without freezing.

Childminding is Really Affordable

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I'll never forget the business lessons I learned while eating steak with Alberta's best beef farmers.

My good friend Kent has been talking about buying his first house for a while. His parents Lorne and Sandi Zentner were in town last week checking on the city wing of their family business, Silver Sage Beef. It only took a few nights of Sandi sharing her son’s bed and Lorne on an air mattress in the living room of Kent's tiny apartment for them to tell my wife (on her weekly visit to pick up steaks, ribs, and meatballs), 'we're ready for Tim to find us a house'.

Within a few hours, the conversation had escalated to plans for a dinner party. And that evening the Zentner family walked through our door with a package of their best steaks, a ribeye for

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This blog is old school.

I originally wrote the first part of this blog two years ago, without any references to 90s rap. 

Then I wrote everything below last year when our market started to shift. It's even truer today than it was last spring. So it's kinda like a remix or a throwback, or I'll Be Missin' You.

There's been a complete shift in Calgary's real estate market since, and at the same time, I've greatly improved my ability to relate unrelateable things. I am still committed to beating the 'buy low, sell high' horse until everyone that reads my blog is complaining: 

Mo Money Mo Problems... 

During the infamous 'boom' years of 2006-2007 I discovered that, instead of putting my newly acquired Kinesiology degree to use, I could make

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I'm going to use a Boardwalk Empire analogy:

You come to Nucky Thompson and say, 'There's a truckload of Canadian Club coming from the border but I need to give them the cash up front. A truckload of whiskey costs $1000. I can sell it over a period of time for a huge profit. I only have $100. Can you spot me $900 if I pay you $1500 in installments.'

Nucky says 'Sounds good. I'm in. But I want you to pay 20% of the cost up front. Anything less than that is too risky for me.'

'I only have 10%. Can't we work something out? You can break my knees if I don't pay.'

'I don't break knees anymore, I just wear really great suits and make tons of money. Here's what I'll do: I'm going to talk to Mickey Doyle. He's going to check you out and make sure you

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