Blog

The Playbook Series

Real estate can be challenging, but my strategy is simple. There are no secrets, no gimmicks. Making the play means working hard and putting in the hours. It means ensuring each and every one of my clients reaches their goal. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking to sell, you can count on me to be on your team and by your side every step of the way. Check out my featured listings, sellers guide, or drop me a line for more information.

Stampede 2018!

For many Calgarians, Stampede is the best 10 days of the year. The “Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth” brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Businesses are done up with Western décor, and everyone dusts off their boots, hats, denim and plaid to attend events happening throughout the city. Whether it’s the corporate Calgary events, the grounds, midway, scores of beer tents, or concerts, there is something for everyone and every age at the Calgary Stampede.

Here are my top 5 favourite things to do at Stampede.

#5 – The Corn Dogs!

Stampede just isn’t Stampede without a corn dog! These are a staple every year. Hitting the midway and getting a corn dog along with a bucket of mini-donuts is a MUST. The Stampede corn dogs have seen many different variations over the years but nothing beats the original. Check out this link for all the crazy food the Midway offers and a map to find it all. https://www.calgarystampede.com/stampede/attractions/food

#4 – The Dogie Do Rodeo

The Legendary Dogie Do Rodeo, put on by the Canadian Progress Club, has turned into a tradition for many Calgarians. If you can manage to get your hands on tickets, you will get the chance to enjoy awesome amateur events for a great cause. The rodeo includes 5 events where you ride a horse, wrangle a calf, get in a tube, chuck race, and even win some new jeans to wriggle on.
https://cpccalgary.com

#3 – Cowboys

You can’t talk about Stampede without mentioning the infamous Cowboys Dance Hall – there’s a reason why they call it “The Most Fun You Can Have with Your Boots On”. The Cowboys Tent is arguably one of the biggest and best parties in the city, with non-stop dancing, a lively atmosphere, and the Cowboys Music Festival. The Cowboys Tent is located just North of the Stampede Grounds, allowing for easy access from the midway, Nashville North or the rodeo. If you only visit one tent this year, make it this one.
Here’s a list of all the events happening at Cowboys this year.
http://cowboysnightclub.com

#2 – The Calgary Stampede Rodeo

Where it all began! Since 1912 the Calgary Stampede Rodeo is one of the world’s richest rodeos. Enjoy bronc riding, bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, bareback and junior events. Catch all the action daily at 1:15pm.
https://www.calgarystampede.com/stampede/rodeo

#1 – The Chucks

My number 1 favorite thing to do every year at Stampede is watching the famous Chuck Wagon Races. The Chucks started at the Calgary Stampede in 1923 and offers insane action over nine nightly heats as 36 chuckwagon drivers, supported by their outriders and 216 horses vie for over $1.15 million in total prize money! The GMC Rangeland Derby takes place every night at 7:45pm, followed by the Grandstand Show (which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year!).
https://www.calgarystampede.com/stampede/shows/evening/gmc-rangeland-derby

Milestones: The Final Chapter

Why Ben?

Because everyone has a dream and a story to tell. In the Milestones Series, I wanted to share the experiences that shaped who I am today. Family. Hockey. Community. Advocacy. Above all else, real connections with real people.

Now, I want to hear from you. What’s your story? What are your goals?

What are your Milestones?

How to invest in a vacation property

The official start of summer is almost here and that means one thing; it’s time for a vacation! I love hitting a new destination every once in a while, but my favourite summer memories are of the times spent at my grandparents’ vacation home. Whether you prefer a cabin, cottage, or condo, purchasing a vacation property is an investment that your whole family will love for generations to come.

Like any big purchase, investing in a vacation home can seem stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips to smooth out the process and get you one step closer to some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Hire a Property Management Company!

Hiring a property management company for your vacation home can be pricey, but it can save a lot of effort and time on your part. A property manager can open and close your property each season and assist with renting your property out in the off season. This is a great option for those that live far away from their vacation home.

Hire a Local Caretaker!

If you don’t plan to rent out your vacation property or prefer to handle rentals yourself, hiring a local caretaker is a more flexible, less expensive alternative to a property manager. Plus, having a caretaker to check on your home from time to time will give you peace of mind. There are several listings online, but a simple referral can go a long way. Ask your neighbours or nearby property owners for a recommendation.

Keep your Vacation Info Handy!

If you do plan to rent out your vacation property, compile all essential information into a book or folder for your renters. This eliminates your need to be on call or available at all times. Make sure to include:

  • Plumber
  • Electrician
  • Landscaper
  • Maintenance
  • Emergency Contact

You may also consider installing a keyless door entry system. This will allow you and your guests access as needed and could be critical in the event of an emergency.

http://www.hgtv.ca/real-estate/photos/6-questions-to-answer-before-buying-a-vacation-home-1052843/

Get in touch if you are interested in more information to find your perfect getaway.

