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BDC: Global growth brings good news for Canadian entrepreneurs in 2018 Economic Outlook

2018 Economic Outlook: Economies everywhere are having a banner year, and there’s more to come…

Canada had solid economic growth of 2.9% in 2017, having weathered the oil price shock of the past two years. Our economy is on a solid footing. The expansion has been broad-based, with all sectors of the economy contributing. Our goods exports are up 8.7% year over year. Business investment, which is absolutely critical to continued growth, has also improved. At the same time, Canada’s labour market has been thriving, adding 343,000 jobs year to date, with nearly all in full-time employment.

Canada should have a solid growth of 2% in 2018.

While growth of the Canadian economy will slow to about 2% in 2018, this is still decent growth. (read more of this 2018 economic outlook report by BDC…)

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HOME IS WHERE THE SMART IS 

HOME IS WHERE THE SMART IS
Smart home technology is continuing to grow at a rapid rate!

Smart home technology has gone from basic security to smart windows that open and close based on the weather and indoor air temperature.  Here’s a look at a few smart home innovations that will revolutionize our lives:

  1. Connectivity is King – The connected home is a huge theme this year that features connected appliances, smoke alarms, lightbulbs and doorbells.
  2. Talk to Me – There’s a huge focus on voice activated products around the home including voice controlled garbage cans, air purifiers and fridges.
  3. Home Help – Robots are being used to offer companionship for seniors and there’s also an innovative, lifesaving cane that sends out an alert in the event of an emergency.
  4. Laundry Lackey – Washing machines that can do multiple loads at once will save us valuable time and there’s even a machine in the works that will fold the laundry!
  5. Breathe Easy – Sensors can monitor your indoor air for Co2, VOCs, allergens and humidity levels and they’ll also be able to expel bad air and introduce clean air to your home.
  6. Robot Cleaners – With intelligent visual navigation, app control and powerful suction that cleans in corners, you’ll never need to push a vacuum again!

Smart home technology is always improving and it’s a major selling point because the higher your home’s IQ, the higher the resale value will be!  Who knows what the future will bring but one thing’s for sure; smart home technology can provide you and your family convenience and peace of mind.

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Creating good feng shui around your home is easier than you think!

Fung ShuiFeng shui is an ancient Chinese practice that helps achieve a harmonious living environment in order to promote happiness and prosperity.  Here are a few ideas to enhance the energy flow around your home:

  1. Think Outside the Nest – Birds bring great energy; so add a few feeders and a birdbath in your backyard.
  2. The Right Path – Place a few plants and wind chimes on your porch and make sure the path to your front door is unobstructed.
  3. Fire & Ice – Essential oils, crystals, candles and water features such as fountains and fish bowls will bring calm and balance into your home.
  4. Mirror, Mirror – The strategic placement of mirrors helps improve feng shui by drawing more sunlight into otherwise murky rooms and by expanding narrow areas such as hallways.
  5. De-clutter – Clearing your home of clutter will introduce a smoother flow of energy.  Clutter is a sign of trapped energy so be ruthless and get rid of everything you don’t need.

Feng shui emphasizes that our physical surroundings have an impact on our emotional well-being so it’s important to be aware of how we arrange our space.  Buyers often feel certain vibes when they enter a home so a “harmonious feel” could be the difference between a quick sale and one that drags on.

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ONLINE FRIENDS, FOES AND FACEBOOK WOES 

FRIENDS, FOES AND FACEBOOK WOES
A few simple precautions can secure your page against hackers.

Imagine if someone hacked into your Facebook account, changed your password and started posting inappropriate content.  You’d be forced to sit and watch your reputation go down the drain.  Here are a few ways to avoid a hack:

  1. ix38wq%Pc – Make sure you have a strong password with a mix of numbers, letters and symbols.
  2. Play Hard to Get – Visit the Privacy section under Settings to limit who’s able to view your profile details.
  3. Catch a Hacker Early – Select Settings and then Security and Logins and turn on get alerts about unrecognized logins.
  4. Extra Security – Visit Two-Factor Authentication in the Security and Logins section to choose an extra layer of security.
  5. Best Friends – Designate a few friends under Your Trusted Contacts that can help you get back into your account if you get locked out.

Facebook has various security features but they usually have to be manually activated.  Once done though, it’ll be much harder for a hacker to gain access to your account and much easier for you to regain control in the event it does happen.

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The Canadian Housing Market: When the Fog Clears by Benjamin Tal

Benjamin Tal, the chief analyst recently wrote about the Canadian housing market saying,”The level of activity is likely to stabilize and perhaps soften in the coming quarters as markets adjust to recent and upcoming regulatory changes. But when the fog clears it will become evident that the long-term trajectory of the market will show even tighter conditions. The supply issues facing centres such as Toronto and Vancouver will worsen and demand is routinely understated. Short of a significant change in housing policies and preferences, there is nothing in the pipeline to alleviate the pressure.”

