Nanaimo Real Estate Blog
Does Size Really Matter? Canada’s Gross Public Debt is Pretty Small. Does size matter? Is an Italian’s bigger than a Canadian’s? When discussing gross public debt, size does matter and Canada’s debt is far smaller than most other countries which has contributed to a strong loonie versus the US dollar lately. Which country has the largest gross public debt? Calculated as a percentage of a nation’s gross domestic product, it would surprise many to learn that Japan takes the No. 1 spot. Japan's debt is more than DOUBLE its annual gross domestic product, according to many estimates. Canada’s gross national debt is estimated to be closer to 100 percent of gross domestic product. Greece and several European countries have seen recent riots, protesting and general public outrage as unemployment has soared. Their high debt levels have raised concerns in recent months, and this also has included the US as their economic recovery seems to be struggling. The Dow has continued its rollercoaster ride (as I mentioned last week) again this week, and it seems that Canada’s financial institutions have done a good job to insulate themselves by tightening up lending and mortgage requirements. Here are the 10 developed countries with the most gross debt, compared to GDP, based on the OECD's projections for 2011: Japan - 213 percent of GDP Greece - 157 percent Italy - 129 percent Iceland - 121 percent Ireland - 120 percent Portugal - 111 percent United States - 101 percent Belgium - 101 percent France - 97 percent United Kingdom - 89 percent “Although Japan carries a lot of debt, much of the nation’s debt is held domestically”, said Jan Randolph, director of sovereign risk for economic research firm IHS Global Insight. By contrast, much of the United States’ debt is held by other countries, such as China. The U.S. also is different in that its debt levels rose quickly in the past few years as the country faced an economic recession. If you are selling in a “buyer’s market”, it is imperative to price your home at the current market value as properties priced even 5% over this will not sell. For sellers who are purchasing another home, it is important to recognize that when you purchase another home, it will also be less expensive than in a “seller’s market” (when you typically see multiple offers or home sales within 2 days of listing). Savvy home sellers often can take advantage of the swings in the market – particularly when moving up to a more expensive home or downsizing. For buyers and investors, it is a great time to purchase real estate. However, it is important to know that our prices are not expected to drop 20-30% as some buyers are thinking. This mindset first evolved when we saw the US announce it was in a recession and the floodgates opened for US foreclosures. The foreclosures in Nanaimo were not even comparable to those of California and Nevada, and the buyers waiting for homes to drop to $100k in Nanaimo lost out. I do not foresee prices increasing in the next while, but I think that it is much more stable than the stock market! If you would like a FREE, no-obligation market evaluation of your property to determine the current and accurate value, please contact me today at 250-758-7653 or email me at email@example.com. I am here to answer all of your real estate needs. Best Regards,Brian McCulloughwww.mmshomes.comwww.nanaimo-real-estate-for-sale.com FEATURED HOME OF THE WEEK: 3125 Meadow Drive - $675,000TRANQUIL COUNTRY SIDE living. Rarely does a residence come to the market that combines warmth of nature with functional family living. This residence combines those & many other unique features. Located in the highly renowned Benson Meadows Estates, you will first notice how the residence is nicely tucked away from prying eyes by a treed buffer. The 1.60 acre property is mainly flat with a gentle slope to one side to offer privacy and lots of room for the kids to play. The landscaped yard has many flowers and shrubs as well as apple, pear, plum & cherry trees and is fenced but offers much more land beyond the fencing. To the side of the residence is the over sized double car garage of approx. 24 X 28 ft. The 3 year young residence itself has a warm and welcoming feel with the use of quality finishing, fir beams and doors and light oak, carpet, tile and slate floors. As you enter the residence you will be impressed with the open floor plan with 9 ft and vaulted ceilings. The kitchen is a culinary delight with beautiful maple cabinetry, granite counter tops and built in professional series stainless appliances and double combined full sized fridge and freezer with Granite Island which overlooks the great room with soaring vaulted ceiling and massive ledge stone gas fireplace. Also on this level is a den, office area, bedroom with a full ensuite and laundry area. The upper level overlooks the great room below and has a huge master suite and ensuite as well as another bedroom with full ensuite plus a huge family room/ reading area which overlooks the great room. This residence also has a huge crawl space that ranges in height from approx. 5 feet 6 feet at one side which will handle any storage needs you could possibly have. Sprinkler system, vacuum system, garden boxes are a few more things that will make this home easy to like. http://www.mmshomes.com/real-estate-listings/Listing/Single_Family_Home/80.html FEATURED PROJECT OF THE WEEK: Pacifica…Waterfront Living from $314,925 A gleaming tower of aqua-blue glass offering the most spectacular townhomes and condominium residences Nanaimo has ever seen. Concierge service, beautiful terraces, spacious designs, a landscaped courtyard, your own private park and Nanaimo's magnificent waterfront promenade at your doorstep. Visit our Open Houses every Saturday & Sunday from 1-4pm at 38 Front Street. www.pacificananaimo.ca www.mmshomes.com McCullough Marketing Services Coast Realty Group Ltd.4200 Island Highway North, Nanaimo BC V9T 1W6p: 250.758.7653 | tf: 1.800.779.4966 | fax: 1.866.505.1121 (This email is intended only for the individual to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and privileged information. If you receive this email in error or if you are not the intended recipient, please notify Brian McCullough immediately by reply email and delete the original and any copies from your computer and any storage device that may contain this email. Any review, disclosure, use, copying, dissemination, or reliance on any information contained herein is forbidden).
