Thursday, September 30, 2010

What we will see this month

Ok folks despite the bump in sales in the last few days, I think we will see another drop in sales for September. If you look at Larry Yatter's community charts, you will see most of them show MOI above 10.

However average prices and median prices are steady to up.

This confirms what we have been seeing, that higher end buyers are still in the market. eg the $9 Million sale a few days ago.

If so, then Median and Average prices WILL NOT BE RELIABLE for September.

We will have to depend on the HPI for a true picture of the state of the market. We will also have to assume that the REBGV is doing a valid comparison to come up with the HPI.

So don't be shocked if average or median is up. If you have an inventory of 100 dresses and are selling very few, but mostly the expensive ones, of course both your average and median prices will be up.

$5 Chair Freshened Up

I spotted this chair at a yard sale a few weekends ago, in slightly worse condition:o) My sister in law was with and me, and we had a really good time. Every time she comes to visit we end up going to yard sales, and every time she says she needs to remember to bring cash. She never gets anything, and I end up spending every last cent that I have on me. I think I even borrowed 25 cents from her??? But regardless, we had a good time.
So this is what the chair looked like when I brought it home:
I liked the white, but it was dingy, and the previous owner had brushed the paint on, so there was a lot of uneven brush strokes all over the chair. In it's first life, I think this chair was RED. You can kind of see the red popping thru in places where the white has chipped off.
 Now the seat cover was completely disgusting. It was vinyl at one point, but because the chair is so old, it was cracked and peely. When I removed the cover, there will little creepy crawlies in it too...EWWWWW! 
Because the cushion was so funky, I used some egg shell crate I had lying around to serve as the chair cushion. I just cut two to size and laid the egg shells facing one another on the seat. I then covered it with low loft batting. Then stapled the fabric to the seat.
I gave the chair a fresh coat of white. I made sure to spray paint it instead of brushing b/c it is just easier, plain and simple. Plus, who wants to have to brush that chair out with all those corners...not I said the crafter!
I found this fabric at a discount fabric store that is about an hour from here. I REALLY wanted to make curtains out of it, but they only had the one remnant that I purchased:( However, I will be making some pillow  covers with this material. Can't wait:o)
 There's my little place mat pillow.
 I did distress the edges just a bit so that the red could pop back thru. S.R. wanted to have her picture taken...look at that sweet little hand...with Dorito laden thumbnail. 
Not a whole lot of change, but change nonetheless. 
Dentist appointments for the kids today...S.R.'s first time...say a little prayer for mommy's sanity;o)
Happy Thursday!
Linking up to
Miss Mustard Seed
Tatertots and Jello

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Upper Crust..

Take a look at Larry's post on West Van prices.

This confirms what we have all been thinking. the upper end is still buying. And only a small % is off-shore money. There are always folks in this town making serious money. It used to be the Dot com guys, until they were Dot Gone, then Developers cashing in on the Olympics, and now it is the resource guys (yes they are mostly men) who are making very big chunks of dough.

Here is the list of the 100 biggest earners in BC.

Then there are lots of people making high 6 figure to 7 figures- business owners and professionals and of course stock-brokers and yes some Real estate agents too.

So dropping a couple of Million or three on the family pile is not such a big deal. Whereas I suspect the entry level and lower priced properties are dealing with the rise in variable rates, the CMHC changes and economic uncertainty.

If this is true, we should see this reflected in the HPI numbers. HPI is supposed to account for more expensive houses selling.

Pumpkin Bread

Yesterday I got a wild hair and went thru my entire house and started cleaning. I got so much accomplished. I even recovered one of my yard sale chairs I found a couple of weeks ago. While taking a short break, I ran across this printable at it is what it is...(the hubs uses that phrase all the time;o)).
Then, I went over to Just Deanna, and I found her recipe for pumpkin bread. I had a plan:o)
The hubs picked up the ingredients I didn't have on hand on his way home from work...such a good hubby:o)
And I got to baking. I wanted to make some bread for E's teachers. I used my mini bundt pan b/c I thought they looked like little pumpkins.
While the bread was supposed to be cooling, little sneaky hands found their way over to the counter top.
(Singing) One of these is not like the other....
The work of a two year old:o)
I added the Hershey bars in the center to look like stems. I wish that I had some mint leaves on hand. I think that would have added to the pumpkin look.
I put the "pumpkins" in goody bags and added the tag.
I printed out the recipe and attached it the back of the tags.
By the way, this bread is DELICIOUS!! Thanks Deanna for sharing your recipe!!
Have a Fabulous Fall Wednesday!

