Tags: #forsale, #halifax, #halifaxrealestate, #homeforsalehalifax, #homeforsalenovascotia, #hrm, #mls, #novascotiarealestate, #realestate, #realestatehalifax, #realestatenovascotia, #remax, #remaxnova, #thebagoglooteam, #yhz
We’re excited and proud to report that we’re at the top of our brokerage for sales results at the halfway point of the year. Many thanks to our clients for their continued business this year!
RETIREES AND BABY BOOMERS CAPITALIZE ON HIGH-VALUE PRINCIPAL RESIDENCES TO ENTER ACTIVE RETIREMENT AT RECREATIONAL PROPERTIES, BLURRING THE LINE BETWEEN RECREATIONAL AND RESIDENTIAL.
A recent survey of RE/MAX brokers and agents found that in 91 per cent of popular Canadian recreational property markets examined, retirees were the key factor driving activity. This includes established recreational regions such as Prince Edward County and Comox Valley. This is in stark contrast to last year’s findings, when retirees were a dominant driving force in only 55 per cent of markets examined.
The survey found that in British Columbia, Ontario and Atlantic Canada, more retirees and soon-to-be retirees are purchasing recreational properties outside of urban centres for use as retirement homes, increasingly blurring the line between recreational and residential properties.
“Last year, we found that Baby Boomers and retirees were increasingly selling their homes in urban centres like Toronto and Vancouver,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “It’s clear that many put the equity they received from those sales into the purchase of a recreational property with the intention to retire in comfort and away from the city.”
Many of these individuals are engaging in more active forms of retirement, choosing to maintain physical fitness and emotional fulfillment by pursuing passion projects and leading lifestyles that involve farming, hiking and maintaining vineyards. This is particularly the case in regions such as South Okanagan, Wasaga Beach and Rideau Lakes.
Due to the strong US dollar, retirees in the Sylvan Lake and Lake Winnipeg regions are selling their snowbird properties south of the border and purchasing recreational homes for use as retirement properties as well.
In a separate survey conducted by Leger, six in 10 Canadians (58 per cent) enjoy recreational properties as places where they can relax and spend time with friends and family. However, the majority of Canadians (84 per cent) do not actually own recreational properties.
“Many Canadians want to live out the ‘Canadian Dream’ and spend time at the cottage or cabin but today, that doesn’t necessarily mean owning a recreational property outright,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX INTEGRA Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region. “Many are choosing to rent recreational properties, often by pooling resources with friends and family, which speaks to recreational properties still being in high demand.”
In fact, one in three Canadians (33 per cent) say that they own or would want to own a recreational property for investment purposes. In Toronto specifically, the survey of RE/MAX brokers and agents found that in regions such as North Bay-Sunridge, Bancroft and the Bruce Peninsula, many owners of recreational properties actually rent their principal residences in Toronto, where they live most of the year. Using their recreational properties every so often while renting them out for the rest of the year, these individuals are renting a principal residence where they live while buying where they play.
In Leger’s survey, more than half of Canadians (54 per cent) who own a recreational property, or are considering buying one, identify savings as their source of funding. Twenty per cent would use a loan, 20 per cent would rely on home equity and only 11 per cent would rely on inheritance.
The survey also found that other than affordable purchase price, Canadians who own or would consider owning a recreational property named waterfront access (55 per cent), reasonable maintenance costs (54 per cent) and proximity to town (43 per cent) as the most important factors when purchasing. The survey of RE/MAX brokers and agents, waterfront access was considered the most in-demand amenity in most regions, overall.
The recreational property market in British Columbia is being driven primarily by retirees. Other emerging trends include couples and young entrepreneurs seeking work/life balance, and recreational property buyers cashing in on expensive urban housing markets. Across the board, the region is experiencing a seller’s market due to lack of recreational inventory. The amenities in greatest demand are beaches and skiing facilities.
Demand for recreational properties in the Prairies is being propelled primarily by young families, followed by young couples and retirees. Retirees are commonly seen selling their recreational properties south of the border in favour of buying closer to home, due to the strong US dollar. The most sought-after recreational amenities are boating, fishing and beaches.
Ontario’s recreational property market is being buoyed by retirees who are leaving larger metropolitan cities in favour of cottage country. Emerging trends include retirees or semi-retirees buying cottages as retirement homes; couples priced out of expensive urban markets opting for the waterfront lifestyle; and buyers holding cottages as investment properties. Due to lack of demand, the region is experiencing a seller’s market. Properties in greatest demand are those offering beaches and boat facilities.
Demand for recreational properties in Atlantic Canada is being driven by retirees moving away from larger cities. Other market trends include young couples and families opting for the saltwater lifestyle; retirees and semi-retirees purchasing homes for retirement; and buyers seeking recreational properties in close proximity to the inland city centres, Across the board, the region is experiencing a balanced market. In highest demand are properties with access to beaches and golfing.
1. One-quarter (24 per cent) of Canadians would consider buying a recreational property in the future.
2. Canadians cite the following reasons to own or want to own a recreational property:
3. Canadians identify the following sources of down payment when considering their current recreational property or their next purchase of a recreational property:
4. More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of Canadians who own or are considering owning a recreation property are willing to travel up to two hours, with 31 per cent saying they would travel two hours. Slightly less (28 per cent) are willing to travel three or more hours.
5. Canadians identify the following features as important when considering their current recreational property or their next purchase of a recreational property:
6. Canadians 55 and older (vs <55), who own or would consider owning a recreational property are significantly more likely to say waterfront access, reasonable maintenance costs, proximity to a town, reasonable distance from primary residence and accessible medical facilities are important.
120,000 Agents Worldwide
When you combine an iconic brand, a global mindset, a winning culture and the world’s most productive agents, you create something special. And others are drawn to it.
After five years of constant growth, agent count at RE/MAX topped the 120,000 milestone during the first quarter of 2018.
With growth comes more yard signs, more advertising, more listings, more referrals and – most importantly – more satisfied homebuyers and sellers around the world.
It’s all a reminder that RE/MAX is the right choice for productive, experienced professionals – and for clients looking for an agent with those qualities.
Thinking of renovating? Whether you’re getting ready to list your home or customizing to reflect your personality, take a look at the top decorating trends for 2017 to get your home up to market standard.
Take a look: 2017 Top Trends
Halifax has been named one of Canada's best cities for jobs and affordable housing, competing alongside major cities such as Toronto and Vancouver. Atlantic Canada has made its way to the top of the list thanks to shipbuilding activities that has soared the manufacturing sector by 5%, projecting the city to have the third strongest economic growth this year and in 2017.
Recently The Bagogloo Team were invited to participate in the Scotiabank Home Buying Days event where we teamed with our good friend, Vanessa Chalhoub,Home Financing Advisor (Scotiabank). Visitors were introduced to homebuying solutions designed to meet their needs and goals. We discussed current real estate market conditions and trends in the Greater Halifax Area and offered current homeowners a FREE COMPLIMENTARY Current Market Analysis of their home. (Get Yours)
Let's talk heating and cooling. An in depth look at how HVAC Systems Work.Read More
Get the Details on Our Blog - HalifaxMetroHomes.com
If you are planning on going to visit Santa this year but not sure when and where he is going to be, then you have come to the right place. Below are the four major shopping centres with their time and dates so you don't miss out a wonderful tradition. It is the fastest way to get your holiday order in!
Santa is on duty until December 23rd.
Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm and Sundays 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Free Printed 5X7 Photo
Santa will be at HSC on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays Nov. 29th through Dec. 23.
Photo Emailed Free
Printed 4x6 with $5 Donation - proceeds to Operation Winter Warmth.
Our social media elves report that Bedford has a really wonderful Santa, on duty daily through Dec. 23. His hours are:
Monday and Tuesday: 2:00-4:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am-12:00 noon and 1:30-4:00pm
Photos $5 - proceeds to Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
His hours are:
Thursdays and Fridays 6:00-8:00pm
Photos are free (with a donation to Paths 2 Learning).
Silent Santa: Sunday mornings by appointment (Phone: 902-835-5099)
More details here.
Looking for something fun for the whole family this Saturday? #Cineplex Theatres at 760 #SackvilleDrive is showing a 10 am showing of Elf! Admission is $2 with the proceeds going to the Beacon House Food Bank! For more details please visit http://sackvillebusiness.com/events/sba-christmas-movie/
In case you missed last weekend’s back to back Parade of lights in Halifax and Bedford, all is not lost. You can still see a parade of lights this coming Sunday evening, November 23rd starting at Barrett Lumber at 6 pm and runs to the Beaver Bank Kinsac Community Centre.