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Drowning in a Sea of Personal Debt? When It Makes Sense to Sell Your Home. Home ownership represents the North American dream for most people. The notion that you are now your own landlord and can one day be rent-free when your home is paid off is appealing. When does home ownership become something that DOES NOT work? Why should some people rent, rather than buy a home of their own. In several newsletters, I have discussed the high credit card debt and personal consumer debt that Canadians have taken on. The ratio of household debt to personal disposable income increased to $1.47 of debt for every $1.00 of income between January and March 2011. Household debt includes mortgages, consumer credit and loans. Most consumers who are faced with the choice of selling their home to decrease their debt realize that this did not happen overnight. A lot of home owners is this predicament utilized their easy access to lines of credit by refinancing their homes and pulling the equity from their home when house values skyrocketed in the mid 2000's. This money was spent on home renovations, vehicles, and other items, that, in most cases has not been repaid. Coupled with housing prices that have not continued to rise dramatically, these types of homeowners now face owning a home with a mortgage that far exceeds the current value of their home, without any equity, and the lack of ability to refinance as the Bank of Canada implemented stricter rules for equity-takeout in early 2011. These home owners likely will have other unsecured lines of credit, credit cards and probably some type of department store credit cards with high balances and even higher interest rates. The problem with having a high debt amount is often times the interest rates charged. If you have a credit card with 28% interest rates on it, your minimum payment can be several hundreds of dollars each month - and it never goes towards the actual amount you owe, it just covers the interest costs. If your housing costs leave you penniless at the end of the month and you are unable to save for home repairs and general maintenance, it may be time to consider selling your home, paying off your debt, and renting. This way, you can eliminate a lot of the unforeseen costs (such as new roof, broken stairs, etc) and allow yourself the peace of mind of knowing precisely what your housing cost will be each and every month. You can then start saving for a down payment for a new home once you have tackled your personal debt.For most people, home ownership is the best decision, and they are able to manage both mortgage and consumer debt. However, for others, selling a home and having a new direction in their financial future can ensure that they are not drowning any longer. www.mmshomes.com McCullough Marketing Services Coast Realty Group Ltd.4200 Island Highway North, Nanaimo BC V9T 1W6p: 250.758.7653 | tf: 1.800.779.4966 | fax: 1.866.505.1121 (This email is intended only for the individual to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and privileged information. If you receive this email in error or if you are not the intended recipient, please notify Brian McCullough immediately by reply email and delete the original and any copies from your computer and any storage device that may contain this email. Any review, disclosure, use, copying, dissemination, or reliance on any information contained herein is forbidden).
