5 Reasons Why It’s Time for a Vacation Home in Gull Lake AB

April 13th, 2016 by dustysmithteam

Gull Lake Alberta

Spring is in full swing in Central Alberta and the current forecast is all beautiful sunrises and sunsets. With the season in the air homeowners around and outside of Alberta are thinking about investing in a vacation home. You couldn’t pick a better province for your second property and there is nary a better place than right here in Gull Lake. When screenwriters and authors write about a quintessential resort town, this is the place of inspiration. Can you envision your home here? Let’s find out.

Why Gull Lake Alberta is the Perfect Place for Your Spring/Summer Vacation Home

  1. The Cost of Vacation Home Investment is at an All Time Low (for now)

As we speak you can lock in an historically low mortgage rate for a vacation property in Central Alberta. The economic challenges have opened up an unprecedented opportunity for those of you seeking that lucrative second home. Especially attractive local developments include Meridian Beach, Raymond Shores, Sandy Point, and Westlake Estates (inquire about each here). Every annum you can spend weeks or months residing in paradise at a fraction of the investment it may take elsewhere. With the Alberta economy certain to return to strong form (have you noticed the price of oil climbing again?) and the value of these properties certain to rise in the years ahead, the time to strike is now.

  1. All of the Spring/Summer Resort Recreation You Can Handle

Time to get to the goods! Gull Lake became the famous resort community that it is today because mother nature allowed it. The lake itself is a hotbed of recreational opportunity. With sandy shores, convenient docks, warm spring/summer water and a perfect combination of calm and windy days, your penchant for water sports will be fully fulfilled. Gull Lake offers canoeing, fishing, kayaking, kite-surfing, rowing, sailing, stand-up paddling, swimming, wake-boarding, and waterskiing. If your significant other prefers to lounge about while you brave the elements they’ll be happy to know that sunbathing is also a popular pastime. The lake is the big draw but complementary recreation is close by too, with world class golf minutes away. There is also biking, hiking, bird-watching and a slew of other outdoor activities to enjoy in Gull Lake.       

  1. Neighbors You Want to Get to Know (and who want to know you)

Gull Lake is the most welcoming resort community in the country. You can hold us to that. Even as a part-time resident in the spring and/or summer months you’ll be treated as a full-time local. Shop owners and year-round residents alike will know your name and precede it with a daily “good morning”, “good day” and “good evening” and even offer a “come by for the BBQ tonight” every now and then. When you invest in a Gull Lake vacation home you invest in a whole new social agenda, the kind you want to keep.

  1. It Will Keep Earning (for You) When the Season Has Passed

As your spring/summer vacation home you know you’ll get every penny’s worth out of your Gull Lake property. That being said, you may not want it to sit idle, awaiting your return as the autumn and winter months settle in. Fret not, because Gull Lake is an all-season resort town that draws visitors 365 days a year. Whether for cross-country skiing and ice fishing or the simple act of enjoying the crackle of a fireplace while winter wonderland displays in the background, your Gull Lake property remains a hot commodity for vacation renters.

  1. The “Pine Lake” Sibling Resort Community Opportunity

Looking for a vacation home in a more scaled back lakefront resort community? Just as quaint yet not quite as bustling (a relative term, of course) as Gull Lake in the spring and summer, Pine Lake may be perfect for you. Known by many as a sibling or close cousin to nearby Gull Lake (a pleasant 45-minute drive) Pine Lake has highly attractive vacation property listings on offer. Smaller in size (the lake is just over 6 km long and 1 km wide with a maximum depth of over 12 meters), Pine Lake is a gathering place that spans numerous generations. Like its sibling, this destination offers camping, boating, water-sports, fishing, golfing and many other forms of activity and recreation.

Ready to jump in, or simply want to learn more about the above lakefront vacation home opportunities? Contact the Dusty Smith Real Estate Team at 403.347.0744 anytime.

image: courtesy of touristiko.com


Home Buyer’s Guide for Red Deer and Central Alberta

March 19th, 2016 by dustysmithteam

Red Deer Real Estate

Buying a home is exciting but also a little bit scary, especially if you’re a first-time buyer or upgrading from a condo to a single detached family home. The nerves are born from uncertainty. Do you have enough information to make a wise decision? Factor in the unique real estate landscape of Central Alberta and the adrenaline really kicks in, having you scramble to gather as much intel as possible before hitting the market. Thankfully, our Red Deer real estate team has seen it all and guided clients, such as yourself, through the process for nearly two decades. Today we put together a quick and easy guide to buying a home in the area.

