Home safety tips for summer

Heading out of town this summer? Get your home vacation-ready with a few simple security tips.

Lock it up: It may seem obvious, but it’s important to ensure all windows and doors are locked before you head out of town. If you have a home security alarm, make sure the battery is charged and that it’s set properly before you leave.

Adjust utilities: If you will be traveling for an extended period of time, turn off your main water supply valve. It’s a simple decision that can prevent a potential flood and water damage.

It is also recommended to set programmable thermostats for the summer heat. When outdoor temperatures are high, it’s best to have your air conditioner set to keep your home slightly cool while you’re away.

Set timers: Make it look like someone is home when you’re away with the help of some timers.

Time house lights and radios for hours of the day that they would typically be used, like in the evenings when residents are home from school or work. Timers not only make electronic usage look more realistic, they will save you money on your next electricity bill.

Monitor mail: Before you jet off, make sure you have a game plan for mail delivery.

A pile of newspapers on the front step and envelopes stuffed in your mailbox advertises that your home is vacant. Contact your local newspaper and post office about holding mail delivery until you are back. Alternatively, ask a close friend or neighbour to collect your mail regularly when you are gone.

Remove spare keys: When a home is targeted for theft, spare keys are the first thing that intruders will try to find. Make sure to remove any spare keys from the outside of your property before you head out of town.

If you have a friend or neighbour who will need access to check on your home, leave the key with them instead of the front step.

Enlist home check-ins: The best way to make your home look active is to have someone you know at the property.

Ask a close friend or neighbour who you trust to check on your home, inside and outside, on a regular basis. They will be able to ensure that everything in your home is safe, collect mail, water plants and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity around the property.

Add value before you sell

The housing market has aligned with your budget and you’ve decided to sell. This is an incredibly exciting time, but also stressful as working towards getting your home in tip top shape for maximum return may leave you with more questions than answers:

Where do I start? What should I fix? And, can I do it myself?

1) Get rid of the mess

Make it your primary purpose to ensure prospective buyers aren’t overwhelmed by the state of your untidy home—there’s nothing more important. Decluttering opens up the space, makes a home feel bigger and allows buyers to envision the space as their home. So straighten up that laundry room and put away your children’s toys. It’s a quick, low cost, high impact step that can result in big value.

2) Know the neighbourhood…

…and your market! When considering how much money to put into your home improvements, do your research on the market value of not only your home, but your surrounding area. Over or under improvements may be detrimental to ROI and could hinder the chances of your sale. So if you live in a starter neighbourhood or a super executive market, remember who you’re prospective buyers might be and keep your renos consistent with their expectations.

3) Trust the professionals

The DIY network may be your favourite television channel, but if you decide to take on a painting project, you may risk devaluing your home by hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Consider hiring a professional instead to make sure you meet the high quality standards potential buyers expect. Not in your budget? Totally understandable, but before you grab that paint brush, visit a couple paint stores and ask to speak to one of their paint specialists.These folks know their stuff and can give you some great advice on what colours/paint schemes to use when preparing your home for resale.

About property tax assessments

How much is your home worth?

It’s a simple question with a complex answer, but one thing’s for sure, if you want to find the current value of your home, you can’t rely on your property tax assessments alone!

Here’s our breakdown of city assessments and how they can be used to understand property value:

First, what are city tax assessments? 

Each year in January, home owners know to expect their property tax assessment from The City of Calgary. These assessments are created annually to place a value on properties for municipal and provincial property tax purposes, ensuring that tax distribution is fair and equitable.

Second, how are they produced?

Assessments are based on market value, property characteristics and property condition. Each property is assessed using a real estate appraisal method that compares each property to other properties with similar characteristics that have recently been sold. Estimates are created from information collected in the prior tax year, and include the property’s market value and condition at that time.

Third, are they accurate?

Since property tax assessments are created specifically for tax purposes, they do not accurately reflect a home’s current market value. The City relies on filed historical information to create the assessment, not a current physical property inspection.

And finally, how do I find out what my property is worth? 

To find the current value of your property, work with me to leverage my quality real estate experience and expert know-how for accuracy. Give me a call.