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If I Could Do It Over: A Series on Buying a Home from a Builder in Calgary (Part 3)

Posted by Rachel R. Vanderveen on Monday, February 7th, 2011 at 3:22pm.

 Quick Recap...

In my last blog, I talked about using most of your upgrade dollars towards structural upgrades. Now if you have limitless funds with which to build a home in Calgary, first of all, you suck and I'm jealous, and second of all, go buck-wild. Upgrade your abode from top to bottom! But if you are like Clint and me, and you have a budget, this series is all about helping you find out how to spend your upgrade dollars on the stuff that will build value in your Calgary Real Estate.

Moving Forward!


Today's blog is all about the things I could have done without. One such thing is some of the granite and tile work. We probably could have had those things put in after the fact for far less than what the builder was charging. Further, Clint was adamant that we get dark granite, and I was adamant that we get light granite. It was the only thing we disagreed on throughout the whole process. He won, because I love him, and—to be honest—9 times out of 10 he's right about just about everything. But this was that one time out of ten that he was wrong, wrong, wrong.  In the end, I think he would agree that light granite would have been far superior to dark granite as it requires less cleaning and dusting. Clint posts all my blogs once I'm done writing them, so don't even think of taking out this line, love. You know our dark granite is an ugly dust-magnet.

Once you've done your structural upgrades, you may find that you still have a bit to spare on prettying-up your new home in Calgary. If that is the case, refer to some of these upgrades that I mentioned in yesterday's blog.


I'm happy we had the vacuum system roughed in along with vacuflo toe kicks, but we should have bought the canister and attachments ourselves after the sale; we would have saved money. We also chose some beautiful dark wide-slat hardwood, which I still love, but a few months after we built our house, my brother-in-law built his house and they put cork flooring in the kitchen and it worked so well. I was immediately jealous. I wish we had put down cork in the kitchen because our kitchen hardwood is dented, dinged, and water damaged. We have four kids. No judgment.

Speaking of which, I'm not terribly happy with the off-white carpet we chose; we should have chosen a medium or dark brown. Every single thing shows on this carpet! Also, I wish we had spent more on some top-of-line underlay; I miscalculated how valuable that would be to us, and how quickly the cheap stuff would wear.

Never Under-Estimate the Importance of Light

We were fortunate enough to know the people at Cartwright lighting, and so instead of doing a simple light consultation at the builder, we got a one-on-one with Byron Vanderkratts down at Cartwright Lighting. The lighting in our home is so lovely and well-placed that's it's usually one of the first things people notice. Byron put lights where we never would have thought to put them. His design was intuitive and functional. Don't try to do your own lighting design, ask for a professional to help you. You have no idea how much the right lighting will do wonders for selling Calgary Real Estate when the time comes. OK shoot, this paragraph has digressed from ‘things I could have done without' right back into ‘things I'm happy I did.'

Oh well, it's a mish-mash today, I guess. Clint and I just spent an hour searching for the photos we took of our kitchen when we moved in, but alas, we cannot find them, and we're not posting photos of our kitchen now because it's a disaster zone. No judgement.

Until next time


Rachel Vanderveen

The Vanderveen Team
Maxwell South Star Realty
Phone: 403.253.5678 Fax: 403.592.6736

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