Email: email@example.com Interesting Real Estate Trivia From Around the Globe That Will Astound You & Your Family I thought that it might be interesting to share with you some real estate facts that I have collected over the past 30 years as a Realtor. I must admit, that I was surprised to learn a few new things, and hope that you enjoy becoming "enlightened". If nothing else, hopefully one fact will appear on Jeopardy and you will astound your friends and family!1. Monopoly is the most popular board game in the world and has sold over 200 million copies. Did you know that Charles Darrow, the inventor, created Monopoly in 1934 to cheer himself up while unemployed during the Great Depression?2. Speaking about the game Monopoly, the world's most expensive Monopoly set was created by San Francisco jeweler Sidney Mobell that boasted 23 carat gold houses, chimneys with rubies and sapphires and dice with 42 diamonds for spots. Did you know that the game was valued at two million dollars? 3. The term "skyscraper" was first used in the 1880s when office buildings of 10 stories or more were built in Chicago and New York. Did you know that skyscraper actually means "a high-flying flag on a ship"? 4. Mongolia has the highest percentage of private housing of ANY country in the entire world. Did you know that 100% of all Mongolian properties are owner-occupied? 5. Celion Dion was recognzied as the highest private water consumer in Florida last year. Did you know that she used 6.5 million gallons of water in a year on her 5.7 acre Florida property, according to a study by the Palm Beach Post? 6. The recession in the US has far-reaching effects on the golf course communities. Did you know that in Myrtle Beach, S.C., a once-booming 70-mile strip of beachfront property nicknamed "Golftown, USA," has seen the number of golf courses drop from 125 (in 2006), to only 100? In 2010, 140 of the America's 16,000 golf courses closed, while only 50 new courses opened.7. According to Feng Shui, the art of home placement, the five elements that are needed to create a happy and prosperous home are: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Did you know that "feng shui" actually means in Chinese "wind" and "water"? 8. The most expensive "fixer-upper" home listed for sale in 2010 in Canada was located in Haileybury, Ontario, about 140 kilometres north of North Bay. The house sits on 40 acres along the shores of Lake Temiskaming and it's about the same size as Bill Gates's property near Seattle. At a mere $25 million, you can fix up this 65,000 square foot Ontario property for another $1 million! Did you know that the home is far from finished. There's no flooring, no finished bathrooms and few wall coverings?9. Considered to be one of the smallest houses in Canada, the "Little House" in Toronto was built in 1912 and is approximately 312 square feet. Did you know that talk show host Ellen DeGeneres even mentioned it in her press tour in 2010?10. The Bastion in downtown Nanaimo is renowned for its history and is a popular spot for local ghost hunters. Did you know that the Bastion is the location of BC's very first hanging in 1868 and the unlucky person was actually an outlaw from Butch Cassidy's gang? Now that you have some interesting real estate related trivia, please feel free to share it with your friends and family. Real estate is one of the largest investments your family will ever make, so if you are thinking about buying or selling, get a professional working with you to ensure that you receive sound advice. Please feel free to contact me anytime at 250-758-7653 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.To view the latest real estate graph stats and home sales map, simply visit our team's website link here: http://www.mmshomes.com/real-estate-selling-services/current-market-trends/ where you can see the trends each month (dating back to mid 2010). Having access to the real estate facts is critical for every home buyer, home seller or investor. I look forward to speaking with you. Best Regards,Brian McCulloughbrian@mmshomes.comwww.mmshomes.com HOME OF THE WEEK-521 Otter Place...$429,900 Very unique Long Lake Heights home with views of Departure Bay, and spectacular sunsets over the Winchelsea Islands. Step outside “of the average” with this beautifully appointed 5 year old level entry home. Enjoying complete privacy with no neighbors to the rear is just one of the many highlights of this residence. Features include: 4 bedrooms with an exceptionally large master bedroom with new carpeting and 3 full baths with room on the lower level for a 5th bedroom if desired. The main level features an enormous kitchen with solid wood cabinetry, brand new countertops, granite sink, stainless steel appliances and oversized eating bar which is perfect for entertaining. You will immediately notice the huge 12 foot vaulted ceilings which encompass the kitchen, dining room and living room. Beautiful oak hardwood covers nearly every foot of the main living area and gives a warm and inviting feel. Oversized windows and skylights make this home very bright any time of the day. The massive family room on the lower level is great for a theater room with lots of room left to spare for a pool table or anything else you can imagine. Rounding out the lower level is 2 bedrooms, one large enough to be a master bedroom, and a 4pc bathroom. As an added bonus, there is over 1000 sq/ft of full height storage under the house that would also work as a great work shop! A low maintenance yard and nearly 500 sq/ft of decking round out this spectacular and unique Long Lake Heights residence. Make your appointment today and prepare to be impressed. Click the link below to view interior & exterior photos and for more information on this incredible home:http://www.mmshomes.com/real-estate-listings/Listing/Single_Family_Home/74.html www.mmshomes.com McCullough Marketing Services Coast Realty Group Ltd.4200 Island Highway North, Nanaimo BC V9T 1W6p: 250.758.7653 | tf: 1.800.779.4966 | fax: 1.866.505.1121 (This email is intended only for the individual to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and privileged information. If you receive this email in error or if you are not the intended recipient, please notify Brian McCullough immediately by reply email and delete the original and any copies from your computer and any storage device that may contain this email. Any review, disclosure, use, copying, dissemination, or reliance on any information contained herein is forbidden).
