GREG STEELE

"Not All REALTORS® Are Alike"©

When you think luxury property, what comes to mind?


Are we talking mega mansion with panoramic views and rooftop patio with helicopter pad?


How about a sprawling home gym that more closely resembles a private superspa? What’s that? A superspa usually takes up an entire floor and can come complete with your own team of personal trainers and a movable climbing wall. It features every type of exercise equipment plus wet, dry and infrared saunas, lap pools, massage rooms and meditation gardens. Everything in a superspa is run by smart technology.


Luxury homes with features like this are real. They’re sometimes sold with on-call staff to help run them and these days the list of features is limited only by our imaginations. Luxury homes around the world now run into the hundreds of millions of dollars and often come “fully loaded” with the following:


  • IMAX home theatres
  • Superspa home gyms
  • Fleets of supercars and other premium vehicles 
  • Showroom-style, glass-walled, multi-level, multi-car garages
  • Indoor/outdoor infinity pools with waterfalls and waterslides
  • Boutique-style walk-in closets that double as fashion party venues
  • Every type of specialty bar (from Irish Pub to Health Bar)
  • Park-like landscaping with high-end outdoor sound systems and lighting
  • Outdoor kitchens (with seasonal covers) featuring world class grilling equipment
  • Pool halls with arcades and DJ booths
  • State-of-the-art smart home operating and security systems
  • Top-of-the-line weather-proof doors and windows with adjustable tints
  • Elevators with panoramic views

Luxury real estate is about making – or borrowing -- enough cash to surround yourself in a high style, spare-no-expense new construction (or renovation) that is the absolute expression of what you love most in this world: Architecture, automobiles, sports, fashion, interior design, art, entertainment… you name it!


In Edmonton, luxury real estate often means historical as well as modern mansions on expansive properties with views of the downtown city skyline, the North Saskatchewan River or the river valley’s parkland, which, stretching for 25 km is the longest area of connected parks in North America.


The luxury category here (depending on who you ask, of course) starts at approximately $1 Million. Some of the highest-priced real estate to be found in Edmonton is in the neighbourhoods of Westridge (average active listing price of $3,650,000); Wedgewood Heights ($3,465,580); Brander Gardens ($3,429,333); Richford ($3,250,000) and Windsor Park ($2,301,273).


One of the properties in the luxury price range that’s currently on the market is an $8.5 Million property described in its listing as a “classic English brick Manor” on a .79 acre ravine lot in Westbrook Estates. It’s 19,500 square feet (14,025 above grade; 5,478 walk-out basement), custom-designed and surrounded by nature. It features an indoor pool and hot tub, chef-inspired kitchen, formal living, dining and family room, butler's pantry, crown mouldings, imported tiles, an exceptional upper floor master retreat, large additional “luxury suite” bedrooms, an elevator, media room, fully equipped bar, rec room, wine room, upgraded mechanical and security systems.


Also popular in Edmonton at the moment, as far as luxury features go:


  • Soaring ceilings and state-of-the-art skylights
  • Beautiful, open (and sometimes flexible) floorplans
  • Massive, high-end windows with stunning views and smart tint control
  • All architectural styles
  • The finest materials, such as (Italian) Carrara marble
  • Environmentally-conscious monitoring systems

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Every year on November 11, Canadians pause in a silent moment of remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace.
Veterans Affairs Canada (veterans.gc.ca)


More than 2.3 million Canadians have served our country in World War I (1914 to 1918), World War II (1939 to 1845), the Korean War (1950 to 1953) and other wars and conflicts.


More than 118,000 Canadians have died serving Canada and helping to protect the values of our country and the free world.


Please visit the Veterans Affairs Canada website at veterans.gc.ca for an educational backgrounder on Remembrance Day. It includes the following statement:


“The Canadians who went off to war in distant lands went in the belief that the values and beliefs enjoyed by Canadians were being threatened. They truly believed that "without freedom there can be no ensuring peace and without peace no enduring freedom."


Beverly Memorial Cenotaph in Edmonton invites you to join them for a Remembrance Day service Monday, November 11 from 10:30 to 11:30 am. 4001 118 Ave NW, Edmonton. For more Remembrance Day events in Edmonton this year, please visit edmonton.ca where you’ll find a Calendar of Events.
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Check out our photo gallery of beautiful garden planters you can place by your front door or even inside your home. Be inspired by colorful foliage to further enhance your curb appeal. 