Housing market Correlated CitiesCertainly, in 2017, the Toronto and Vancouver housing market has been the driving force behind the economics in recent years with no real change in store. Tal goes on to say, “The affordability issue in those cities that are leading to the “drive until you qualify” phenomena works to amplify their influence on neighbouring real estate markets.” In other words, more and more homebuyers are looking further and further outside of Toronto and Vancouver for more affordable real estate options. This only drives up prices not only in the suburbs but in towns and cities within 1 to 2 hours drive of the major centres.

The knock-on effect relative to Toronto is that homebuyers are looking to our region in and around Orillia, Barrie and Midland. These buyers are typically well paid and can afford to pay more for a home than their counterparts who live and work in the region. This complicates and inflates the cost of living for many more local residents looking to either get in or move up in the home buying market. This is continuing good news for home sellers in our region but not at all good for many families looking to buy.

A qualified real estate representative who is on top of the local and national market trends is still the best choice to provide homebuyers with accurate data to buy or sell in this foggy market. We at Lakeview Realty Inc. would be pleased to discuss your real estate needs.

Benjamin Tal’s complete article on the Canadian housing market can be read at CIBC World Market In Focus.

 

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ECONOMY NEARS FULL EMPLOYMENT IN 2017

Excerpt on Economy Posting by DR. SHERRY COOPER,
Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres

“The Canadian economy has grown at a stronger-than-expected annual rate of 3.7% in the past year, taking the jobless rate down to its lowest level in nearly a decade. With Canada’s economy the strongest in the Group of Seven countries, Ottawa now projects much smaller deficits than it did in March. The Liberal government cut its deficit projection for the fiscal year that ends March 31 to just under $20.0 billion, down from $28.5 billion in the March budget. It now expects a cumulative deficit over the coming five fiscal years of $86.5 billion, compared with $120 billion previously.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced new spending today totalling $7.7 billion over six years, bringing the total new spending since the March budget to $19.1 billion over six years. This additional stimulus comes as the economy is running far faster than its long-run potential noninflationary pace, rapidly approaching full capacity.” Read More

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Professional Rental Property Management


Professional Rental Property Management by a Local

Licenced Real Estate Brokerage

Michael J Preston, the Broker of Record at Lakeview Realty Inc., assures you of professional services you can trust. As a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA.ca), Lakeview Realty is bound by numerous regulations and guidelines that assure you as an investor of honesty and integrity as a client of Lakeview Property Management.

Screening and Managing Tenants

Your real estate investment hinges on having a good tenant in place. Vacancies can be a drag on your investment, and on your bottom line profits. We’ve screened thousands of tenants for two decades. We have the temperament and knowledge to manage tenants and set expectations for their use of your property. We also have the skills to deal with tenant issues from noise complainants to eviction notices.

Rent Collection and Basic Accounting

Month-to-month expenses and rental income are at the centre of your rental property. We ensure rent is collected and summarize your bills and invoices, so you know where you stand financially at all times.

Rent Collection

Rent collection can be very annoying and time-consuming. We stay on top of tenants & immediately follow up on any rent collection issues. We also allow tenants to pay electronically, which is convenient for everyone.

Bill Payment Services

Staying on top of paying property tax, utilities and repair bills can be time-consuming and frustrating. Especially, if you are on vacation or out of the country. Missed payments can result in late charges and credit risks. We make sure that the bills are paid on time.

At the end of the year, we will send you a year end summary of all the expenses by type. When tax preparation time occurs, you won’t have to collect all of your rental income invoices as all paid invoices will appear in your year end summary.

Property Management ServicesPhysical Property Maintenance

Inside or out we have the staff and experience to deal with any issues with the structure of your property. This includes general maintenance, lawn care, and prep for a new tenant.

We will respond to emergency repair calls from tenants, unplug toilets or to fix or replace broken appliances. We will tidy the yard in the spring, cut the grass in summer, shovel the snow in winter, rake the leaves in the fall, as well as clean out the eaves troughs and coordinate repairs to the physical structure of the building. We do all this so you don’t have to.

Remodeling and Renovation Services

Remodeling and renovating are a powerful means of transforming a rental property’s value and income potential. Our experienced renovation team has executed numerous projects from simple floor installations to complete make-overs. We have the skills and professional resources to successfully add real value to your property should you sell and to its current investment income.

Buying or Selling? Talk to Us First.

We live and breathe rental properties. We are rental property investors too. We know what makes a good investment property, and we can spot opportunities to buy or sell. Our full-service real estate brokerage, Lakeview Realty Inc., can guide you as to how to make the most of your property investment goals.

