December 23, 2013 20

Opinion

“Season’s Greetings” If You’re Politically Correct…

2013 is coming to a close, and I can tell based on the lack of comments on last week’s blog that most of you are mentally checking out from anything and everything that doesn’t involve shortbread cookies.

I’d like to thank all of my regular readers, and especially those who comment on a regular basis: JC, Horrido, Huuk, Paully, Phillip, Floom, Ian, ScottyP, Chuck, Kyle, AndrewB, BillyO, Jeff316, Darren, Joe Q., Phil, Rob Fjord, Mooj, Frances, Jonathan, Geoff, Moonbeam, Mike, Sam, Jeremy, IanC, Frosty Johansen, Long Time Realtor, Jen, Dave, RPG, Becca, Johnny Chase, Potato, Graham, Lui, Jason H, George, DavidP, Asian Sensation, JG, and anybody else I may have accidentally missed, which I apologize for!

Let’s take a quick look at where 2013 took us, and where 2014 is headed…

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December 20, 2013 2

International

A House Built From Water Bottles?

I’m going out on a limb here – about to critique such an innovative, selfless, and environmentally-noble concept, but after watching this video, I think the idea is fundamentally flawed, and this amounts to little more than YouTube fodder.

I don’t disagree that the amount of plastic water bottles being disposed of every year is staggering, and tragic, and I understand that there is also a housing shortage in third world countries, but combining the two problems to create a solution is silly…

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December 18, 2013 25

Houses

Adding Height To Your Basement: Underpinning or Benching?

Once upon a time, basements weren’t meant to be used for actual “living” space.  They were used for storage of coal or timber to heat the home, and hundreds of jars of pickles to get you through the cold winter months of hibernation.

That was then, this is now.  And nowadays, the basement is one of the feature rooms in a new home, and something that buyers put a LOT of stake into when making a purchase decision.

So what about for existing home-owners with low basements?  What options to they have?

Let’s take a look at the difference between “underpinning,” and “benching” to add height to the basement…

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December 16, 2013 2

Business

Changes From RECO

I received the following press release from RECO the other day, and my first thought was, “Wow, these changes are great!  Bravo!”

But upon further reflection, I thought, “Wait a minute – these aren’t proactive changes; they’re reactive changes.  These are things that should have been dealt with years ago.”

It’s not a case of “too little, too late,” but I often wonder why it’s so hard for organized real estate to enact necessary change.

Have a look…

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December 13, 2013 9

Houses

Don’t Give Up On December!

True: the real estate market is slow-as-molasses in December.

False: as a buyer, you can take the month of December off.

If you’re looking to get into the real estate market in the New Year, do NOT think that your search actually begins in 2014!

Do yourself a favour – and start your research NOW!  Especially if you’re looking for a freehold home…

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December 11, 2013 6

Business

Lipstick On A Pig

Wikipiedia tells us: “To put ‘lipstick on a pig’ is a rhetorical expression, used to convey the message that making superficial or cosmetic changes is a futile attempt to disguise the true nature of a product.”

I can’t tell you how much I’m seeing of this in today’s Toronto real estate market…

When it comes to pricing a home, sellers and their listing agents will try over and over and over to fool the market, but I’m of the opinion that today’s buyers are just too savvy to fall for it.

Today, we’ll look at two homes as case studies: one condo, one house.

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