For more information please visit: http://www.bbkcc.ca/event/lions-club-parade-of-lights/
Even though Christmas is 6 weeks away there are events starting to get everyone in the spirit! Take Victorian Christmas at the Halifax Citadel for example; this has been a tradition for 25 years. Maybe it is something you have been doing every year, but if you haven't then maybe it is time to check it out. This event is free to enter with a cash donation or non-perishable food item and takes place Saturday and Sunday Nov 22-23 from 12-4. For more details please visit Destination Halifax!
If you are looking for a great way to show your respects for the service and sacrifice of our soldiers, then visit Halifax Citadel National Historic Site at 5425 Sackville St. this Remembrance Day. There will be FREE admission from 10 am – 2 pm, with a special 21 Gun salute at 11 am. To learn more about this event visit http://www.destinationhalifax.com/experience-halifax/festivals-events/remembrance-day-army-museum.
Purchase plus improvement mortgage allows you to buy and renovate so that you can enjoy your fixer upper.
Source: Original Content can be foun at http://mortgageintelligence.ca/mi/about/about-us/renovation-sink-or-swim/
By Mark Hurley, AMP
Today’s Bank of Canada rate hold announcement marks almost four straight years that the key benchmark rate has remained unchanged, since September 8, 2010. Great news if you have a variable-rate mortgage or home equity line of credit; the prime rate stays at 3%.
The announcement noted that “the risks to the outlook for inflation remain roughly balanced, while the risks associated with household imbalances have not diminished.” With these considerations, the Bank is maintaining its monetary policy stimulus, and remains neutral with respect to the timing and direction of the next change.
The next rate-setting day is October 22nd.
Whether you are looking to purchase, refinance, or renew, we can help you decide whether a fixed or variable-rate mortgage will work best for your situation. Or you may find that a hybrid mortgage, which is part fixed and part variable, is better suited to your needs. Call today!
We regularly receive short-term rate promotions that are not posted online, which means our rates change frequently. Please contact us for the unpublished rate specials.
|Terms||Posted Rates||Our Rates|
Rates are subject to change without notice. OAC E&OE
|5 yr variable||2.40%|
Whatever your need is today – first or next home, renewal, refinance, renovation financing, equity take out, business-for-self mortgage, investing in property or a second/vacation home, contact us for a review of your situation, and the advice you need to achieve your homeownership dreams. After all, the right mortgage can build your wealth and save you thousands of dollars.
Every single day we're making homeowner dreams come true. And we're here to help you.
The Bagogloo Team is proud to support our team partner Terry Campbell in his third year participating in a wonderful cause; Ride 4 The Cure. The 11th annual Ride 4 The Cure motorcycle rally through Cape Breton's Cabot Trail will take place on September 5th-6th, 2014.
Help Terry reach his personal goal of $2000 for a fantastic cause. To donate please click this link: http://www.ride4thecurecb.ca/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1105399&supId=410783819
On Thursday August 14th, 2014, all proceeds from every Blizzard® Treat purchased at participating DQ® stores will be donated to your local Children's Miracle Network® member hospital to help children in need.
Together we can provide hope and healing to sick and injured children in your community.
To find a participating store please visit http://www.miracletreatday.ca/
There are several fireworks displays, choose the one that fits your needs.
Saturday Aug 2nd
Halifax Harbour Bridges Natal Day Fireworks
10:00 PM Launched from Macdonald Bridge!
Sunday Aug 3rd
Natal Day Halifax Common Family Fireworks presented by GoodLife Fitness
9:30 PM @ Halifax South Common, Canada Games Ball Diamond
Monday August 4th
119th Natal Day Lake Banook Fireworks presented by
Heritage House Law & The Dartmouth Kiwanis Club
9:45 PM @ Lake Banook
For a detailed list of activities going on over the long weekend visit: http://natalday.org/index.php
The Residential Direct Install of Efficient Products program aims to reduce the amount of energy used by Nova Scotian homeowners. To achieve this goal, the program educates homeowners on available energy efficient products while providing free product installation. As one of the service providers, Clean Foundation delivers this program on behalf of Efficiency Nova Scotia Corporation.
This is a free-of-charge program, open to all Nova Scotia homeowners and renters. As a partner of Efficiency Nova Scotia Corporation, Clean Foundation will come to your home and install, where appropriate:
All upgrades are done at no cost to you and should result energy savings for your home. A typical homeowner could save up to $160 annually on their energy bills.
To participate; call our Customer Experience Department at 1-888-281-0004 and book your appointment today. Or, if you prefer, visit the Clean Foundation website and fill out the form and one of our Booking Agents will contact you shortly.
SOURCE: Clean Foundation - http://clean.ns.ca/programs/energy/residential-direct-install-of-efficient-products/
Ian Brown, The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 11 2014, 5:15 PM EDT
Last updated Monday, Jul. 21 2014, 1:34 PM EDT
To the best of my recollection, Larry the Lobster showed up in one of Lloyd Robicheau’s traps some time between dawn and 8 a.m. on a Tuesday. My memory of the event is impaired because at the time I was either vomiting overboard or lying in the hold of The Master Rebel, Lloyd’s boat. We were seven kilometres out to sea on a rare gorgeous June day, the eastern shore of Nova Scotia a long eyebrow in the distance, and Lloyd Robicheau had been saying what he often says: “In the lobster racket, sooner or later you’re going to get bit.”
He meant not just in the business sense, but on a lobster-by-lobster basis as well. The feeling had only just returned to his left hand after being nipped by a pincer claw two weeks earlier; now another glistening black devil was trying to sever another of his fingers through his orange rubber gloves. To make a lobster open a claw, you hold the other claw shut. “It’s like playing with fire,” Lloyd said to Reese Reardon and Glendon Bellefontaine, his crew.
Finally freed, he tossed the waving crustacean into the slotted wooden box that keeps newly landed lobsters from ripping each other apart. Then Lloyd searched across the silvery water for the glint of the buoy that marked his next trap. I returned to vomiting. It was 6 o’clock in the morning, and the sea was as calm as a mussel’s day.
In 2013, Atlantic Canada was responsible for 68,000 tonnes, or just over half, of the 131,500 tonnes of lobster landed on the east coast of North America last year. And for the 160 fishermen in Lobster Fishing Area 32 off the coast near Dartmouth, N.S., this year’s annual nine-week lobster season (April 19 to June 20) has been breathtaking. So much lobster had been landed in Nova Scotia by the second week of June that the shore price dropped to $3.50 a pound, which was why everyone was so cranky. I’d been calling it a glut until a couple of local exporters begged me to refer to a “bountiful harvest” instead. They didn’t want their customers to think lobster was cheap.
To a lobster enthusiast, of course, cheap lobster sounds like a good, i.e. delicious, thing. But it never materializes. There is a voodoo to lobster economics. What used to be poor man’s fare, the fallback meal of people too impoverished to afford anything else, is now a billion dollar business and a universal mark of luxury – with the result that a lobster that sells for $3.50 on the wharf can cost $60 and more on a restaurant plate in New York or Toronto or Shanghai, regardless of how many lobsters are pulled from the sea. How this happens is the life story of Larry the Lobster.
Like every other licensed fisherman in Area 32, Lloyd is allowed 250 traps. He checks every trap every day. The routine’s always the same, give or take the roughness of the sea. Lloyd steers the boat to a buoy. Reese gaffs the rope and slips it into an automatic winch that hauls the trap off the bottom. A trap consists of a kitchen (where the bait is) and a parlour, and for a lobster operates like a conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness: It’s easy to get into but almost impossible to get out of. Lloyd’s using wire, or “American” traps, at $118 each (plus $30 more for rope and the buoy) whereas most fishermen in Area 32 swear by wood, because it’s “darker” and absorbs water faster and is therefore less buoyant. It’s not much of a theory, scientifically, but a lot of Area 32 lobster fishermen swear by it. Early on in his fishing career, Lloyd lost 130 traps on the third day of the season, and another 45 at the end, so he sticks to wire.
When the trap has been hauled to the gunwales, Reese – 26, built like a fridge – hauls it onto the boat and starts tossing pregnant females and undersized chicks back into the sea. The little ones look like bath toys. Lloyd helps him. They fling the keepers to Glendon, who measures them and checks for blooms of roe or a V notched in a female’s tail (a decade-old conservation measure used to track egg-bearing females that fishermen believe has increased stocks), either of which gets the lobster thrown back. Glendon then bands the claws of the keepers before packing them into grey plastic 100-pound crates, the most common object in the lobster business. While he does that, Reese replaces the trap’s bait with fresh redfish heads or mackerel or gaspereau or occasionally a sculpin on a spike (the big lobsters like them) and waits while Lloyd repositions the boat. On Lloyd’s nod, he heaves the trap overboard and prepares the next bait bag. They can haul and change out a trap in less than three minutes.
