Thanks to the holiday Monday, it’s been a short week, so I’ll keep this short as well.

Welcome to the Weekender, let’s dive right in!

This week in CREB®Now

Courtesy of Sean Young

Four ways to make the most of your balcony

Whether you rent or own, if you live in an apartment-style condo, your balcony might be your best bet for safe enjoyment of the outdoors for quite some time. It wouldn’t kill you to use it for more than just bike storage.

Cody Stuart / CREB®Now

Garage makeover: unique properties call for unique staging

If you read CREB®Now, you probably already know the importance of staging your home when you sell. But what about your garage?

Courtesy of Desert Sun Patios

Catching rays: sunrooms are becoming a hot commodity in Calgary

Leave it to Calgarians to popularize getting “outside” without actually going outside. This is what happens when you love the idea of the outdoors, but the outdoors is only actually pleasant for about two months of the year. You know what, now that I think about it, this sunroom idea sounds great. Sign me up!

ICYMI

If you’re looking for a longer read to enjoy with your coffee this weekend, set aside some time for this deep dive by Josh Skapin on “cash for homes” companies:

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Cashing out: “cash for homes” companies appeal to the quick-sale crowd, but the REALTOR® role remains key for majority of sellers

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A beautiful day in the neighbourhood

Ever since COVID-19 turned my dining room table into my new “office” for the foreseeable future, my girlfriend and I have been taking a short walk around our neighbourhood every morning, rain or shine, before starting our respective remote workdays. The benefits of this have been numerous – really, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s important to get some fresh air and a bit of exercise when you can (now more than ever), the routine is comforting on a basic psychological level, and social distancing is quite easy first thing in the morning when you only have bike commuters, joggers and the occasional dog walker to contend with.

Unfortunately, there’s only so much ground you can cover in half an hour, so it’s easy to start repeating the same route and fall into a rut. Routine can be comforting, but boredom is a real risk.

The solution, in our experience, is to use your imagination. Try acting like a tourist in your own neighbourhood. Venture out to previously unexplored (by you) nooks and crannies. Search for hidden gems – an interesting building, an out-of-the-way playground, a secret green space. Look at nearby homes and imagine what they might look like inside (or, better yet, look for homes that are for sale and then look up the listing to see what they actually look like inside). It might sound lame, but don’t knock it ’til you try it! We’ve been here for five years and we’re still making new discoveries.

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Retooling restaurants

The City of Calgary recently approved a plan that could see local eateries temporarily expand their businesses into nearby public lands, including sidewalks and parking lots, to create pop-up patios. This comes on the heels of similar measures in municipalities across North America.

This is great news, and the increase in outdoor seating should be a win-win situation for restaurants and their diners. As new scientific studies continue to highlight the ability of COVID-19 to spread rapidly through indoor settings, many Calgarians might not be too keen to dine in at any of the city’s restaurants when they are allowed to reopen on May 25 – even if dining rooms are only operating at 50 per cent capacity. Outdoor seating should offer a more palatable alternative for diners when they do return to their favourite haunts, especially at a time of year when Calgarians normally flock to bar and restaurant patios. Meanwhile, additional tables outside will make up for some of the tables lost inside to the half-capacity requirement, helping restaurants’ bottom lines.

These last few months have taken a serious toll on Calgary’s restaurants, with several permanent closures already announced. Many of these businesses are long-term fixtures in their communities and a major part of what makes these neighbourhoods great places to live. So, remember to support them however you can – whether that means ordering takeout or delivery, buying merchandise, or (eventually) visiting a pop-up patio.

The funnies

Additional reading

Have a great weekend!