Email: email@example.com INTEGRITY...Stand up for what you believe in The Vancouver riots after the Stanley Cup finals made so many of us ashamed that a few immature and criminally-minded people would willingly destroy property, businesses, vehicles - tarnishing our National pride. It is sickening to hear those who have been "outed" on Facebook and other social medias now say that they simply "get caught up in the moment". Really...I cannot recall the last time that I brought a gas can, rags and lighter to a sporting event, can you? What went so terribly wrong? Integrity has always meant to me that you do what you say you’re going to do. As I grew up life was not easy, but the one thing that stuck with me was how much everyone admired my parents. My mom, who died after 27 operations at age at 33, was never one to complain or bad mouth others. My Dad, who was the example of “work yourself to death” passed away at 42 with no material wealth but did leave a reputation of being someone you could trust, someone who had integrity, someone who worked hard and never asked for a free pass and he was someone who stood up for what he believed in regardless of if it went with the flow or not. These are valuable lessons that I have tried to share with my son, Myles, as he grew up. Many wonder why those thousands of spectators did not try to prevent a handful of rioters from burning cars, smashing windows and looting from businesses. It just seemed as though everything got out of hand so quickly, that it caught many people by surprise and all they could do was film the crimes on their cell phones to assist with prosecutions later on. The true heroes were those people who had the courage to stand up and try and stop the rioters, and were kicked, punched and even stabbed in return. These people made me so proud to be a Canadian, and represent true integrity. As the debris and broken glass were removed throughout the night, as dawn broke, another symbol that our society had not simply turned "all bad" was seen. Hundreds of post-it notes covered a police car thanking the officers who showed restraint and dignity. On the side of a business that had been boarded up since all the windows had been smashed, Vancouverites took a moment to write notes acknowledging the price businesses and the community paid at the hand of a few "bad apples". The ironic twist to the Vancouver riots was how it was reported by one of the American stations who proclaimed Canadians to still be the most polite country in the world since we had written notes of apology and publicly expressed embarrassment for the riot. The reporter said he would not think that he would ever see this happen if a riot was to take place in the US, and I think he is correct. The point is, that if we respect others - if we do onto others as we would like them to do to us, everything could be so much better for us all. Next time you feel that something isn’t right…stand up for what you believe, don’t waiver or succumb to the crowd and you will be able to wake up in the morning and be able to look at yourself in the mirror. Best Regards, Brian McCullough www.mmshomes.com McCullough Marketing Services Coast Realty Group Ltd.4200 Island Highway North, Nanaimo BC V9T 1W6p: 250.758.7653 | tf: 1.800.779.4966 | fax: 1.866.505.1121 (This email is intended only for the individual to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and privileged information. If you receive this email in error or if you are not the intended recipient, please notify Brian McCullough immediately by reply email and delete the original and any copies from your computer and any storage device that may contain this email. Any review, disclosure, use, copying, dissemination, or reliance on any information contained herein is forbidden).