10 Tips to Buying a Home (and Choosing a Realtor) in the Red Deer and Central Alberta

  1. Get Pre-Approval on Your Mortgage

Don’t spend valuable time looking at homes that don’t suit your budget. Get pre-approved on your home loan as soon as you’re ready to put your interest out there on the local market. Having an exact cap in mind, and on paper, allows you to focus on homes that are right for you. Of course, the loan is not always as clear cut as it could be, so be mindful of the entire process. It’s important to learn about the hidden costs (processing fees, etc.). Not an expert in mortgages? We are. Contact us at 403.347.0744 to check step-one off of your list, before considering listings.

  1. The Perfect Time is Your Time (Ignore Media Hype)

If you’ve found this guide it means that you’re ready to start the home buying process. Your career (or business, etc.) and family (no matter what that looks like) is ready for the transition. That means the time is right for you, and that’s what’s most important. Many prospective home buyers get caught up in the media hype (or the advice from friends and coworkers) and try to strike on the home purchase at some magical (and often arbitrary) time. The newspaper tells you one thing about interest rates, the local TV anchor delivers news on market forecasts, the voice on the radio proclaims that you should wait another six months, and your friend’s neighbor’s cousin’s uncle (who sold swampland in Florida) has a hot tip on a development that will be ready in 2-5 years tops. Forget them all. Instead, trust your instincts and move forward when you are ready.

  1. Buy for Today and Tomorrow

Take a look at yourself, in five to ten years. That’s what you’re buying for today. Will your family occupancy grow (for young couples, etc.)? Will your family occupancy decrease (for soon-to-be empty nesters, etc.)? Will you be traveling or entertaining more? Do you plan on getting a dog or a cat? The scenarios that weigh-in on the needs of your home are endless and only you can take accounting of them. While you can’t predict it all, you can make an educated guess. Proceed accordingly.

  1. See Beyond the Price Tag

The price of a home is not the only the mortgage you pay. You want to factor in all “sleeper” costs too. This can include utilities, homeowner association dues (where applicable), property tax today and property tax increases that can come with any additions and/or renovations that you anticipate making in the future. Plan for these expenses today and you’re monthly/annual budget will be in the clear.

  1. Comprehensive Home Inspection

This may seem like common sense but often excitement and emotions get in the way. On the surface you may have come across the perfect property but the bells and whistles may cloud your judgement. But just like with a car you need to have someone look under-the-hood and make sure it’s all there and in working order. Have a professional real estate team conduct and/or dictate this inspection for you, leaving no square-foot unturned.

  1. Don’t Attempt a Negotiation on Your Own

One of the most common analogies made here is found in the courtroom. You wouldn’t represent yourself in the court of law during a trial, right? Certainly not. Attempting to negotiate the price of a home with a seller (and/or their own agent) is as risky a scenario as the one presented in the analogy. Bring in a professional real estate team that is reputed in home-buyer negotiation.

  1. You’re Buying into a Community, not Just a Home

One of the most exciting parts about buying a home is all that comes along with it, including the surrounding community. Spend some time immersed in it before making a purchase decision. This includes meeting the neighbors, touring the local school (where applicable), walking about the area, enjoying the recreation, and spending a few hours at the local coffee shop to gauge population traffic, and gossip!

  1. Consider Acreage and Developments Too

While you’re excited about your home purchase you want to make sure that the property you do choose is 110% right for you. Sometimes that home is not yet ready. Thankfully, the Central Alberta area is ripe with both acreage and current developments. Is building a home an option for you? Then you may want to have a look at the multitude of Red Deer county acres available on the market. There are also numerous and highly attractive developments coming up all over the Red Deer region, developments that our team is close to and connect you to. The key consideration in all of this is time. While you may be ready to move in now, perhaps it’s worth buying for the near future (acreage or development in process) and taking up temporary residence in a rental accommodation until your home (your perfect home) has been completed.

  1. Choose a REALTOR® Over an Agent

There are options available to you when soliciting real estate services. But when it comes to buying a home in Central Alberta you want to work with a Realtor® above all else. A Realtor® has unlimited access to properties that meet your criteria, is an expert negotiator, is more knowledgable about the entire purchase process (paperwork and red tape included), and adheres to a strict code of ethics. Learn more about why you want to use a Realtor® here.

  1. Choose a Team Over an Individual Agent

Not only is choosing a Realtor® the key to a successful home purchase, but choosing one that has an entire team at their side will provide you with unparalleled peace of mind. A real estate team means that you have someone, at all times, on the market and hunting down the property that meets the criteria dictated by you. It also means that you have a specialized expert working on each step of the process so that you don’t have to. Would you rather have one person, or many, managing the purchase of your home?

Ready to start talking about your new home in Central Alberta? Contact the Dusty Smith Real Estate Team anytime at 403.347.0744 or learn more here.

Decorated Olympian Joins the Dusty Smith Real Estate Team

January 21st, 2016 by dustysmithteam

Our real estate marketing company is proud to announce the newest addition to our professional team – Mellisa Hollingsworth.


