The carpenter who was hired to help a man restore an old farmhouse had just finished his first day on the job and everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. First of all, on his way to work he had a flat tire that cost him an hour’s worth of pay, then his electric saw broke, and after work his old pickup truck refused to start.
His new boss volunteered to give him a lift home and the whole way to his house the carpenter sat in stone silence as he started out his window. Yet on arriving, he invited his boss in for a few minutes to meet his family. As they walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When he opened the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His face was one big smile as he hugged his two small children and kissed his wife.
Afterwards, the man walked his boss to his car to say thank you. On their way out of the house, the boss’ curiosity got the best of him so he had to ask the man about the tree on the front porch. He said, I noticed when you came up on the porch before going into your house you stopped and touched the tree, why?
“Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he replied. “I know I can’t stop from having troubles out on the job, but one thing’s for sure – my troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again.”
“Funny thing is,” he smiled, “when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.”
The GTA Housing Market Report
TORONTO, ONTARIO, January 6, 2021 – Despite an unprecedented year due to COVID-19, including necessary public health restrictions and uncertainty surrounding the economy, Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported over 95,000 home sales in 2020 – the third best result on record. The average selling price reached a new record of almost $930,000.
“The Greater Toronto Area housing market followed an unfamiliar path in 2020. Following the steep COVID-induced drop off in demand during the spring, home sales roared back to record levels throughout the summer and fall. A strong economic rebound in many sectors of the economy, ultra-low borrowing costs and the enhanced use of technology for virtual open houses and showings fuelled and sustained the housing market recovery,” said Lisa Patel, Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) President.
Highlights from 2020 include:
• 95,151 sales were reported through TRREB’s MLS® System – up by 8.4 per cent compared to 2019. This included a record result for the month of December, with 7,180 sales – a year-over-year increase of 64.5 per cent. • Year-over-year sales growth was strongest in the GTA regions surrounding Toronto, particularly for single-family home types.
• The average selling price reached a new record of $929,699 – up by 13.5 per cent compared to 2019. This included an average price of $932,222 in December – a year-over-year increase of 11.2 per cent. The strongest average price growth was experienced for single-family home types in the suburban regions of the GTA.
• After a pronounced dip in market activity between mid-March and the end of May, market conditions improved dramatically in the second half of the year, with multiple consecutive months of record sales and average selling prices.
“While the housing market as a whole recovered strongly in 2020, there was a dichotomy between the single-family market segments and the condominium apartment segment. The supply of single-family homes remained constrained resulting in strong competition between buyers and double-digit price increases. In contrast, growth in condo listings far outstripped growth in sales. Increased choice for condo buyers ultimately led to more bargaining power and a year-over -year dip in average condo selling prices during the last few months of the year,” said Jason Mercer, TRREB Chief Market Analyst.
How to Give Your Cell Phone Battery a Boost
Our cell phones are such a huge part of our lives that seeing 7% on the battery indicator can be as alarming as feeling ourselves about to pass out. But while we all know what to do to boost our own energy, it's not always obvious how to keep our handheld devices fully (or partially) charged. Here are some tips to help save battery life.
Reduce Screen Brightness: Manually reducing your screen brightness is one of the most effective things you can do to improve battery life.
Turn Off Unused Hardware: GPS is usually the largest and most noticeable battery drain, but Bluetooth, WiFi, and your mobile data antennae use power, too.
Turn Off the Vibrate Feature: The motor that makes your phone vibrate actually takes a fair amount of juice to power, and can drain
your battery quickly.
Limit Background Data Usage: Check what's running on your phone and shut down (or uninstall) anything you don't need all the time.
Turn off Notifications: Wait until you open the app to get updates, you'll save a little juice.
Keep Your Apps Updated: Make sure you're running the most recent version of all your favorite apps.
Beat the Heat: Try not to leave your phone lying in direct sunlight, and consider changing or removing your case if you frequently notice it running hot.
See Your Biggest Drains: To extend your battery life, see where your power is going.
Android phones: Settings > Battery
iPhones: Settings > Battery > Battery Usage
Ways to Beat Post-Holiday Weight Gain
Drink water: People often mistake thirst for hunger, so next time you feel like noshing, reach for water first. Drinking also helps you feel full.
Set realistic goals: One or two pounds a week maximum is doable.
Count to 10: Studies suggest that the average craving lasts only about ten minutes. So before caving into your urge, set your mental timer for a ten-minute time-out.
Eat more often: Light, frequent meals curb your appetite, boost your energy, improve your mood and even speed your metabolism.
Make weekly resolutions: Make one change, such as eating at least one piece of fruit daily, every week.
Go easy on the alcohol: Alcohol is a source of calories. A 12-ounce beer has 150 calories; a 3.5-ounce glass of wine, 85 calories.
Stay away from sodas: If you’re truly thirsty, reach for water or unsweetened iced tea instead of soda.
Give yourself a break: If you overeat one night, just get back on track in the morning by focusing on what’s worked for you in the past.
Home Safety Tips for Winter
Keep ice away from the walkway: This is one of the most important tips in keeping the property winter-ready. An icy walkway is a dangerous hazard for your friends and loved ones, so you must make sure it’s thoroughly salted and that water is never dumped at the front of the house during freezing temperatures.
Be cautious with space heaters: Space heaters can be combustible or can easily light objects on fire that are placed too closely to it. If you are operating a space heater, it is also important to not leave it on unattended and to plug it directly into the wall (no power bars or generators).
Use gas heaters responsibly: Gas heaters, in addition to having flame and combustion warnings, can also put you at great risk for carbon monoxide poisoning in an unvented house. It is terribly unsafe to use a gas heater within the home, but if you find yourself using a gas heater, make sure it is an approved product and be sure to follow all of the instructions.
Keep flammable objects three feet away from heaters: This is particularly important with space heaters as objects like paper products, cardboard, fabrics, etc. can be set aflame if set too close to a heater. Make sure all objects – flammable or not are safely away from the heater.
Secure your fireplace: It may be a charming sight and provide a lot of heat for the room, but your fireplace is the fastest fire-starter in the house. Putting a grate around the front of your fireplace is crucial in preventing coals and other flammable bits from popping out of the blaze and onto the carpet, drapes, lampshade, etc. It is also imperative to never leave a fire unattended.
Chimneys can also be flammable: A clogged chimney can be just as dangerous. The soot in the chimney can catch fire when exposed to high temperatures. To safely use it, you should have it cleaned and inspected once a year.
Make sure your house is ready for a blackout: In the same way that your house needs to be ready for weather changes, you need supplies for a blackout.
Invest in battery-powered motion sensors: In the case of a blackout, you will be particularly vulnerable to attacks from burglars.
(647) 866 4000 - INFO@WAHID.CA - WWW.WAHID.CA
Not intended to solicit sellers or buyers currently under contract with a brokerage. This newsletter is intended for entertainment purposes only. Credit is given to the authors of various articles that are reprinted when the original author is known. Any omission of credit to an author is purely unintentional and should not be construed as plagiarism or literary theft. Copyright 2021 Wahid Amin. This information is solely advisory, and should not be substituted for medical, legal, financial or tax advice. Any and all decisions and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a qualified physician, attorney, financial advisor and/or other professionals in corresponding field. We cannot be held responsible for actions you may take without proper medical, financial, legal or tax advice.