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Interesting Facts About McMansions in the US & Their Sad Tale John Stilgoe, professor of the history of landscaper at Harvard University states "in terms of housing, they - especially the women- don't want to have smaller closets, or fewer clothes to put in them". He admits that he would never live in a McMansion - also referred to as a Garage Mahal, Starter Castle or Hummer House, but concedes the practical side of owning a larger home. A bigger space allows you privacy from family, a place to entertain and storage of toys - such as a boat, RV, etc. The shift to greener living has also changed how people view their homes. It is interesting to note that even a "green built" McMansion often still have a larger carbon footprint than that of a standard Nanaimo "box style" home from the 1980's. As well, the cost to heat and cool these large homes has led become a factor in making this American dream less realistic for the average buyer. According to the Wall Street Journal, a 5000 sq ft McMansion in Connecticut could cost about $5000 a year to heat/cool!Location has been another factor that has affected the sale of the McMansions. A lot of cities where these homes were built have suffered some of the worst real estate downturns seen since the Great Depression. Places like Phoenix and Las Vegas have experienced declines of as much as 40% in only a few short years, making it extremely difficult to sell a home that the average buyer cannot afford. There are subdivisions in Las Vegas that are absolutely breath-taking with rows of large new homes all sitting for sale...and vacant.Robert Frank, professor of Economics at Cornell University views McMansions through a slightly different lens. "The modern family in the middle faces the choice between saving enough for retirement and sending their kids to unsafe schools with low test scores or taking all their money out of savings and scraping together a down payment on a house in a better school district. They have chosen option two," he says. Perhaps it isn't just "keeping up with the Jones", but rather a motivation for families to have the chance at living in a safer area, with larger space to accommodate elderly parents that are faced with living in a nursing home, and instead of going on vacation, using that money to entertain and have recreation in your own home. Certainly, we can use terms like McMansion to describe these types of homes, but I think that when it comes down to it, we all have our own, individual reasons for entering into homeownership. No two buyers are alike, and yet the dream of owning a home such as shown on the "Real Housewives of (O.C., Beverly Hills, New York, Miami)" remains. I know one fact to be true. Nanaimo truly is the most wonderful place to call home. If you are considering selling your home, or purchasing another property, please get the experience and expertise you need to guide you through the steps of real estate. Call me today for a FREE home evaluation at email@example.com. If you would like to receive listings daily that match your home buying criteria emailed at no cost or obligation, please email or call me at 250-758-7653. Best Regards,Brian McCullough www.mmshomes.com McCullough Marketing Services Coast Realty Group Ltd.4200 Island Highway North, Nanaimo BC V9T 1W6p: 250.758.7653 | tf: 1.800.779.4966 | fax: 1.866.505.1121 (This email is intended only for the individual to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and privileged information. If you receive this email in error or if you are not the intended recipient, please notify Brian McCullough immediately by reply email and delete the original and any copies from your computer and any storage device that may contain this email. Any review, disclosure, use, copying, dissemination, or reliance on any information contained herein is forbidden).
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Canucks' "Green Men", Bare Breasts & the HST on New Housing in BC Who would have thought that the infamous "green men" who have made international headlines for their activity at Vancouver Canucks games this year, would be so easily forgotten? Well, as many of you saw (live or on YouTube), a woman dared to bare her steel-enhanced pierced breasts to the San Jose player who was sitting in the penalty box at the game on Wednesday. Who could have ever conceived that a half-naked woman would make 2 grown men in spandex doing headstands seem almost "cultured" if you will! I look forward to much more excitement around the penalty box during these upcoming playoffs as our demand for excitement, and new experiences seem to be insatiable these days.Nanaimo real estate was once the "green men in spandex" in the sense that our housing prices continued to climb in 2006 and 2007 while many pessimists declared that the housing bubble would soon burst due to over-inflated housing prices and low interest loans. Much adieu was made about our real estate prices, which have really not risen or dropped dramatically since late 2008. Like Gary Bettman's disdain for the Canucks' "Green Men", the negative stories about real estate seem to garner the most attention. Like the suits worn by the "Green Men", that the announcement of the HST (to many it seemed as scary as the piercings adorned by the woman at the Canuck game) last July actually had a far more shocking affect on the new housing sales than the actual asking prices of the homes at that time. Many BC residents were caught-off guard (like the CBC cameraman on Wed night) by the Liberal government's new tax that affected almost every household expense seemingly overnight. A lot of home buyers and investors opted against purchasing a newly constructed property since it carried the "HST payable" stigma. Much like breasts, it would seem that "when you have seen one, you have seen them all", and like all taxes, it does not appear that the HST will be repealed anytime soon. We have seen an increase in new home, townhome and condo sales these past few months and buyers are taking the time to obtain professional advice when it comes to the HST and applicable rebates. Did you know? The difference in the HST and GST on a new home that is priced at $345,000 is only 2%! However, a lot of buyers are not aware that they do not need to pay a full 12% on a new home - particularly when there are rebates for both owner-occupied properties and those that are purchased as an investment/ rental property. The only time in a real estate purchase that you would be responsible for the full 12% on a new home would be if the property is a vacation/ resort property. If you have any questions about how the HST affects a new home sale, please feel free to contact McCullough Marketing anytime at 250-758-7653 or email us at brian@mmshomes. We have taken several courses and training seminars on HST to better equip our clients with the knowledge they need to not only get the property they want, but understand all of the costs involved.In closing, to ensure that you are kept "abreast" (ha ha ha...) of our local real estate market and the upcoming trends that I see happening, feel free to give us a call. Home ownership is one of the largest investments you will every make, and you need a professional looking after you. Best Regards,Brian McCullough www.mmshomes.com McCullough Marketing Services Coast Realty Group Ltd.4200 Island Highway North, Nanaimo BC V9T 1W6p: 250.758.7653 | tf: 1.800.779.4966 | fax: 1.866.505.1121 (This email is intended only for the individual to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and privileged information. If you receive this email in error or if you are not the intended recipient, please notify Brian McCullough immediately by reply email and delete the original and any copies from your computer and any storage device that may contain this email. Any review, disclosure, use, copying, dissemination, or reliance on any information contained herein is forbidden).