They leave every morning at 3:20 in the pitch dark to avoid the breezy seas of the afternoon. Rocks and whistling are forbidden on the boat, as is turning against the sun while steering out of their harbour. Lobstering’s a superstitious business.
Today starts badly. Several strings of traps produce nothing but little ones, and by the point where the boat would normally have landed 250 pounds, they haven’t filled a 100-pound crate. The mood on the boat grows quiet. “Get out and walk,” Glendon says to an undersized lobster, throwing it overboard. Ten years ago, 80 pounds of lobster a day was an average catch in Area 32, and the Eastern Shore was one of the poorest places in Canada. This spring, however, most fishermen are hauling 500 pounds a day. Theories abound, all of which are true to an extent: lobsters procreate in cycles; climate change is warming the ocean, and the lobster are moving north out of Maine’s coastal waters; fishermen have better technology and bigger boats; conservation is working. But everyone knows the most important reason: The disappearance of codfish means lobsters have no natural predators.
Suddenly, at 14 fathoms, the bottom gets rockier, to judge from Lloyd’s electronic scanner. Two keepers in a trap is all it takes to turn his spirits. Five keepers is a great trap. In an instant, it’s a good day again. By 8 a.m., the boys have hauled 300 pounds of lobster, including the aforementioned Larry. “It’s in the hunt,” Reese says, lighting another smoke. “You move, you try here, you try there. But you’re always on the hunt.”
By 10:30 they’re done. The trio gaff six brimming 100-pound crates up to the dock and into a tank of cold circulating sea water. They then retire to the eight-by-eight-metre boatside shacks they live in during lobster season, to await the shore buyer.
The shore buyers in Area 32 have paid as much as $7 and as little as $3 a pound for live lobster this spring. Lloyd’s daily catch has ranged from nearly 700 pounds to less than 300. If he can trap 500 pounds a day (not a given) and average $5 a pound (especially not a given), and can get out, weather permitting, five days a week for nine weeks (he has lost as many as 21 days to weather in past years), he’ll gross $112,500. The average fisherman on the Eastern Shore grossed $98,000 last year. “If you don’t gross $100,000,” Lloyd insists, “you can’t really call it a living.” Still, as people who aren’t fishermen say, that isn’t bad for nine weeks of fishing.
But they’re very big ifs. Lloyd runs the math incessantly in his head. The Master Rebel cost him $200,000, and drinks 95 litres of diesel a day. A license, if he had to buy his today, would be $160,000 more. Reese (who hopes to fish for himself eventually) earns at least $150 a day. Life raft, $1,000; electronics, $30,000. Insurance, traps, bait (500 pounds a day at 80 cents a pound): Lloyd figures it costs him $600 a day to fish. If he nets two-thirds of his (theoretical) gross, and doesn’t have any mechanical breakdowns, he still has to pay taxes. But nobody knows how long the lobster will last or what prices will do. (They have dropped and risen in the weeks since I went fishing with Lloyd.) That’s why, despite the bountiful harvest, he fishes swordfish in the summer, plows snow in the winter, and for a long time farmed wild blueberries.
“A dollar-a-pound drop doesn’t sound like much,” Reese says. “But on just a crate of lobsters, that’s $100 gone, like that.” It’s all a gamble. That’s part of what appeals to us about lobster, and part of what we pay for. It’s why Lloyd calls lobstering a racket.
Derek Stevens, the shore buyer at Lobsterworld, shows up at 1:40 p.m. to pick up Lloyd’s lobsters. It is Derek, in fact, who spots Larry in one of the cases and suggests he would make a fine homarus americanus to follow from trap to plate.
Derek’s been at work since 7 a.m. “Price is back up to $4, okay?” he says to Lloyd, almost as an afterthought, and hands him a piece of paper: 590 pounds, or $2,360.
By 5 p.m., Derek is back at Lobsterworld, having picked up lobster from 12 boats in three communities – 60 crates in total. The lobsters are roughly graded – chix (a pound), culls (one-clawed lobsters and other mutants), females to be thrown back, pound-and-a-quarters, pound-and-a-halfs, all the way up to jumbos (4.5 pounds) and beyond – and re-stacked in drain-through crates under spigots spouting cold sea water. It sounds like we’re standing under a 30-metre waterfall. This is when I get my first real look at Larry.
Larry the lobster's value out of the water. (Tonia Cowan/The Globe and Mail)
He’s a fine specimen: two pounds, green-black, large claws, male (two penises!), and a brand new rock-hard shell, judging from the unworn spines under his tail. His chitinous carapace (or shell, which is actually his skeleton, just worn on the outside) is an eat-but-don’t-be-eaten machine. He has the classic inscrutable, pissed-off, prehistoric arthropod lobster look: I often try to imagine the moment when the first person figured out these things were ultra-edible if dropped in boiling water. Omnivorous, cannibalistic, even self-cannibalizing if they get hungry enough, utterly devoid of any feeling except the urge to eat and scuttle and survive – does that not sound like the devil, or at least the head trader at a large brokerage firm? Larry even has blue blood – like spiders, like snails, like Satan.
Rick Murphy, the owner of Lobsterworld, peddles a few live lobster in his storefront for $5.99 a pound – nothing like the $12.99 they fetch at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto – but sells most of what he buys to shippers. “If I could get 50 or 60 cents a pound, I’d be very happy,” he says. He seldom is, thanks to the shore price system, whereby 20-odd buyers up and down the Eastern Shore are forced to match each others’ prices.
Larry's value after staying at Lobsterworld. (Tonia Cowan/The Globe and Mail)
But “there’s too many lobsters coming out, not just here but everywhere,” which means Mr. Murphy is paying $4 a pound today for live lobster he may not be able to sell for $3.50 tomorrow. Other regions such as Newfoundland and the Magdalen Islands price lobsters by auction, or have binding collective agreements that help guarantee fishermen’s incomes. Mr. Murphy blames the federal government for glossing over the intricacies of the fiercely independent Nova Scotia lobster fishery.
Like Geoff Irvine, director of the Lobster Council of Canada, Mr. Murphy would like to see more vertical integration between his region’s inshore fishermen, if they could agree to a steady shore price or a boat quota, and buyers and shippers, if they’d agree to share their subsequent profits with the fishermen – one of many schemes the Lobster Council is considering. “We’re not organized,” Mr. Murphy says. “But there could be a lot more dollars landed on shore.” Between 2002 and 2012, Maritime lobster landings leapt 40 per cent, from 26,000 tonnes a year to nearly 44,000 tonnes. The shore value of that lobster, however, rose only 6 per cent, from $391-million to $416-million. This is why fishermen like Lloyd think someone in the lobster business is getting richer a lot faster than they are.
At least Larry has a place to rest. For trucking and giving him a home for a few days, Rick Murphy will add 65 cents a pound to Larry’s price. Two-pound Larry was worth $8 out of the water. Rick resells him for $9.30.
Larry cools his carapace at Lobsterworld for three days, until he’s trucked half an hour down the road to Tangier Lobster Co. Ltd., a shipper, on Friday.
Tangier is the lobster equivalent of a spa in Palm Springs, one of 30-odd companies in North America that specialize in shipping premium live lobster. It’s run by Stewart Lamont, a large, pink, pleasant and voluble man who grew up wanting to be a writer in Yarmouth, N.S., but became a lawyer and travel agent for lobsters instead. As the annual North American catch has nearly doubled to 136,000 tonnes a year over the past decade, lowering the price of lobster, Mr. Lamont has turned to Asia as his saviour.
“China has 1.4 billion people,” he will tell you, whether you ask or not. “Those 1.4 billion people have a huge disposition to seafood in general, and to lobster in particular.” They’re also used to paying $35.40 (U.S.) a pound for Australian rock lobster – vastly inferior, Mr. Lamont claims, to the product plucked from the pristine (7 C versus 13 in PEI) Atlantic Ocean.
His trick is to keep the lobster as fresh as the day it came out of the ocean for as long as possible, preferably until the season ends and prices rise. Hence the cutting-edge operation at Tangier, an intricate series of refrigerated, 2- to 4-degree ocean-water holding tanks and hi-tech packing rooms designed to keep live lobsters in a state of sluggish semi-hibernation so their shells stay hard and their eggs unreleased.
