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Where to Find Value in Ottawa

You make money in real estate when you buy not when you sell. So buy smart. Here is a current map I use when recommending areas for residential clients or investors to look at in order to obtain above average returns.

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Real estate is a hyper local business so use a realtor who knows your city, town or county really well. You are not looking for the cheapest home. You are searching for one that is affordable for you, but also one that increases quickly in value.

In my experience, the areas highlighted with red asterisks above provide affordable housing that is also a good investment as well as being located in highly livable neighborhoods. 

Ottawa, in my view, is one of the best real estate markets in Canada and almost certainly has the best investment potential of any capital city amongst the G20 nations. You can still buy a bungalow less than 15 minutes from the Parliamentary precinct in Ottawa for $314,000, renovate it to create a lower level, 2-bedroom apartment with its own entrance, partly funded (if you so choose) by a $15,000 Ontario Renovates grant and then remodel the upstairs into an ultra modern 3-bed, 2-bath home on one level for your own occupancy and live there for less than $900 per month. 

How do I know that? Clients of mine just did it.

Now try that in London, England.

Remember, you are the owner so all increase in property value over time goes to you. Moreover, every month you pay your mortgage (with help from rent you are collecting from your lower level tenants), you are paying down part of your mortgage principal, which means that money also ultimately goes to you.

Bruce M Firestone, broker, Century 21 Explorer Realty Inc, call: 613.422.6757 x 250, email: bruce.firestone@century21.ca, text: 6137628884, tweet: @profbruce

http://www.brucemfirestone.com/

Making Impossible Possible

Postscript— here are OREB (Ottawa Real Estate Board) neighborhoods (districts) I tend to search most often:

3501,3502,3603,3605,3606,3607,3602,3503,3504,3505,511,3401,3704,3801,3802,3803,3804,3805,4201,4202,4203,4204,4205,4301,4302,4 
303,4403,4404,4405,4406,4407,4408,4501,4502,4503,4504,4505,4601,4602,4603,4604,4605,4606,4607,4608,4701,4702,4703,4704,4705,4 
801,4807,5003,5101,5102,5103,5104,5105,5201,5202,5301,5302,5303,5304,5401,5402,5403,5405,5406,6001,6002,6101,6102,6103,6201,6 
202,6203,6204,6301,6302,6303,6304,6305,7001,7002,7003,7004,7201,7203,7204,7301,7302,7402,7403,7503,7504,7505,7601,7602,7603,7 
604,7605,7606,7607,7802,7803,7804,3604,3608,3609,3701,3702,3703

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Being Both an Environmentalist and Business Person

It’s always seemed strange that some environmentalists have trouble grasping the concept that nothing is sustainable unless it’s also economically sustainable. The reverse is also true—some business people believe that moving towards using less energy and material as well as producing less waste inevitably leads to higher costs and lower revenue growth. How can being more efficient and more environmentally conscious be in conflict when you save energy, matter and waste?

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In 1995, Ray Anderson, founder of Interface (a carpet manufacturer), talked about the toxicity of his industry. His goals included—

1. phasing out use of virgin nylon

2. replacing fossil fuel with renewables

3. aiming for 0 waste within 25 years

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Businessweek (Sept 14, 2014) reports that after Ray made his presentation, next day Interface’s stock fell by 50%. Still, their revenues have increased from $595 million to nearly a billion today, their carpet tiles are so prized that fussy clients like Apple use them in their HQ, their factories are 39% more energy efficient than industry average, they use 83% less water, and about half of their inputs are either recycled materials or from natural sources.

It’s possible to be both a business person and environmentalist, you just have to work harder and smarter. 

@ profbruce

@ quantum_entity

Postscript: green your home for real, http://profbruce.tumblr.com/post/68061191187/greening-your-home-for-real-here-are-some-green

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Flex Homes

Here is a design we used to create small, affordable flex homes, whose functional program evolves as family and ownership needs change over time.

It can be a 4-bedroom, 2-bath single family home. Then with insertion of a single door, it transforms into a duplex with 2, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartments, each with their own private entry. For greater efficiency, there is some shared space—a single laundry room serves both units.