Home Design Trends for 2011 & The Most Expensive Ones in the World 2011 home design trends are a fusion of classic design details, inexpensive flooring, and breath-taking bathrooms. One of the interesting things that we are seeing in new home details in Nanaimo is the combination of two-tone kitchen cabinets, or cabinets with an oversized island with different colored cabinets underneath. Granite has become more affordable as the selection of granite carriers on the Island has grown in recent years. A pantry is also a "throwback" to the character homes of yesteryear, and is gaining popularity in new home construction. What is the most expensive kitchen cabinets in the world? There are not many brands more costly than Kraftmaid or any other Masco made product for cabinets. You want to go higher you can go and order Poggenpohl cabinets for your kitchen is the most expensive cabinet in the world. Side by side your $10,000 Kraftmaid kitchen becomes $140,000 in Poggenpohl. Bathrooms...the thrones of a king and queen. Bathrooms are now described as "spa-like retreats", "serenity rooms" or "contemporary bath suite". Soothing color schemes, high-end countertops that rival those found in 4 star hotels, and oversized shower heads are becoming the standard for new bathrooms. Additional storage is being offered in unique vanities, and floating cabinets mounted to the wall are offered in many designs and colors. Where is the most expensive bathroom in the world? Hong Kong. The washroom features a solid gold toilet, gold toilet paper dispenser, gold basin, gold waste bin and air-conditioning cabinet. The entire washroom required 380 kg of pure gold and 6,200 gemstones. In 2001, it cost $38 million and is now worth over $80 million. The company's owners stipulated that if the price of gold reaches $1,000 per ounce, one ton (32,000 ounces) of the tourist attraction will be melted into bullion and sold, allowing the company to gross a cool $32 million, and the owners would net about $17.6 million. This company can honestly say that their investments are "down the drain". So, as you make your way to a home hardware centre or nursery to improve your home's curb appeal and ambiance, just imagine the money you are saving my passing on that gold toilet! Best Regards,Brian McCullough
Corn Flakes, Enemas & The History of Real Estate Did you know that a lot of our most popular items such as beverages, cereal and real estate in the modern age have come from some very interesting backgrounds? For instance, Dr. Pepper, the popular American soft drink, actually originated in Waco, Texas and is regarded as being the first major soft drink in North America. It was invented in 1885 by a pharmacist named Charles Alderton, who made a concoction of fruit extracts that he poured from the drugstore soda fountain. It was originally known as "Doc Alderton's drink", but the owner of the pharmacy renamed it "Dr Pepper" - after his own friend, Dr. Charles Pepper.Many people have heard the story of three friends - Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker and Zev Siegel who started a small coffee store in Seattle named "Starbucks". However, Starbucks became what it is today AFTER it was acquired by a man named Howard Schultz (who had become the director of marketing and operations for Starbucks in 1982). He actually was able to purchase the business for $3.8 million dollars and rapidly expanded the Starbucks stores everywhere. Did you know what the "story behind the story" is about Starbucks? The original 3 owners did NOT want to include espresso in their coffee repertoire and Schultz was so convinced that this would be a pivotal marketing tool to allow Starbucks to succeed. He was so committed to the power of the espresso that he actually started up his own coffee-bar business called Il Giornale which was extremely successful, and then purchased Starbucks one year later. What do corn flakes have to do with enemas? Everything. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was a Seventh-Day Adventist who opened a well-known health retreat/ hospital called the Battlecreek Sanitarium" for very wealthy clients. Kellogg wanted his patients to have a high fiber grain-based food that would be nutritious and tasty for his clients. His clients included Thomas Edison and even Henry Ford. Dr. Kellogg ended up inventing the modern-day corn flake in the 1890's and it became an instant hit with the patients. In addition to consuming healthy bowls of corn flakes, his patients also received up to 5 enemas a day AND electroshock therapy. This really made me enjoy my fruit smoothie even more this morning I must admit! Real estate is also a result of a transformation of our society. The earliest records of real estate date back to the first monarchies whereby royal families shared their wealth to increase their power, by signing away titles and deeds to lands to their powerful friends, allowing the holder to collect rent (I know the original "slum lord" may also have some merit during this time as well) from the peasants living there. However, peasants were able to trade with other kingdoms and eventually, houses (but not the land since that would have been held by the person with the title or deed at the time) were bought and sold and