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 DIY Homemade Christmas Gift Idea


snowman mason jars



What do you think about these little guys?  Aren't they adorable - stacked jar hot chocolate snowmen!

They are super easy to make!  All you need is a few jars - you can use mason jars, or little jam jars, ingredients to make delicious hot chocolate (marshmallows + hot chocolate powder) and I added some pepermint candies in the bottom.  I made the top hats out of black cardboard and the scarves out of checkered fabric.  Then I just drew on the face and buttons with a sharpie pen.   

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends!  
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Alisa 


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Should I Buy a Condo?

As single family home prices have risen, many consumers have been looking to condominiums as an alternative. First time buyers like the lower prices, which makes entry into the real estate ownership market easier. Seniors like the low maintenance aspect and the ability to be in a community catering to their lifestyle. Others like the security advantages that the building provides, especially for those who travel frequently.

Condo Concept
When you purchase a condominium, you purchase and have title to your individual unit in a multi-unit property, and share in the ownership of the land and other common property with all the other unit owners.  The type of common property varies depending on the type of condominium - high rise or townhouse for example - and would include hallways, elevators, heating system, parking structures, landscaped areas, recreation areas etc.

A condominium is a specific form of ownership and does not describe a type of building.

One of the great advantages to owning a condominium is that in most cases, it is owner-occupied and owner run.  Owners ensure their investment is maintained and regard improvements as an investment which increases the value of their individual unit.
 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Condo Ownership

If a winter holiday is part of your lifestyle, you can leave with your mind at ease, without the worry of a driveway to clear. In the summer the grass will be cut, you won't have any exterior painting projects or fence repairs to look after.

Condo projects are now part of most communities which means being able to stay in the same location where you were a homeowner.  Some condo projects are more successful than others in terms of capital appreciation and length of time to sell. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of condo ownership:


 


Advantages

  • protection from rent increases
  • monthly cost of owning is often less than renting
  • easy financing
  • wide range of property types, prices, locations, sizes and amenities available
  • availability of amenities such as swimming pool, tennis courts, hot tubs, saunas, whirlpools, exercise facilities, health spas, sun decks, community rooms (the cost of which may otherwise not be affordable)
  • you are investing in your own home and build equity
  • appreciation of capital value
  • pride of ownership
  • freedom to make interior changes and enhancements to your unit
  • enhanced security availability and peace of mind when leaving unit unattended
  • maintenance and upkeep is kept down or eliminated
  • security of tenure and permanent occupancy
  • cost is often less than single family home due to efficient use of land and economies of scale
  • very marketable
  • wide range of prices depending on features, luxury and location
  • sense of community due to permanence of residents and resulting social activity
  • developments available geared to a specific lifestyle (restrictions on age, pets, children etc.)
  • participation of owners in operation of development including budgeting, decision making, determination of rules and by-laws.
     

Disadvantages

  • some loss of freedom may be experienced due to rules and by-laws e.g. type of pets allowed, right to rent unit etc.
  • due to a larger concentration of people you may experience problems with the "5  p's”, pets, parties, parking, personality and people.
  • money is tied up in equity
  • you may be paying for some amenities you never use
  • boards of directors vary in terms of skill and effectiveness

Courtesy of www.remax-western.ca
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News Release
Greater Vancouver residential property sale and listing 
activity below 10-year averages in November
Vancouver, B.C. – December 4, 2012 – Over the past six months, the Greater Vancouver 
housing market has seen a reduction in the number of homes listed for sale, a gradual moderation 
in home prices and a decrease in property sales compared to historical averages.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales of 
detached, attached and apartment properties reached 1,686 on the region’s Multiple Listing 
Service® (MLS®) in November, a 28.6 per cent decline compared to the 2,360 sales in 
November 2011 and a 12.7 per cent decline compared to the 1,931 home sales in October 2012.
November sales were 30.3 per cent below the 10-year November sales average of 2,420.
“Home sellers appear more inclined to remove their properties from the market today rather than 
lower prices to sell their properties. On the other hand, buyers appear to be expecting prices to 
moderate,” Eugen Klein, REBGV president said.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,758
in November. This represents a 14.4 per cent decline compared to November 2011 when 3,222
properties were listed for sale on the MLS® and a 36.2 per cent decline compared to the 4,323
new listings in October 2012.
New listings were 12.9 per cent below the 10-year November average of 3,168.
At 15,689, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS® increased 13 per cent 
from this time last year and declined 9.7 per cent compared to October 2012. Total listings in the 
region have declined by nearly 3,000 properties since reaching a peak of 18,493 in June.
The region’s sales-to-active-listings ratio was unchanged from October at 11 per cent.
“Home prices in Greater Vancouver have generally declined between three and five and a half
per cent, depending on property type, since reaching a peak six months ago,” Klein said.
“Changes in home prices vary per municipality and neighbourhood. It’s good to check local 
market statistics with your REALTOR®.”
Since reaching a peak in May of $625,100, the MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark 
price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver has declined 4.5 per cent to $596,900.
This represents a 1.7 per cent decline when we compared to this time last year.
 


