Home Buying Watchdog Service

Unobstructed View

Unobstructed View

One thing I’ve noticed is that more and more people in YYC are buying homes to tear down and rebuild. One area that seems to be popular is the Altadore neighbourhood. To get there from downtown, head up on 14th Street[south] until 33rd Avenue. Turn right and head towards Marda Loop. Turn left on 17th or 18th street and you’re there…in the middle of Altadore.

I visited several Open Houses last weekend and noticed that all of them were brand new homes. Most of the older homes in the neighbourhoods are one level, bungalow styled homes. The new rebuilts are at least two levels and some stretch as high as 4 levels.

The one particular open house that caught my eye was the one at 3907 – 16a Street SW. This home has a nice view of the city from the second or third level window. The view is what I call ‘unobstructed’ because to see the cityscape, you look at the park situated kitty corner from this home. The view will never change as long as the city maintains the park.

I ran into some folks that were rating the home. They assigned a move-in score of 3.9* to it and I was curious to why it was rated so low. They told me the home had a few issues and the builder (Hazkar Homes) has to correct them before a higher score can be assigned. I like that. A home buyer watchdog service that is keeping builders and realtors honest. If you’re interested in finding out more about them, check out their website at RateOpenHouses.com

Set your target to Target

Target Store

Target Store

I’ve been waiting patiently for a Target store to open near me and finally, the wait is over. The Target at Westhills opened its doors this week and I had the chance to check it out. A lot of Target locations in Calgary had opened weeks and months ago but for some reason, this location took forever. Interesting enough, I was just at a Target store in Palm Desert, CA a few days ago and so I had a lot to compare with.

First of, everything looks good. All the shelves are stocked full of goods and there are plenty of Target employees around in case you’re looking for something and can’t find it. Second, I think the prices are pretty good and comparable to our neighbours in the south.

Here’s some comparisons:

  • Nitro golf balls – case in CA sold for $6.99, here it’s slightly more at $7.99
  • Polysporin – tube sold for $8.99, here it’s the same.
  • Aveeno body wash – bottle in CA sold for $5.94, here it’s the same.
  • Basa fillets – bag sold at Superstore for $9.99, here it’s the same.

Third, the Target stores are packed with people in CA which does not compare with us. There were less than 10 of us in the store all morning. Perhaps everyone in the surrounding area were unaware of the opening and I think by the weekend, there will be more people checking it out. I hope you do.

Property Werks (of Art)

Best Grass Mowing

Best Grass Mowing

Everybody wants a nice yard but no one wants to take care of it. That’s right, I’m one of these people. I would rather leave the grass mowing to someone else and leave my weekend free for some (well-deserved) R&R.

This year was the year to switch companies. We had used Escapes Inc. for many years. The company is run by a husband and wife team and for the most part, they do a good job. However we needed a change and our job was becoming too small for them. The straw the broke the camel’s back was when they came by in the Spring to power rake our yard. We had not asked for it nor agreed on the price. Luckily I was home that day and stopped them in their tracks. In my opinion, that’s not good business practice  – assume the sale, do the work and invoice the customer.

The new company that we selected was Property Werks.ca. To date, we are very happy with their lawn care. Shane comes by every two weeks, rolls the mower off his white truck and meticulously mows our yard. He fills up numerous garbage bags with lawn clippings and leaves it behind. Some customers want the lawn clippings to make their own compost. Others like me would discard it with our organics. Before he scoots away, he’ll take out his whipper snapper and makes sure your lawn has nice edging or if there are some overgrown grass in your garden, he’ll gladly trim it down for you.

Their prices are very competitive and they gave me a break because my front yard isn’t very big. Shane flies through there in less than a minute. Awesome, efficient and friendly.