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In spite of what the mall Santa told your kids, we don’t usually get everything we want in life. Of course, for every rule there’s an exception. Take, for example, the Blackfalds. As a small Alberta town in close proximity to larger centers, Blackfalds is one of those rare commodities in the real estate world: A place that can grant everything on your wish list (within reason).

As you peruse the MLS, you’ll see a range of property types and sizes. Each has its pros and cons, but the common thread is that they’re all ideally situated to meet a wide range of wants and needs. If it’s on your to-do list, chances are you can do it in or near Blackfalds.

Earn…

No matter what you select from the Blackfalds listings, you’ll be choosing a community in

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Whoever came up with the phrase “location, location, location” was either very insightful or getting paid by the word. It’s probably the former, as most realtors still use it as a key criterion in guiding you through the MLS listings. That’s because the neighborhood you select can be just as important as the home you purchase.

Sure, a big part of that is protecting your resale value. There’s a lot more to it though. The area you settle in has many other ramifications for you and your family beyond the financial. While a skilled real estate agent will give you many things to think about in deciding where to live, it helps to ponder some of them yourself before you wander through the MLS listings.

If it’s Dear to You, it Should Be Near to You

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When it’s time to make a big change, life may offer a subtle sign, like a spouse’s note on your pillow that reads, “I never want to see you again”. But how do you know when to nail that “For Sale” sign in the front yard of your real estate?

As life-changing decisions go, selling your home is right up there. Whether it’s to take a promotion, care for aging parents or something more personal, only you can say if it’s the right move for you. But if the choice to sell real estate has been made and the only thing left to decide is the timing, a few pointed questions should tell you if that time is now.

Can We Afford it?

It sounds like an obvious question. Yet given that Canadian household total credit-market debt – mortgages, consumer credit and

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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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