Downtown Or The Suburbs?

Justin and Angie Ahn are transitioning from being young adults to starting a family. They have previously lived in condominiums, apartments in downtown, suburbs, and now reside in the inner city. They are a family of three and with another child on the way, enjoying the middle ground between downtown and the suburbs.

Life Style

Before they began their life together, they lived in apartments and condominiums in the downtown areas of Calgary and Edmonton.  The downtown environment fitted their lifestyle at the time, because the central location offered them the convenience of being close to everything they needed. There were a variety of bars, restaurants, and clubs that were in walking distance or a bus stop away.

Starting their jobs after finishing their studies at the University of Alberta, the commute to work was very convenient as they were able to walk or take public transit, thus saving money from reduced driving and parking costs.

Living in a condominium or apartment, however, underground parking was almost always an additional cost and proved to be difficult for out of town visitors.

Angie’s job as an auditor had her traveling across Canada, and when she had the chance, she was able to stay with her parents in the suburbs part of Edmonton. The suburbs, being away from the central part of the city, there was an increase in the money required to commute to work, though she did find some benefits: she really enjoyed the lack of traffic noise, able to relax in the backyard with a cup of tea.

Once she and her husband settle down for a family they knew that living downtown would not be an ideal place to raise their child, wanting more space, and a better education opportunity.  Justin and Angie made the choice of a home in the inner city making their commute to work still walking distance. Their home is smaller than what they could have bought in the suburb,s but it offers enough space for their children to grow up. Living in inner city also provides them a parking space for them and their guests. Although bars and clubs may not be their thing anymore, restaurants and cafes are still in close distance.

When choosing to a place to live it depends on lifestyles, opportunities that are given, but you’re not limited to stay at one place forever.

Justin Park, is studying Business Technology Management at the University of Calgary. Park is also a co-founder for the Calgary-based start-up company, The DigiHand.

5 Tips To Make Your New Home Feel Cozier- WITHOUT Breaking The Bank

Warm Wall Colours

The importance of wall colour is often underestimated asthe colour of your paint can completely revolutionize the space. Painting a room is a great way to instantly make it over without spending too much. The general rule of thumb is, for a quieter ambiance, make sure your colours are not extremely bright, therefore choosing colours such as a light brown, soft reds, and purples.

Photo credit: Pinterest

If your new home has wood finishing, darker reds, navy, or a warm off-white can help create a more rustic-cozy feel to the room. Cooler colours make a space feel larger and airier. Warm colours do the complete opposite – they make a space feel smaller and cozier. Every colour, even whites and blacks, can have cool or warm undertones.

The most important aspect of picking a good paint is looking at the size of your room, large spaces often require these warmer colours to help make them feel cozier. However, a smaller room should have lighter greys or off whites with a warm tone in order to open up the space making it more inviting.

Use Rugs in your space

Whether that be in your bedroom or living room, adding soft and textured rugs can add to the warmth of the space almost immediately. Not to mention the fact that rugs on a bare floor keep the heat in, meaning that they are literally warming up a room.

Photo credit: Pinterest                         Photo credit: Pinterest

Pay Attention to Lighting

One of the easiest ways to make your home cozier is lighting. I can’t stress enough how important lighting is, and the effect it’ll have on your room. From the height of your lighting, the use of candles, to the colour of light bulb you choose, these quick changes can have a huge effect on the ambiance of the room.

Photo credit: Lindevegen

The general rule of thumb for choosing lighting for your new home is to evaluate the space. In a living room, for example, the use of table lamps will help to bring the lighting down to a working level, creating a warmer room that will make you want to cuddle up in a blanket and read. It is also important in these multifaceted rooms to have multiple sources of light – brighter ones for larger gatherings, smaller ones for more intimate gatherings, or a night in. As well, in the bedroom, the use of candles and warmer-tone light bulbs will help in creating a more warm and welcoming space.

Look for furniture that is “curl-upable”

There is a very big difference in furniture that is nice to look at, and furniture that is nice to sit or lay on. Ideally, the prefect love seat or sofa would strike a balance between the two. But if you truly are committed to the coziness, then prior to buying furniture you have to ask yourself, “Can I see myself curled up on this sofa of a Sunday afternoon, feet sunk deep in the cushions, reading a book and drinking tea?” If the answer is no – keep looking.

Photo credit: JYSK Canada

An additional way to cozy up an existing couch is throw pillows and blankets. Adding soft and textured throw pillows can completely change the atmosphere in the room and create warmth to any space.