To be honest, we were a little intimidated by her at first. Mellisa, a 3x Olympian is one of the most decorated Skeleton athletes in the entire world. For those that don’t know what Skeleton racing is, it’s one of the fastest (winter or summer) Olympic sports in existence. Athletes explosively push their sleds before diving on and sliding facedown/headfirst down a frozen track to forces up to 5g, reaching speeds over 140 km/h! Mellisa is a Canadian Champion, an Overall World Cup Champion and when she nabbed the Olympic Bronze Medal in 2006 she become the first Canadian to win an Olympic medal in the sport of Skeleton. Her accolades read more like the list of accomplishments of ten athletes.

Of course, we got over our intimidation pretty quick, as Mellisa is one of the warmest people you could ever meet. Admirable is her true identifier, and we are honored to have her on the team. Today we take a look at why you will want our newest team member by your side when buying or selling a home in Central Alberta.

How Mellisa Hollingsworth Will Apply her Background and Credentials to Your Real Estate Needs

Unwavering Dedication

You don’t become an Olympic champion without applying a level of dedication that 99.9% of the global population could never match. Mellisa has taken her athletic drive and dedication and applied it to her latest craft – real estate marketing. Now a consummate professional in her field, she has been able to translate that dedication to her clients. With Mellisa going to bat for you in your home sale or purchase you gain unwavering commitment to the accomplishment of your goals.


The Dusty Smith team just got more efficient at selling your home by a g-force of 5. If you’re selling a property you don’t want to sit on it for too long, handcuffing your wealth when it could be better used in a new investment. Speed is in Mellisa’s nature, and she works efficiently towards the sale of your home.


It takes thick skin and vigor to not only catapult facedown on an icy track but to do so at a globally competitive level with the whole world watching. Imagine how this kind of strength will translate to negotiations (in your favor) for buying or selling your property!? As a seller, Mellisa’s inherent gift will work to sell your home at (or very near) your listing price. As a buyer, your opportunity to negotiate a price that suits your budget while getting additional concessions in the process multiplies exponentially.


Mellisa has represented her country with pride on the world stage for over 12 years. She was also born (Lacombe AB) and raised on a ranch right here in Central Alberta. She has had numerous opportunities come across her path to take her anywhere in the world she pleases but her allegiance remains where she is growing her exciting professional career. This commitment to her roots not only speaks to character, it speaks to the simple fact that Central Alberta is a great place to live. Allow Mellisa to help you build or maintain your own foundation in this Canadian paradise. Her loyalty to you will be unmatched by any other real estate firm in the region.


For all of her amazing accolades and attributes Mellisa is as down to earth as can be. She conveys the friendliness, warmth, and sense of community that this neck of the province is known for. When you have Mellisa at your side you not only gain an accomplished Realtor, you gain a friend.

Call the Dusty Smith Team at 403-347-0744 for inquiries regarding your home purchase/sale anytime or (click here).

Hot Property Communities in Central Alberta to Watch for in 2016

January 4th, 2016 by dustysmithteam

Hot Property Communities in Central Alberta to Watch for in 2016


image: courtesy of Meridian Beach


Pay no mind to the media hype surrounding the Central Alberta economic impact on the real estate investment market. Exciting things are happening for 2016, with four burgeoning communities catching the eye of prospective homeowners and investors from near and far. While property developments continue, catching up with the demand, even more rousing is the overall growth of these communities. Whether your are considering a new place to live, or are looking to capitalize on this growth to maximize personal wealth and revenue streams, the following areas are hotbeds to watch for in the year ahead.


4 Communities You Should Consider for Your Next Home Purchase in Central Alberta


  1. Gull Lake


This recent article (click here) regarding the reasons to buy a home in Gull Lake speak for themselves, but allow us to gush further about this trending Central Alberta community. Gull Lake is on fire, with new property developments such as Meridian Beach making headlines in major provincial media. Gull Lake developers are accommodating prospects looking for a home and vacation property investment alike. The Raymond Shores and Sandy Point developments are gaining feverous interest from those considering RV resort communities while luxury beckons from the country lakefront of Westlake Estates. Being the hub of outdoor recreation in Central Alberta has drawn a slew of complementary businesses and activity providers, ensuring continued growth and development of Gull Lake as one of the freshest resort communities in Canada.


  1. Sylvan Lake


Before Gull Lake garnered national attention Sylvan Lake was the see all be all as the hottest resort community in the country. This quaint yet growing geographic hotspot isn’t slowing down anytime soon with 2016 projections looking monumental. Developments such as The Slopes of Sylvan Lake in particular are garnering attention from its use of expansive green space, eye-catching architecture, and energy efficiency. Buyers in neighboring metropolises are taking notice. A recent quote from developer Chris Artibello in the Calgary Herald sums it up in layman’s terms quite well:


“You can go up there for a weekend, it’s 90 minutes away. You are 10 minutes from two different boat launches and you’re five minutes from all the groceries and shopping, beach front and all that sort of stuff.”  (Calgary Herald, May 2015)


Amenities aside from “resort life” are accommodating residents more than ever as well, including new enhancements to the educational system (HJ Cody high school in particular) and medical services (including a new medical imaging centre in early 2016). From lakefront to rolling hills, a property to match your needs is situated in Sylvan Lake.


