RE/MAX First Contributions to Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Surpass $1 Million

RE/MAX First in Calgary is Only the Second Western Canada to Surpass $1 Million in Charitable Contributions

Calgary, AB (Monday, May 6, 2019) – RE/MAX First affiliates have officially donated more than $1.0 Million to Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation to help fund innovative research, lifesaving equipment and family-centred care programs. The real estate office is the second Western Canadian RE/MAX office to give more than $1 Million to a Children’s Miracle Network Member Hospital.

“Reaching the million dollar milestone is an accomplishment that we are extremely proud of. The commitment to children’s health from these affiliates has made an incredible difference in the lives of many sick and injured children who have visited the Alberta Children’s Hospital,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada.

RE/MAX First has been a proud supporter of Children’s Miracle Network since 1992.



If you’ve decided that it’s time to sell your house, chances are you’re wanting the process to go quickly and you’re wanting top dollar for your home.  With so many homes on the market, you want your home to stand out from the rest, so here’s a few things you can do help spruce up your home, potentially helping choosy buyers take notice!

1.  Purge and declutter

Go through your home, room by room, and either package up or donate items which you no longer use, or which won’t be needed while your house is on the market. Examples are seasonal clothing, duplicate household items, knick knacks, pictures, etc. Not only will decluttering make your move easier at the other end, but often potential buyers are less likely to envision themselves living in your home if they are surrounded by your personal items. The less personalized your home is, the more likely buyers can imagine themselves living there!


2.  Repair and Paint

There’s nothing worse for a buyer than walking through a home and seeing unfinished projects or repairs that needs to be done! Replace the burned out light bulbs that you’ve been ignoring, change out the broken window and fix anything else that will cause concern when someone is walking through.

As much as you may love the paint of your lime green bedroom, neutral colours are best!  Freshen up the rooms in your home with lighter neutral coloured paint and buyers will have an easier time imagining their own furniture and belongings.

3.  Clean

This is probably the most important step in preparing your home for selling.  Buyers most often are looking for a home that is move-in ready, and therefore it has to be clean!  If you haven’t done so lately, it’s time for a deep clean - wipe down light fixtures, remove cobwebs, clean the windows, scrub tubs and showers until they’re sparkling…you get the picture! A good cleaning is probably the best and easiest way to add value to your home.

4.  Add Curb Appeal

Create a good first impression buyers by having a yard that is manicured and tidy.  If a yard has been well maintained, there is a good chance that the house has been cared for the same way.  Clean up dead plants and leaves, repaint weathered doors and trim, replace missing shingles, and buyers will take notice.  You want your home to stand out from the rest, and creating a front yard that is clean and inviting is a must!



Before you jump into the world of homeownership, there’s some important things to think about and do to help set you up for success!

1. Start saving for a down payment

The thought of saving up a large sum of money for a down payment can sound overwhelming and somewhat unattainable, but as the adage goes: There’s no time like the present! Start today by setting aside a percentage of your monthly income in savings, and you will be surprised how quickly the funds can add up!  If and when you receive unexpected additional funds, decide ahead of time that you will set these aside into your savings.

As you are saving, set a goal for how much you need for your down payment. In Canada, the minimum down payment is a percentage of the purchase price of the home, and this will vary depending on which bracket your new home falls into.  The guidelines are:

  • If the purchase price is less than $500,000, the minimum down payment is 5%.
  • If the purchase price is more than $500,000 and less than $1 million, the minimum down payment is 5% of the first $500,000 plus 10% of the remaining balance. 
  • If the purchase price is $1 million or more, the minimum down payment is 20%. 

2.  Get Pre-approval to determine what you qualify for

In the pre-approval process, a bank or lender looks closely at your credit reports, employment history, etc., and determines whether or not you are a suitable applicant for a mortgage. They also determine the maximum amount of a mortgage that you qualify for, giving you a better idea of what you can afford in your home purchase.

Although it will vary from lender to lender, your pre-approved mortgage will be valid for approximately 90 days. 

