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Spending money on your house before you sell it may sound counterintuitive; like buying your spouse a facelift and then filing for divorce. The difference is that a little time and effort can pay off in a big way.

You may have heard that “it takes money to make money”, but it needn’t take a lot when preparing your house for buyers. Your realtor will explain that a tweak here and a touch-up there make your home more attractive to prospective buyers. That means that in addition to selling faster, it’s likely to fetch a higher price. Of course, not all tweaks are created equal. So think strategically, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and let the bidding war begin.

Vote Off the Island

Okay, giving people less for their money didn’t work with

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It started out as most relationships do. There was passion in the words, hope in the air, and a wonder in the heart of where it might eventually lead.

Things quickly turned sour. You found it increasingly harder to agree on even the smallest decisions. Communication went downhill until most calls began going to voicemail and messages went days unanswered. Slowly but surely, the doubts crept in; what if they don’t care about me as much as they say they do?

It happens to us all. Not every relationship we begin will work out. If those signs seem familiar to you, then it might be time to end it. It might be time to break things off with your previous realtor, and see how a new realtor can help you instead.

The question is: how to avoid a messy

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Some projects, such as painting the bedroom, lend themselves to a “do it yourself” approach. Others, like open heart surgery, are less conducive to that. So where does selling your home fit in?

To some extent, it depends on who you are and who you ask. In recent years, the idea of selling your own home instead of consulting a realtor has gained some attention. But then, so has the avian flu. And like the flu, going it alone with a house sale is tricky and fraught with hazards.

On the other hand, teaming with a real estate professional can be a shot in the arm for your financial and emotional health. While both approaches have their merits, there is a long list of “pros” to not leaving home sales in the hands of an amateur.

The Price is

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Wouldn’t it be nice if buying houses was like the latest new car promotion?

“No down payment, no interest for 12 months!” Sure, and we’d love it if Revenue Canada just “took our word for it” on what we owe this year. Where has the trust gone?

But until things change, you’ll have to deal with the reality of down payment requirements when planning your next home purchase. In an ideal world, that means putting up 20 per cent of the purchase price and avoiding that nasty high-ratio mortgage insurance. If you’re like most buyers though, the 5 per cent minimum is more realistic.

The challenge is that with many homes selling for $300,000 and up these days, even 5 per cent, or $15,000, can be daunting for the first time homebuyer. However,

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Located in the heart of Central Alberta, the city of Red Deer features mix of rolling hills and fertile farmland backed by a picturesque view of the Rocky Mountains on the south west horizon. As the midway point between the major urban centres of Edmonton and Calgary, the Red Deer region is one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. With a population of over 90,000, the Red Deer Real Estate market contains over 30,000 homes.

Red Deer is a thriving community, ideal for young and growing families looking for a friendly, safe place to live, work and play. Offering affordable housing, short commutes, plenty of wide open space and excellent education and healthcare systems, Red Deer offers a wide variety of amenities at a scale you would expect

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