Domestically Speaking

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quiet Book

I finally did it! After a year and a half of wanting to make S.R. her very own quiet book, I finally made it:o) I was not coming to bed last night until the last stitch had been sewn. I was exhausted. My back ached from hunching over my machine, but I feel that it was well worth the effort! 
(the highlighter is there to cover S.R. full name...we like to keep just a tad bit of privacy;o))
This project took about 3 days from start to finish. Of course it wasn't 3 Full days, but it does take time and thought to put one of these books together.
I tried to think of S.R.'s favorite things. These pages tell you a little bit about my sweet little girl. She LOVES shoes. Every morning when she wakes up, she tracks down the first pair of shoes she sees and puts them on, whether it be her heels, or a pair of E's flip flops. When she makes her grand entrance every morning, she models her shoes. It's hysterical:o)
This spread is a representation of her bedroom. Now, the color scheme is wrong because I had ZERO pink felt:o( I wanted to do this for FREE, so I used what I had:o) To see S.R.'s room, go here.
She loves to dress herself. What little princess doesn't;o)
The words I hear out of her mouth are usually, "I gon do it."(long O sound;o))
The Wardrobe that holds all the little felt clothes for the little girl.
Doors opened.
Panties are a big thing around here b/c we are in the throws of potty training. It was so much easier with E:o/
One of the dresses.
This next spread is a Tea Party and Build an Ice Cream Cone 
The tea pot and cups are removable, so she can have a little tea party.
The ice cream is also removable. The Ice Cream bucket and toppings jar are pockets to slide the pieces in.
S.R. loves babies, and is always carrying around one. 
Now I realize that this baby is slightly frightening. Especially with the red hair...but remember, I am using what I have:o)
The spoon, green blanket and bottle are removable so she can pretend to feed and cover the baby up. The little red bowl is supposed to be baby food(rice cereal, maybe???)
Every quiet book has flowers that button on. Very straight forward. Thinking about spraying just a tad of perfume on them so that they smell:o) Not too much though.
The last page houses crayons and coloring pages. The pic didn't turn out so great, sorry.
S.R. is my little artist:o)
So that's it. My hard work paid off, at least I think it did;o)

I know that I normally do tutorials on Tuesdays, but I thought that if I showed you this book, that it might give you a few ideas so you could make your little one a quiet book of their own.
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tonight's numbers...

All categories...

West and North Van

25 New Listings
26 price changes
7 sales

Van West

51 New
35+ price changes
12 sales


4, 5, 1 - wonder what the MOI is for Whistler. Some of their inventory doesn't seem to end up on the MLS from what I can tell, but is for sale nevertheless.


18, 17, 5

Mickey Shorts & Random Crafts

So I guess you are thinking that it's about time that I made these shorts, since I have been talking about making them for a few weeks now:o) I made them last night and it only took 20 minutes. My only excuse for not making them is pure laziness. I am trying to wrap up a few Disney things b/c our trip will be here sooner than we know it:o) The kids are so excited...I AM SO EXCITED!
I used my usual pattern for shorts, and just added large white circles on the front. The circles are white felt that I added some Heat Bond to, and adhered them to the front of the shorts. I did stitch around the edges of the shorts, just in case:o)
I am currently trying to put Busy Bags together for my kids. We are going with friends, girls in one vehicle, boys in the other, so I need to make sure that E's bag is packed with the right stuff b/c the hubs isn't eactly creative when it comes to entertaining the little ones:o) He's a good daddy, but 12 hours is a long time to keep someone occupied and not whinny:o)...I am referring to E...just in case you were wondering:o) HA!
I am making S.R. a quiet book. I have been looking for an excuse to make her one, and this is it:o) I made one for E for his 1st birthday. It's about time that S.R. got one.
Now for the random crafts:o)
This is the center piece that I made for the Homemakers' Cultural Arts Fair. Still not sure if I like it:o/
I went to Walmart today to do some Va-cay shopping and ran across these:
I have been cleaning out all the plastics in the house b/c I am a little freaked out with all the cancers that are hitting women at younger ages. I am quickly approaching 30, and I keep hearing about women in their early 30's getting I don't know if plastic is the reason, but I really want to go back to glass and stainless steel. Just in case....
I got a Cricut the other day....OH YEAH! I am super pumped. AND I have vinyl....are ya thinking what I'm thinking???:o) 
So would anyone be interested in a water bottle?:o)
I plan on pulling the cricut out during nap time and putting my initials on a bottle.
These would make great gifts!
Let me know if you are interested in one...$12, which includes vinyl initials.
BPA free 650 mL.
Hope you guys have a great Monday!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

