Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Money

Ever since I was a little girl my parents would tell me to save my money, "you'll be glad you did someday".

I did pretty well saving my money.  I bought my first car, in the early 80's, with cash.  I didn't have a credit card until my mid 20's.  I had heeded to my folks advice that if I couldn't pay cash, it wasn't time to buy.  When I bought my first home, I had the down payment.  I find myself wondering, is this possible for my kids to accomplish today ?

I am instinctively imparting the same "Save your money" advise on to them. They don't do too bad, however, once they have enough for that big ticket item every dime is gone.  Kids today have little patience.  I am thinking it's a trend of society as a whole.

Every day we hear companies telling us to buy now, pay later.   Credit card companies automatically increase your credit limits every year, retail outlets have their own payment plans and the banks want us to utilize the equity in our home and investments to the fullest.  In 20 years so many of us have become almost totally credit dependant, impatient.

Working in real estate has brought the money issues to the forefront for me.  When I meet a new client for the first time we must discuss their budget and finances and not just the wants and needs they have in a home.  So many home buyers are uncertain where to start, so I become a pseudo credit advisor.  I am no longer surprised at how much debt folks have.  Car loans, leases, equity lines of credit, consolidation loans, RRSP loans and the current mortgage balances. 

We will scan available properties but I always send them to speak with their banks or brokers and then come back to see me.  More often than not, their budget has been amended from my first conversation with them.  The downpayment requirements and TDS & GDS has affected their purchasing power.  So often, home buyers have not even considered the monthly debt they carry could affect purchasing a home, or that those home equity loan payouts may not leave them with enough downpayment to upgrade after the sale of their current home.

Our credit poor society is starting to feel their restrictions. I have spent the better part of two years working on paying down my debt.  I still have a little way to go.  I have to say that no matter what the economy, no matter what great deals may be out there I wish I had continued to listen to my parents advise about saving my money until I could afford things.  I will insist my kids keep improving these saving skills.  *Hear that Morgan ;) *

Given the current state of the Canadian economy, which is so very connected to the faultering US,  I believe is uncertain at best.  The rising unemployment numbers coupled with rising costs of living has me worried for all of our pocket books.  So if you are lucky to have steady income, cherish it and  " Save Your Money "

Thanks Mom & Dad

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remeberance Day

John McCrae

We've heard of a man named John
Loving, caring and strong
He was a medic in the war
Who helped his friends and many more

The times were rough, the day long
The men who faught, so very strong
John wrote a poem for these guys
While under fire from the skys

In Flanders Fields he worked and prayed
Then wrote the words we say today
"In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row"

Now John McCrae, he passed away
Too ill to fight, he could not stay
He left for us some words to say
So that the children remember on this day

The torch he passed was for all
To remember the brave soldiers who did fall
The children stand and repeat
"We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields"


We Wear a Poppy

We wear a poppy on our chest
To show the world how we are blessed.
We stand and listen on this day
How so many soldiers went away
To fight for freedon for those they left.

We wear a poppy of bright red
A symbol of thanks for the dead
One minute of silence for us to think
Of how brave souls are the link
Between what was freedom bread.

We wear a poppy at this time
For those who died, a foot on a mine
Give thanks to those not here today
Only guessing what they might say
Was for the best of mankind.

We wear a poppy and are proud
Lay the wreaths, give thanks out loud.
So all remember; the promise to keep.
Freedom for all, the strong and the weak
And walk together on futures safe road.


Good work girls.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It Could Still Be The Price

I just completed a quick statistic check on properties that sold in the last 30 days.

Quick Stats  Sept 24- Oct 24, 2010
Residential Sales in Grey Highlands and West Grey:  
20 Sales      19 Single Family    1 Vacant land
Avg Sale Price    $ 206,600            Avg List to Sale Price    94.2 % 
Sales under $150,000:  7        Over $200,000:  6
$ 150,001 - $200,000:  3        Over $300,000:  4
In addition, 4 Farms Sales, Price range from $250,000 - $380,000    Avg List to Sale Price  93%  E&OE

There are still 48+ Active residential listings available ranging from $37,500 for a vacant lot to well over $500,000 for home properties.  Could it have been that the well priced properties have sold , and the ones still available should be looking at their adjusting the asking price ?

Several of these sold homes had more than one price reduction or agent and many exceeded 100 days on the market, which isn't uncommon here.  I also saw a couple of sales within a few weeks.  Granted they where priced under 180,000, where we see the majority of sales in Southern Grey, but they were aggressively priced for quick sale.  *Note, the terms agressively priced, well priced, competatively priced does not mean cheap or that seller is giving property away.  It means reasonable value for the property given it's amenities, condition, location etc...

If you are ready to sell your home and begin making a new one, strip yourselves of any emotional attachment and rely on compareable sales and your Real Estate Representative for their knowledge and expertise.  After all, that is really why you chose them.

Sales Representative
Royal LePage RCR Realty, Brokerage

Friday, October 22, 2010

Politicians, phfft

Here's a quick thought.

I am irritated with Michael Ignatieff, as I would assume many women are.  Irritated is actually an understatement.

Here is a politician trying to capitalize on the publics' outrage with the Russell Williams trial.  He had the audacity to say: "I don't quite know what it's like to look at that news through a woman's eyes, but I can sort of imagine how difficult that week has been,"  Then in the next breath: "The thing that's so awful about this week is the breaking of that basic trust that we have to have between men and women in order to raise families, live with each other, work together as citizens. And a very bad man did that a lot of harm this week."

Seriously Ignatieff, Seriously ??   The arrogance of this man assuming he knows what women are feeling or thinking with regard to this trial.  