  1. Blackfalds


Blackfalds is home to one of the newest and most exciting community developments in Central Alberta. New property developments (click here) along Arrowhead Close, Morris Court, and Paramount Crescent perfectly convey what new buyers can expect. As with the communities above (Gull Lake, Sylvan Lake) the municipality of Blackfalds too is making big strides to accommodating residents. One look at the 2016 Blackfalds budget (here) evidences that arriving and existing residents/visitors will enjoy new and/or enhanced parks, outdoor recreational facilities, historic site restorations, and roadway/trail improvements.


  1. Red Deer & Lacombe County Acreages


Red Deer and Lacombe are staples in the Central Alberta buyers’ market. But this longstanding reputation doesn’t make the scene any less exciting. It is within the acreages that prospective builders, homeowners, and investors are striking gold. With each urban community (Red Deer and Lacombe) growing and becoming more densified, the outlying county areas are becoming hotbeds for home development. The expansive acreages, developing properties, and bungalows located along the regions’ highways and the likes of Range Road (click here) are attractive to those considering a multi-generational family home and lucrative for those seeking an investment property.


2016 is going to be a big year for buyers of Central Alberta homes. Contact the Dusty Smith Real Estate team anytime at 403-347-0744 and allow us to serve as your concierge to the flourishing communities detailed above.

4 New Year Resolutions to Selling Your Central Alberta Home

December 31st, 2015 by dustysmithteam


4 New Year Resolutions to Selling Your Central Alberta Home


It’s hard to believe that 2015 is coming to a close. Some of you have big plans on the horizon for the year ahead. You may be selling your house in order to move into a new, bigger, and better home. Others may be looking to cash-in on a long held investment property. Whichever the case, now is the time to apply that age old concept of New Year resolutions to your real estate goals. Selling a home in Central Alberta, regardless the economy, comes with a unique set of circumstances. Today, as the days of 2015 come to a close, we look at four key resolutions that will help you close a lucrative sale of your home or investment property in 2016.


Four Tips to Selling Your Central Alberta Home in the New Year


  1. Set the Right Price


This may seem like stating the obvious, but trust us when we say that this point is the most overlooked. On one side, you have homeowners that assume setting a high listing price from the get-go is the best way to go. They do so under the logic that the tactic will leave them the negotiation room that they need to land on the actual price they had in mind. However, this overinflation of the price only serves to keep savvy Central Alberta buyers at bay. They and their real estate agents will simply gloss over your listing in favor of those that set a more reasonable price. The problem is compounded when your inflated price keeps your home on the market longer than necessary. Prospective buyers become suspicious (assuming something is wrong with your property) and bypass your listing.


On the other side of the loonie, you have homeowners that undervalue their home, fretting over the state of the economy and attempting to unload their property in a panic. Not only will this thought-process leave you with negative opportunity cost, setting a price too low can make agents and buyers cautious. They will assume anyone unloading a property at such an undervalued price is hiding something, and their suspicions will rise. Once again, your listing will be passed over. Set the price of your property at its true market value (view tips here) in 2016 if you hope to sell your home within the same year.


  1. Consider Concessions Instead of Price Negotiation


Instead of diving too deep into the negotiation game, consider sweetening the pot to get prospective buyers off the fence and into the closure of the sales contract. If you have set a true market price for your home, it is not unreasonable to expect its receipt, especially if you have concessions to offer. These concessions can include existing furnishings within the home, small renovations, fresh paint, relocation allowances, and whatever creative items and services you can offer. Look at your resources and connections to determine what a prospective buyer may need from you, and use these concessions to help you close the sale on your home.


  1. Quick Fixes to Design & Decor


Put yourself in the shoes of prospective buyers. How will they view your home from the moment they pull up to the curb to the moment they walk through the front door and exit into the backyard? While we discourage you from taking on excessive expenses and overdoing it with renovations, small aesthetic and functional edits to your interior/exterior design and decor will go a long way. Ensure that your yard is well kept and apply a quick coat of paint to gutters and the trim (window trim, etc.) of your home exterior to enhance curb appeal. Move your interior excess into storage, so that you remove clutter and open up the home, making it seem even more spacious that the literal square footage may allow. Manipulate natural and artificial lighting to focus on the best features of your interior while diverting attention away from less attractive zones (stains, cracked paint, etc.). Take down personal decorative pieces (artwork, etc.) that may distort a buyer’s vision of the home becoming theirs. While you may consider a professional home-stager, you can accomplish a lot with a little logical thought and putting yourself in the psychological position of buyers.


