Saturday, April 30, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
The internet is constantly changing how consumers research for businesses and shop. Online Marketing has moved into the mainstream and the need to leverage this channel on line has never been greater.
Digital Marketing Experts will change how you market properties
David Pylyphe Internet is constantly changing how consumers search for businesses
and shop. Online marketing has moved into the mainstream and the need
to leverage this channel has never been as strong.to the mainstream and the need
to leverage this channel has never been as strong.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The current figures will grow so quickly with the Baby Boomers (the 7,000 turning 65 every day mentioned previously) that think-tanks are working madly to try and figure out how community life will change.
According to statistics kept by the U.S. Bureau of Labor, 76 million Boomers (which make up 43 percent of the current U.S. work force) will be eligible to retire in the next 10 years but an AARP poll conducted by Woelfel Research Inc. in 2010 says many of them say they don’t plan to retire.
“That’s because they either can’t afford to retire or they look at meaningful work as a part of a good, healthy life,” Suarez said. “Many even plan to start new careers or maybe their own small business after retiring from a full time job.”
Whether you are planning to "make your place ready" to age into your home or if you are considering a condo as a downsizing opportunity, there will be many other estate and tax planning issues along the way. I hope that you will avail yourself of the network of professionals I have access to as Trusted Advisors in your quest.
Monday, April 25, 2011
The opportunity is here
At the same time that our economic engines are faltering, something else is happening. Like all revolutions, it happens in fits and starts, without perfection, but it's clearly happening.
The mass market is being replaced by multiple micro markets and the long tail of choice.
Google is connecting buyers and sellers over vaster distances, more efficiently and more cheaply than ever before.
Manufacturing is more of a conceptual hurdle than a practical one.
The exchange of information creates ever more value, while commodity products are ever cheaper. It takes fewer employees to generate more value, make more noise and impact more people.
Most of all is this: every individual, self-employed or with a boss, is now more in charge of her destiny than ever before. The notion of a company town or a stagnant industry with little choice is fading fast.
Right before your eyes, a fundamentally different economy, with different players and different ways to add value is being built. What used to be an essential asset (for a person or for a company) is worth far less, while new attributes are both scarce and valuable.
To provide value we must be able to repeatedly demonstrate the results that are claimed. When you type Homes west Toronto into Google; It will respond with entries from my sites and even suggest my name.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I don't dispense medical advice. I do not give legal opinions. I don't give tax advice. I help you look at the housing selections that will best suit your family and your needs for tomorrow not just today. You don't go to court to fight a traffic ticket.
Roseman: Know your rights as a real estate buyerApril 17, 2011 22:04:00
Ellen RosemanPersonal Finance Columnist
There’s been a revolution in real estate in recent years. Unfortunately, many customers are still in the dark about it.
I’ve written two previous Moneyville columns about working exclusively with a real estate agent to buy property. One related to cottage-huntersand the other looked more generally at buyer agreements.
Because of all the feedback, I’m devoting this week’s column to answering frequently asked questions about a buyer’s relationship with a realtor.
Q: I was shocked to hear I had to sign a three-month exclusive contract with a real estate agent in order to submit an offer or even to look at property. This was supposed to cover the time and expenses in finding the right home. Do I have to sign?
A: No, you don’t have to sign an exclusive contract with a real estate agent when buying a home. It’s your choice.
The law requires buyers to sign a document, called Working with a Realtor, at the earliest practical opportunity. It’s better to have a conversation about it when you start looking at homes together, rather than in the hectic time before you submit an offer.
Having an exclusive contract, known as a buyer representation agreement (BRA), is just one of the ways you can work with a realtor. If you prefer not to sign, look for someone who won’t insist on exclusivity.
You can negotiate the contract terms, such as signing for a shorter period than three months (even a month or 10 days). You can limit the contract to a specific property, street or neighbourhood, if the agent agrees.
Q: What if I don’t sign? Will the agent still represent my interests?
