5 Inexpensive Gadgets All New Parents Should Own : The Saturday Weekend Review #220

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A BABY SHOWER GIFT THESE GOODIES HAVE BEEN THE BEST PARENTING INVESTMENTS YET.   I’m sure many parents reading this can think back to some baby gadgets or products which made their new role as parents a bit easier. Hands up if you’re one of those parents who bought too much useless baby stuff just because you thought you’d need it. Yes, that was us. >>>Both hands in the air. Now that our son is almost 3 years-old (wow where did the time go) Mrs. CBB and I have gone through boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes of baby clothes (I know, right?) and piles of stuff we never used. The biggest problem was that we read too much, believed too much and fell into the “new parent syndrome” mode making sure we were fully stocked with what we needed. Related: How having a baby affected our monthly budget I will admit that we have boxes of baby diapers that haven’t been opened yet, clothes that still have the tags and other crazy things that have never come out of the box. We have a formula mixer that we bought just in case our son […]

Bidding Wars Net Homeowner $60,000 Over Asking Price Before Open House : The Saturday Weekend Review #172

COMING SOON: MULTIPLE OFFERS, BIDDING WARS AND A BULLY OFFER   I suppose selling your house the second time around can be financially rewarding as it was for friends of ours who finally sold their house after having multiple offers which caused bidding wars and all before the first open house. The quiet sought-after area in the Greater Toronto Area where they live rarely has houses come up for sale but that doesn’t mean they WILL sell when they do as our friends found out last year. After a failed attempt at selling their house in early 2015 they gave it another shot this past month to see what would happen. This time around though they took the advice from the potential home buyers who came to their open house when they tried to sell in 2015 for $400,000 with no offers in sight. The house was certainly not over-priced however it needed some work doing to spruce it up more than they already had. Their real estate agent didn’t do the job they expected so this time around they hired a woman who came highly recommended to them. Before they signed any legal and binding papers with her they […]

Does Your Property Listing Use Frosted Marketing Language?

BUYING A HOUSE IS MORE THAN JUST SWEET BUTTERED WORDS   How confident are you about every property listing you choose to visit that the house description will be 100% accurate? Probably not that confident and I don’t blame you. A property listing may be close to accurate but it may also be buttered up just a bit to motivate you to put an offer in on the house. Real Estate trends seem to be important big-ticket accessories for buyers and sellers but even then what is being sold should be what is depicted in the property listing. Have you really fallen prey to these marketing tactics in the real estate industry? Probably because they’ve been used for years because there’s no standards apart from, “Sell that house” as fast as you can. Does granite in a bathroom or kitchen turn on your buyers excitement? Make sure the granite counter-top that you may end up owning and paying big bucks for is the real deal! Buyers remorse is a sad place to be especially when you should be excited about your new home purchase. I read an excellent blog post that every real estate agent and private seller should read- […]

Is the big house the problem or the price? : PF Friday grab a brew #66

GO BIG OR GO HOME   We all know someone who bought the big house and later found out it was too much to handle or too pricey for their budget. We may like to browse online at pictures of big houses for sale but for many it’s just a dream or a distant reality. We have been through some beautiful big houses when we have toured opened houses and although we are being nosey we love for that moment to feel what luxury is all about. I was having my morning brew while reading Yahoo news and again another Hollywood star is struggling to sell their big house or mansion as we would all call it. He has the big house that is absolutely stunning on the market for $15.5 million dollars BUT no one has purchased it and he has slowly reduced the price. This is the one and only Bruce Willis which we have learned to love over the years from watching various movies. The Idaho ranch is now listed at $8.8 million dollars nearly half off the original listing price. If I had $8.8 million dollars and depending on other factors such as location and what […]

How to get what you pay for when buying online

DON’T REGRET YOUR PURCHASES   If you fail to take a few minutes to read over the small print you might just be surprised what you are actually buying. With the holidays fast approaching and many people scrambling to buy their Christmas gifts many people buy online, especially if they can score a great deal. We often talk about how we like to sometimes buy online vs. in-store whether from Kijiji or picking up the odd items on Ebay or Amazon but with that comes caution when spending our money. Buying online items is not something new and it’s well secure for the most part but what happens when the buyer is the person who is trying to scam you out of money even though it’s plain to see you are getting what you pay for. I was reading a Yahoo post the other day about a 19-year-old guy from the UK of all places who was hoping to get his hands on the new X-Box One that was recently released. He also has a 4-year-old child whom he stopped at nothing to make sure he was able to get the X-Box One for but he was duped at the […]

Market Value, Appraisal Value, Assessed Value….How did they Value my Home?

Undoubtedly, one of, the most important considerations when deciding to sell your home, is its’ value! Home-owners want to know the market value, assessed value and the appraised value. Some questions a home-owner may want to know and these are all relevant questions are: Has my equity increased? Has the neighborhood’s value increased? Is my valuation, in line with industry professionals? How much is my home worth? Ultimately the market value of your home is whatever someone is willing to pay you for it. An appraisal value is a value determined by the study of comparable properties and local market conditions. It is, in reality, an educated guess about what the market value may be. The assessed value of homes in Ontario is done by MPAC and is a (CVA) Current Value Assessment which is a common standard used for property assessment jurisdictions in North America. MPAC uses 3-5 years of open-market sales in the area to determine the current assessed value of surrounding properties. Assessed values often come in at a lower evaluation than market value or an appraised value. It is almost as if MPAC is a year or two behind in their evaluations. Here are the steps I take to appraise the value […]

Best Home Renovations-Money Wasted or Money Invested?

Buying a new home also means looking for the best new home renovations or upgrades that fit your lifestyle. When selling a home different renovations can either mean money in your pocket or potentially money out the window. After I’ve shown clients the first few homes in their new home search, we often discuss my “Real Estate Baseball” rule of thumb. What do I mean by this? Three strikes and you are OUT! As soon as potential buyers can tally up three perceived “defects” in your home, they aren’t interested any more (it should be noted that this is by no means scientific). You can’t make a first impression on potential buyers again, so, you need to make a great one at the beginning! I often talk with clients about renovations and Do It Yourself (DIY) projects so they can make the right informed decisions. Sometimes renovations can add to a home sale, but other times they just become another stressful event associated with selling your home and wont generate the return that you are looking for. Here is a list of potential renovations that I often discuss and recommend with clients. 1) Painting When my clients walk into a freshly painted home, […]

Mr.CBB’s Cream Filled Homemade Twinkie Style Cakes

Well, after hearing about the closing of Twinkie Brands in Irving, Texas in the USA the other day I wondered about these little delights that everyone is going mad over. Yes, they are still making the Twinkies in Canada but I’ve never had one in me life. I remember on Facebook the fans were talking about Joe Louis and I had no idea what they were going on about. Luckily for them I’m learning more the longer I live in Canada. So everyone wants to get their hands on the Twinkie in the USA, mad, well it’s pretty nutty if you ask me.  After a mate of mine who lives in the USA told me to check out Ebay last night I nearly fell over after what I saw. You remember the famous tickle me Elmo that everyone thought they could make a buck from selling them on Ebay? Well move over Elmo, Twinkie is taking top spot this year. Boxes and I mean boxes of these cream filled Twinkie cakes are showing up on EBAY selling for absurd amounts of money.  I’m still wondering who in their right mind is that hungry for a $10,000.00 box of Twinkies. What has this […]