  1. Use a Reputable Full-Service Real Estate Marketing Team


Last but most certainly not least comes the most important New Year resolution to selling your home in Central Alberta. There is no more efficient way to sell your property than by securing the services of a local area REALTOR that comes with a full-service and highly specialized real estate marketing team. A professional marketing team will be accessible to you at all hours of the day, have access to more prospective buyers than an individual agent, and will be far more versed in the numerous home marketing channels of modern times. In addition, such a team is better equipped to navigate the curious Central Alberta economy of 2016. Click here to learn more about how a full-service team will serve you best in the year ahead or simply contact the Dusty Smith Real Estate team anytime at 403-347-0744.

Use a Real Estate Marketing Team To Sell Your Home

December 16th, 2015 by dustysmithteam

Real Estate Marketing

Why You Need a Real Estate Marketing Team to Sell Your Home


One of the biggest mistakes made by homeowners putting their property on the market is failing to recognize that a comprehensive marketing strategy is needed. Selling a home is a monumental thing. Putting the process in the hands of one single individual, no matter their credentials, does not afford your needs the full attention required. In order to sell your home fast and at a price as near to your listing as possible in this market requires a team of professional real estate marketers. Read further to find out why developing a full service real estate marketing strategy is your best course of action.


5 Reasons Why a Full-Service Real Estate Marketing Team is Your Best Bet to Selling Your Home


  1. You Always Have Access to Someone


No matter how dedicated to clients a singular agent may be, they simply cannot be available to respond to questions, comments, and concerns at all times. In a volatile market when quick decisions and/or negotiations need to be made timing can be everything. When you have an entire real estate team working to sell your home, your ability to reach someone at a moment’s notice increases exponentially.


  1. Specialization in Every Step of the Selling Process


A real estate sales transaction involves a whole lot more than negotiation, contracting signing, and passing of the keys. There are numerous and intricate steps in the process, from administration and financial management to online marketing and leveraging of buyer/seller concessions. While one Realtor can theoretically manage each element, it is impossible to efficiently manage each at optimal capacity. A professional real estate team on the other hand, with have individuals in place that specialize in their respective fields, ensuring that each duty is provided the care to fully protect your interests.


“From the consumer’s perspective, the advantages of working with a realtor team besides the obvious seemingly unlimited access to an agent, is the efficiency of the organization of the team moving the transaction to closing and the idea that several real estate brains can be focused on seller solutions.” (Mark Greene, FORBES Magazine)



  1. The Bigger the Team the Bigger Your Prospects


An individual Realtor will have access to a limited pool prospective buyers. A Realtor backed by a real estate team will have a much deeper well to draw from, with each individual on the team having connections in the field that will fire on all cylinders to find a suitable buyer for your property.


  1. Real Estate Marketing Capabilities and Channels for Modern Times


Real estate marketing isn’t what it used to be five years ago. In fact, modern marketing technology moves so fast that a channel (to reach buyers) can become antiquated a year after it was the biggest thing in the industry. Whether it’s MLS database technology, mobile applications, social media, or getting your property found online through search engine optimization you gain access to it all when working with full-service real estate marketing team. There are very few individual Realtors that can provide that level of access to modern real estate marketing technology, if any.


  1. A Sound Strategy and Team Provides Certainty in Uncertain Times


The economic challenges currently faced by Central Alberta have had their impact on the real estate market, especially with respect to buyer perception. As a seller, you are likely facing uncertainty. You may have no clue how to price your home during these trying times, and may feel as if you have to bend too far in negotiations surrounding your listing price. Do you feel comfortable, given the current economic climate, placing the sale of your home in the hands of one individual? Or does a full-service team that will develop a customized marketing plan unique to your property make more sense in uncertain times?


Avoid the pitfalls of working with a single Realtor who wears too many hats. Instead, secure the professional services of a top producing real estate team to sell your home faster and at the price you demand. Contact the Dusty Smith Real Estate Team today.

Central Alberta Christmas Events for 2015

December 13th, 2015 by dustysmithteam


Can you believe that we’re already halfway through December? Christmas is less than two weeks away and while you’re likely going to spend much of that time shopping for last minute gifts and making preparations for guests we hope that you’ve left some time to take in some of the great gatherings occurring in Central Alberta. Two weeks ago our real estate team delivered event recommendations to launch the holiday season but now that we’re in the thick of it we thought we’d follow up with a more comprehensive look at what’s happening within our communities. Whether you’re a long time resident or are considering a move to Central Alberta we welcome you to join us at one or more of the following events.


