Posted by Gerard Hagan on Monday, January 2, 2017 at 6:57 AMBy Gerard Hagan / January 2, 2017Comment
According to a recent conducted study examining the priorities of millennials, travelling abroad ranked higher than most of what else might concern a young person – this included priorities like buying a home or car, savings and retirement funds, and even paying off debt. It seems that the up-and-coming generation of Edmontonians will be buying less Edmonton Homes and more plane tickets.
The study involved approximately 1,000 participants aged 18 to 35 in the U.S., U.K. and China. It posed a question to millennials: What are your priorities for the next five years? The study’s aim was to determine the emphasis that those of the younger generation place on travel and what will influence their travel decisions.
In the U.S., participants gave savings and investment funds the position of highest import, closely followed by travel and vehicular purchases. Also, travelling sat higher than becoming a home owner.
In the U.K., travelling and savings sat virtually...
Posted by Gerard Hagan on Friday, December 2, 2016 at 10:04 PMBy Gerard Hagan / December 2, 2016Comment
December is here and if you are looking to enjoy some holiday activities or practically anything else, you have come to the right place. The following is a collection of the happenings this weekend in The Big E.
Light-Up & Celebrate the Season at the Alberta Legislature
The Alberta Legislature’s annual Light-Up and Celebrate the Season is coming home for the holidays with musical performances throughout the month of December. Close to 70 musical ensembles from across Alberta will be featured on the rotunda’s grand staircase with daily performances. The Legislature grounds will be featuring thousands of lights – perfect for a festive meander with a loved one – and at the centre of it all, a 60-foot spruce dressed with over 5,000 sparkling lights.
Who – This event is for all ages and admission is free! Everyone can enjoy the Legislature’s...
Posted by Gerard Hagan on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 9:21 PMBy Gerard Hagan / November 16, 2016Comment
Top Places in Edmonton to Get Your Dessert Fix
We all have those moments where the only thing we wish for is the warm (or cold), sugary embrace of our sweet treat of choice. Here are a few places in Edmonton that you can go in those moments to find some sweet, sweet respite.
Duchess Bake Shop
This little bake shop on 124 St. has garnered extended national and local media coverage in addition to numerous accolades, including being called “one of the world’s best bakeries” by the Globe and Mail and making it onto Buzzfeed’s list of “23 bakeries around the world you need to eat at before you die.” Enough said? Its vast selections of handcrafted traditional French pastries, pies, cakes and macarons make for not only a delicious dessert but a visual one as well.
You can find Duchess in the trendy neighbourhood Inglewood & ...
Posted by Gerard Hagan on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 5:46 PMBy Gerard Hagan / October 11, 2016Comment
So, you’ve decided to renovate your outdated kitchen in the hopes of improving their property value and accelerating your sale. You’ve always wanted to try out customized, concrete countertops, and are wondering if concrete is the best choice in Edmonton’s market.
While not as common or popular as hallowed and oft-envied granite countertops, cement countertops have gained popularity in recent years because of their versatility, customizability, and durability. Still, as a real estate agent looking to turn over the property, there are a few variables you need to consider before giving your go to contractor the green light.
Posted by Gerard Hagan on Friday, October 30, 2015 at 1:18 PMBy Gerard Hagan / October 30, 2015Comment
Is the idea of sharing a brand new home with its previous tenants a deal-breaker? Most people would never consider this, but for the superstitious out there who are looking for real estate it's a very valid question. Some houses come with ghastly reputations and unexplained phenomena, but is that a good thing or a bad thing? Here are some ideas to consider when looking at a haunted house:
What Level of Haunted is too Much for the Perfect Home?
Purchasing a haunted house is only bad for people who are afraid of things that go bump in the night. In fact, many buyers are perfectly okay with living in a home that has been known to fall on the supernatural spectrum. But what happens to people who love the property, but not the reputation? The first thing to do is some research. The seller is obviously the first person to ask, but they will probably be biased, so move onto the neighbours and ask their opinions. Online research will provide a good idea of how well known the story is and whether it's well...
Posted by Gerard Hagan on Friday, April 24, 2015 at 1:06 PMBy Gerard Hagan / April 24, 2015Comment
Spring in Edmonton takes it’s time to arrive and like many gardeners, you may have noticed that it comes later and later each year.
Gardening is more than sticking stuff in the dirt and hoping it will grow. Its work and it takes a bit of knowledge to grow a really successful garden, but the effort is well worth it. The rewards of gardening are many. Aside from the obvious benefit of having fresh garden greens and vegetables, there is the benefit of being outdoors in the sun and the physical benefits of working in the garden, pulling weeds, hilling potatoes. Another added benefit is fresh flowers filling the air around your home and giving you plenty of fresh cut flowers to enhance your décor.