Illuminate “feel good” objects in a room

When planning on moving to new home, the things you love should take center stage. Your home must ultimately reflect who you are, and the rest will fall into place. That collection of memorabilia, family photos, or old vinyl’s represent you, and that will be reflected in the space and the overall coziness of the room.

Photo credit: Crate & Barrel

Monica Turcotte, is a student at the University of Calgary, studying entrepreneurship with a minor in communication and media studies. She is also president of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority at the UofC. Turcotte is also a co-founder for the Calgary-based start-up company, The DigiHand.

Airbnb — Turning Your Home Into New Income

Founded in 2008, Airbnb has amassed over 3 million listings worldwide in more than 65,000 cities in 191 countries. Long gone are the days when you found yourself sleeping on a friend of a friend’s couch just to save some money while travelling; Airbnb has modernized couch surfing and created a new way for homeowners to generate some extra income.

Airbnb is a digital platform that allows homeowners to temporarily rent out their space to travellers from around the world. Similar to Uber, everyday people can generate income using an asset they already possess. However, before deciding to open your doors, it’s important to consider the benefits and risks of this opportunity.

Anyone who owns a space (a room, apartment, house, or even a castle!) can become a “host” and create a free listing. The listing can include photos, a description of the space and amenities, however there’s also an interactive rating feature and reviews from previous guests. Airbnb allows you to determine the value of your space and set your own price.

So when you create a listing, it’s important to consider qualities that might attract travellers, such as the property’s location and it’s location relative to transit or local spots (4th street, 17th avenue or the Calgary Stampede). According to Airbnb’s own economic impact studies, 91 per cent of travellers want to “live like a local” and 79 per cent of travellers want to explore a specific neighbourhood.

Let’s discuss the benefits of becoming a host. Besides benefiting local economies and local businesses, there are benefits to you, personally.

  1. Meeting new people: Airbnb provides a unique opportunity for hosts to meet people from all over the world and engage in a culture exchange. Without leaving the comfort of your own home, you can learn all about different cultures and languages through a primary source.
  1. Making extra income: maybe you’ve got some renovations planned or want to save up for a dream vacation, hosting travellers is an excellent source of additional income to any household. In fact, 48 per cent of current Airbnb hosts use the income to pay for house expenses like groceries.
  2. You have control: When creating listings on Airbnb, you’re able to charge what you want, when you want and to whom you’d like. As previously mentioned, you determine the value of your space when offering it to guests (If you’re unsure of how much to charge, Airbnb does offer a quick estimate based on your area, however there are other tools to estimate your income, like the Airbnb host calculator ( Unlike traditional rental agreements, there’s no binding contract between yourself and a renter for months or a year. Hosts are able to rent out spaces for a varying lengths of time, such as a single night or months. Then after travellers have submitted requests, it’s your decision if you want to accept or decline each request.

What are some risks or concerns for a host?

The most obvious concern homeowners have is property damage.

Allowing strangers to stay in your home sounds like you’re asking for trouble, however Airbnb protects their hosts with it’s Host Guarantee ( and Host Protection Insurance ( These two policies are meant to shelter homeowners from property damage and liability, however it’s important to read the terms and conditions carefully (a few things that are not covered include: cash, artwork, jewelry and pets). Homeowners should talk to an insurance agent and discuss additional insurance coverage such as homeowners, renters and umbrella.

Along with these two policies, Airbnb further mitigates risk with profile verification (connecting an account to social media, phone numbers, emails and government-issued ID), as well as secure payments platforms.

Additional fees and costs

  1. It’s important to note that Airbnb takes a 3 per cent service fee for each transaction between a host and guest. Depending on location, there may be addition taxes such as VAT (Value Added Tax), JCT (Japanese Consumption Tax),GST (Goods and Service Tax) or Occupancy Tax. To determine which taxes apply to you, contact your local tax services office.
  2. Depending on the space you want to rent out, there might be certain laws and limitations that could prohibit you and not following these laws can result in fines.

Overall, Airbnb is a great idea if you’re interested in making extra income with your home and meeting new people! However, before decided to post a listing it’s crucial to do some research about insurance, additional fees or taxes and local rules and regulations related to rental properties. For more insight on the Airbnb process, check out their help page. (

Bailie Richards is 4th year student at the University of Calgary, studying Italian Studies and Business, with a concentration in Operations Management. Richards is also a co-founder for the Calgary-based start-up company, The DigiHand.