Our Real Estate Team’s December 2015 Christmas Event Recommendations for Central Alberta


Ice Sculptures @ Parkland Nurseries & Garden Centre – Daily Until December 15


Red Deer’s favorite garden centre on Highway 11 becomes a haven for holiday cheer in December. People come from all over Central Alberta to make an afternoon or evening out of viewing the ice sculptures on display. Expert sculptors offer their takes on traditional scenes and contemporary pop-culture themes, including renditions of kids’ favorite movie characters and the like. Bring a thermos full of hot chocolate/coffee and free up digital memory on your camera to capture the memorable panorama at Parkland Nurseries & Garden Centre.


The Nutcracker Ballet @ RDC Arts Centre Mainstage – Dec 18-20 (1:30 PM / 7 PM)


No holiday season could be complete without an evening viewing of The Nutcracker Ballet. Enjoy magical visions of the Sugar Plum Fairy and more as students from the Red Deer College (RDC) Conservatory of Dance drape themselves in full costume and put their talents on display to deliver a Christmas tradition to all. Find tickets at www.blackknightinn.ca


Light Up the Village @ Innisfail Historical Village – Thur/Fri/Sat Until Dec 19 (5 to 7 PM)


You have until December 19 (every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening) to take in the breathtaking scene found at Innisfail Historical Village. Within you will find heritage buildings exquisitely decorated inside and out, dazzling all eyes and lenses laid upon them. Admission to the Village is $5 per person or $18 per family of five or more. For additional information on the event you can call the Innisfail Historical Village directly at 403-227-2906.


Christmas Eve Ice Skating @ Sylvan Lake Multiplex – Dec 24 (6:15 to 7:45 PM)


Ice skating may be a daily occurrence for residents in the Sylvan Lake area, be it on the lake or within the local Multiplex, but the most wonderful time of the year to join the public in doing so is on Christmas Eve. Bring your Santa hats for good measure and come with friends and/or family to cut a few figure 8’s before retiring for the evening.


Spreading Goodwill During the Holiday Season in Central Alberta – Until Dec 24 (anytime)


While not an “official” event, this addition is the most worthwhile on our list. This is the season for giving and there are residents in need whose hearts you could warm with your generosity. With so many communities in Central Alberta finding a non-profit organization that is close to your heart will be easy enough. For example, if in Sylvan Lake you could contact the Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau. In Red Deer, the Loaves & Fishes Benevolent Society could use your helping hand. The Lacombe Family Community & Support Services (FCSS) has just launched their annual Christmas programs in support of local families. The opportunities to spread goodwill during the holidays are endless, and we encourage you to do so if you are able. Without question, this experience is the most rewarding of all.


We look forward to seeing you at one or more of the seasonal affairs detailed above. If you don’t happen upon our blog again before 25th then know that the Dusty Smith Real Estate Team wishes you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

How to Price Your Home for Sale in the Red Deer Market

November 24th, 2015 by dustysmithteam


How to Price Your Home for Sale in the Red Deer AB Market


One of the most challenging things facing homeowners who are about to put their home on the market is how to determine the listing price. This is especially true for residents and real estate investors in Central Alberta. The economy and real estate landscape of Red Deer and the surrounding area are among the most unique in the country, and thus your pricing strategy must be customized accordingly. Today, we help you with this process by nipping a few myths in the bud and guiding you in the right direction.


4 Tips to Pricing Your Home When Selling in the Red Deer Alberta Market


  1. Overpricing to Leave Room for Negotiation Does Not Work


The biggest myth in setting a listing bid is that over-inflating the price will work in your favor. The mentality, is that if you start very high you leave room to negotiate and ultimately land on the price you found most acceptable in the first place. Theoretically the buyer thinks that they drove a hard bargain, and are more likely to buy your home now that they can claim a victorious negotiation. Sorry, but this isn’t Pawn Stars. Buyers in Central Alberta are smart. They can sniff an overinflated listing price a mile away and instead of making that initial contact they and their agent will move on to a similar property with a more realistic price tag.


In addition, the inflated price will keep your home on the market much longer. While you may have the patience to wait until someone bites, the longer your home sits on the market the more that buyers become suspicious. They begin to think that something is wrong with the property. Remember, in the Red Deer buyer’s market perception is reality.


  1. Don’t Undervalue Your Home Because of Economic Concerns


There are some sellers in Central Alberta that panic during economic downturns. Their fear of a slow economy has them making hasty decisions, undervaluing their home. The thought process is twofold. For one, they are making the assumption that the economy won’t bounce back, real estate market included. In addition, they think setting a low listing price will equal a quick sale and prevent them from losing additional wealth should the market continue to fall. Once again we have a misinformed point of view.


For starters, this is Red Deer Central Alberta we’re talking about. The long standing economic capital of Canada. The energy-rich sector will bounce back strong and along with it the real estate market. Setting too low a price will make you vulnerable to hungry outside investors looking to capitalize on your fear, knowing that prices will again return to form. Don’t let the panic get to you and don’t fall prey by undervaluing your property.