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With the advent of fall comes a lot of festivities from Thanksgiving to Halloween. All those decorations and celebrations can make it the perfect time to sell a home with that in mind. 


Don’t simply let the season wash over you — use it to your advantage. The fall can be a hot season to sell, after families have returned from summer vacations and kids have settled in school but before the rush of Christmas.


For example, there are several fall decorating strategies that can help sell a home faster. Pull out the throw blankets on the couch, light some spiced candles and create that warm, cozy feeling in your place. It’s exactly that type of décor and staging that can set the scene for a very happy sale.


At the same time, check basic maintenance requirements like furnace filters so when you turn on the heat, the air remains fresh-smelling. Also wash the windows, both on the inside and outside, to get the grime of summer off before any buyers’ peer out.


Don’t forget about the outside of your house as well — many people make up their minds based on first appearances, after all. While it may seem appealing to jump on the bandwagon of spider webs and broomsticks when Halloween rolls around, resist the urge.


Instead, focus on some tasteful gardening. First, deal with the basics: weeding, trimming the lawn and raking the leaves. Then, change out summer floral arrangements for some fall plants that bring in splashes of oranges, yellows and reds.


Add a swinging chair with some pillows and a blanket on the porch, for example, to tempt would-be buyers with the taste of relaxing to come. All this combines to create great autumn curb appeal.

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Just because the water is getting cooler doesn’t mean it’s time to hang up your gardening gloves just yet — fall can be a great time to focus on indoor plants.


Unlike an outdoor garden, houseplants can survive even the bleakest of seasons to continue lighting up a room and, in some cases, providing food to harvest all throughout the year.


These are some of the best ones to plant now.


Tillansia
These are also known as “air plants” because of how easy they are to maintain. They sustain themselves off the moisture in the air and require no soil to grow. They come in hundreds of different forms to add a splash of life to a room.


Spider plant
This pretty little potted plant spills over with long, lush foliage but requires little work to keep alive. It thrives in low to bright indirect light, making it perfect for an indoor setting.


Chives
This edible plant can be grown in almost any condition. Harvest them at the base and add them to a dish.


Zebra plant
This is one of the easiest succulents to grow because it requires low light, minimum water and can be happy in either open spaces like a living room or smaller rooms like a bathroom.


Mint
This perfect leaves can be added to teas, desserts or simply sucked on – a special treat, grown right in your living room.


Dragon Tree Dracena
A colourful tree that’s easy to maintain but can grow to a healthy size, adding vibrancy to a room while purifying the air.


Bay Laurel
Also known as the bay leaf, this is a herb that’s often called for in pastas, chillies and stews. Why buy it when you can grow it right at home?

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Art & Design Technicians and Staff Exhibition (until Oct. 26)
An exhibition that showcases a wide range of work in the fine arts.

250 Years of Alexander von Humboldt (Oct. 10)
A free event, with a film screening and lecture with Dr. Sandra Rebok, about the legacy of Alexander von Humboldt.

Edible and Medicinal Gardening (Oct. 12)
A lecture all about the traditional knowledge and practices of garden plants and products.

Edmonton Comedy Festival (Oct. 16 – 19)
Get ready for four days of funny at different locations throughout the city.

Fight Night (Oct. 17 – 27)
An interactive production that looks at how people make decisions.

Litfest (Oct. 17 – 27)
This literary festival brings books to life in a way that even those who don’t love to read will enjoy.

TELUS: MARVEL: Universe of Super Heroes (Oct. 18)
Celebrate your favourite Marvel Super Heroes on this one-night exhibition.

Jasper Dark Skies Festival (Oct. 25 and Oct. 26)
Experience the most memorable star gazing event along the shores of Lake Annette with your friends and family.

Alberta Ballet’s Frankenstein (Oct. 31)
A state-of-the art world premiere of a classic, just in time for Halloween.

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With the kids back in school, this also means making sure they wake on time. Our photo gallery features the trendiest alarm clocks that you can buy from traditional to chic and modern.


