Volume 18, Issue 7
I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
~Elwyn Brooks White
Happy new year! Isn't it wonderful when the world slows down for a bit and there is family holiday time for all... For a special treat my brother Alec joined us in Vancouver, as well we took the ferry out to Victoria to visit our pals the Haydocks.
All of us here at the JKT are feeling blessed as well reflect on last year, and quite excited about the year ahead.
Photo by 1suisse
In late December we were proudly honoured with ranking 17th in Canada for Royal Lepage (out of 14,200 realtors). It is our 6th year in a row as members of The Chairmans Club. I am extremely grateful for my incredible team who have worked so hard and committed to the success and goals of each of our special clients. We didn't accomplish that without a lot of support and referrals from our JKT community, all of you! There are amazing people to help us in photos, marketing properties, floor plans, appts, website, mortgages, legal info etc. Special thanks to Sondra Palacios who makes sure all our mailings and calendars get out smoothly and Foliovision who is our incredible webmaster. This was our best year ever.
Our other fabulous news is that we have brought on an amazing experienced team member Claire Hartviksen. She has been in the biz 14 years and is a licensed realtor and will be a huge support as a senior admin and sales assistant. She has added a wonderful article to the newsletter – enjoy!
The real estate market turned out to be the 3rd best apparently int the history of the City of Toronto. Things have been selling either pretty fast, sometimes with multiple offers or tending to be on longer than anyone likes or enjoys. There is definitely quiet confidence from buyers as deals are happening and interest rates are low. All the pundits apparently say that things are going to progress slowly but surely.
Photo by Kyknoord
This month we are looking forward to completing our office renovations – time to make our headquarters a little more funky!
I'm not so interested in New Year's resolutions, as I am more focused on goals on an ongoing basis. I am pretty moved by the mission statement of Weegates – the company that we get our Inukshuk statues from. "The difference we make today counts in all our tomorrow's." To me that means that we can all do our part, and be an inspiring, shining light to our own friends, family, co-workers, neighbours and community. Here's to a healthy, peaceful & joyful 2011.
Excerpts from Toronto Real Estate Board
January 6, 2011 -- Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 4,395 existing home sales for the month of December, bringing the 2010 total to 86,170 – down by one per cent compared to 2009.
"Market conditions were anything but uniform in 2010. We went from super-charged sales activity during the first four months of the year, to a marked drop-off in transactions in the summer and then in the fall saw sales climb back to levels that are sustainable over the longer term," said TREB President Bill Johnston.
"New Federal Government-mandated mortgage lending guidelines, higher borrowing costs and misconceptions about the HST caused a pause in home buying in the summer. As it became clear that the HST was not applicable to the sale price of an existing home and buyers realized that home ownership remained affordable, market conditions improved," continued Johnston.
The average home selling price in 2010 was $431,463 – up nine per cent in comparison to the 2009 average selling price of $395,460. In December, the average annual rate of price growth was five per cent.
"At the outset of 2010, we were experiencing annual rates of price growth at or near 20 per cent. This was the result of extremely tight market conditions coupled with the fact that we were comparing prices to the trough of the recession at the beginning of 2009," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
"Balanced market conditions in the second half of 2010 resulted in more moderate home price appreciation," continued Mercer. "Expect the average selling price to grow at or below five per cent in 2011. With this type of growth, mortgage carrying costs for the average priced home in the GTA will remain affordable for a household earning an average income."
Median Price: In December, the median price was $355,000, from the $349,000 recorded during December of 2009.
Congrats to Derek Knight & Amber Sheffield who recently became engaged on October 29th and are getting married on May 28th, 2011 in Kleinberg…"Still love love love our house."
Congrats to our trusted client and dentist extraordinaire Nishita Ondhia has realized her dream and opened her dental practice in Bloor West! Bloor West Dental 2475 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, M6S 1P7 Phone: 647-352-7446 www.bloorwestdental.ca
Congrats to Tiff Daniels on his new promotion of Director of Sales. They will be opening a UK Division (British Outback Adventures & Events) and our US Division (American Outback Adventures & Events) is operating an Operations Office in the New York/Massachusetts are this spring.
Congrats to Rob Phillips who won a cruise to Ports of call including San Juan, Puerto Rico & Nassau. Rob won this cruise based on his outstanding performance at work. He was 1 of 700 people chosen from a workforce of over 60,000. Great job Rob!
Mary Wiseman had an exciting holiday adventure in Costa Rica with her 3 adult children and 65 year old mother white water rafting on level 3 & 4 rapids, zip lining across the top of the cloud forest, hiking around the base of a volcano and snorkeling in crystal clear waters. They did and loved it all. It's never too late for adventure.