Outside in the 25 C sun, a lobster will die in an hour. But in Tangier’s refrigerated slumber-party conditions, they can live six months. Darrin Hutt, Tangier’s operations manager, conducts a blood-protein analysis on every 100 cases of lobster that arrive to see how close the lobsters are to moulting their old hard shells for soft new ones. The ones he can’t delay he sorts for immediate sale by size and colour.
Darrin stores the keepers in indoor tanks and “lobster condominiums” – adjustable, individual compartments in which the lobsters don’t have to be banded or fed, given their limited movements and lowered metabolisms. You can tell if a lobster has spent a long stretch in a holding tank, Darrin says: “They’re cannibals, he’ll eat his own antennae.”
Mr. Lamont can truck bugs to New York, Boston, Montreal and Toronto for 25 cents a pound, and can fly them everywhere else for roughly $1.25. In the office next to Mr. Lamont’s, imminent orders are listed on a wipe board: 40 cases (at 30 pounds a case) to Sobey’s, 100 cases to the largest shellfish supplier in Korea, 67 cases to the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas (where a two-pound lobster dinner sells for $98), 39 cases to Edmonton. That’s 7,400 pounds of live lobster. If Mr. Lamont’s profit is 40 cents a pound on air shipments – a reasonable assumption – his profit on those orders alone is $3,000.
Larry's value after staying at Tangier, the lobster "spa". (Tonia Cowan/The Globe and Mail)
For these tender ministrations, Tangier adds another $1.15 per pound. Two-pound Larry is now worth $11.60.
But where is Larry? Why, he’s lolling in Tangier’s outdoor “seasoning” tank, where over the next three days he will defecate what’s left of the last meal he ate (the mackerel and gaspereau in Lloyd’s trap), which will in turn prevent him from soiling his shipping container. (“The poop really messes things up,” is how Darrin put it.) Larry is having a colonic irrigation.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mean to belittle Larry. I realize there are groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who believe, as David Foster Wallace explained in his brilliant essay Consider the Lobster, that lobsters have feelings, and that my decision to eat Larry is an act of cruelty and an affront to his existential spirit. I’m not a monster; I’ve had pangs. I have. One afternoon during Larry’s spa vacation at Tangier, in fact, I asked Kimberley Shears, the company’s director of logistics, whether eating Larry was cruel. Admittedly we were enjoying a delicious lunch of cold lobster tails in Tangier’s shoreside gazebo at the time, not the most sensitive choice of nourishment, considering the subject at hand. Ms. Shears bestowed a kind look on me, and said, “They technically don’t have a brain.” No, I thought: They have two penises instead, I guess it’s a trade-off. What lobsters have is ganglia, and a stomach where their brain would be if they had one. The jury seems to be out on whether lobsters feel pain. But even if they do, it is the act of confronting one’s own desire, and the moral price of that desire, that makes eating a lobster so compelling. That, in any event, was my thinking on the matter. “My advice,” Ms. Shears continued, “is not to be afraid of the lobster.” She said it as if many people were.
One afternoon driving along the Eastern Shore I noticed a small house by the side of the road that was covered in carvings of animals and devils and pictures of Jesus. I pulled over and looked around. Eventually the owner came out. His name was Barry Collpitts. He was a folk artist, and a devout Catholic. (Acadia University’s art gallery was about to mount a show of his work.) There was a carving of a devil by the door, red and black, with horns and a pitchfork, and the legend I Am Not Welcome Here painted on his chest. I asked if I could buy it.
“The carvings on the house aren’t for sale,” Barry said. “Because then I’d have to make another for my house.” He meant that if he sold it to me, he’d have to put up another devil-guard in its place. “I guess you’re not religious or superstitious,” he said. “But I bet if you did put it up on your house, you wouldn’t take it down either.”
After that I began to notice how superstitious people who dealt with lobster could be. Not just Lloyd, with his rules about no whistling and no rocks on the boat, but everyone. They’re gamblers, reliable people who love tradition and schedules, but who also fancy a spot of danger too, whether it’s the possibility of a poor catch or too much catch, of a shipment delayed by weather or some other act of satanic randomness. Even Larry the Lobster looked a bit like the devil, dangerous and foreign but tempting. Larry embodied the dilemma of desire. Every time I thought of him – I’m serious about this – I was struck by the gravity of what I was about to do: Spend a shocking amount of money to boil alive an animal that had survived on the bottom of the ancient sea for 15 years before I came along.
The following Monday, six days after being trapped by Lloyd Robicheau, Larry leaves Tangier Lobster Co. by refrigerated truck in a cardboard box with two ice packs and seven other lobsters at 11 in the morning. By 7 he’s on a plane in Halifax, having been passed as loose cargo from the truck into the rear belly hold of FedEx Flight 7054, a gleaming white 757.
Larry's value after flying FedEx. (Tonia Cowan/The Globe and Mail)
The plane stops in Moncton and again at Mirabel Airport outside Montreal for fuel and more freight, and arrives in Toronto, on a dedicated runway at FedEx’s vast complex north of Toronto’s Pearson International, at 11:05 p.m.
By 1 a.m., Larry’s sitting comfortably in a FedEx way station in Toronto’s east end, for which FedEx charges $1.44 a pound, bringing Larry’s worth to $7.22 a pound, or $14.44 in total.
Tomorrow morning at 11:50, FedEx will deliver him to Toronto wholesaler and retailer Lorne Ralph at Seaport Merchants, who will in turn add another $1.50 a pound for handling and delivering Larry to The Abbot, a gastropub in north Toronto, between 4 and 6 in the afternoon.
By then Larry will be worth nearly $9 a pound. He’ll arrive with his fellow lobsters in the same unopened box he flew in, and he’ll look good – moving and shaking and reaching his claws back behind him as if he were John Travolta dancing his way into a disco. Alas for Larry, he is not.
And so Larry the Lobster reached the final stage of his great journey. Chris Davis owns the Abbot with his wife Carrie McCloy and doesn’t usually serve lobster: It’s too expensive. But Lorne Ralph offered him a good price, so Chris thought he’d try it as a promotion and charge $30 a plate for a one-pound lobster.
An excellent lobster dinner for $30 is good value. I now knew, however, that the actual cost of Larry was barely $10 a pound. But that’s the formula in the restaurant business. “On the industry standard theory,” Chris said, “a third of what you sell it for is food cost.”
Larry's value after passing through the wholesaler. (Tonia Cowan/The Globe and Mail)
Add another third for labour, and another third for overhead and profit, of which 60 per cent is rent, taxes, heating, napkins and the like. If Lorne sold Chris lobsters at $10 a pound, and Chris sold them for $30 a plate, he made $4 profit per meal. (No wonder nine out of 10 restaurants go broke.) The voodoo of lobster economics never goes away: a chunk of tail meat on a $23 apple, truffle and spaghetti squash salad may shout “Fancy!” to a diner, but the restaurant is making less profit than it can on steak, which isn’t alive and doesn’t spoil as quickly.
(By the same logic, two-pound Larry would cost Chris $8.70 a pound, or $17.40 in total, and tripled into a $52.20 meal on my plate. I gave the Abbot $60, including the tip. The lesson? There is no such thing as cheap live lobster in a good and profitable restaurant in Toronto.)
Chris planned a two-course meal: a butter-poached lobster crepe with ginger and pea shoots to start, and a boiled lobster later. By 6 p.m., his chef, Kevin Beale, had three huge pots of heavily salted water roiling with lemons and bay leaves. He planned to cook 30 one-pound lobsters for 14 minutes from the moment the water started boiling again after what he called “the drop.”
I watched Larry go into the pot. I waved goodbye. I am somewhat ashamed to say I felt no pang. Like, none. But by my count, at least 30 people helped Larry to his demise. I am willing to name names if it helps my moral case.
The meal was served at a communal table to 14 people, none of whom I knew except my wife. This is an excellent way to eat lobster. People are never shy at a lobster dinner, perhaps because you eat with your hands.
I asked Ms. McCloy what her next restaurant was going to be and she said, “It’s not a restaurant. I want to open a brothel.” I think she was serious. Then someone talked about eating tempura lobster in New York City, which sounded delicious and made me think about all the great lobster I had eaten – in the rough by the ocean and in a sublime lobster roll at a restaurant called Neptune in Boston; with friends every New Year’s Eve. I couldn’t separate the food from the company and the places. I can get quite emotional about this stuff, even if I have no feelings about eating Larry.
Larry's value on the plate. (Tonia Cowan/The Globe and Mail)
Suddenly Larry arrived at the table. He was huge and red and imposing, but for some reason I waited before I cracked him. I owed him that. As I waited, I watched a young woman named Emma take on her own lobster. She approached it so methodically she might have been a welder. “It’s not for you that you need the bib, “ Emma said. “It’s for the person across from you. Always break the shell away from you.”