rented among the commoners, rather than the royal class. This also created the concept of "land leased properties" that is still sometimes seen even today. So, as you have your breakfast cereal, and wash it down with an espresso or even a Dr. Pepper, while reading the latest real estate publication, you can feel comforted by the fact that we certainly have come a long way... If you are considering selling your home or property, please contact me today at 250-758-7653 or email me at email@example.com and I would be pleased to provide you with a current market evaluation that includes the current value of your home, staging tips, current real estate market trends, and properties that are similar to yours that have recently sold or been listed. I look forward to hearing from you. For buyers, you can receive daily email updates the SAME time that other realtors are notified about new listings that hit the market FREE and without ANY OBLIGATION. Just email me your price range, areas you are interested in, bedrooms, etc and I would be happy to set you up on our VIP Buyer Program. This email system has assisted 8 of our clients recently to put in offers on properties right away and avoid multiple offer situations (which can cost buyers thousands of dollars more). Best Regards,Brian
What Does Men's Plastic Surgery Have to Do with Home Renovations? Forget landscaping for the modern man. Today's male is moving in the direction of "manscaping" - yes, it is actually a word. Recent studies show that men between 40-54 years of age are the fastest growing segment of the male population to embrace plastic surgery - accounting for 48% of the total procedures in the entire year. In the US, surgeons are seeing men having plastic surgery to appear youthful and compete with younger men also vying for the shortened supply of jobs. What are the top 4 procedures men are having these days? The most popular surgery for men was nose reshaping, or rhinoplasty, with 63,585 such operations performed in 2010. Next was eyelid surgery (31,476), followed by liposuction (23,899). Breast reduction (18,280) and hair transplants (13,217) ranked fourth and fifth. Men are still overshadowed by women who account for 91% of plastic surgery procedures. Geographically, the most prominent regions in the US for men to have a procedure are California (home of one of the worst real estate meltdowns in history),Texas (everything is bigger in Texas as the saying goes), and Florida (another area where real estate saw huge drops). Some of the trends we are seeing in home renovation are similar to those plastic surgery procedure that are increasing for men. Instead of focusing on complete full-scale renovation of a home, owners are instead, focusing on "tweaking" some smaller areas in their home. Rather than redo an entire kitchen, owners are deciding to focus on a kitchen backsplash (perhaps selecting a more expensive glass mosaic tile), or designer track lighting - spending more money on smaller areas. This is similar to plastic surgery trends, as men are focusing their procedures on smaller areas as well - such as the nose or eyelids. Another trend in home renovation is improving the air quality in a home. Since rhinoplasty is so popular, I wonder if breathing properly is now becoming a priority for men - whether it be from old sports injuries, allergies, etc. This trend has continued into their homes as improved heating systems such as heat pumps, and HVAC units are becoming more popular. The resurgence in colorful appliances pays homage to the 1970's where almond, lavender, and light green bathroom fixtures were popular. Many appliance makers are now selling bright red or blue to dress up the washer, dryer, and even fridges. In the 1970's, long hair was a fashion statement by men that I recall with some affection as rock bands personified "coolness" with their flowing locks. Hair transplants are once again popular and fit nicely into the bygone era of hair being very important to a man's appearance. More hair and colorful appliances - quite the combination. And lastly, the vast majority of home renovations are being done today with the goal of simply making their home more valuable. A lot of men, especially those downsized in recent years, are finding themselves competing with younger men for their next job. To improve their self-esteem and wanting to project a youthful image to a prospective employer, many men are now choosing plastic surgery in hopes that the money they spent to "enhance" their appearance will pay off with a better job, higher income. And now you know..what male plastic surgery trends have to do with home renovation trends. I wonder if my wife will start making a list for me...of what updates she would like to see around our house! Best Regards,Brian McCullough