Alison Pick's novel 'Far to Go', which tells the story of Czech Jewish family on the eve of the Second World War is a top 10 book of 2010 at both Now Magazine & The Toronto Star. Read more about it at www.alisonpick.com
My six year old has been playing team sports for 2+ years, Hockey and soccer. A few weeks ago, she played in her first ball hockey tournament. Her team was the Canadians, and I was the coach. In the second game, Gwen scored her first goal EVER in any team sport. She tossed her stick on the ground and ran across the gym and jumped into my arms, where she cried and cried. And I was beaming with pride and pleasure as I jumped up and down.I gotta say, that was among the very best moments of life!Denise Lambert
Photo by Sabianmaggy
Nick & Sam Zeibots welcome their new bundle of joy Cameron James Zeibots born on January 4th. He is doing great as is Sam who was a trooper through it all.
Alan Bowman & Jasmine Akbarali welcome their Christmas gift. Leila Xinyuan Jehan was born on December 20th,. She joins her older sisters Maija & Eeva & brother Lukas. Mom & baby are super healthy and doing well.
Would you like to give back?
Charity of the Month –Covenant House- www.Covenanthouse.on.ca
Covenant House is Canada's largest youth shelter. Covenant House Toronto opens doors of opportunity and hope to homeless youth. More than just a place to stay, we provide 24/7 crisis care and have the widest range of services under one roof, including education, counselling, health care and employment assistance. Covenant House has helped thousands of young people move from a life on the street to a life with a future.
Our doors are open to youth 16 to 24 regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or the circumstances that have brought them to our threshold. To do all of this, we rely on donors for 80 percent of our almost $18.5-million operating budget.
Ways to Donate: From one-time gifts to bequests, there are a number of ways to help the homeless youth at Covenant House.
Covenant House Toronto, 20 Gerrard St. E., Toronto, ON M5B 2P3
Phone: (416) 598-4898, Toll Free: 1-800-435-7308, Fax: (416) 204-7030
Mortgage rates – Carrie Davidson's website
Some conditions may apply. Rates subject to change without notice. *O.A.C. E.& O.E.
See a For Sale Sign/Sold you were wondering about? We are happy to let you know about houses in your neighbourhood - feel free to contact Steph at:
Our purpose is for you to be so outrageously happy with the service we provide that you gladly refer us to your friends and family before you've even bought or sold with us!
The Julie Kinnear Team's GEMs (Genuine Evidence of Merit)
Photo by Erika
Dear Holly & JKT, Happy Holidays! Hope that you've all had a relaxing and pleasant holiday! Thank you so much for the wonderful surprise gift! It was very kind of you and we look forward to using it in making our new home really 'ours'. Thanks again for everything that you have done for us during our first home buying adventure! Wishing you all much happiness and success in 2011! Kindest regards – Jen Silk & Josh Valade.
What They Got!
A continuing column of the Julie Kinnear Team's Sales
322 Forman Avenue
322 Forman Avenue
Asking Price $649,900
Selling Price $719,000
14 Bombay Avenue
14 Bombay Avenue
Asking Price $799,000
Selling Price $758,000
56 Orley Avenue
56 Orley Avenue
Asking Price $324,900
Selling Price $330,100
453 Sammon Avenue
453 Sammon Avenue
Asking Price $397,000
Selling Price $382,000
57 Shaw Street
57 Shaw Street
Asking Price $819,000
Selling Price $862,000
79 Riverview Gardens
79 Riverview Gardens
Asking Price $729,000
Selling Price $720,000
Happy New Year 2011! by new JKT member Claire Hartviksen
It is that time of year again where we reflect back on yet another year gone by. Whether it was a great year or one you would rather forget we all have things we would like to learn from and change.
It is a great time for fresh starts and new beginnings. I like to think of it as a mutual birthday that we all share, out with old and in with the new.
Photo by Jacob Botter
It gives us all that chance to wipe the slate say our hail Mary's and Abracadabra life will be perfect this year right?
Well I've decided this year to keep it real! I have made those resolutions in the past that I'm sure sound familiar to yours that go a little something like this:
Lose that extra 25 pounds! Pick up every Oxygen magazine and learn how to get a tummy tuck without having to get a tummy tuck. I will do 500 crunches every night and be a lean mean super model machine.
Get a new job! Goodbye to that miserable job and miserable boss once and for all. I will make more money, find a great boss that appreciates and respects me and I will be whistling Dixie skipping home every night at 5:01.
I will find Mr. or Mrs. Right this year! I will learn from past failed relationships and will never make that mistake again. This year I will not fall prey into the same redundant relationship that I seem to find over and over and over again. No way Hosez this year I will wash that Scarlet letter off my forehead and will attract only Prince Charming… no need for others to apply the position has been filled.