But mostly I remembered what Kim Shears said, back at Tangier, on that bright crisp day by the sea: Do not be afraid of the lobster. When I finally broke into Larry, I took my time. I rolled the sweet meat out of each of his legs with my thumb. I had to work to crack his massive crusher claw, but the flesh was astonishing and tender. I dipped his tail in butter or in lemon, and preferred the latter. I sucked his telson dry, and when it looked like there was nothing at all left in him I cracked his chest lengthwise and found mouthfuls of meat in there as well. I felt guilty and grateful, all at once. For that rare sensation alone Larry was worth the money.
Ian Brown is a Globe feature writer.
Source: The Globe and Mail
To View Original Artical - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/my-travels-with-larry/article19557387/
"The smart money is betting on increased construction activity for the next several years, especially in the downtown core. Projects are underway now and beginning soon in Halifax that will keep crews busy and focus growth where it will benefit the city most- in the high-density core. More density downtown lessens the burden on stretched infrastructure budgets, makes it easier to enhance transit and deliver municipal services, and concentrates population where the most services already exist. It leads to improved amenities (like our new public library currently under construction) and a healthier business district- for large AND small businesses.
The growth and increased success of the downtown is good for all existing homeowners in the Halifax Region, through rising property values and potentially better future property tax rates and better service delivery."
Halifax has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to construction these days, especially when compared to other Nova Scotia centres.
After many years in the doldrums, development activity in the provincial capital has woken up in a big way.
That means much of the downtown and Spring Garden Road districts will be a construction zone for summer — and several construction seasons to come — if everything goes as planned.
Of course, the below-grade concrete work on the massive Nova Centre project on Argyle Street has already started, but Rank Inc. expects to receive official approval from regional council this spring to quickly start construction of the one-million square-foot complex.
The plans call for two office towers, a luxury hotel and the Halifax Convention Centre.
Earlier this week, the city’s influential design review committee approved three projects that could start construction as early as next month, once they jump through more hoops at city hall.
The endorsement by the city’s design review committee is a milestone for any developer.
It clears the way for developer Jim Spatz’s Southwest Properties Ltd. to move forward with its 21-storey mixed residential and commercial development at 1583 Hollis St., commonly referred to as the site of the former Bank of Canada building.
It is being demolished and Eric Burchill, Southwest’s vice-president of planning and development, says construction should begin in early May.
He says the company will reveal the name of the new building before starting construction, which should take two years to complete.
Southwest’s plan includes retail and restaurant space on the ground floor, with the remaining 20 floors containing a total of 281 residential units. The building will also have four levels of underground parking, enough room for 253 cars and 145 bicycles.
A number of the residential units in the building have been set aside for Premiere Executive Suites to use for long-term accommodations for visitors. Southwest is a major investor in Premiere.
Burchill says the company also hopes to get started this summer on the development of the Cunard Block on the Halifax waterfront and the long-awaited Motherhouse residential development in the Rockingham area.
Meanwhile, the new owner of the building at the corner of Sackville and Market streets also received approval from the design review committee for an eight-storey mixed residential and commercial project on that site.
Mosaik Property Management Ltd., headed by developer and landlord George Giannoulis, wants to redevelop the Night Magic Fashions building and the structure next door on Market Street.
The plan for Market Lofts calls for the demolition of the existing buildings while maintaining the three-storey brick facade of the building on the corner. The additional five storeys will be stepped back from the main facade.
A total of 39 residential units — a mixture of bachelor and one- and two-bedroom units — will be created, but the plan does not include any parking for cars. It has set aside facilities for bicycles, as stipulated by the land-use bylaw for the downtown.
In a slightly less ambitious plan, Westwood Developments Ltd. had its proposal for a two-storey addition to the former Royal Bank building at 5466 Spring Garden Rd., on the corner of Queen Street, approved by the design committee.
The building has two retail tenants: American Apparel and Starbucks. Westwood, headed by Halifax developer Danny Chedrawe, will also make alterations to the building facade along Queen Street, where American Apparel has its entrance. Another minor change is a new awning over the Starbucks entrance on Spring Garden Road.
There is plenty of construction going on in that part of the city, including the creatively designed new Central Library, which is being built across the street.
There are also many other projects in various stages of construction that should provide the sense that something positive is happening in Halifax.
by Crystal Hilchey, Client Care Administrator
There’s one dish my family can’t do without at any Holiday meal - sweet potato casserole. I expect to eat my sweet potato casserole at least three times a year: Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. If you decide to try it, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have - maybe it will become a favorite in your household.
Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole
4 cups sweet potato, cubed
½ cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened
½ cup chopped pecans
Making a family meal special is all about preparation and looking after small details that come together to make an experience great. Trying to balance everyone’s favorites, timing the dishes so they’re all ready to plate together, paying attention to table presentation, special linens, fancy plates and the “good” table setting you don’t often use – these all make a difference in the final product, not to mention all the extra cleaning done & decorations put up to create a festive atmosphere.
Putting this time and effort into events (even though it can be extra work) pays off in the end. Although each of your family or guests may not notice every little touch, the overall effect helps everyone enjoy their time spent together and makes the food you’ve worked hard to prepare taste even better – it pays off in everyone’s positive experience.
That kind of diligence and caring about presentation can have the same effect on potential home buyers – if buyers feel at home in your property, and get that sense of care and preparation while they visit, chances are that feeling will be remembered. In life, people often don’t remember what they saw or what was said to them, but they always remember how those things or their experience made them feel. A house that looks and feels “together” during a viewing will often land at the top of a buyer’s favorites list, and will often sell sooner than its competition that may be lacking those qualities (even if the features or pricing make a better case “on paper”) and often for closer to asking price.
Working hard to “merchandise” or prepare your home in advance of showings can seem like a lot of work, but it all pays off in the end - through more favorable impressions from potential buyers and ultimately in earlier and better offers.
For help preparing your home for the most successful sale, give us a call. We can help.
It must be spring! The Halifax Public Gardens re-open on Thursday April 10th, from 8AM to dusk. Whether you live in the Halifax area or are just here on vacation, a trip to the Public Gardens is a must. Enter through the beautiful ornate wrought iron gates to visit the many attractions with-in. There are two bridges great for wedding and graduation photos and you can enjoy lots of different kinds of flora and several statues and urns while you stroll around the park. Your trip would not be complete without a visit to the Bandstand, placed at the heart of the Public Gardens. Concerts and social events have been held here for over 125 years. For more information and details on the Public Garden visit www.halifaxpublicgardens.ca/.
A savvy Realtor can help you make smart decisions about not just how much you can spend, but how much you SHOULD spend, and how your investment in a home will fit into the market for years to come. There are lots of extra factors that an inexperienced buyer may not consider, and an experienced Realtor’s insights can help you make the right choices for not only your budget but also your lifestyle.
Home buying has other related costs
By Denise Deveau, For Postmedia News
Unlike a lot of first-time home buyers, in 2009 Jesse MacNevin decided to go for a house that was less than the amount he was approved for.
"I started doing the numbers and talked to a few real estate agents," he says. "Then I went to my credit union for a pre-approval. I realized then that I needed to focus more on what I could actually afford versus how much they would give me."
While he was given the green light to aim for a $350,000 home, he settled on a condo for just under $260,000 instead. "I didn't want home ownership at the expense of everything else. I remember looking at my budget at the time and thinking the last thing I wanted was not to be able to travel. It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but it was cheaper and fulfilled all my needs. In hindsight, it was a good move."
MacNevin says having a good real estate agent and lawyer helped him determine what he could really afford, where there might be potential problems and the ins and outs of closing the deal. A mortgage broker was also important when it came to the signing process and making sure there was flexibility in his mortgage terms.
Not everyone entering the home buying market is so diligent.
When doing the mortgage math, it's not enough to plug some numbers into an online estimator, says David Stafford, managing director, real estate secured lending, for Scotiabank in Toronto. "This is probably the largest single financial transaction that most people do in their lives, and it can get very complicated. Online estimators typically won't give you the full picture."
He says buyers need to look beyond the actual purchase price and factor in a percentage (typically 1.5 per cent of the purchase price) for closing expenses from the outset. "Land transfer taxes, legal fees, title insurance and other things are all part of the math." They also need to consider ongoing expenses that will be over and above monthly mortgage payments, such as utilities, property taxes, insurance, maintenance and condo fees.