Posted by Gerard Hagan on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 2:04 PMBy Gerard Hagan / April 14, 2015Comment
If gardening became a national pass time in summer instead of lawn mowing, and each person grew only a 10 by 10 ft garden, the food bill of every family would be reduced and the food crisis would be reduced significantly.
But, what, if anything does a garden add to the worth of your home? We've come to expect front yards with beautifully green and manicured lawns, backyards with pools and sauna's, green grass, maybe jungle gyms and swing sets...but what about a garden? Whatever happened to the age old tradition of a back yard garden?
In older neighborhoods where the residents are closer to retirement age, gardens are still found and beautiful well tended gardens. Some would argue that with everyone working so much there is no time for gardening, which really isn't the case. My mother worked full time and still tended a massive...
Posted by Gerard Hagan on Monday, April 13, 2015 at 2:46 PMBy Gerard Hagan / April 13, 2015Comment
Gardening is coming back into vogue again. Partially because it is one way to cut down your food costs, provide nourishing food for your family, and it is the single most defiant, non violent act of revolution.
Seasoned gardeners know when to plant, what to plant where, how to get maximum production and when to harvest their gardens. Those of us who are just getting into this adventure, don't have this kind of experience. Being as how I am one of those, and last year was my very first gardening experience in Northern Alberta, I discovered there was a lot to learn.
Spring tends to come much later in the Edmonton area then it does to our more southerly neighbors, so starting plants indoors is the best bet unless you want to spend a fortune buying those same plants from a greenhouse. You'll need good potting...
Posted by Gerard Hagan on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 3:34 PMBy Gerard Hagan / August 27, 2014Comment
In 2007 the Cultural Capitals of Canada Program named Edmonton the cultural capital of Canada due in part to its abundance of art galleries that showcase both local artists and artists from across North America. The 124th St. gallery district, close to downtown, has no shortage of art galleries and people don’t need to have an intricate understanding of the art world in order to enjoy what they have to offer. Beginners of all ages are welcomed with open arms, which makes these three Edmonton art galleries the perfect places for an outside the box date night:
Art Gallery of Alberta: The Traditional Option
Edmonton’s main public art gallery, the Art Gallery of Alberta, is located downtown and has a collection of over 5000 works that are both traditional and contemporary, including sculptures...
Posted by Gerard Hagan on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:01 AMBy Gerard Hagan / February 24, 2014Comment
Prime Minster Harper will soon be collecting his just rewards. He and President Obama made a wager on the outcome of the Olympic Hockey matchups between Canada and the United States. The ladies have already come through with their gold medal win. Now it’s up to the guys to do their part. At least one case of beer will be making its way north of the Canadian border, that’s a given.
Politicians’ betting on high-profile sports games isn’t new. The recent Super Bowl is a prime example. The mayor of Seattle put up salmon, Dungeness crab and a primo bicycle. The mayor of Denver bet skis, clothing and spicy chilies for his side of the wager. Seattle won and ended up with the spicy treats.
President Obama and Prime Minister Harper also have a history...
Posted by Gerard Hagan on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 1:10 PMBy Gerard Hagan / January 17, 2013Comment
Edward Jones, a financial firm, just commissioned a new survey of Canadian spending habits. What they found is that quite a few people are taking a rather cavalier attitude towards discretionary spending habits. The fixed amounts going out the door for the most part are accounted for by at least 29 percent of the population. This includes the rent, a mortgage or car payment. But 32 percent of those surveyed did not track any of their expenses.
Statistics Canada figures notes that the debt to income ratio for Canadian households came in at 164.6 percent during 2012’s third quarter. Translated, it means that for every $100 in net income, $65 was already allotted to debt.
Edward Jones’ Senior Product Manager for Retirement Planning, Michelle Kay-Scott, noted that it is this failure to keep track of spending and expenses that may be the root of the debt problem. If you know where your money goes, from the mortgage to a casual night out, you can figure out what your normal spending habits are. Then, you can adjust them...
Posted by Gerard Hagan on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 5:41 PMBy Gerard Hagan / December 13, 20124 Comments
Canada saw its unemployment rate dip to 7.2 percent during the month of November when 59,300 new jobs were created. Statistics Canada released its report this past Friday. The agency noted that the month had the strongest numbers of the year, not only in quantity, but in the quality of jobs. The majority were full time, and in the private business sector. Average hours worked also ticked up by 0.2 percent during that same month.
Not surprising, some of Western Canada’s metro areas had the best employment numbers. On top was Regina at 4.0 percent, followed by Edmonton at 4.1 percent and Calgary with 4.7 percent, all well below the national average.