Greater Vancouver residential property sale and listing activity below 10-year averages in November


NEWSFLASH

Vancouver, B.C. – December 4, 2012
– Over the past six months, the Greater Vancouver housing market has seen a reduction in the number of homes listed for sale, a gradual moderation in home prices and a decrease in property sales compared to historical averages.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties reached 1,686 on the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in November, a 28.6 per cent decline compared to the 2,360 sales in November 2011 and a 12.7 per cent decline compared to the 1,931 home sales in October 2012.

November sales were 30.3 per cent below the 10-year November sales average of 2,420.

“Home sellers appear more inclined to remove their properties from the market today rather than lower prices to sell their properties. On the other hand, buyers appear to be expecting prices to moderate,” Eugen Klein, REBGV president said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,758in November. This represents a 14.4 per cent decline compared to November 2011 when 3,222properties were listed for sale on the MLS® and a 36.2 per cent decline compared to the 4,323new listings in October 2012.

New listings were 12.9 per cent below the 10-year November average of 3,168.

At 15,689, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS® increased 13 per cent from this time last year and declined 9.7 per cent compared to October 2012. Total listings in the region have declined by nearly 3,000 properties since reaching a peak of 18,493 in June.

The region’s sales-to-active-listings ratio was unchanged from October at 11 per cent.

“Home prices in Greater Vancouver have generally declined between three and five and a halfper cent, depending on property type, since reaching a peak six months ago,” Klein said.“Changes in home prices vary per municipality and neighbourhood. It’s good to check local market statistics with your REALTOR®.”

Since reaching a peak in May of $625,100, the MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver has declined 4.5 per cent to $596,900.This represents a 1.7 per cent decline when we compared to this time last year.

Sales of detached properties in Greater Vancouver reached 629 in November, a decrease of 31.3 per cent from the 916 detached sales recorded in November 2011, and a 40.1 per cent decrease from the 1,050 units sold in November 2010. Since reaching a peak in May, the benchmark price for a detached property in Greater Vancouver has declined 5.5 per cent to $914,500.

Sales of apartment properties reached 750 in November 2012, a 25 per cent decrease compared to the 1,000 sales in November 2011, and a decrease of 28.7 per cent compared to the 1,052 sales in November 2010. Since reaching a peak in May, the benchmark price for an apartment property in Greater Vancouver has declined 3.9 per cent to $364,900.

Attached property sales in November 2012 totalled 307, a 30.9 per cent decrease compared to the 
444 sales in November 2011, and a 24.6 per cent decrease from the 407 attached properties sold in November 2010. Since reaching a peak in April, the benchmark price for an attached property in Greater Vancouver has declined 3.6 per cent to $454,300.

Feature Facts:
 
• Of the 15,689 homes currently for sale on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver, 49.6 per cent are listed for $600,000 or less. Of those, 1,321 are detached properties, 5,039 are condominiums and 1,419 are townhomes.
• Of the 1,686 homes that sold in Greater Vancouver in November, 273 (16%) sold for $1 million or more.


Courtesy of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

 
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Among everything there is to do in December, decorating your home for the holidays is sometimes the most difficult task to accomplish as everything else takes priority. Even if you have the time, all the Christmas shopping can make budgeting for seasonal decor tough on the wallet. Fortunately, there are a myriad of ways to inject some holiday spirit into your home, even when you're short on time and money! 


Hang some holiday sparkle

chandelier

An easy, yet splashy holiday decorating tip is to hang baubles at various lengths from your chandelier for extra bling. I like to use iridescent ribbon cut in varying lengths and inexpensive Christmas balls in an assortment of colours and finishes to give my chandelier some extra holiday sparkle! 

Courtsey of StyleAtHome.com 
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