Secondly, setting too low a price does not automatically increase interest and offers. Remember our statement regarding perception is reality above? Well that applies here as well. Undervaluing your home in the listing price will make many agents and buyers cautious. They assume that if you’re unloading your property at a relative steal then something must be amiss. Your property will be passed over, receiving fewer views and a lesser opportunity to sell. Simply put, set your property at its true value.


  1. No Need to Renovate if a Renovation is Not Needed


Many property owners end up dumping additional funds into renovations before listing their home, thinking that this will allow them to ask for a proportionately higher price. This can be true, but it is not always so. Only renovate where needed. If a room in a home is in obvious disrepair or a needs functional makeover then it certainly makes sense and can increase your asking price. But if you are planning renovations to simply enhance aesthetics you may be making a costly mistake. Just because your tastes dictate the necessity does not mean that prospective buyers would have wanted the same. You may end up eating an additional expense that does not allow you to actually raise the price of your home.


  1. Selling Your Home w/a REALTOR® Will Get You Closest to Your Listing Price


Some people think that selling their home on their own will bring them a greater overall return on their listing price. This is not true. When you secure the services of a REALTOR® you avoid a hoard of expenses incurred by going at it alone. There is significant time and expense involved in listing your home on online/offline resources, marketing the property, negotiating with prospective buyers, writing/reviewing/amending contracts, and processing lone applications and inspections. A REALTOR® alleviates all of this. In addition, your property will be placed in view of more prospective buyers when you gain access to a real estate marketing team’s network. On top of the views, you’re far more likely to receive an offer closer to your listing price when a professional REALTOR® is at your side. Simply put, the opportunity cost of not using a REALTOR® far outweighs the results of any attempt to list your home on your own.


The Dusty Smith Team has been selling homes within 1 to 2% of listing price. Call the Dusty Smith Team today to ask the right questions about selling your home.

2015 Red Deer Christmas Events – Festival of Trees & Beyond

November 23rd, 2015 by dustysmithteam

Red Deer Christmas Events – Festival of Trees


The holiday season officially begins as this moment as we pen this week’s post on the Dusty Smith Real Estate Team blog. Red Deer Lights the Night  tonight (at press), but that’s just the beginning. Whether you are a long time resident, new to town, or are preparing for a move to Red Deer you will find no better time of the year to find out why our Central Albertan city is one of the greatest in all of Canada. Take a look at this early Christmas event schedule to learn more.


Must Attend Community Events to Launch the 2015 Holiday Season in Red Deer


Red Deer Lights the Night @ City Hall Park / Downtown Red Deer – Nov 21 (4-7 PM)


No matter the year, Lights the Night marks the arrival of the holidays in Red Deer Alberta. Traditionally landing on the third Saturday of November Lights the Night gathers residents and visitors alike to City Hall Park. Celebrations include live music (the Overdue Blues Band in 2015), a Winter Market, a Kid’s Zone, baked goodies and free hot chocolate and most certainly a visit from Ol’ St. Nick. The highlight of the affair is the annual lighting of City Hall Park’s version of the Rockefeller Christmas tree and is capped off with a fireworks show – a breathtaking scene against the snow-crisp backdrop of Red Deer! This event sets the festive tone for the rest of the season and serves as a true representation of community in our great city.


Red Deer Festival of Trees @ Prairie Pavilion – Nov 25-29 (Various Times)


This multi-day affair is a blast for the entire community and has something for all-ages, tastes, and interests. The event kicks off with the Preview Dinner at Prairie Pavilion at Westerner Park on the 25th at 6 PM. The Preview Dinner is a formal gala exclusive to event sponsors and consists of fine dining and both live and silent auctions. On the following night (November 26 at 6 PM) is the Taste of Red Deer, an affordable dining extravaganza appropriate to family units and couples alike and is concluded with a raffle draw and silent auction. November 27th is highlighted by the event’s Festival of Wines, entering its 10th year in featuring an expansive selection of fine wines, craft beer, appetizers, raffles, and another silent auction. One of the downright most heartwarming (and cute!) events of the Festival is Mistletoe Magic – a formal fathers and daughters date night that features an evening of entertainment, dining, dancing, and one of the largest individual raffles of the event. There is simple so much to cover for the Red Deer Festival of Trees which also includes the Candy Cane Lane, the Gift & Sweet Shop and Breakfast with Santa on the final day. Learn more about the 2015 Red Deer Festival of Trees here.


Christmas Cookie Walk @ Victory Church of Red Deer – Nov 28 (9-2 PM)


This humble affair is essential to getting a head start on your Christmas baking curating for the holiday season. Absolutely delectable cakes, squares, loaves and of course cookies are on deck. What’s even better, is that while you fill your bellies and freezers (yes, do save some) you do some good for the community at the same time, with all proceeds going to local families in need! Once again the sense of community in Red Deer shines with this quaint event.