Report stats far outdid what economists were predicting. Those in the know expected a gain of some 10,000 jobs, expecting the weak summer numbers to carry over from the third quarter into the fourth. The third quarter of 2012 did see only a 0.6 percent growth.
The Bank of Montreal’s Doug Porter, economist with that firm, noted that the economy in...
Posted by Gerard Hagan on Monday, November 26, 2012 at 1:44 PMBy Gerard Hagan / November 26, 2012Comment
While much of Canada is seeing a slow down in the resale housing market, Alberta is enjoying a steady uptick. The Alberta powerhouse had a promising third quarter, according to a study by RBC Economic Research. The firm looks at the affordability of homes in markets across Canada and features the results in its Housing Trends and Affordability Report.
Affordability is calculated by taking the amount of before tax household income and then subtracting the amount it takes to own and maintain a home to find the left over, or otherwise disposable income. Edmonton and Calgary saw the best numbers in Canada and the best numbers in the two-storey home category since 2009. Even better, the city’s condo market also saw the best numbers since 2005.
The first part of 2012 in particular saw an increase in resales, which made the real estate market in Alberta tighten up. When inventory decreases, prices tend to increase and that is most likely going to be the case in this city.
Posted by Gerard Hagan on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 3:07 PMBy Gerard Hagan / October 10, 2012Comment
Recently a survey has been released discussing in detail the increase in the average monthly cost of parking in areas around Canada and other cities. The survey was based on the monthly average cost of parking in the previous year compared to this year, but within the same month. The survey showed that areas such as Alberta parking had increased significantly over the year.
The survey also showed that the city of Calgary had led Canadian cities which ranked second in the area of North American, behind New York city. Based on this information the parking rates in Canada increased by 2.7 percent over the year. The average cost in 2011 was $253.33 and had risen to $241.72 this year.
Ian MacCulloch, National Research Director with Colliers International in Canada, stated that the reason for this increase is due to limited future supply of parking lots, improving the economic conditions and a strong market office.
According to this new information, the shortage in new parking areas will continue to increase the rate for parking....
Posted by Gerard Hagan on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 8:47 AMBy Gerard Hagan / October 9, 2012Comment
There are many different things that a person considers prior to purchasing a home. One of these things is the history of the home, such as a home where a death occured, meaning that the seller had died inside of the home. The decision is often made based on the type of death that occurred within the home.
For instance, an elderly person who had died of natural causes is not likely to scare a home buyer away. Other instances such as a homicide with the home, an unnatural health or a person who suffered with a prolonged serious illness tend to lead people away from buying a home with a death or make them question their decision.
Certain people are not bothered regardless of the type of death that occurred within the home. For instance, during the French revolution mass murders occurred in many home, which doesn't seem to bother...
Posted by Gerard Hagan on Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 1:49 PMBy Gerard Hagan / July 26, 20121 Comment
A poll recently conducted by CIBC showed that in Canada, nearly 60 percent of retirees carried some type of debt. Granted, it is less than younger folks that were still working, but these older Canadians are not as likely to try and pay of that debt sooner than later. That means they will carry that debt for longer periods, incur more interest fees and have less ready cash on hand.
The actual figure for retired Canadians with debt was 59 percent. Compare this with the 76 percent of younger, non-retired Canadians. Of the retired group, 27 percent have made an extra or lump some payment on that debt during the past year. The non-retired group had an average of 42 percent. Retired Canadians averaged a 1.65 debt ratio, while non-retired Canadians had a debt ratio of 2.64 percent. The debt ratio figures included mortgages, credit cards, loans and lines of credit.
It is harder to pay down debt faster when retired. Often times retirees have a fixed income and that must cover the day to day living expenses. This comes before paying...
Posted by Gerard Hagan on Sunday, January 1, 2006 at 1:01 AMBy Gerard Hagan / January 1, 2006Comment
Setting out the goal of buying a home of the greatest challenges you will ever face. It will require dedication, perseverance, and planning. Many wonder how it is that some manage to do this easily and others struggle. There is one word that the successful among us seem to write often and that word brings them riches.
There is one word at work that is a true gift. It will make you feel happy and bring a jolt of joy to everyone who sees it in an email, IM, or text. It’s the one word you love reading more than any other – you’ll always hear it spoken to you before a raise, a promotion or an announcement of an achievement.
The reason you love this word is that it's written every day. It shows team progress, and is free to everyone, anywhere to use at any time. It speaks to us of our accomplishments, as individuals and teams alike.
Have you guessed the word yet? Before I share the word with you, I’d like to share with you why it will make you rich and consequently happy. First,...