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Everyone is familiar with the idea of car insurance, life insurance and house insurance — but what about protecting the personal items you own?


If you think about it and tally up the total of all the material things you have in your house, gathered over the years, it can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars.


That’s where content insurance comes in. It can usually be included as part of a package with house insurance, but it’s important to specify what the policy actually covers and with what stipulations.


Contents insurance covers everything from the major appliances like the fridge or washing machine, clothing, sports gear, jewellery, and artwork. Essentially, it covers all of your personal property.


Like all insurance policies, a lot of the cost comes from how much value is covered and the deductible that is set for a pay out.


Ideally, the policy should be “all-risk”, which means that the items are covered in all circumstances except for exceptions specified beforehand — so if a flood, fire, burglary, or anything else happens, the belongings are covered by insurance. Oftentimes, even items stolen out of a car would be covered by the policy.


The other option, the “named perils” policy is usually not as comprehensive but can be cheaper. Just make sure to think about all the situations where you might lose your possessions and make sure you’ve got all bases covered.


So who should get contents insurance? Essentially, everyone.


As homeowners, contents insurance is usually tied in with house insurance policies and, for an extra few hundred dollars a year, a huge amount of liability is lifted.


Renters can also get contents insurance, which is often sold as a stand-alone policy.


Keep in mind that contents insurance often only covers the person named on the policy and their immediate family they live with – so if you are renting out a room to a friend, for example, they might not be covered.


Guests, on the other hand, typically are covered as long as their stay is within a certain time limit.


So where can you buy contents insurance from? Any third-party insurance agency, like BCAA, or Westland, or Square One, offer different forms of it, and some banks like TD or RBC, also offer competitive deals.

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It's back to school month so make your kids’ homework space fun and exciting by simply adding any of these cool desk lamp ideas.


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Planning for a home renovation is like any big project — the idea is exciting, but getting it done can be stressful.


When it comes to improving parts of your home, from the kitchen to the bathroom, and everything in between, there are several steps you can take to ease the process, saving both time and money.


1. Figure out the scope of your project.
What exactly do you want to accomplish and what’s your budget? If it’s a huge undertaking and more money than you have on hand in cash, look into applying for a home equity loan or reverse mortgage.

When creating your budget, be mindful of the full set of costs: labour, materials and equipment. If you’re painting a room, for example, don’t forget to take stock of any brushes and buckets you’ll need to buy on top of the paint.


2. Decide whether it’s possible to live at home while you execute your renovation.
Renovations can be a dusty, noisy, and inconvenient business. If necessary, stay with family or friends — or, if someone else is doing the work, this might be a good time to go away on holiday.

If you do choose to stay at home while the renovations are underway, make sure to have a plan in place for children and pets. Both are curious by nature and it’s important to set up the necessary safety protections ahead of time to keep them safe. Also, keep in mind where you will sleep and cook while the work is being completed.


3. Hire the right people.
To avoid delays, make sure to be in close contact with the right people from the start and get a written record of all requests and expected deadlines. Be decisive in your decisions, and make sure to select whatever materials and products you need well enough in advance to avoid backlogs.

Also, be realistic about what parts of the project are do-it-yourself. This is where many people overestimate their abilities and end up taking on more than they can chew. Certain tasks like painting, cabinets, and other small fixtures are easily done but things like plumbing or electrical work should be left to professionals, unless you have a very strong background in it.


4. Prepare yourself mentally.
It’s okay to feel stressed during a home renovation but knowing that you’ve readied everything as much as possible will help ease some of the burden. Stick to your plan but try to be flexible if anything unexpected happens like delays.


At the end, you’ll have a beautifully remodelled home.

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Edmonton Folk Music Festival (Aug. 8 – 11)
Four days of lovely music and food in a stellar setting.

Animethon 26 (Aug. 9 – 11)
A threeday festival for fans of anime, gaming and Japanese pop culture.

Cariwest Caribbean Arts Festival (Aug. 9 – 11)
This festival offers a glimpse into the culture of the Caribbean.

Feast on the Field (Aug. 14)
A long-table event featuring a true Albertan feast.

Edmonton Fringe Festival (Aug. 15 – 25)
There’s no festival quite like the theatrics on show at the Fringe.


