All Blog Entries by KaraLee Foat

Found 25 blog entries published by KaraLee Foat.

Feeling musical? Check out What's Happening on Music Mile.

Calling all Foodies! don't miss this month's Calgary Food Tours: Thursdays are Craving Kensington, Saturdays you can Savour 17 Ave SW, and end the week with Sunday Brunch and a Calgary Farmers’ Market Tour.

Click on the links below to see time & location as well as more event details...

December 7

  • Dave Kelly Live — Home: A Calgary Christmas
  • Bill and Joel Plaskett with Mayhemingways
  • Rhinoceros
  • Viessmann Luge World Cup
  • The Experiment #3
  • Dracula: The Bloody Truth
  • Make It Calgary
  • JCBS' The Nutcracker
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Zoolights
  • Zorro: Family Code
  • Jersey Boys

December 8

  • We Love 2 Dance
  • Magnificat: A Christmas Celebration
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You and your partner will argue while buying a home.

Every couple does, you're not unique.

People process large decisions differently. Your relationship probably works because you and your partner have different points of view. You balance each other out. 

You also drive each other bonkers.

Let's talk about how to stay together, maybe even love each other more, while you buy a home.

Note: none of the Foat Partners hold a psychology degree. We've helped a lot of couples buy homes. We've mediated tons of arguments. We've shoved many bottles of wine into client's hands and assigned the homework: 'drink this and sort things out.'

The most volatile conversation happens when you've found a home you both love. That's when your true personality

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We'd Be Really Rich If We Had No Soul

We talked people out of bad real estate decisions all the time. All. The. Time.



KaraLee and I had spent three hours in a car together driving to the Century 21 Kickoff in Edmonton. 

If you know the two of us, then you know what that would be like. We laughed, strategized, bounced ideas off each other, laughed more, came up with even better ideas, said ‘we said write this down… the funny stuff and the valuable stuff’, created about 2 years worth of new work for each other, told funny stories… that’s the gist.

Sprinkled throughout our conversations, a common theme kept coming up. We talk people out of bad real estate decisions on a weekly basis. I originally wrote daily but that would be a hyperbole. Weekly

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Kim is a 
wicked photographer with a smile that brightens up your whole day. 

Kim transitioned quickly from client to friend. She sent me the cover picture the night she took possession... after her girlfriend, Dani, found the bottle of bubbly I stealthy stashed in her fridge. Texts like that make me ridiculously happy.

Kim moved to Calgary from Ontario a few years ago to attend ACAD. Now, the time was right to stop renting, truly become an adult, and buy a home. Her family's go-to Realtor in Ontario referred KaraLee and I. We started emailing every day about what she wanted in her first home.

Kim's mom Kari came to Calgary for a few days. We looked at a ton of townhouses. Lots stood out. But there was a clear winner. The only problem was, it was

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Before I was a REALTOR and saw thousands of homes, I really liked the theme song from Weeds. 


I thought it was like a poignant middle finger to the home building industry. A skeptic can say that our homes have become cookie cutter boxes covering a hillside, all filled with similar ticky-tacky from Ikea. But the song pre-supposes that there was a time when this wasn’t the case; when every home was a ‘character home.’ That’s just not true.

Countless times, when speaking to someone interested in buying a home, I’ve heard: ‘We want an older home. Something with character.’

What gives most old homes their ‘character’ are odd ‘maintenance’… um, ‘upgrades’… um, let’s go with ‘improvements’ - made by the amateur handyman living in it at the time. The

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A Christian minister, a recent immigrant to Canada, a dude covered in tattoos, and woman under 5 feet tall with a baby on her hip have all told me a version of, ‘I’m not a bad person, but how can we find someone who’s desperate to sell their home and is willing to give us under market value for it?… I’m not trying to take advantage of someone… but I’m not buying anything that’s not a great deal.’

I’ve honed my response.

‘Houses don’t go on sale. A real estate outlet mall would be ten thousand times worse than a regular outlet mall, filled with hundred thousand dollar problems. Here’s why:

‘If you were desperate to sell your house, you’d likely have serious money problems, or the house has serious problems.

Let’s talk about the first. Let’s

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I’m a competitive person. I like to win.

Basketball, ping pong, negotiating an offer, bowling, trying to get a listing, blogging… it really doesn’t matter the contest. If I’m playing, I’m playing to win.

Relocations have become the bane of my existence. I keep getting whooped. Especially working with sellers who have already left town.

 

I’ll never forget a pristine, one-year-old home in Nolan Hill. 

My client, a down to earth, practical, food loving man, was tearing up. Offering another man a hug in a vacant home isn’t part of the service I provide, but I considered it for a second.

He and his wife had carefully selected upgrades, made some pricey modifications, and enjoyed every minute of designing exactly the home they wanted.

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I don't know why, but there just aren’t many 4 bedroom houses in Calgary. 

When I say '4 bedrooms', I’m talking about 4 above grade bedrooms. Or 4 bedrooms all on the same floor.

The cynical part of me likes to imagine how this decision was made... 

An innovative home builder probably looked at census data for 39 seconds, swiveled his chair to ask one of the ‘hammer swinging guys’ how much an extra bedroom costs to build, and decided it wasn’t worth the money/effort to cater to families with more than two children.

Other builders, scared that their homes wouldn’t look exactly the same as the innovator, immediately burned all their designs of 4 bedroom homes.

There are just so few 4 bedroom homes in Calgary that this is the only

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'We’ll take down all of these family pictures.'

9 times of out 10 a home seller brings this up before I do. It’s the one 'must do' that all humans seem to know when preparing their home for the market. I’m not sure why. Someone important must have said it once. The original Nate Berkus, I guess.

Yes, you should take down most of your pictures. Most but not all.

There are two good reasons to leave the family a picture where it is when your home is on the market: one aesthetic, the other is more subtle.

1. Sometimes Your Home Doesn't Look Good Without Them

Take down Grandma’s black and white picture from beside your bed. Your bedside table won't look too bare without it. The three photos of your kids on the dresser can be stashed in a

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I met a new client last week. He's a smart guy. He has a good job. He has a university education. He's also young and never bought a home before. 

He's been looking for a home for over a year without a Realtor. He's even made a few offers.

I gulped. He's so lucky he didn't make a massive mistake.

All week I've been wracking my brain to figure out when you shouldn't use a Realtor to buy a home.

I've determined that these three conditions need to exist for you to buy a house on your own.


'When I look at the Purchase Contract, there are things I don't know... do I need a financing condition?'

I swallowed a lug of cappuccino. 'Are you buying with straight cash or do you need a mortgage?'

'Ha! I need a mortgage.'

'Then you need a

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