That's kind of how my resolutions have been in the past but I'm leaving out about another 50. Don't get me wrong I firmly believe in change and know we all have the capability to do so. I think we are all just too hard on ourselves and try to take on and conquer too much at once. I think if we focussed on 1 at a time we all would achieve whatever we set out to do.
So that's why I'm keeping it real this year!
I have decided my resolution will be random acts of kindness. I know when I have been having the worst day ever that the simplest acts of kindness from a stranger have made me think, "hey you know what it's not so bad there is still good out there".
Such as: Opening the door for a stranger… ahh chivalry is not dead! Prince charming could just be around the corner!
Photo by James Schwartz
Letting another car in even though you are stuck in the same traffic jam and dying to get home for dinner as well. Really what's the difference of seconds.
Offering that person a seat first on the bus that looks even more tired than you feel. As much as you wanted to rest your feet for 10 minutes that smile and gratitude that stranger will show you will make it the fastest ride home ever.
I remember once being at Baskin & Robbins with my son of course getting some ice cream. There were 2 kids in front of us a couple of years older than my son getting double scoops on a cone. We got our ice cream and went outside as the 2 kids were getting on their bikes the one kid dropped his cone. Well if you saw the look on his face it was heart breaking, he went inside and explained to the teenager that served him what happened. He came outside and told his friend that he wouldn't give him another ice cream. I asked the kid what he had ordered and said hold on. I went inside ordered it and brought it back. The look and gratitude that kid had literally filled my heart with joy. My son said to me mommy that was really nice of you to do did you see how happy he was. I explained to my son that is a good deed and one day maybe it will come back to us and if it doesn't well we did a nice thing and made someone happy.
Photo by Hajime NAKANO
It was 4 years later and my son and his friend Blake were at subway getting 2 subs. They were like a dollar something short and didn't realize they didn't have enough. Well of course we can't blame these teenagers that are just doing their jobs and in fear of losing them but a stranger behind them said don't worry I will cover the extra. My son came home and was so excited and said hey mommy guess what happened remember that time we bought that kid the ice cream after he dropped it you were right it came back to us and continued to tell me his story so excited and full of happiness.
So that's why I'm keeping it real with my New Year's resolution. You never know when someone could be having a worse day than you are and the simplest of things that don't cost anything could make that persons day. It might not get you your dream job but maybe if you offer that terrible boss a cup of coffee he will be nice to the next person that walks in his door.
JKT – A few of our Favourite things
Photo by Tamburix
Real Christmas trees
I went a bit crazy this year. I put a real tree up in my condo until Dec.22, took it down, drove to Caledon the next day with all the decorations, bought another tree and put it up for Christmas! I really wanted to take my city tree to the country, but it wouldn't fit in the car with my dogs.
I have been a member of my local tennis club since I was 8 years old. I thought it was about time to contribute, so I ran for a Director position and now sit on the Board.
Cashmere eye mask from Kumari's in Yorkville
I read about this bit of luxury in Toronto Life magazine and thought I'd check it out for myself. The super comfortable mask is available in a variety of colours and comes with its own little storage case; perfect for travelling! Just throw in a pair of earplugs and you're set. I loved this eye mask so much I got one for each member of the team. Also available at The Cashmere Shop.
Aveda Hand Relief
My friend Jenny introduced me to this amazing hand cream and I really think it's the best out there. Now that it's the season of chapped hands, I keep of tube of this at my desk and in my car. It's non greasy, you just need a little bit and it lasts a long time. I also love that it doesn't have a strong scent. Thanks Jenny!
Photo by Melissa Barrett
My new Sephora Lip glosses
given to me by sweet 5 yr old. Emma for Xmas. Great colors and it lasts a long time.
Meeting all the neighbourhood folks and all the different dogs. There are so many breeds of amazing dogs!! Rizzo and Frenchie LOVE it! And my new co-worker Claire! She is rocking the JKT!
I love this new program. It is very detailed and complex but makes your life so much easier. It is the brain I've always wanted. It saves you so much time and reminds you about everything and anything. Good bye post it notes. (FYI - it is the JKT contact relationship management program that we all use.)
The Free 12 days of Christmas from The Vancouver Sun and Itunes promo
Got to download free stuff like books such as The Book of Negroes, the movie One Week, episodes of Madmen, music videos. Fun fun!
Canadian world juniors
One favourite ritual is to watch the Canadian world juniors play over the holidays - which was definitely entertaining this year - it's good for the tourney every once and while that Canada doesn't win right? :( Happily we beat our nemesis the US!!