I know what you are thinking

Fish posts twice a week and now he is posting every five minutes.

Ok so I am a little hyper-active at the moment.

We are at a crucial point in the market. We could go up or down or sideways :)

Seriously though. Demand is down. Price reductions are routine. MOI is now 7 months in Vancouver and much higher 30 minutes drive or a short ferry ride away. Wages have run up YOY and this puts pressure on the BoC to raise rates. Flaherty WANTS home prices to come down. What does this all add up to>>>>lower prices.

However some agents I speak to, say there are lots of regretful Randolphs, upset at having missed the quick crash of 2008/9, who are waiting for the slightest sign of weakness to pounce on a 'perceived bargain'.

BTW in the spirit of fairness I will have to say that North Van must have got the sales that they didn't have time to put on the system yesterday. From 1 sales yesterday we are up to 10.

In fact the numbers are 15, 9, 10.

But for Van West they are bearish today at 57, 39, 17. Some really nice reductions in there from crazy prices to just insane.

Most other places have list/sales from 30-60% nothing too exciting.

Can't read too much into any one day's results.

Have a great week-end.

Yeah- i know i am putting up posts too soon

However- we have to keep one eye on the economic indicators, and one blew my mind away.

The rate of wage increases for Canadians YOY was...wait for it...3.9%.

That is HUGE!. It would be huge in an average year, but in a year with low inflation and low interest rates that is enormous and we can see now why the BoC was raising rates, even as others were singing the double dip recession song (like the guy in my previous post).

And this increase is despite the rise in unemployment. Much like the Vancouver Housing market really, where we have less demand but still high (or even higher) prices.

I suspect it the huge swings we are seeing in the economic landscape from the sudden fiscal and policy shifts that are being thrown at us ie..'pump up the CMHC- dang we have a housing bubble, reign it in, drop rates to zero- dang borrowing is exploding, raise rates'

In any case employment income is a lagging indicator, but we will have to keep an eye on it.


Look at the front page of the Vancouver Sun. I cannot bring myself to put a link. What us bears have been saying for some time, is finally being acknowledged by the what passes for media in this city and the Cof V. That incentives will be needed to unload that White Elephant - OKA as the Olympic Village.

Now the councillors are blaming the HST! First it was Ladner's council blaming the world financial chaos and now these guys say it is the HST.

Anybody but us seems to be the mantra at City Hall. How about this refreshing statement instead:

"We did NOT make a good deal here. We were badly advised and made some bad decisions and even now have no idea how much we are on the hook for. Oh, and BTW- we have already spent $XXXXX on legal advice and will probably spend a lot more. Sorry we know it is your tax money. At least you know that we weren't 'embarrassed' like they are in India now. And you can be happy that a lot of fun was had in the OV, remember they did run out of condoms."

Easy Retirement

This is an extract of what I read in today's newspaper. More and more people start to carry this type of alternative concepts about retirement especially in this 21st century. You can't say its wrong. As a matter of fact, its a rather SMART way to go. But lie within is a huge hidden risk.

The titles in above newspaper read:
  1. you don't need much during retirement, coz your liability has reduced
  2. living frugal is not hard, mentality is the key
  3. you don't need to prepare to retire ?
By the time you retire, you probably don't have any more house loan or car loan to serve. Your body does not allow you to earn that much anymore. Chicks don't get attracted even if you sit in a Porsche. The bigger house you live in the harder it is for you to take care of it. In short, many people plan to 'maintain' their CURRENT lifestyle when they play for their retirement. The fact is you WILL NOT live the SAME lifestyle even if you are financially able to.