With your pre-approval, you will be given a locked interest rate, which is a commitment from the lender to hold a specified interest rate for the length of time your pre-approval is valid.  You are not obligated to use the lender of your pre-approval for your actual mortgage, however if interest rates increase significantly during your pre-approval term, the rate lock provided through that particular lend protects you from a higher interest rate when it comes time to buy.

3.  Determine your budget

Figure out what you will comfortably be able to afford by creating a Monthly House budget.  List all sources of revenue and foreseeable monthly expenditures, including approximate mortgage payment, utilities, and other obligatory expenses (ie. Student loan, car payment, etc.).  By doing so, you will better be able to determine what you are comfortable with for your monthly mortgage payment. In the aforementioned pre-approval process, the maximum mortgage you qualify for may not necessarily be the amount with which you are comfortable. Determine your desired cash flow and you will have a better idea of the purchase price of your future home.


4.  Find a good realtor who knows your area

We’ve got you covered here! RE/MAX First is home to over 200 amazing real estate professionals!  Our office is the fastest growing brokerage in Calgary, and our agents are known to be some of the best in the industry. RE/MAX First is currently ranked the third top producing brokerage in Western Canada, meaning that our agents are producing results – they are helping their clients buy and sell in a tough market.  Contact us today to get connected with a realtor who will help you with your real estate dreams!



Which is best? To buy first or sell First?

The million dollar question when it comes to real estate… which should I do first?  Buy a new home, or sell my current one?  There isn’t really any right or wrong answer to this question, but the solution can often hinge on where the real estate market is at.  Is it a Buyers market or Sellers market? And, what exactly do both of those mean?

A Buyers market is one in which there are many properties available for sale, but fewer buyers. Simply stated, it boils down to a case of supply versus demand. When there is an abundance in the supply of houses, and a decrease in the demand for buyers, it is a Buyers market.  Antithetically, it is a Sellers market when there are fewer properties for sale, and a greater number of buyers. It is during a Sellers Market that we will generally see more bidding wars over properties, resulting in a higher than List-price purchase price.

The city of Calgary is currently a Buyers Market. "Calgary's economy continues to struggle with unemployment, which rose again last month (September 2018) to over eight per cent. Concerns in the employment market, higher lending rates and shaken confidence are weighing on housing demand," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

Due to this, it is probably more reasonable to suggest that one should sell their house first before purchasing their next one. Because there is an abundance of properties on the market right now, the one who sells will likely have ample opportunity to find the home of their choice without too much difficulty. 



As exciting as homeownership can be, the question of whether you are financially and emotionally ready to make a life-changing decision is important.


It’s important to figure out how much you will be able to afford when purchasing your first home.  Affordability doesn't necessarily mean just your monthly mortgage payment.  Have your considered the other upfront costs such as a down payment and closing costs? There are also the ongoing costs which include monthly utilities, propery taxes, and house repairs along the way.  These need not be deterents to your decision, but these are definitely items to keep in mind when beginning your planning. 

The best way to determine if you are ready to take the leap is to develop a basic Monthly Home Budget. Doing so will give you a better idea of what you can comfortably afford. Download our Home Budget template below, provided by one of our trusted Advantage Partners  - Roost Mortgage.  Additionally, we ave many real estate professionals at RE/MAX First who would be happy to walk through this process with you!



There's a reason why making the decision to purchase a home is often linked with "settling down." This doesn’t mean that owning a home suddenly forces all fun and spontaneity from your life, but there is a level of ‘commitment’ that is required. If you’re intending to buy, but still desiring to spend a year living abroad, it might be best to pursue your travel plans first before homeownership.

And let's just clarify... 'Settling down' as a new home owner doesn't mean that you must be married!  Singles are perfectly capable of taking on homeownership if they are in a stable financial position.  But, a word to the wise - if you are in a relationship and are planning to buy a property with this person, it is good to ask yourself if your relationship is ready for this next big step. A stable relationship is important, one that will support and be on board with the required teamwork of homeownership.

Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.