Jingle Jazz I & II @ Studio A, Arts Centre – Nov 30 to Dec 1 (7:30 PM)


Get down to the smooth sounds of Jazz as the RDC Big Band and Faculty Jazz Ensemble pours sweet honey into your ears with some hot and heartwarming holiday classics. This event is perfect for those looking for a taste of arts and culture in Red Deer at the onset of the holiday season.


The above represents the beginning of the holidays in our Central Alberta hub. Rest assured that one or more of our Red Deer real estate team will be in attendance so if you’re new to town be sure to say hi (click here for team bios). Stay tuned for more recommended events for the holidays as we prepare to enter December. And as always, should you have any local real estate inquiries whatsoever do not hesitate to contact us, anytime.

4 Myths About Investing in Red Deer Real Estate in a Slow Economy

November 10th, 2015 by dustysmithteam

Investing in Red Deer Real Estate


Last month we posted an article on why now is the perfect time to buy a home in Red Deer, in spite of the past year’s economic challenges. However, we know that many of you have someone in your ear, whispering all sorts of propaganda, telling you to wait for the economy to return to its glory before investing in local real estate. Their assertions may be well intended, but alas they are not backed by accurate information. Yes indeed, there are numerous myths and suburban legends that have long hampered the potential for real estate investors to make a wise and well-timed decision. Today, we tackle those myths as they apply to our great Central Albertan city.


The 4 Myths About Real Estate Investment in a Slow Economy – Dispelled for Red Deer Investors


Myth #1 – Investors Are Wise to Wait for Economic Recovery


This is the biggest myth and the culprit of the most misguided decision in regards to real estate investment. Waiting for full economic recovery will do nothing more but raise the cost of buying your property. If the hesitation comes from wondering whether or not the economy will indeed return to form, you simply need to look to the region. Red Deer’s economy is driven by the energy sector. Prices may be down now, but will certainly come back up again. In fact, industry trends show that when the price of oil has experienced sharp declines a consistent pattern of rapid, not slow, recovery immediately follows. The fact is, the city will once again return to boomtown status. When it does, the cost (listing price, concessions, and interest rates) of buying your investment property will be higher, and you will have missed out on what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


Myth #2 – Your Have Fewer Prospects for Monthly Rental Income


This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are numerous scenarios that create opportunity to generate increased monthly income from your investment property during an economic downturn. For one, energy sector executives may have bought beyond their means. During the slow down, they do not have the cushion to ride it out. They sell their property, and seek rental accommodations. This practice is more common than you may think and creates a demand in the rental market. Then there are those less-seasoned laborers that are brought into the energy sector to replace tenured executives who have moved on to other opportunities. These entry level executives are more cautious, and are not quite ready to buy, further increasing the demand for rentals. All of a sudden, your investment property (if you made the right decision to get in at the right time) now becomes a hot commodity and a big source of monthly income, for you.


Myth #3 – Vacation Property Purchases Are Frivolous During an Economic Downturn


If you desire a vacation property for your real estate investment portfolio abiding by this myth is another mistake. A slow economy has no real impact on the interests of outside parties that travel to a given region. The landscape, amenities, and experiences remain unchanged. In fact, when the oil prices are low travel to the region can increase due to lower fuel costs (air and road). Visitors also know that they will receive extra special attention when putting their money into an economy that needs the boost. All of this adds up to another great opportunity to earn income from a Red Deer real estate investment – your vacation property rental. Look to areas surrounding Red Deer for lucrative vacation property investment opportunities, such as found along the waterfront of Sylvan Lake and Gull Lake.


Myth #4 – Short Term Holds Hedge Risk if History Repeats Itself


Wrong. If you’re looking to invest in Red Deer real estate don’t get caught up in the mentality that a recession will return soon after the economy bounces back. Those that do only option for short term mortgages, looking to get in and out. But this opens yourself up to more risk, the kind that is bad for your portfolio. Your goal should be to finance with a long-term, fully amortizing, fixed-rate mortgage. Avoid balloon payments, variables, and short term loans. The assumption, is that you’re looking to build real wealth after inflation, thus a wise strategy is found within the loan. By accepting balloon or variable options you accept interest rate risk that could ruin your real estate investment in the future. Your goal should be a long-term hold that delivers cash in-hand in the present. This cash flow will increase as inflation rises while at the same time delivering moderately leveraged equity growth to build real wealth post-inflation and economic crisis.


Ready to talk about your next Red Deer real estate investment? Call the Dusty Smith Real Estate Team at 403-347-0744 or contact us here anytime.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Central Alberta REALTORS® Association. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.