Always at Your Service

Trusting your rental property to Lakeview Property Management gives you the support of an experienced team of property management experts located in Orillia and the surrounding region.

Our Property Management Programs

Standard Program

Lakeview Property Management’s standard program gives you access to our full complement of property management services. From rent collection and bill payments and the support of our team, this option takes the hassle of property management out of your hands and provides a sound foundation for the management of your rental unit.

Customized Program

This program is of particular value if you have requirements that are out of the norm. Let’s talk about your specific needs and create a program that works for both of us.

Ready to get started? Got more questions?

Find out how we can help you. Just click the button below and fill out the form that appears or give us a call at 705-325-3600 (office) or 705-309-1747 (Michael Preston, President).

 

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Concerned Ontario Doctors – Care Not Cuts

Concerned Ontario Doctors

Dear Friends

I think it’s important if you’re not involved yet that we take a hard look at how both are provincial and Federal governments are driving our Doctors out of our health care system our province and our country.

We must come to the defence of our Doctors, our health care system and the truly small business corporations in our country.

Michael J Preston

___________________________

Please visit the CareNotCuts website to learn more and be sure to watch the video.

http://www.carenotcuts.ca/

 

 

 

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Survey of Ontario Doctors & Trainees: Burnout, Ongoing Healthcare Cuts & Proposed Federal Taxation Changes
An online survey of Ontario’s doctors and medical trainees (medical students and medical residents) was conducted by Concerned Ontario Doctors from September 4 to September 11, 2017 to understand the effects of the provincial unilateral healthcare cuts, proposed federal taxation changes and mistreatment by government. Respondents were also asked about the OMA; those results will be released independently next month.
There were two sets of respondents: practicing Ontario doctors (n=5162) and Ontario medical trainees (n=709). Margin of error: +/- 1.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20 (Ontario doctors) and +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20 (Ontario medical trainees).
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Thinking Big in a Small Space

THINKING BIG IN SMALL SPACES
With a little help, you can still live large in a small space!

If you live in a small space, it’s important that you don’t feel boxed in.  The following tips will help transform your cramped quarters into something more expansive:

  1. Shady Solutions – Painting walls a soft shade and the ceiling bright white will give the illusion of added height.
  2. Is That a Door In Your Pocket? – Installing pocket doors is an easy and inexpensive way to create lots of extra useable space.
  3. Lighten Up – Keep window areas clear of heavy drapes to expand wall area and let the sun shine in as it helps a space feel larger.
  4. Mirror Mirror – Strategically placed mirrors will create the illusion of added space and they’ll also reflect light into adjoining rooms.
  5. Cut a Rug – Having the same type of flooring throughout your home will make it feel more spacious so avoid using too many area rugs.
  6. Hide & Seek – Maximize every hidden space you have by using shelving pockets behind doors or bed risers for that all important under the bed storage.
  7. Cut the Clutter – Have a place for everything so that the surfaces in your home don’t get cluttered.  Storage baskets for example are great for hiding remotes & magazines.
  8. Open Up – Arrange your furniture so you can see as much of the floor as possible.  Rooms with blocked views can feel cramped so move furniture away from entrances.

Whether you’re getting ready to put your home on the market or you just want to create more space for yourself, these easy and inexpensive tips will help give you a little extra breathing room.  By thinking big and getting creative, you can comfortably live large in even the smallest of spaces.

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Waterfront and residential sales slow to more average levels.

Residential non-waterfront sales activity recorded through the MLS® system of Muskoka Haliburton Orillia – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® numbered 206 units in July 2017.  This was down 14.9% from year-ago levels.

On a year-to-date basis, residential non-waterfront sales were still running 7% above the first seven months of 2016.  This was a record for the period.

Sales of waterfront properties came in 29% below last July.  On a year-to-date basis, waterfront sales were down 9.9% from the first seven months of 2016.  This was still the second highest level on record for this period.

“Sales have slowed noticeably this summer, going from record levels in the spring back to historically more average levels in the space of just two months,” said Mike Stahls, President of Muskoka Haliburton Orillia – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®.  “That said, inventories in Cottage Country remain near record lows so the market is still very tight even with a number of buyers having moved to the sidelines this summer.”

The median price for residential non-waterfront property sales was $282,250 in July 2017, an increase of 5.1% from July 2016.  The median price for waterfront sales was a record $500,000 in July 2017, rising 25% from July 2016.

The dollar value of all residential non-waterfront sales in July 2017 totalled $62.5 million, falling 9.3% from July 2016.  The total value of waterfront sales was $155.4 million, edging up 0.2% from July 2016.  This was also a record for the month of July.