The entry to the lower level unit is on the side of the home near the garage and note, because of its high ranch bungalow-style, it is only 1/2 level down.

Over time, this home (based on a granny flat design I lived in when I was visiting UCSC in Santa Cruz many years ago) can accomodate—

-a single family using the entire living space

-two apartments

-a 2-bedroom home on the upper floor with the lower level being used as a home office with its own separate ingress/egress

-a home for parents on the upper floor and a separate apartment for a returning (adult) child, perhaps with a baby of their own

-a home for an elder on the upper floor with a rental apartment at the lower level providing income for the retiree and company and security

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@ profbruce

@ quantum_entity

Download as pptx file from, http://www.old.dramatispersonae.org/images/Flex-Homes-villager-iv.pptx. Note, quality of images is superior.

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What is New Marketing?

I think this is one of the best definitions of new marketing I have seen so far—

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Here’s the type of marketing many firms practiced before 9:50 pm PST, March 21, 2006*—

• msm (TV, radio, newspaper, magazine)
• website
• blog
• email
• newsletter

And here is what it might look like today—

• facebook page/ads
• google+ page/google maps/google ad words
• twitter feed/ads
• linkedin profile/ads
• instagram
• youtube channel
• tumblr blog
• pinterest
• kijiji ads
• events
• app

For SMEEs and individuals, new marketing is more affordable, more rational, more accountable and more feasible. Oh yeah, it works too.

@ profbruce
@quantum_entity

* The moment when Jack Dorsey posted the 1st tweet, “just setting up my twttr”.

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Why Czech Farmland Is a Better Bet

Than Stocks and Bonds

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According to Bloomberg Businessweek, investing in Czech farmland blows away other investments there. For example—

5-year sovereign notes, 0.52% p.a.

Prague Stock Exchange 13-stock index, -4.2% p.a. over 9-years ending in 2013

farmland ROI, 8% p.a.

That’s why I coach my clients to invest in real estate in 4 different ways—

1. own your own home

2. own some residential rentals

3. buy some commercial property

4. buy some land

Read more—

Real Estate Investing Made Easy

Retire Rich Retire Early

How investors tired of poor financial returns pooled their funds and made a nice profit in real estate (guest post by Scott Devries)

How even if you live to be 1,000, you’ll never retire if your mutual funds and GICs perform like this

@ profbruce

@ quantum_entity 

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Tiny Homes are Illegal in Ontario

But Shouldn’t Be

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Here’s how Ontario and many other jurisdictions make sure their citizens are in debt til they die—

By way of the many restrictions in place, governments are actually a major contributor to the ongoing affordable housing crises!  It is illegal to live full time in an RV (or tiny house)  UNLESS  you are in a RV resort or park where RV’s are allowed. You can’t even build a smaller house or “right sized house for you” on the ground in Ontario and legally live in it.  It must be built to a dictated minimum size, usually 800 square feet or more, adhering to every building code and every bylaw requirement.  MPAC will also asses any building, a shed, garage, even a outhouse and make you pay extra yearly taxes for it.  Anything under the minimum size requirements would be considered uninhabitable, would not be in compliance with the building codes in Ontario, and is clearly outlawed to be occupied full time. You would be shut down.

Why do you build tiny houses on steel frames with wheels? 

There are many reasons why this is necessary. First it eliminates the need and high development costs you normally would have when building a home on the ground. There are no building permits required so you don’t have to follow outdated or unreasonable building code.  It eliminates the laws that restrict housing to be of a certain larger size, so you can actually build a right size house. And, you would pay no yearly taxes as you normally would have to, for a house built on the ground.  Ontario considers these a home made RV, ( there not !  [SIC]) and as such plate them at a small one time fee. They are also portable, so you could build in one location and move it to a smart community when finished.  Or move anytime, with your house, to any other location or smart community in Ontario. You can build a building in Ontario on the ground around 10’ X 10’ or 100 square feet without a building permit, but not a house that small, it would be illegal to live in it.  See above question. Again, you would be shut down.

