Smart Calgary Homes Blog

The holiday season is here, and this year we think it should be all about spending time with the ones you love over a good meal – without the stress of entertaining.

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Instead of hosting a traditional dinner, why not opt for a fun and casual potluck? First up, think of how many people you plan to invite. Next, plan a menu. How many appetizers, main dishes, salads, sides, and desserts will you need? Is there something specific you’d like your guests to make?

When you call your friends and family to invite them over, make a note of what they plan to bring. This will make sure that there’s enough food for everyone and that there's a nice variety.

Your job: the day before, bake up some dinner rolls. Even if you’re an inexperienced baker, you can do it. Plus,…
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We’ve got the best home-related links from the web this week, covering everything Real Estate, Mortgages, Home Décor, Renovating, DIY Projects, Entertaining, Gardening, and of course, Our Favourite Pin! Read on and have a great week!
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REAL ESTATE

If you’re planning on listing your home on the Calgary real estate market, take a look at the condition of your windows first. New windows are a big selling feature, and can really increase your home’s value. Read more on this here, from Style at Home.

MORTGAGES

Buying a home is a big decision, so it’s important to make sure you know what you’re getting in to! This great article from Stockhouse has a mortgage breakdown from TD Canada Trust that will put everything into perspective.

HOME DÉCOR
Love taking photos but…
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There’s no doubt that autumn is upon us; the leaves are turning colour and the grass is getting drier. It’s a fantastic time to get your garden ready for the colder months – and, subsequently, the spring.
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Here are seven tips that will help you get your garden ready for fall and winter, and prepare it for a beautiful spring:

1. Continue to water and mow your lawn until the frost arrives. This allows your lawn to remain healthy and continue its growth in the spring.

2. Cover up your garden with mulch. Doing this not only protects it from the cold, but also the rapid changes in temperature that Alberta winters can bring.

3. Bring in your herbs. You can still use them throughout the year, and replant them outdoors when the weather allows for it.

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Are you planning to get a cat or dog, or do you already have one and are moving? It’s important to pet-proof your home and make sure that your furry loved ones are safe. Here are five simple, but crucial steps to pet-proofing your home:

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1. Add childproof (and, apparently pet-proof) latches to cupboards with harmful products (cleansers, etc.).

2. Move poisonous houseplants out of reach. Find out which ones are harmful here.

3. Keep trash lids on tight. What is garbage to you may look like a gourmet dinner to your pet.

4. Keep pesticides or any rodent poison completely out of reach from your pet.

5. Unplug electrical cords when not in use.


How do you pet-proof your home? Head to our Facebook page and let us know!


Photo: Natural Urban Pets
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While we’d all love summer to last a little while longer, there’s no doubt that autumn is approaching. Now is the perfect time to start thinking about incorporating fall trends in your décor, and to bring a touch of the season into your home.

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Here are seven fabulous autumn décor trends for your home in 2013:

1. Vintage accessories: time to display those flea market finds in your home! Vases, picture frames, small pieces of furniture – they’re all perfect for making a subtle, yet stunning change.

2. Nature-inspired décor: it’s one of the most beautiful times of the year, so why not bring the outdoors in? Stone, wood, and grass-based items are simple and fit into most decorating schemes.

3. Neutral on neutral with varying textures:
who says neutral is boring?…
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Happy Friday, Calgary! We’ve got the best home-related links from the web this week, covering everything Real Estate, Mortgages, Home Décor, Renovating, DIY Projects, Entertaining, Gardening, and of course, Our Favourite Pin! Read on and have a great weekend!

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REAL ESTATE
The Calgary real estate market is “trending towards a selling market” and led the country in July with the best price growth of 6.79%, in comparison to the national price growth of 2.66%. Read more on this from the Calgary Herald.

MORTGAGES
The housing market needed to be cooled, and last year that’s just what Flaherty did by changing the mortgage rules. Things have gone as planned, and the market is doing well. Get more statistics and the rest of the story here, from the Globe and Mail.

HOME
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Pinterest is a great way to find, well, pretty much anything. It’s especially useful when you’re looking for home inspiration, décor ideas, gardening tips, and so much more. We searched the site for some amazing boards, and found these five – five that you need to follow right now.

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Here they are:

Home Staging Inspiration from CORT Furniture

Garden Inspiration from Christi Reid

Simple Moving from Dirty Work

Rad Repurposing from HomeJelly

Green Home from The Ultimate Green Store


Are you on Pinterest? What are your favourite boards? Head to our Facebook page and let us know!



Photo: The Ultimate Green Store
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Planning a home reno? If you are, you’re certainly not alone. Whether you’re upgrading, maintaining, or going all out, renovations can be a great way to add value to your home – both for you while you’re currently living there, and for resale purposes.

It’s important to recognize which changes are worth the effort and the cost, however, and whether or not you’ll get a good return on investment.

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Here are five questions to ask yourself before starting a renovation:

1. Will this renovation make my home more or less efficient?
If you’re installing new windows, appliances, or plumbing, make sure your purchases will save you money in the future and make your home more efficient. Some things may look great, but be energy-suckers, so be conscious of that. Even…
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Happy Friday, Calgary! We’ve got the best home-related links from the web this week, covering everything Real Estate, Mortgages, Home Décor, Renovating, DIY Projects, Entertaining, Gardening, and of course, Our Favourite Pin! Read on and have a great weekend!

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REAL ESTATE
As anticipated, the flood has really affected the Calgary real estate market. In fact, Calgary realtors are seeing a 'crazy' rush of home buyers after flood”. Read more about it from the Calgary Herald here.

MORTGAGES
Remember last year when the mortgage rules changed? Those rules are pushing first-time homebuyers to wait; CBC explains.

HOME DÉCOR

First impressions are everything! Style at Home shows how to create a beautiful, welcoming entryway in this video.

RENOVATING
Planning to work with…
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Are you dealing with aphids? These pesky little bugs can wreak havoc on your garden, your trees, and just about any plant they infect. They start by infesting a plant or tree and then they suck out the sap from the leaves, roots, or stems. Then they produce a sticky, sweet sap called honeydew that gets all over anything around the plant (have you ever parked your car under a tree and then ended up with a sticky coat of sap on it at the end of the day? That’s the honeydew!). This sap, while annoying in itself, can also attract other pests, creating even more problems for your garden.

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Now, to get rid of them:
1.
If you have aphids outside, and houseplants inside, make sure your window screens don’t have tears in them, and don’t leave doors open. Aphids can…
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