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.”
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!
Affluent buyers seeking more land and more privacy.
Western Canada’s 2020 luxury property market continues to exceed expectations with all kinds of activity, ironically, as a result of the times we’re in. Yes, it’s a financially challenging year for most of us. But with the call for social distancing and the work-from-home trend, people who can afford it are buying larger homes in the suburbs, away from the urban density. Mortgage rates are low at the moment in Canada and these affluent buyers usually have no problem qualifying.
Across the country this summer and fall, there has been increased demand for expensive vacation homes and large, suburban properties with more land and more privacy. Properties in the “luxury” category sell at about three times the average home price in the market. Calgary and Edmonton luxury properties start at about $1.5 Million right now. What does that get you?
In any of these markets a detached, single family home in the “entry-level luxury category” has at least twice the square footage, extra space for gyms and spas, home offices and sprawling, restaurant-grade kitchens with (for example) Molteni, Sub-Zero, Wolf or Gaggenau appliances. The kitchen will almost certainly feature an island, possibly topped with Italian Carrara marble and a sink boasting crystal faucet handles (or no handles at all). Your bathroom might feature a tub carved by Japanese company Stone Forest from a block of granite! For the luxury price, you’ll get an expansive, open floorplan with beautiful hardwood, tile or marble floors, standalone indoor fire features, soaring ceilings, modern chandeliers and massive, high-end windows with tint control or automated blinds. In Edmonton, luxury property views feature might be the North Saskatchewan River Valley. All of the above is pretty much a given at the low end of the luxury category! If you’ve got the cash, you might like a spec-built mega mansion with wraparound deck and infinity pool plus two-lane tunnel to the underground supercar garage with elevator to the rooftop helicopter pad.
These abodes do exist in Western Canada. They’re priced in the tens of millions of dollars. Worldwide, in the hottest markets, that price skyrockets into the hundreds of millions!