Thursday, October 28, 2010

Managing Your Money, Financial Planning

Here is another article to give you some help in planning your financial future. It's never too late. John gives some sound advice. Some of us didn't start planning early enough, but now, with the availability of advice, we can get going and get our children involved so that they can be more prepared for the future.

Financial Planning Pays Off

Value – according to a pair of long-term, in depth studies by two of the country’s leading professional standards and investment organizations, that’s exactly what Canadians get when they engage in thorough financial planning with a professional advisor. Value that pays off in the twin benefits of financial and emotional wellbeing.

The Value of Financial Planning -- a comprehensive five-year research study by the Financial Planning Standards Counsel (FPSC) -- delivered real empirical evidence that Canadians who engage in financial planning are far better off than those who don’t.

Among the report’s findings:

• Of respondents who engage in comprehensive planning, 51% said they were on track to reach their desired lifestyle in retirement, compared to just 18% of those who don’t receive any financial advice.
• The research also revealed that of individuals who engaged in comprehensive, integrated financial planning:
*61 % felt confident they would be satisfied with their desired lifestyle in retirement, compared with 27% with no financial planning.
*most also felt that they had improved their ability to save, had greater peace of mind, are less concerned about their financial situation, and feel better about having discretionary income to be able to lead the life they want.
A second report – The Value of Advice: Report2 – from the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) drew similar conclusions:
• Third party empirical data (from Statistics Canada, Ipsos Reid and others) showed that when Canadians choose financial advice, they accumulate more assets and are better prepared, financially, for retirement.
*74% of advised households agreed that they feel confident that they will have enough money to retire comfortably.
*71% of advised households agreed that a year from now, they will be financially better off than they are today.

The IFIC report highlighted the wide range of valuable services that professional advisors provide for their clients, including: setting and achieving planning targets; choosing the right vehicles and plans; setting the right investment mix; and delivering customized solutions based on individual choice and personal goals.

As these studies confirm – and as so many Canadians have already discovered for themselves -- financial planning pays off. Get the value you deserve by talking to your professional advisor today.

The first phase of the study was conducted by The Strategic Council for FPSC, August 2009 to January 2010 and surveyed 7,300 Canadians. 22010 Value of Advice: Report, IFIC, July 2010

John Scholl , CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter),CGA, B. Mathematics,
Financial Consultant - Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
& Investors Group Insurances Services Inc.
Phone: (905) 450-2891 X529 Toll Free: 1 (866) 799-2223 x529 Cell (416) 731-3660

Shared by:
Betty Bartusevicius, Sales Representative
Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage
Fine Homes In Nine Oh Five
Office: 905-828-3434
Direct: 416-427-1875
Web Site:

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

First Impressions In Real Estate

The Importance of First impressions

In a hot spring real estate market, even homes that don’t give the greatest first impression will sell. As the Spring market starts to cool, the listings that show well will be the ones that sell faster and for a better price. A house that isn’t properly prepared may struggle to sell. Staging and preparing a home for sale is more critical now than ever before.

While interior decorating concentrates on making people feel more at home in their interior space, the objective of staging is to make the home more marketable inside and outside. Staging usually involves getting rid of clutter and “depersonalizing” a home. Most buyers have difficulty seeing themselves in someone else’s space. Clutter and/or an imbalance of furnishings or colours can throw them off. As part of my service, I try to educate my clients about how staging a home for sale can make a huge difference in the outcome of the deal. It can be difficult to get sellers to pack away the family photos. A professional stager has the ability NOT to be insulting to the seller. If a sellers’ home is cluttered, painted with bold colours, or in need of a major clean-up, I will suggest the services of a professional home stager.

Just as a home inspector investigates and reports on a home, a home stager will evaluate a home’s curb appeal and saleability. This service is provided so that the odds that my seller will achieve a higher selling price. Of course, the property must be priced accurately.