BK Milestones: Chapter 5

“The business of business is relationships; the business of life is human connection” – Robin Sharma

It’s bigger than business. Being an advocate and connector in the real estate industry – in Calgary especially – means getting out there and making the play that helps you reach your goals.

Here’s why you should consider entering the rental market in 2018

Recently featured on Rentfaster.ca:

After a challenging CREB Market Forecast, new regulations, and an extra-long, extra-chilly weather, Spring 2018 has been off to a rocky start for buyers and sellers alike. Fear not – there are plenty of ways to make the most out of the road ahead. One approach? Getting into the rental market.

Myke Thomas, Real Estate Analyst for the Sun states, “of the nearly 60,000-unit rental universe, 36 percent of the supply is coming from investor-owned apartment units. Slowly improving employment conditions and new migration are expected to support some demand growth for rental product, with CREB expecting the vacancy rate to move down close to six percent in 2018.”

Whether you’re a current owner or looking to invest in your first rental property, having a real estate agent on your team is always a sure bet. Here’s why:

 

Rent Out Your Existing Property

With spring sales off to a slow start and demand for rentals on the rise, consider turning your unit into a rental. With three bedrooms and an open concept layout, this newly renovated Bankview condo is a rare find that your future renters will love. Here are some advantages that come with owning a rental property:

  1. You may pay less tax.
  2. You may be able to deduct losses for tax purposes.
  3. You get regular monthly income.

 

 

Invest in a New Rental Property

If you’ve considered investing in a new rental property, now is the time. With a high supply of condos on the market, there are deals available at every price point. Located steps away from the C-Train line, this Bridgeland condo is a highly sought out location for renters. Having a real estate agent can help you:

  1. Search the right neighbourhoods
  2. Navigate regulations surrounding rental properties
  3. Negotiate a better deal.

If investing in the rental market is something you are interested in, give me a call! I would love to answer any questions you may have.

BK Milestones: Chapter 4

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs

How do I define success? For me, it’s more than just selling houses.

It’s building relationships. Working hard. Learning from every loss, and turning every lesson into a win. Success is making sure that every client I work with finds a home that they truly love. 

My Top 5 Fitness Studios in YYC!

Fitness has always been an important part of my lifestyle and Calgary has a great variety to keep it fun and interesting. If you are looking for some fun ways to work on that summer bod, check out my 5 Favourite local fitness studios!

 

ONE CYCLE – 2115 4th Street SW
Located in Mission, One Cycle is an integral part of my weekly routine. The amazing instructors at this high-energy spin studio will have you breaking a sweat and having fun in no time.

 

UNDRCARD Boxing Studio – 349 10th Ave SW
Boxing is a great way to switch up your routine. UNDRCARD’s 50-minute boxing/core sessions get you “fighter fit and always kick my butt! They also have a gym, sparring ring, and offer special themed classes, including strength training, and self-defence.

 

KULT FITNESS – 224 14th Ave SE
The new kids on the block and one of the coolest studios in the city! Kult’s climbing workouts are 30 mins of high intensity sweat-love for your body. And if that’s not your cup of tea, the circuit training group sessions are amazing as well.

 

YYC CYCLE – 1117B Kensington Road NW
Another awesome local spin studio! YYC Cycle has three great locations to choose from: Kensington, Marda Loop, and Avenida. The tight-knit community at this studio will make you feel right at home. Take a         class with one of their many “Motivators” and join the #BikerGang.

 

BOLD ATHLETE – 2424 University Drive, NW 
Looking for next-level full body fitness? The experts at Bold Athlete will help you step-up your workout game. BA offers both group and individual basis, and a team with a ton of experience training high performance athletes.

 

 

 

BK Milestones: Chapter 3

“In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.” – Nikos Kazantzakis

I owe a lot to hockey. This sport has given me lifelong friends, invaluable lessons, and a world of opportunities. Now, it’s my turn to give back. 

This year I began volunteering with HEROS, a local non-profit that uses hockey to empower and inspire marginalized youth. Most importantly, HEROS provides a safe and stable environment for young people to learn, connect, and succeed; a valuable opportunity which would not be financially possible otherwise.

BK Milestones: Chapter 2

“Family is not an ‘important thing’. It’s everything.” – Michael J. Fox

Family means the world to me. From my grandparents to our newest addition, Blakely Jane, their love and support have had the greatest influence on who I am today. 

Growing up as a third generation realtor in Calgary, my family has shown me the ins and outs of the industry. I’m so grateful for their teachings and the knowledge they’ve passed down.