Basically the idea of save or accumulate enough so that you can STOP WORKING one day is solely base on the assumption you don't really LIKE what you are doing. You are just doing it for the sake of money or future retirement. Hence when you no longer need that money, you will want to stop working. But what if you REALLY LIKE what you do for a living ? Would you stop even if you have enough money for the rest of your life ? Be it Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or that happy old man by the street ... the answer is obvious. You will keep on doing what you like even if you retire or don't HAVE TO DO IT.

And if you have been doing something that you like for so long, the chance is that you don't really need to worry about living expenses since a long time ago. Incoming cash flow will persist and hence you don't really need to worry or prepare for a retirement. Coz you don't want to retire !!

What do you think about this easy retirement methods ? In contrast to the fundamental of save, invest and accumulate until you have enough to fight against the inflation etc. ?

Which do you prefer ?

a must read...

Here are some snippets:

"Just to be clear, the Bank of Canada wasn't alone in spurring this huge – and unanticipated – housing boom. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) relaxed underwriting criteria in ways that made housing tremendously more affordable for marginal borrowers. Those home buyers could get a mortgage with almost no money down at near-zero short-term interest rates"


At the peak of our own mania last fall, home prices soared more than 20 per cent on a year-on-year basis and home sales skyrocketed 70 per cent. These data points all have a “U.S.A. circa 2005” feel to them

Here is the article

Now to be fair, Rosenberg has been calling for a drop in the stock market for almost a year now. I used to read his weekly up-dates, but found that there were soo gloomey, that it kept me from buying any stocks and I missed a good run-up.

However he make some very valid points in this article.

Dining Room Curtains

Just a little something I whipped up yesterday.
I love floor to ceiling curtains! These curtains have completely transformed the room.
I didn't want to go out and purchase a brand new curtain rod b/c they are mucho expensive, so I used two smaller ones I had on hand. I also had some shower curtain rings that I got at a yard sale last year for $1. I put large button holes in the tops of the curtains, and just slid the curtain rings thru. Ole Dave(Ramsey) would be proud;o)
I figured that the hubs wasn't going to be adding the trim in the dining room anytime soon, so I decided to go ahead and put my china back in the hutch:o)
Some fall love.
More things I had on hand. 
The pictures are really bright b/c I had to use my external flash. There isn't enough natural light this time of year that comes thru the dining room window, so I had to use my flash. 
It really doesn't do the mood of the room justice:o)
Happy Friday to you all!!!

Linking up to
tatertots and jello
under the table and dreaming

Thursday, September 23, 2010

North by New West

North Van had astounding numbers today...

26 New listings....11 price changes..ONE sold. Wow. Oh yes and one price increase :)

I cannot explain this. Most places had a reasonable list/ sale ration. even Whistler!

But N. Van is a stinker. New West was a little thin too at 15, 10, 3 and Burnaby at 26, 10, 6.

Lots of places with 4/1 list sales or worse.

Van East is still hot nearly 100% list/sell today.

An odd picture. But we do seem to be drifting into a new pattern here...sales are still low. Listings were low, but are starting to pick up. Lets see if it becomes a trend.
Victoria sits at 12 MOI.

Here is the graph

Here is the blog for Victoria- look at how September is shaping up.

Pumpkin Painting

Another Bottle and Brush Creation. I went with  my friend Amy last week to paint these pun-kins. This picture is only 12x12, but it took FOE-EVUH to paint. There was a lot of shading and blending. I am happy with the end result though.
Still working on the mantle. Adding a little here and a little there. I can't believe that September is almost over. Time is going by too quickly. Starting to miss the lazy days  of summer, but I am definitely ready for some cooler weather:o)
A little close up:o) 
We started the Dave Ramsey envelope system on Monday. All I can say is WOW. It's harder than I thought it was going to be, but I am staying on track and realizing how much money I was actually spending...OUCH!
I am working on some curtains today for the dining room. They are just regular panels. Hoping to have them hanging this evening before I head out to Bottle and Brush AGAIN. There is a painting that I have been dying to paint and the artist is demonstrating it tonight, so I HAVE to go:o) It's imperative:o)
Have a great Thursday!!

Linking up to
tatertots and jello