Edmonton Rock Music Festival (Aug. 16 – 17)
A weekend of music and a live party.


International Cat Show (Aug. 24 – 25)
Similar to a dog show, except the cats don’t need to be purebred to compete.

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The warm summer weather and sunshine should be enough to entice most kids out of the house but sometimes, staring at screens for hours at a time can be all too tempting.


The easiest way to get kids active and moving around outside is to simply make it fun. So the next time they complain about being bored, suggest some of these activities instead.


1. Run a lemonade stand
This is a classic summer pastime for children of all ages. Let the kids figure out pricing, marketing and sales — not only will selling lemonade (and whatever snacks on the side, like cookies or brownies) earn them some spending money this summer, it’ll also teach valuable lessons.


2. Make a giant board game with chalk
Whether it’s hopscotch or Twister, pull out the chalk sticks and get creative. Invite a few neighbourhood kids over for double the fun.


3. Visit the public library
Even for kids who aren’t bookworms, there is likely something to pique their interest at the local library. Oftentimes, they run all kinds of classes and workshops for kids from finger painting to meet-and-greats with authors.


4. Make ice cream or popsicles
Even the youngest of children can follow a simple recipe of freezing popsicle mixtures — and, for the older or braver, turn to ice cream bowls and a bit of elbow grease to make some deliciously cold treats.


5. Look into summer camps
If you’re stuck working and can’t take time off, summer camps can be a great way to keep kids out of trouble and engaged. There is a camp for almost every interest, from adventure to science to cooking to coding — the options are endless.


6. Go camping — in your backyard
There’s no need to go very far for a camping adventure. Just pitch a tent in the back garden, make some s’mores over a fire (or the BBQ) and stargaze from just metres from the safety of home.


7. Have a water balloon fight
When the water restrictions come into effect and sprinklers are turned off, it’s not the end of water fun. Fill up some balloons and cool off by tossing them around.

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Sunny days and warm temperatures are a welcomed sign of summer coming. But it’s not too long before things start to get hot in the house— maybe too hot.


Putting a large AC unit in every room of the house or installing a swimming pool in the backyard might seem like great ways to keep cool, they’re also hugely expensive.


Here are some tips to cool things down without breaking the bank.


1. Grow some houseplants
Some plants, like cacti and bromeliads, take in water from the air and so can help reduce humidity in your home. That keeps everything cooler.


2. Buy a dehumidifier
If the plants aren’t cutting it, buy a dehumidifier to do the same job of removing moisture from the air and making you feel cooler even at hot temperatures.


3. Close your blinds
It might be nice to have rays of sunlight streaming in through the windows, but it heats up the space very quickly. Keeping the light out during the peak sunlight hours can reduce the temperature in your home from 10-15 C.


4. Shade the outside
If you can’t stand having the blinds drawn and a dark house, shade the outside of your windows with awnings. This will at least cool the air before it enters.


5. Reverse your fans
Setting the ceiling fans to spin counter-clockwise helps pull hot air up and away, rather than pushing it down towards you. In general, you want to pull warm air away rather than just move it around.


6. Cool sheets
Choosing materials that wick away heat and moisture – like silk or cotton — for your bed sheets can help you feel much better at night.


7. Create a flow of air
Be strategic about where you place fans and which doors you open to create a flow of air moving throughout the house.


8. Self-care
If you’re feeling good yourself, the weather will feel more manageable. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated, avoid exertion and wear appropriate clothes.

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The Mac and Cheese Festival (July 5 – 7)
A celebration of the gooey classic favourite.


Edmonton International Street Performers Festival (July 5 – 14)
A whirlwind of acts, from dances to mimes, hits the streets.

Dog City Festival (July 13)
A new event that brings together dogs — and tries to break the world record for the biggest dog yoga class ever.

Taste of Edmonton (July 18 – 28)
Western Canada’s largest food festival that lasts for nearly two weeks.

K-Days (July 19 – 28)
An extravaganza of rides, games, music, food and adventure that kids and adults alike will love.

Interstellar Rodeo (July 26 – 28)
A must-see music festival that’s unique in more than one way.

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Copyright 2019 by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. All Rights Reserved.
Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.