Sometimes there are additional surprises that come into play in the initial stages of home ownership, such as reimbursement fees if the former owner has prepaid their property taxes and moving costs, says Toronto-based Richard Desrocher, a general legal practitioner and former real estate broker.
The immediate financial aspects are only part of the process, which is why a home inspection is a good idea, he says. "You won't know what's going on behind the walls and on the roof. It's pretty scary after you close a deal to have to deal with drain problems."
There are also ways people can reduce their costs if they talk to the right people, Desrocher says. "A lot don't realize that many financial institutions are willing to negotiate down from their published rates. A mortgage broker is much better informed about where the best deals are and can shop the market for you."
April Fools’ Day is known for being a day of play and practical jokes. Some people love this day while others can’t wait for it to be over. There are several theories on how this day came to pass. One theory was that France changed its calendar in the 1500s to match the Roman calendar. This change made the New Year begin in January like it still does today. There were some people who chose to still celebrate the New Year in spring, and became known as “April fools.”
However this day is known for pranks so maybe another theory by Joseph Boskin makes better sense. His theory is about a king who let a court jester become king for a day of the Roman Empire on April first. No matter how it came to pass it is a tradition at least for now and for the people who love pranks they refuse to give it up.
To see the “Top 100 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes of All Time” visiting the following link. www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/aprilfool/
Photo: Dan Robichaud
We have all felt the effects of the nor'easter that hit the Maritimes yesterday. Our vehicles can be shoveled out, our driveways and roads cleared and the power outages restored, but some things cannot be fixed. A prime example of this is the loss of the iconic Church Point Lighthouse in Southwest, NS. The 140 year old lighthouse was ripped to shreds in the high winds. To see all the details please visit: www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/fierce-winds-destroy-iconic-nova-scotia-lighthouse-1.2589000
Say goodbye to the grass you see, and say hello to snow covering the ground! It is official there is a blizzard warning in effect, we all thought Spring had arrived, but I guess because we live in Nova Scotia we had to have one more storm. Isn’t it fitting that it is hitting Halifax tomorrow, a Wednesday! If you want to keep in the loop on closures and the weather conditions check out the CBC’s Storm Central Page. http://www.cbc.ca/stormcentre/ns/
Unfortunately this is going to be one of those blog posts where the title is confusing until the very end of the post. Like many of you are probably thinking, "I'll just skip the middle, and head straight for the end." While that is going to give you a very cleverly worked metaphor, you will be missing the heart and soul of this post. What is the best lesson you have ever learned?
One of those classic "interview questions" designed to have you share an experience that hopefully has shaped you in some way, shows some life experience or your character. However, many people panic at the question, trying to remember a past event that will portray them in an appropriate light to there perspective client, business partner or employer. The first time I heard this question, I was 17, going for a management possion at a retail store. I too, have asked the same question interview I have conducted. I've always seen it as a platform the applicant to tell me about them. I think we've all felt that pressure or need to tell a great tale, but, not many of us have stories or the gravitas of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Richard Branson, so we panic. Forgetting what the question is really asking, focusing on the solution and not problem. However, If we look at the likes of Richard Branson faced with the same situation, what would they do......answer it honestly from the heart...
If you don't have the right experience to reach your goal, go in another direction, look for a different way in. There's always a solution to the most complex problem. If you want to fly, get down to the airfield at the age of sixteen and make the tea. Keep your eyes open. Look and learn. You don't have to go to art school to be a fashion designer. Join a fashion company and push a broom. Work your way up.
- Richard Branson
Everyone wants to have things, now, but things take time, whether it be a new car, a house or a promotion. These things all take time, and none of them will define you, yet, the journey to get them just might. Goals or success are internal, what is important to you will be different from what is important to others, so be passionate about what you do and who you are. Put your heart and soul in to your goals and dreams and journey will be as rewarding as the destination!
For any of you wondering, what my answer to the question was, back when I was 17? My parents had taught me a lot of about hard work and never giving up particularly when it came to failing. So I said to the interview panel "learning to ride a bike." One of them laughed, the other two looked very unimpressed. She followed up "why?" To which I answered "when you learn to ride a bike, you learn the importance of getting up when you fall down and trying again. Also, that without balance you cannot move forward." This was not an amazing answer or even an entertain one. However, it was a honest one and a heartfelt one. No matter where life takes me I will always fall back on that lesson, and it also goes to show that even though the hardest questions are difficult, the answers can be quite simple.
By Adam Cooper, ABR
The Bagogloo Team, RE/MAX nova
It’s that time again in Halifax to enjoy the Spring Ideal Home Show. RE/MAX nova is a proud sponsor of this event again this year, and the show is being held at Exhibition Park in Halifax. If you are looking to do some building, renovations or landscaping projects in the near future, this is a great way to get inspired, discover new products and services, and see everything under one roof. Maybe you’re not a homeowner yet and need a place to do some dream building- the home show typically features a number of builders and designers and there are often home plans on-site at the event that you can sample to get you started.
Either way you don’t want to miss out! Special guest this year is HGTV’s Damon Bennett, who will be doing two sessions per day - “Reno 101” and “Protecting Your Home”. The show starts March 28 and runs until March 30. To get full details on times and dates for the Spring Ideal Home Show please visit masterpromotions.ca/Previous-Events/spring-ideal-home-show-2014/.
Irish-Canadian sisters Aiofe, 5 (left), and Niamh Bowes, 8, enjoy the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Halifax on Saturday.
Downtown Halifax was awash in shamrocks Saturday morning as hundreds of green-clad spectators lined the streets to take in the city’s seventh annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
“It announces to the town that (the Irish) are still here and we like to have fun,” said Blair Beed, who led the procession as the town crier.
“The town crier is a traditional thing for old Halifax,” he added, ringing a brass bell to announce the parade’s arrival.
“That’s who gave the news. And the news today is the St. Patrick’s parade — have fun.”
Hundreds of green-clad spectators line the streets of downtown Halifax to take in the city’s seventh annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Despite the overcast weather, more than 30 groups walked, waved, drove and danced their way along the parade route, which began at Holy Cross Cemetery and continued along South Park Street, Spring Garden Road and Brunswick Street before ending near St. Patrick’s Parish.
The itinerary was new this year, a departure from the standard north end route, said event organizer Roberta Dexter.
“We wanted to gain a little more visibility in a more populated part of the city,” she said.
For Dexter, the best part of the festivities were the costumes.
This year’s parade entrants included the eclectically-attired sci-fi/fantasy group Hal-Con, as well as dancing troops, Celtic community organizations and local brewpubs, among others.
“I think everybody coming out and truly celebrating — whether you’re Irish or not — is quite incredible,” said Dexter.
Irish-Canadian Niamh Bowes, 8, watched the parade for the first time, alongside her parents and younger sister on South Park Street.
“It’s really good,” she said. “I especially like the dancing.”
This year’s presenting sponsor was the Charitable Irish Society, which celebrated its 228th anniversary this year.
“We just love to support everything Irish,” said President Sandy Phillips.
“Nobody realizes … the Irish history here in Halifax, and I think this will draw attention to the Irish community.”
“People truly do believe and feel they are connected to the Celtic nations and Ireland, so seeing that manifest itself here today is quite something,” added Dexter.
“It’s a very special day.”
Even Star Wars' Queen Amidala goes green to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Halifax
All Photos by Geordon Omand/Metro
Source: To View Original Article http://metronews.ca/news/halifax/972882/we-like-to-have-fun-halifax-goes-green-as-city-celebrates-st-patricks-day/
This weekend you may want to indulge in a favorite past time of the Irish and non-Irish alike. Our incredible city of Halifax has some great events to offer. Family fun for everyone can be had at the 7th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade at 11am on Saturday March 15th (route includes South Park Street, Spring Garden Road, Brunswick Street). Maybe you are looking for music, dancing and green beer. However you are looking to celebrate you can find the perfect event; check out The Coast for more information on where and when events are taking place this weekend and into Monday! www.thecoast.ca/halifax/EventSearch?sortType=date&eventCategory=1546712
Taking stock of your home's condition before you sell, and considering some strategic renovations to maximize your home's appeal to prospective buyers is sage advice. If you'd like to know more about what renovations and small changes can net the best results in Nova Scotia, our team can help. We can also refer you to qualified trades many fields that have provided great service to our clients and ourselves over the last few years.
New. Just replaced. Upgraded. Such sweet music to any buyers ears.
Before your real estate agent puts the “For Sale” on your lawn, it is likely that you will need to make some repairs and improvements. But what kinds of repairs should you make? Do you repair larger items? Do you totally upgrade the basement? Do you hope nobody will notice?
