Wow. There goes 2020. In times like this, it’s sometimes easy to forget that we still have much to be grateful about. If you and your loved ones are safe and well, that’s reason to celebrate! Many people across the planet have been less fortunate.
This year, our homes became the most important places in the world. Many of us transformed them, adding home offices, personal gyms and comfy zones where we could retreat to relax. In the process of re-imagining the spaces in which we live, many of us have realized how lucky we are. We’ve deep-cleaned, re-organized and re-connected with our homes and the people with whom we share them. Some of you decided this year that it’s time for a change. Despite the difficult circumstances, you started looking for a new home with more space and privacy, somewhere even safer. You’re not alone.
As real estate agents, we’ve talked to many of you in recent months about your plans for the future. We’ve heard a lot of uncertainty. You asked us to help answer tough questions such as whether you should postpone plans to move… or get out there and go online to keep looking for a new home. You wondered when it would be a good time to list. My response to these questions was that “only you can answer them.” I’m here to help, though!
As we move toward 2021, I pledge to do that by continuing to listen. I’ll give you my best advice regarding the market, available properties and pricing. And I’ll connect you with the best support professionals to help you buy and sell.
Please reach out to me for a conversation this holiday season and tell me about your vision for the New Year.
1. Bake like a mother...or a grandmother! There's nothing better than Christmas cookies or a tasty pie to get everyone around your home feeling festive during these trying times.
2. Fill your house with music. It doesn't have to be Christmas tunes but there are some good ones you might not have heard for a while. They're all on YouTube.
3. If your dream is to sell or buy real estate in December 2020, keep that dream alive! Imagine this: "Honey, open your eyes and look at what I bought you for Christmas (It's a new home)!"
4. Light up your property! That "For Sale" sign out front can look even better with some light (or a string of lights) on it. Throw some coloured floodlights onto trees in the yard while you’re at it!
5. Deep clean your home, streamline your stuff and open your closets to charity! You'll feel good and you'll make someone else's holidays great. Cleaner is safer right now.
6. Watch Christmas movies with themes of love and giving and get into the spirit of the season.
7. Buy a batch of old-fashioned holiday greeting cards, write them and send them the old-school way via Canada Post. Don't procrastinate!
8. Connect online via Zoom for LIVE gift exchange parties, karaoke craziness and eggnog (alcoholic and/or non).
9. Drive! Visit neighbourhoods you've never seen before to check out the lights and decorations. Get out-of-town and see snow-capped peaks from the highways at dusk. This is peak season for Northern Lights, too!
10. Stock up on firewood or buy a portable, fuel-burning fire-pit for the yard and keep the home fires burning. If you’re in an apartment condo, set the mood with the fire log channel on TV. Here comes 2021!
For many years, the Edmonton community of Crestwood, with its canopy of snowy branches, has been known during the holidays as Candy Cane Lane. It’s visited from sunset to midnight by families from across the city and beyond. Why?
Because every year, beginning some time in November, the entire neighbourhood (meaning every household) decorates the outsides of their homes with lights of every colour and configuration, filling the area with the joyful spirit of the season. And every year, local businesses, residents and visitors donate food items and other gifts to the Edmonton Food Bank for those less fortunate.
From its official website at yegcandycanelane.com: “It not only serves as a source of pure joy for all who pass by, but also a welcomed oasis for the less fortunate and those with health challenges, including children at the Stollery Children's Hospital, patients from the Cross Cancer Institute and countless retirement and extended care homes.”
Communities close to valley ravines in the River City (Edmonton) are popular with active families and with anyone who wants an urban lifestyle enhanced by some nearby nature. With spectacular, tree-filled MacKinnon Ravine as its southern boundary, Grovenor (which used to be called Westgrove) fits the bill. A quiet area, it runs east-west from 142 to 149 Streets NW and north from the ravine to 107 Ave NW.
There are great cycling paths here, as well as many slightly rougher hiking trails. Many residents use the paths to take their young families to the shopping zone in the southeast corner of the neighbourhood, on a street across from the ravine. There’s high-end coffee available there, as well as family dining at the Tasty Tomato Italian Restaurant (a local fixture). As well, the area features many retail shops that sell equipment and apparel to sports enthusiasts and fitness buffs. There’s one school and one church in the community, both also easily accessible to residents on foot.
When people do climb into their cars around here, Stony Plain Road runs directly to downtown, West Edmonton Mall is to the west and Anthony Henday Drive connects to the rest of the city.