When I heard his comments on the radio this morning the first thought I had was, "ya right, that isn't even close you moron.  You think women actually had trust in every man at all ???"  his statement has been knocking around my head all day and I had to comment.

As the mother of 3 girls and 1 boy, I have imparted some motherly wisdom upon them.  I teach my girls to be politely cautious when dealing with the opposite sex, all members of the opposite sex, period !  I teach my son about personal boundaries, not to touch others and that his girl-friends need a special respect from him.

Ignatieff has no idea what this woman is thinking at all.  He is so out of touch with this Canadian woman that he will NeVeR get my vote.  I can only assume that all his time outside our great country has affected his perspective or that this is his masculine side speaking.        

Lastly, I know that Russell Williams killed Jessica Lloyd and Marie-France Comeau.  Does he know their names ?                        

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New use of Social Media

Quick Note...

The Policing agencies in Ontario have always know the power of the internet and have been monitoring it for some time in order to catch the bad guys.  This week they have announced a new tool to help with the Amber Alert System, simple join the Facebook Group. .  Since so many of us have a cell phone and many of these phones have internet access and we hate not be connected to the latest posts from friends and family, we may be able to better assist the police in an Amber Alert situation. 

This is Ontario wide, soon to be right across Canada.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Place To Share

I usually have alot to say about alot of things. I will be posting a variety of comments here. Some personal perspective stuff about life and general real estate info. The things that consume my time are kids and work.
I consider myself lucky. I have a great family and they keep me on my toes, I love my life and I'm blessed with friends that keep me smiling!
I'm a novice at blogging, so continue to check back, I'm bound to improve.
Sheri Hill,
Sales Representative
Royal LePage RCR Realty, Brokerage - Flesherton

March 21, 2010

On Being Kind...

I received an email forward the other day that I almost deleted. As I quickly scanned the screen I knew I had to read it to the end. It reminded me of a gentle lecture that I had given to my girls the day before about being kind to each other, as they would need each other for the rest of their lives.

The gist of the email was how kind and polite we are every time we deal with strangers, yet, sometimes with members of our family we forget to be kind and polite. We would never think of using harsh tones or words with those we do not know, however, we are often quick to react in a sour way with those we hold most dear.

In business we deal with so many different people, we are generous with our time and knowledge. We perform our jobs professionally and choose our words carefully in order to make our clients happy and to succeed with the task at hand.

In life our family still benefits from our knowledge, experiences and our time, yet we may be less discreet in expressing our feelings while sharing this information. I know that I often come off as preachy with my kids, rushed to get on to the next task and perhaps don't listen as closely as I ought to.

The lesson I was trying to teach my girls was totally summed up in the final sentences of this email. After reading it I realized that I can still do better where they are concerned. I will still conduct my business professionally and choose my words carefully because that's who I am naturally. My family will now benefit from a little more sensitivity and patience as the words of the email struck a chord with me.

The ending is as follows;

FAMILY : Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than into our own family, an unwise investment indeed, don't you think? So what is behind the story? Do you know what the word FAMILY means? FAMILY = (F)ATHER (A)ND (M)OTHER (I) (L)OVE (Y)OU

August 31, 2010

We see them in every market, the nicely kept homes in decent communities and wonder why that home has not sold. In many cases, if a home is not selling - it's generally because of price. It has to be good value for the money. But many Sellers price their home well - and it still doesn't sell. So, what's the formula for when to reduce the price of your home and by how much?

In my experience Sellers just want to get as much as reasonably possible for their properties. Many resist reducing the price of their homes in the hope that an offer will come in that they can negotiate with. It is difficult to get an offer when the Buyers feel the home is priced out of their range, and don’t come to view it. A major factor to getting a prospective Buyer in the door is a list price that they can work with. Sellers must remember that it is the Buyer who will assist them in determining the final value.

Its time to reconsider your price when …

Your home is the highest priced home in your neighborhood or there is a wide spread between your price and other comparable homes.

Your home has been on the market a short time with no showings. If you haven’t yet exceeded the most current days on the market don’t panic yet. Have there been changes in your area? Have the number of listings in your area increased ? Is it summer holidays ? Have economics in the region changed ? or it could be the market has shifted and it might be time to think about a more aggressive price.

Your home is priced low, getting showings, been on the market a little while and it's still not selling - look at your home from a Buyer point of view. Is it clean, presentable, easy to show, etc.? Do you need more flattering pics online – take some nice shots and provide them to your agent. If not, make any changes needed and sit tight - perhaps your home might just need a little more time to sell.

Don’t smoke or have pets in your house. What does that have to do with price? Smoke and pet odours are offensive and instantly noticed when someone enters your home. It costs money to eliminate the smells from a house and Buyers will avoid it.
Your home is listed at the top end of area comparables, have no showings, or agents who "preview" and subsequently list the house next door at a much lower price - it's definitely time to adjust your price.

You decide to reduce the price - make it drastic, make it noticeable. Often Sellers want to reduce their price by a couple thousand dollars thinking that will do it. A price reduction should be noticeable enough to get the attention of Buyers. It doesn't matter if they think you are desperate to sell - the objective is to get offers!

When contemplating a price reduction, take into consideration the cost of owning this property for another 3-6 months, the benefits of moving on and any mortgages and or debt. This will lead you to a realistic “get up and go” figure.
I know alot of good real estate sales people who have done their homework and will show your home regardless of the pricing. They feel they know it's current value for their buyers and it's all based on comparables, experience and sales figures. The savy purchasers have previewed dozens of homes on and will have made similar comparisons. Your sales person will be monitoring listings and sales regularly and as a seller, it will be important that you do the same from time to time. The goal is to sell your property.