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Japan Represents the Best in Humanity & Why I Rented My Closet Out As most of you know, I really try to infuse humor into my weekly newsletters, but after the tragic events that occurred in Japan, I really wanted to simply acknowledge the grace with which the Japanese people have shown. It is amazing to me to watch the calmness of the people who quietly wait in lines that surpass a mile in length to obtain a small ball of rice to be shared amongst two people, or to get a small cup of water. There is no looting being reported, and there is no violence breaking out. This has really shown me the very best that humanity has to offer and challenged me to be a more grateful and gracious person to others. I really want to make sense of the events in Japan, and try to make the world a better place in whatever small way that I can. In the weeks and months ahead, I hope that all of us will try to recognize the courage of the Japanese and that we can take from this the ability to act more peacefully to our neighbors, our friends, our family, our co-workers, and people that we do not even care for. I am fortunate. The family of our Coast Realty staff as well as the family members of our McCullough Marketing team that were in Japan during the earthquake, have all been located and are safe. I am not professing to "have all of the answers" or to preach to others, I just really feel as if we need challenge ourselves to be grateful for what we have, as our lives are probably a lot less stressful than those in Japan right now. Perhaps, because I am reflecting upon how I want to really be accountable for my positive thoughts and actions, I wanted to share with you another funny story about how our perception can be changed when we look through life through the eyes of others. When I was a young man, without money or direction, I lived in Thunder Bay with several of my buddies. Trust me - when I honestly admit that no good actions or thoughts took place in this house with poor choices made at every corner! One day, a good buddy of mine contacted me in need of a place to stay. With little money, and no rooms available in the house to rent to him, I came up with a great idea to let him stay in my closet! I did not charge him any rent to stay there. Looking back, I can state unequivocally that I would have gone to a local thrift store and purchased a cheap cot and let him stay in the living room if I could do this over. That is where age and wisdom come into play - I had my youth, but very little wisdom. So, for the next few months, as I laid my head down at night, my buddy would climb into his closet (which I think is called a loft in New York City these days and sells for $850,000), and sleep the night away. I have to say that it was a walk-in closet so he did have some room to enjoy some privacy, although his dating seemed to dry up due to his "location". He was so grateful to have a place to live and exhibited such grace under fire, with not knowing what his next steps in life would be. Looking back, it really is a matter of perspective of how we look at life. I really thought that I was helping a buddy out, and I thought that my plan was brilliant. Clearly, as we have seen real estate change through the years and the emergence of "studio" condos that offer less than 400 square feet and free-standing houses that measure 12' x 12', I may have been a little before my time. My buddy (who I am still good friends with) also thought that this was a great idea as he was able to save some money and then move into a place of his own. Needless to say, I would not recommend anyone with a home to offer a walk-in closet to "suite" it and rent it out! I saw this quote yesterday "Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely." (author unknown). I really felt that this aptly described how the lessons that I have learned in life have allowed me the opportunity to do better, and to be a better person. It is also a good reminder of how we can lose our perspective, and yet reclaim it and use it to see the world in a more positive manner. Both my friend in the closet, and the people of Japan, represent the humility and grace to believe in a better tomorrow. Best Regards,Brian McCulloughFeatured Home of the Week Instead of putting a home of the week to be featured here, I wanted to share with you some links to charitable organizations working to assist the people of Japan. If you would like to donate money or contribute in some way, here are a list of organizations that you may be interested in:Red Cross: www.redcross.caDoctors Without Borders: http://www.msf.ca/World Vision: www.worldvision.caSalvation Army: www.SalvationArmy.ca/japanTo put the Japanese tragedy into perspective, here is a link that shows aerial photos taken by Google before the earthquake and afterwards - it is truly incredible to see landscaped forever changed. Move your cursor from left to right:http://www.abc.net.au/news/events/japan-quake-2011/beforeafter.htm www.mmshomes.com McCullough Marketing Services Coast Realty Group Ltd.4200 Island Highway North, Nanaimo BC V9T 1W6p: 250.758.7653 | tf: 1.800.779.4966 | fax: 1.866.505.1121 (This email is intended only for the individual to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and privileged information. If you receive this email in error or if you are not the intended recipient, please notify Brian McCullough immediately by reply email and delete the original and any copies from your computer and any storage device that may contain this email. Any review, disclosure, use, copying, dissemination, or reliance on any information contained herein is forbidden). This is not intended to solicit any property already listed .