A home in move-in condition appeals to more prospective buyers. It is a given rule in real estate that a house in good condition sells more quickly than one that requires upgrading. If your home is well maintained, and shows well, many buyers could possibly make you an offer. With multiple offers, the price is likely to rise. This is not unusual in a hot market.
A home requiring a lot of work is less appealing to some buyers. Some people do not have the time, money or the inclination to complete the repairs. First-time buyers and those with a busy lifestyle generally want a maintenance-free home.
When considering repairs on your home, consider the market and your neighbourhood. In a hot market, perhaps you will not need to do anything. Perhaps, in a buyer’s market your repairs and upgrades should be completed in order to achieve the best possible price.
Home inspections are popular
Many buyers will request a home inspection. This could work for or against a seller. Depending upon how it is written into the contract, a buyer could terminate the contract upon unsatisfactory findings or if specified repairs are not completed. He or she could also re-open negotiations. An unhappy buyer could also request a substantial discount for the cost of the repairs. The seller pays for it now or later.
Do not get carried away
Dollar-for-dollar, not all home improvements raise the value of your home. It depends on the cost and type of improvement. You could spend $30,000 on a backyard paradise, complete with mature trees, waterfalls, rock gardens and sprinkler system. Will this mean your property is instantly worth an additional $30,000? Unlikely.
Many buyers like the idea of a garden and backyard. But a simple, attractive yard with a nice fence, swing set and flowerbeds is adequate. Most people are unwilling to place a $30,000 premium on a garden. If you spent $25,000 on Italian marble for your bathroom you would likely have the same result. While you are willing to pay the price, it may not significantly increase the value of your home by the same $25,000.
When you are considering renovations to your home, consider the cost and the neighbourhood. Select renovations that will not stretch your budget. Be mindful not to over improve your home in regard to the neighbourhood. When it comes to buying a home, buyers seek the least expensive home in the most expensive neighbourhood they can afford. If your home has too many improvements, it may be priced at the high end of the local market. From a selling position, you may not get the best price. It may also take longer to sell your home. And, the longer your home stays on the market; you are more inclined to reduce the price to ensure a sale.
Perhaps you are planning to move in a few years and hoping to recover the costs. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation suggests the following as a payback range of typical renovations:
Main floor family room49-56%
Upgraded heating system48-50%
In-law or rental suite40-42%
Source: To view original article go to: http://www.punjabipatrika.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1088:repairs-to-make-before-you-sell-your-home
Looking to do a fun project with your children? Check out these easy recycled crafts you can make with your kids using stuff you already have around the house.
By Heather Camlot
"Ooh, stuff that we can use," my seven-year-old son enthuses as he peers into our recycling container and pulls out a diet cola bottle, a tissue box and a yogurt container. I can already see the neurons firing in his head, determining what fantastic and fantastical object he'll create with his newfound discoveries. Watching his thought process and the expression of delight on his face is inspiring. And I know they're more important than the mess on my floor.
Making crafts from recycled materials
"Using recycled or found materials forces us to think a little harder about the process of art-making," says Patrice Stanley, an accomplished artist and art educator who teaches both privately and for a number of organizations and school boards throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
"Art-making is mostly about problem-solving, so using found materials becomes more challenging and therefore more creative. In some cases, when you buy art materials, the uses are spelled out, cookie-cutter." Ideally, she says, using a combination of both bought and found objects is best.
Stocking up for simple kids' crafts
So what supplies should you have on hand and which should you purchase? According to Stanley, a well-stocked art box includes white glue, glue sticks, scissors, pencils, erasers, coloured pencils, markers, a basic paint set (at least the primary colours in acrylic or tempera), paintbrushes, an X-acto knife, aglue gun and construction paper. You could also add bristol board, black Sharpies or felt-tip pens (thick and fine), as well as scrapbooking paper.
Items to collect around the house are endless, but a good start includes recyclables, such as paper towel and toilet paper rolls, newspapers, magazines, boxes, packing materials, egg and milk cartons, and plastic containers. Some useful kitchen goodies are food colouring, salt, flour, foil, wax paper and plastic wrap. Add to those fabric, buttons, wire, tissue and wrapping paper, old cards, and gift boxes and bags.
Simple kids' crafts you can do at home
1. Shadow-box: One of Stanley's favourite projects to make with items found around the house is an "all-about-me shadow box." "It's super fun and easy, and kids love it," she says. Paint the outside of a solid gift box (lid not required), then cover the inside with wallpaper, wrapping paper, photos, knickknacks, mementos, little toys– anything that says a lot about a person – and affix them in place with hot glue (mom's job). Hang it on the wall or sit it upon a desk or dresser.
2. Outdoor paint: Fill an empty honey or mustard container with water and food colouring, then "paint" the snow in your backyard.
3. Rocket power: Tape two toilet paper rolls on either side of a plastic soda bottle and wrap the entire thing in foil. Add embellishments like orange tissue paper to the bottom of the toilet paper rolls, or add the bottom of a yogurt container for a window and a couple of buttons for the astronauts' faces.
4. Totem pole: Collect boxes of similar widths. Using papier-mache (newspaper, flour and water), design a face on the top of each box. When dry, paint the boxes in bright colours, then stack one on top of the other to create a totem pole.
5. Holiday cards: Cut similarly themed (red and green for Christmas, pastels for Easter, orange and black for Halloween) pieces of tissue paper, wrapping paper, fabric, old cards, magazines or gift bags into various small shapes. Glue them haphazardly or mosaic-style onto card stock for one-of-a-kind mailings.
6. All wrapped up: Lay out long sheets of packing paper – or scrap paper for smaller gifts – then paint a sheet of bubble wrap (bubble side up) in various colours and lay it over the paper, press and lift. Make other designs with corks, cookie cutters, tin cans and plastic bottle caps.
7. What's in a name?: Cut the letters of a child's name out of stiff cardboard, then wrap then in complementary fabric, wallpaper or wrapping paper. Secure each letter to a wide length of ribbon with tape then string the banner across a bedroom wall.
8. Bright light: Glue pieces of torn or cut tissue paper onto a clean glass jar with a wide opening and layer them as you go. When the jar is covered to your liking, use Mod Podge over the entire outer surface. (Mod Podge is an all-in-one glue, sealer and varnish available at craft stores.) Place a candle inside for a colourful glow.
Think twice before tossing your recyclables. One person's trash is another's treasure, after all. And what a brilliantly imaginative treasure it may turn out to be.
SORCE: To view original article http://www.canadianliving.com/moms/fun/8_kids_craft_projects_out_of_household_items.php
With our aging population and a growing desire for people to "age in place" and continue to live in their existing homes rather than moving into apartments or other assisted living scenarios, taking a hard look at renovations before they're begun to determine how well they will age with the homeowner is a major concern. "Universal Design" is a hot topic these days, and it involves looking at creating spaces that are accessible by individuals with reduced mobility by adding items like levers instead of door handles, relocating light switches and receptacles to an accessible (often lower) height on the wall and other similar items.
Design for universal accessibility and ageing in place is a winning strategy for a marketplace that is continually aging and provides for greater flexibility living situations in future years. The article below talks about some strategies advocated by the CMHC, which has been publishing on the topic since the early 1990s. If you have questions about how these concepts may affect you or your home's marketability, give us a call-we would be pleased to chat with you about it.
Renovations; Do it flexibly
Is there a home renovation in your future?
If there is, and you are aged around 45, 50, 55, what principles will be guiding you on your project?
Most people are probably thinking modern, open-concept kitchen and dining rooms, expansive “indoor-outdoor” patios or crazy entertainment rooms – but are you giving a thought to 25 or 30 years down the road?
There is a small but growing movement in Canada to incorporate adaptable, or flexible, housing concepts into home design and renovations, with an eye to creating spaces not only for the present but also for household needs a generation or even two into the future.
Flexible housing is different from accessible housing. The former means planning for future changes, such that today’s renovation may include installing a piece of plywood into a bathroom wall now so that when a grab bar is needed by a future resident – perhaps the current homeowner, but aged and slowed in 25 years – the structure is all set for the minor addition. The latter is adding the grab bar, or low-level windows, or front-door ramp, right now.
“For people 45 to 55 years old, probably they own their house,” explains Josee Dion, senior researcher, housing needs for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. “And for them, 50 per cent of their housing stock is at least 30 years old.
“Most of them need repairs and renovations. So if they do the renovations right now, they should do it in a clever way, and think about the concept of flexibility.”
By now the statistics proving that society is aging are familiar. Statistics Canada notes that in 2006, Canadians aged 55 years and over made up about one quarter of the population, while those aged 65 years and older made up about 14 per cent. It is estimated that more than one-third (35 per cent) of the population will be over 55 by 2036, and almost one quarter (24 per cent) will be over 65.
