Same Old Story...Different Year!

I'm behind again...and not just on the blog...I spent the last week cramming for an exam which I wrote on Saturday (hopefully I'll have results this week, fingers crossed for a good outcome) and everything else got pushed to the side!

So Christmas prep starts now, eek!! Shopping, decorating, baking, cards & newsletter to go out...GO! Somehow I always manage to get myself into this situation at this time of the year, lol...

I'm taking a do-over on the blog, the topics I said I'd be covering last week are coming this week and I think in all fairness I will extend my Tim Horton's giveaway in January so that those who haven't received my newsletter yet have time to participate if they'd like... 

How about you? Has the month slipped away from you as well? How are you making out with your holiday preparations? I promise not to hate you if you're all done, lol! ;)

That's it for now...

Christmas Light Rant

Turning on the outdoor Christmas lights on December 1st is always a pivotal moment for me, it signals the start of the holdiay season and plays a big part in getting me into the Christmas spirit!

Putting up the lights is my hubby's job, the design and the rest of the decorating is mine.  Nothing says "peace on earth & joy to the world" like tripping over the gazillion strands of lights snaking across the floor and a constant stream of swear words filling the air as hubby tries to figure out which light is burnt out and is mucking up the strand! Last year hubby went rogue and spent almost $400 on LED icicle lights to replace our regular ones with the thought that it would both make his annual job easier and be more energy efficient.  I just want to say upfront that I was not a happy camper as I thought it was an exorbitant amount of money to spend for something that we already had...although he tells me that it was almost impossible to find replacement bulbs or strands for our old set so we needed to do something...

So two Sundays ago out came the giant box of lights from the garage and the checking process began; and can you believe we ended up with the exact same problem again??? Strands that were put away working, mysteriously no longer work! Off to the store he went to buy more strands to replace the non-working ones (which he used to have to do with the old ones as well) except that now the cost of a box of lights is $16 each for LEDs instead of $6 each for the old style incandescents! $135 later and the lights are all installed, timers are set and we head outside just before they're due to turn on to admire his handiwork!

<Insert Shock & Dismay Here> The new ones are a cool blue white and last year's are a nice soft golden white and it looks...stupid! (stomping my feet) Do you think that we've been able to find the soft white ones? Nope! Do you think I want to spend another $300 on more cool white ones? Nope! So the lights are up but they will not be turned on this year, and this makes me very sad... but also very angry! Oh and how's this for irony, can't find the right "new" strands of lights we need but there are plenty of the old style ones know, the ones we got rid of in favour of these new better ones...sigh :(

This was supposed to be a long term solution, put out the money now and enjoy the benefits for years to come...if you Google LED Christmas lights you will see that we are not the only ones that are having issues! Another maddening problem with these type of lights is that they need to be put away bone dry otherwise the connectors and the leads on the bulbs rust! How are you supposed to put them away dry? They've been exposed to the elements and its not like you want to drape them all over the inside of your house when they're wet and/or dirty in order to dry them! Where was this information last year, why didn't we know this before we spent $400+??

So the moral of this story is if you're thinking of making the switch, do your research to see if it's really such a great idea or if you've already taken the plunge then make sure you dry them before you store them, maybe that will help?

I can't find a picture from a previous year but here's this year's messed up version, turned on for the photo and then off again...and as you can see another strand has partially gone out!

Do you agree that my lights look stupid (lol)? Do you have anything good to say about outdoor LEDs? Do you have a similar tale of woe to share? I'd love to hear it! Don't forget I've got Tim's cards burning a hole in my pocket for those who get involved in the conversation!

Coming up this week is Part 2 of the Move Up Buyer, a special guest interview and more, so please tune in!

That's it for now...

The Move Up Buyer Part 1

This is the first installment on the "Move Up Buyer"....if you're joining me via my Christmas newsletter then you can skip to Part 2 when it's posted!

Remember when life was simple? You saw a house you liked, put in an offer, satisfied your conditions....waited a month or two for closing and moved into your new home! Unfortunately those are the idyllic carefree days usually only reserved for first time buyers! The move up buyer know what they want, often with very strict parameters...and they have a house to sell before they can purchase a new one!

Having been on both the buying & selling side of a condition to sell the buyer's property (SBP condition), I will rarely recommend to a selling client to accept that condition in an offer while completely understanding a buyer client who is petrified of offering on something without that condition in the offer! And don't even get me started on a seller who has an SBP offer on a property to buy who receives an SBP offer on the property they're selling! With so many variables to control, rarely are you able to make it all come together when you need it to!

So what's a move up buyer to do? They only want to move if they can get what's on their wishlist but most sellers will not accept an SBP condition on a new listing and what if they sell their home ahead of time to avoid the dreaded SBP condition...and then can't find the right place to move into and have to "settle"?

I've read a number of articles recently that say the move up buyer will be driving the market over the next year (taking over from first time buyers) so perhaps that will change things...however I'd say that this past year the bulk of my business has not been from first timers or move up buyers but from clients looking to downsize, particularly from 2-storey homes into bungalows.  I'm surprised to not be hearing more buzz about the so-called "grey" market.  I wonder, does this label offend? I've heard it bandied about to describe a certain segment of the population...a topic for a different day though as it's definitely not just retirees who are looking for the bungalow lifestyle!

Have you got your eye on the next rung of the property ladder? What are your thoughts on how to make it all come together the way you want it to?

More to come on this subject but that's it for today!

Until Next Time...

Ummm Where's My Blog????

It's been so long since I last posted that I couldn't actually remember the address, lol, and then I had to figure out how to log in....but here I am and my plan is to re-dedicate myself to posting on a regular basis!

I'm going to do my level best to pick topics that will engage you and spark some responses and in an effort to entice you to do just that I'm offering some giveaways!

For every blog topic that I write in the month of December I will choose my favourite response and that person will get a $10 gift card from Tim Hortons. You can either respond on my blog directly or on my real estate Facebook page where I'll share each post (you can find me at Kelly Bayne - RE/MAX Ability on Facebook). It may not be announced daily but every post that I write will end up with a winner by January 1st. Winners will be announced in the comments section of each post.

I'm looking for responses that encourage further discussion on the topic, or ones that get my creative juices flowing for another topic to write about or really anything that I find particularly insightful...

It's not always going to be cash for comments around here but I'm hoping to get the ball rolling and keep you interested enough to stick around past January 1st!

Coming on Wednesday...The Move Up Buyer

Until Next Time…