I have increased my knowledge of staging and can help clients stage their homes for little or no cost. I do believe that the services of a professional stager can give sellers an edge when competing for listings. Staging services range from simply rearranging furniture to emptying a house out and filling it with rented furniture. The cost for staging can range from $30 to $150 an hour with the majority of jobs taking less than a day to complete.

What do buyers want?

The ability to see a clean space with neutral coloured walls and a limited number of personal items so that buyers can see themselves in the space. It is important to have something in a room. Empty rooms seem smaller and some buyers have a hard time seeing what furniture would fit.

When staging a home, we cannot forget the outside. Walkways, paths and driveways should be clear of clutter and garbage as well as snow and ice. If you have had your backyard landscaped, it could be suggested to the homeowners that they create a display of photos. Finally, it’s important in winter to make sure a sellers's house is warm for viewings, but not too warm. A lit fireplace and or candles creates a nice atmosphere but should never be left unattended.

The homeowners should take a tour of their home and property and note any areas that need attention. I usually suggest windows should be clean, the front door should be freshly painted and the interior of the home is neat, clean, well-lit and odour free. Cooking odours and pet odours that homeowners tend not to notice may be offensive to potential buyers. Kitchens and bathrooms should 'sparkle', as should all mirrored surfaces.

If you are thinking of putting your home on the market and would like to discuss how to get the best price in the least amount of time, let me put my team to work. Let's meet and talk things over.

Give me a call directly at 416 427 1875.

Betty Bartusevicius, Sales Representative
Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage
Fine Homes In Nine Oh Five
Office: 905-828-3434
Direct: 416-427-1875
Web Site:



this is not intended to solicit buyers or sellers under brokerage contract

Bathroom Renovations

It doesn't matter how large or small your budget, renovating your bathroom is a good idea to make your home a more saleable property.

Bathroom decor, and color of fixtures, can really date the home. Buyers today want a new or updated bathroom. Because of this, they will often dismiss purchasing a home if the bathroom is old and outdated. The investment put into a bathroom has almost a 90% return. So, the expense of redoing it is completely worth it. This may be by doing a simple renovation all by yourself granite or going to the high end with a contractor and designer to complete the washroom.

Budget is obviously a huge factor in deciding what type of bathroom renovation you would like to do. A budget must be set. The budget depends on how elaborate you want to be - is it going to be a do it yourself project (DIY) or require will you require help from professionals.

The do-it-yourself cost savings

Going the more basic route would not involve any major construction, just changing it cosmetically. If you like the existing layout but the cabinetry is outdated, a smart solution would be to just paint the current cabinetry to give it an entire new look. Many older bathrooms have linoleum flooring or even carpet on the floor which never works well in a bathroom. A smart idea that is cost effective and very simple to use, is the use of peel and stick tiles. They cost about a dollar per square foot and can be put directly on top of the existing flooring which saves a great deal of time and money. Another great idea to have your sink and bathtub look new without purchasing new ones is to have it re-glazed. You can switch colors from that outdated harvest gold to a clean the hardware and faucets can make a huge difference also. Lower cost options that appear beautifully can be found at home improvement stores all over. A bright new paint color that resists mildew also creates a bright new fresh atmosphere in the bathroom. Many older bathrooms have antiquated tile that looks bad. There are two ways to remedy this, you can usually paint right on top of the tile or re-tile yourself with new inexpensive tile. It is not too difficult to do and can be learned at free workshops in your community.

Using A Contractor

If you decide to go high end and renovate your bathroom at a top level, then hiring a bathroom specific designer would be the optimal choice. Make sure that your vision is clearly understood by all of the workers renovating your new room. Buyers now, want a huge, spa like bathroom that is large and updated in its amenities.

These are just a few ideas. The DIY projects can apply to flooring, kitchens, and many other projects around the home. Feel free to contact me directly at 416 427 1875 to discuss what buyers are looking for in a home. A fresh idea doesn't cost you anything. My discussions are free.