A: If you sign a BRA, you’re a “client.” If you don’t, you’re a “customer.” The words seem interchangeable, but not in real estate.
Under a buyer representation agreement, the realtor has a duty to protect you (known as a fiduciary duty under the law). This means your interests come ahead of the seller’s interests.
Once you submit an offer on a property, anything you tell your realtor about your final price can’t be shared with the listing agent.
If you don’t sign a BRA, you’ll sign a buyer customer service agreement acknowledging that the brokerage “will not be representing the interests of the buyer in a transaction.”
There’s a chance your real estate agent may give confidential information to the seller’s agent — or may give you incomplete information on the property and the commission payable.
“You can decide to be a customer, rather than a client, but should be aware that the obligations of the brokerage will differ,” says the Real Estate Council of Ontario, the arm’s length body that regulates the industry.
Q: What if I sign a BRA and want to leave because I’m getting poor service from my real estate agent?
A: You’re better off waiting until the BRA expires. Otherwise, you could end up in a legal fight.
If you buy a home while still under contract, your original agent is entitled to the commission paid by the seller. You could get sued by the second agent.
The BRA says the agent will represent the buyer in a real estate transaction “from any source whatsoever,” says Ken Wilder, a former agent who now coaches others on buyer representation.
But the BRA can be altered, he emphasizes — unlike the MLS agreement that property sellers must sign.
You can add provisions to the contract to exclude certain scenarios, such as a private sale or an auction.
Q: What if I want to cancel the contract before it expires? Can I do that?
A: The contract is with the broker. So, you can call the broker and say the agent has not lived up to your expectations. Therefore, you want to cancel.
The broker may suggest you work with another agent at the firm until the contract ends. That’s an option to consider.
But if you don’t want to stick around, you can play a bit of hardball.
Tell the broker that your agent didn’t explain buyer representation properly to you and didn’t perform the promised duties, to your detriment. Now you want to take the issue up with RECO.
“This will generally soften their position. Most brokers are aware that the BRA is rarely explained properly and don’t want the regulator looking over their shoulder,” Wilder says.
Ellen Roseman writes about personal finance and consumer issues. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DO you think that $100 per house per showing is a better plan?
What do you think?
Monday, April 18, 2011
A couple of months ago you, along with other CARP members in your area, you received a Questionnaire on Continuing Education created by CARP and the Continuing Education Division of Centennial College.
The survey was designed to get an indication of the level of interest CARP members in your area have in continuing education and for some specific course offerings and learning preferences.
We received a very strong and positive response to the Questionnaire and want to share some of the results with you.
99% of respondents agreed that continuing education and lifelong learning can be important to healthy aging;
93% expressed an interest in learning more about suitable courses; and
92% indicated that a discount on courses for CARP members would be welcome.
67% of respondents were aware that colleges and universities offer non-credit courses for older learners and 34% had taken at least one course in the past 5 years;
For those who hadn’t taken a course, 50% cited “no time” as a factor; 32% cited “cost” and 30% indicated that they didn’t know where to find courses of interest in their area.
Types of Courses or Workshops members found of most interest
68% expressed interest in “Moving from Employment to Volunteerism and Mentoring”;
73% were interested in “Understanding Brain Development in Later Life”;
69% expressed interest in “Staying Healthy: Bad Habits, Goals and Happiness”;
68% expressed interest in “Steps to a Greener lifestyle and Gardening”;
83% were interested in “Creative Aging: Art, Design, Photography and Music”;
76% expressed an interest in “Avoiding Pitfalls in Planning: Wills, Estates, Funerals and Inheritances”;
And 100% of respondents expressed an interest in courses on “Ancient and Art History for Aspiring Travellers”!
One course that didn’t garner great interest was Understanding Generation X and Y, at only 27%. (That course may have been a real brain teaser!)
In terms of course format and learning preferences, there was a fairly even split between “in-class” courses (47%) and those that were a blend of “in-class” and “online” (53%); with a similar split for the times of the year for taking courses: 47% preferred the fall and 46% the winter. Daytime courses were a clear favourite at 86%, over evening courses.