Combine these raw numbers with surveys showing that 85 per cent of older Canadians want to age in place – that is, stay in their own homes as long as possible – and the need for wise and efficient planning for renovations becomes even more important.
The CMHC’s trademarked FlexHousing concept has been around since the 1990s and is expounded upon in an extensive section on the CMHC’s website. But predating the CMHC effort was that of Avi Friedman, 61, a McGill architecture professor who wrote about adaptable housing for both his master’s and doctor’s theses and in 1990 unveiled the concept of the Grow Home, a narrow, two-storey, single-family unit four metres (14 feet) wide with a basement that can adapt to multiple uses, including accommodating two or three households. “The design by nature is flexible,” says Friedman. “There were no support walls that prevented you from moving things.”
In 1997, he created the Next Home, again with an adaptable interior, that is three storeys and is intended for several families. In both cases, the theory he has espoused is that builders using his plans might offer buyers options for interior use of space. When needs change, he says, it is better to be able to move a wall in one hour than to take a sledgehammer to it, as depicted on all of the television renovations programs.
The Grow Home concept has been used in well over 10,000 homes in Canada, he says, primarily in the Montreal area where he lives, and also in the U.S. and England, and the book he wrote on it has been translated into other languages with the result that builders in the Czech Republic and China have also adopted his concepts.
In the context of adaptable homes, says Friedman, the number-one room for renovations is the basement.
“One of the things that distinguishes North American homes has been (the popularity of renovations in) the basement, basement areas by design left to the buyer to work on,” says Friedman. “We did some research and found tremendous things have been happening in the basement. People turning them into work spaces, living spaces, etc.”
Roofs are another area where his designs can mean future flexibility in renovations, he says. “If you look at roof trusses, we eliminated support wall from many interiors, and this gives us tremendous flexibility.”
Where builders have not borrowed complete Grow Homes plans in creating new housing, says Friedman, in many cases there are parts of the package used.
Both Dion and Friedman point out the advantages of embracing adaptable homes as a way of making renovations or additions more affordable. Dion says that by planning for future renovations now, major structural changes may not have to be undertaken down the road. Friedman says by incorporating adaptability from the beginning – with wide-open spaces that can be tailored to future needs that come along, perhaps when they can be afforded – the initial costs of a building a dwelling are reduced and so are future renovations.
One of the social trends that will dominate the next few years is the retirement of the baby-boom generation, says Friedman, many of whom will want to age-in-place. “The flexible home is about to be very critical in adapting the home to that stage. It will be on different levels. It will be on the component level, installing handrails, bathroom elements. And many people who will be able to afford it will have part-time or full-time help. So converting a portion of a home into a new dwelling can accommodate a nurse in those later years, or it will increase the income that they will have, if they can rent it out to someone else. So this will be the outcome of providing additional flexibility in design.”
The CMHC offers extensive information on its website to assist developers, renovators and homeowners in understanding the concept of flexible housing, and also looks for opportunities at conferences and home shows to preach the gospel of incorporating adaptability into building and renovations. Search “CHMC” and “flex housing.”
There have been several demonstration buildings or working structures constructed as well, including a National Research Council test house in Ottawa, Home 2000 in Burnaby, BC and FlexHouse in Richmond, BC. Student housing labelled UniverCity at Simon Fraser U. in British Columbia is also touted as embracing the adaptable housing approach.
Friedman, meanwhile, has two books available explaining the Grow Home and the Next Home, and of course there are thousands of units around the world that have been built that were inspired by his ideas.
“We sent fantastic amounts of information out, and I get postcards from British Columbia, from Ontario, and they say, this is a Grow Home. It isn’t recognized as such on the advertisements, but when you see a home that is 4.2 metres, 16 feet wide, with a basement, two storeys plus a basement, and when you walk in and you see the combination living room and dining room and kitchen, and the basement is usually unfinished, that’s it.”
“I gave the concept, and that concept was very successful.”
Look up “mix and match homes Calgary” on Google to view homes in Edmonton, Calgary and Austin, Texas that reflect Friedman’s concepts.
Source: To view original article http://foreveryoungnews.com/posts/2492-renovations-do-it-flexibly
March break is a great time to book house hunting trips or to get a head start on showings if your move is local. Make your way to Halifax and The Bagogloo Team will help you find the home of your dreams. You can make it a vacation by enjoying some of the many events and seasonal activities our city has to offer. Go skating at the outdoor Emera Oval then warm up at the Museum of Natural History's reptile zoo exhibit - or check out some of the following links to help find the right events for your family.
http://hrmparent.ca – Search under the events tab.
http://www.cineplex.com/Promos/tooniematinee?cmpid=toonie-matinees_ns - A great thing to relax in Halifax is to go to the movies, check out the Cineplex website for information on their March break toonie matinees.
http://thechronicleherald.ca/hcw/72640-march-break-attractions-abound - this article has several links to help you quickly find more fun items to add to your list.
Our team wants you to not only love your new home but also the city you live in!
New Years Eve party ideas and a laundry list of New Year's Eve activities have been published on Kids Activities Blog. Have a fun and safe celebration together with the kids this year.
Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) December 29, 2013
Moms and dads with kids at home do not get to go to a glamorous New Year's Eve party. Seasoned moms are sharing party ideas and New Year's Eve activities on Kids Activities Blog. Create a family-friendly party right at home with fun-filled activities and yummy food.
A New Year's Eve party for kids is easy to do. Simply prepare a few things in advance such as a treat-filled piñata or confetti-filled balloons. A hot coca bar, a cupcake decorating bar, or even an ice cream sundae station will be a hit during the evening with the kids and adults.
Have several activities planned such as star gazing, making an I Wish tree, playing karaoke, or having adorable New Years Eve coloring pages available with a set of fresh paint or markers for the evening.
Kids love making noise and New Years is the perfect time to do so. Spread colorful bubble wrap on the floor and let the kids have a blast popping the bubbles.
Get messy and make some party paint. Mix shaving cream, food coloring, and glitter and let the kids have creative playtime in the bathtub.
Make the family feel like they are at Time Square by making a glittery sparkling ball out of styrofoam, glue, sequins, and rhinestones.
Consider making a fun party favor sensory bin for younger kids. For older kids build a count down line of bags to open throughout the evening. Put disposable cameras, games, new movies or other fun items that get the kids excited inside the bags. When the new hour comes along, let the kids open the bags one at a time.
For detailed instructions and to get additional fun New Years tips, check out Kids Activities Blog today. Come get inspired to have a memorable time with the family on New Years Eve this year.
About Kids Activities Blog
Kids Activities Blog is a website created by two moms (who collectively have 9 children), Rachel Miller and Holly Homer from June Cleaver Nirvana. It is their daily goal to inspire parents and teachers to play with kids. This interactive website publishes simple things to do with kids twice a day. Kids Activities Blog is a great tool for moms and teachers to find kid-friendly activities that create memories and sneak learning into the fun.
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/12/prweb11381827.htm
FLAHERTY: Should the federal government be in the business of insuring higher-risk mortgages at all?
You have probably heard how important first impressions can be. But did you know that within the first 15 seconds of a viewing, a buyer can form their opinion of your property? Establishing the right first impression is critical to achieving a successful sale.
Consider how you may have personalized your home over the years and think about whether personal touches may have a negative impression on a potential buyer. A buyer must be able to visualize themselves living in your home - too many personal statements may not allow a potential buyer to see how their family will settle in.
A little preparation can often bring you a higher sale price and a quicker sale! Is your home ready? Use this handy checklist to help you begin to get your home ready to show!
Clean and Store
Store all bikes, toys and equipment out of sight.
Get rid of unnecessary furniture.
Clean closets and clear off countertops.
Scrub all tile floors.
Clean all carpets.
Clean all windows and mirrors.
Clean stains in all sinks and tubs.
Fix leaky faucets.
Replace missing door or cabinet handles.
Fix or replace broken appliances.
Replace broken tiles in bathroom or kitchen.
Paint if necessary.
Discuss major repairs with your Realtor®.
Stop smoking in the house.
Bathe pets and clean out litter boxes.
Empty all trash, recycle bins, etc.
Dry-clean drapes and shampoo carpets.
Use baking soda boxes in smell-prone areas.
Place flowers, potpourri or air fresheners around the house.
Ask a "buyer"
Invite a friend to walk through your home like a buyer would. Get their opinion on whether or not it's inviting, clean and well-maintained. Consider making any changes they suggest.