Now, let me know how I can help you sell your house or find you a new home. I look forward to future discussions.

Betty Bartusevicius, Sales Representative
Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage
Fine Homes In Nine Oh Five
Office: 905-828-3434
Direct: 416-427-1875
Web Site:


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this is not intended to solicit buyers or sellers under brokerage contract

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Feng Shui, Mississauga

I have taken many courses in Feng Shui and have spoken to many who follow the beliefs. Some are guided by this form of belief others just use some ideas to make some changes in their lives.

I read something that was absolutely inspirational today. I would like to share with you some aspects of it. I am not preaching, but some of the ideas here really make sense.

1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
2. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other,
3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
4. When you say, "I'm sorry", look the person in the eye.
5. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
6. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
7. Don't judge people by their relatives.
8. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
9. When you lose, don't lose the lesson
10. Remember the 3 R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.
11. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
12. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

If you can think of others, let me know and I will add it to the list. These thoughts have travelled the world from the Anthony Robbins organization.

With all the news that we hear during the day, these are just thoughts that might give you an 'AH HA' moment or maybe even make you smile. Let me know!

Betty Bartusevicius, Sales Representative
Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage
Fine Homes In Nine Oh FiveOffice: 905-828-3434
Direct: 416-427-1875
Email: betty@bettybart.comWeb Site:

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this is not intended to solicit buyers or sellers under brokerage contract

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Interest Rates Update, October 2010

The article included below was provided to me by Kristian Harris of Monster Morgage. It was written by: Michael Babad of Globe and Mail. This update was
posted in October 2010.

Bank of Nova Scotia expects short-term borrowing costs to remain at ultra-low levels well into next year as the global economy moves into a "slower lane of growth."
In a new forecast, Scotiabank economists, like others, say the rebound that began midway through last year has lost "considerable momentum," notably in major industrialized countries where government stimulus is expiring and consumers are cutting back. Central banks will in turn hold the line on the exceptionally low interest rates used to fight the recession.

"Monetary policy in this environment is expected to remain exceptionally accommodative well into 2011, keeping short-term borrowing costs at essentially 'rock-bottom' levels for the foreseeable future to help bolster market liquidity, facilitate refinancing activity, and promote borrowing-to-buy," the report says. "Japan recently lowered its benchmark rate to 'zero,' and undertook another round of government bond purchases. Similar stories are likely to play out in the United States and the United Kingdom where stumbling economies, fiscal restraint, and deflationary concerns have surfaced."

Scotiabank projects that the Bank of Canada will hold its benchmark overnight rate at 1 per cent until the third quarter of next year, and then hike by one-quarter of a percentage point, followed by a half-point increase in the fourth quarter.
Economists believe Friday's jobs report from Statistics Canada, which showed the labour market cooling somewhat, will stay the Bank of Canada's hand. It next meets Oct. 19.

"Renewed solid job gains will be tough to come by in the months ahead amid the lacklustre pace of underlying growth," said BMO Nesbitt Burns deputy chief economist Douglas Porter. "This solidifies the view that the Bank of Canada is now on hold. "
The Federal Reserve will remain near zero until the fourth quarter of 2011, followed by a projected quarter-point hike, the European Central Bank will stay at 1 per cent until it brings a quarter-point increase in the fourth quarter, while the Bank of England will stay at 0.5 per cent until the third quarter, then raising by a quarter-point, and another quarter point in the following quarter, Scotiabank predicts.

Kristian Harris
Mortgage Broker
Direct: 416.818.1645

Thank you, Kristian. Keep watching for more news. Things are changing all the time. If you would like to discuss your financial status regarding the purchase of a home, call Kristian directly at 416 818 1645. If you would like to discuss further, call Betty at 416 427 1875 and let me help you with all your Real Estate needs.

Betty Bartusevicius, Sales Representative
Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc. Brokerage
905 828 3434
Fine Homes in 905
Directly at 416 427 1875