Respondents appear to be tech savvy, with 96% indicating that they use their computers for internet browsing or email on a daily basis.
Those are some of the highlights. We are very pleased with the positive response to the survey. Now we can translate your interest into a package of course offerings that will be available starting this fall. Stay tuned, as we will let you know when the specific courses, times and formats are established.
We want to thank those of you who took the time and interest to complete the questionnaire. It has helped us determine your interests lifelong learning opportunities so we may serve you more effectively.
Ross Mayot, VP, Community Development
Michelle DeCoste, Director Continuing Education Centennial College
Mary Devine Continuing Education Chair, Centennial College
Find out more about CARP and Continuing Education in May's Issue of Zoomer Magazine, featuring Harry Belafonte on the cover.
Watch for new CARP ON CAMPUS programs coming to Centennial College based on our member feedback. You can look at the great selection of Continuing and Part-Time programming currently on offer at Centennial College, and find out about their Con Ed Orientation Session on May 5th, 2011 by clicking this link.
Centennial Orientation Session!
Date: Thursday, May 5, 2011
Time: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Where: Progress Campus, Room E1-29
Parking is free and light refreshments will be served.
Join In Get Involved Add your comments
I expressed my doubts that that statistic would apply in Canada and I invited readers to contact me if they moved because of a “neighbour from hell.” To say that I was inundated by emails would be an understatement. I stopped counting after three dozen.
After reading far more emails than I expected, I’m now prepared to reconsider: it seems that many more people than I thought move to get away from their neighbours.
Many readers wrote to complain about junk in the neighbour’s backyard, noisy “boom box” speakers, rowdy friends, drifting smoke from cigarettes and marijuana, weekly parties, loud music, and even conversations across the backyard between adjacent neighbours on each side.
Don wrote in to say, “Were ‘bad neighbour’ insurance available, we would certainly have bought it.”
Several readers described musical jam sessions in the basement or garage of the home next door or across the road. Typically the sessions involved electric guitars, amplifiers, and drum sets which were in use all day, or all night, or both. Arno found an effective way to end the nightmares. When the musicians were evicted for rent arrears, he convinced his daughter to buy the house. Problem solved.
Sandra complained that there is no Toronto bylaw prohibiting this kind of noise between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. She is ready to move.
Diane emailed from the 905 area. She has called the police 40 times complaining of harassment, but tells me that they have not been helpful.
Lisa lasted eight years with the neighbour from hell next door. This neighbour delighted in repeatedly complaining about non-existent noise coming from Lisa’s house. Every time the police arrived, they would find the house in darkness and everyone sleeping. The neighbours damaged her pool equipment, threw eggs onto the pool deck, dumped soap powder into the pool and put a loudspeaker in their window tuned to static at full volume.
“The police wouldn’t do anything and neither would the courts,” she wrote.
Back in 1985, Marcia moved into a townhouse only to discover that the neighbours kept a noisy goat in the backyard. Marcia discovered that a single goat is regarded as a pet under city bylaws.
At the hottest time of the following summer, Billy was slaughtered in the garage. The stench survived Billy by several days, and eventually Marcia’s family put their house up for sale.
Diana moved after discovering an illegal rooming house next door. She once found a neighbour who was either drunk or dead lying in her driveway. Another time, the neighbours were changing tires and working on their cars in her driveway. After living with loud music, rabbit droppings and cat urine on her doorstep, she reports she is pleased to be out of the house now.
After living in her house for three years, another reader had a neighbour from hell move into the house behind her. Two large Dobermans were kept in the backyard permanently. There was a heavy rain the following spring and the neighbour was on higher ground. It was only after waves of liquid dog poop started flowing under the fence that the reader moved out. Her two next door neighbours moved shortly afterward.
For anyone considering buying a house or condo, the lesson from my torrent of emails seems to be: Check out the neighbours before you buy.