Source: KINGSTON TINY HOUSE GROUPhttp://wwppss.wix.com/smart

@ profbruce

@ quantum_entity

postscript: more on related subject, Russian Dachnik Movement

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Boatload of Ottawa Senator Recollections

Here is a series of videos (some of them short, some quite lengthy) that includes my thoughts on the founding of the NHL’s modern day Ottawa Senators, one of the original franchises when the National League was first established in 1917. The Sens, winners of 9 Stanley Cups, remained active in the league until 1933 when, in the midst of the depression, they relocated to St Louis. They played there for a year before terminating operations until they were resurrected by a dedicated group of Ottawa fans, sponsors, politicians and business people, beginning play again in October 1992, after a nearly 60-year hiatus.

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Altair Hunter, age 15, loved by Desmond Ruane (dark haired), 16 and Michael Brooks Bell (redhead), 18 in book 3, Quantum Entity | The Successors.

"Wicked Game" lyrics by Chris Isaak (thanks to A-Z Lyrics)

The world was on fire and no one could save me but you.

It’s strange what desire will make foolish people do.

I never dreamed that I’d meet somebody like you.

And I never dreamed that I’d lose somebody like you.

No, I don’t want to fall in love (This world is only gonna break your heart)

No, I don’t want to fall in love (This world is only gonna break your heart)

With you (This world is only gonna break your heart)

What a wicked game to play, to make me feel this way.

What a wicked thing to do, to let me dream of you.

What a wicked thing to say, you never felt this way.

What a wicked thing to do, to make me dream of you and,

I want to fall in love (This world is only gonna break your heart)

No, I want to fall in love (This world is only gonna break your heart)

With you.

The world was on fire and no one could save me but you.

It’s strange what desire will make foolish people do.

I never dreamed that I’d love somebody like you.

And I never dreamed that I’d lose somebody like you,

No, I want to fall in love (This world is only gonna break your heart)

No, I want to fall in love (This world is only gonna break your heart)

With you (This world is only gonna break your heart)

No, I… (This world is only gonna break your heart)

(This world is only gonna break your heart)

Nobody loves no one.

@quantum_entity

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So You Think You’re Cut Out to be an Entrepreneur?

Look in the mirror first, brother/sister. 

@ profbruce

@ quantum_entity

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Support the Hunger Site

Are you stressed about your job, your kids, your relationships, your finances, your business, your retirement, finding work, your aging parents, paying off debt, your studies and exams?

Well, you could do worse than get your very own Guatemalan worry-no-more-doll from The Hunger Site. You place your tiny handmade doll under your pillow each night, tell her your worries, and by morning, presto-chango, she’s stolen them away…

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Note that every dollar spent on The Hunger Site buys at least 25 cups of food for the needy.

Worry Dolls play a role in Quantum Entity trilogy (books available at http://www.brucemfirestone.com). Here is what my friend, Judy Murray, had to say about her experience with worry people:

“My husband Steve and I got our Worry People at a Christmas Party hosted by Prof Bruce in Dec 2011. We named them ‘Molly’ and ‘Miranda’. Molly is Steve’s, Miranda is mine. We don’t know anyone who has those names but for whatever reason, that is who they are. I recall that with our dolls, you aren’t supposed to change the names once you choose them…so they’re Molly and Miranda forever. The dolls really do work—I can’t believe it. Now some friends of ours are going through tough times and we need to get them Worry Dolls too,” Judy Murray, Ottawa, Canada, June 2012.

Here is an excerpt from Book 1 of the Quantum Entity trilogy. In it, Gillian Boys, outfitter in Belize, has this to say about Worry Dolls—

“Worry People are tiny folk art dolls mostly found in Guatemala Highland Maya culture. If you confess your troubles to your Worry Doll before you go to sleep each night, they’ll steal them away and you’ll sleep peacefully and completely.

“Our dolls come from San Juan del Obispo. They’re hand-made using all natural cotton fibres and textiles made in Guatemala. Your job is to find a coupla dolls that speak to you and to draw a face on each of them and give them a name. But once you have given them a name, it’s like ships, it’s bad luck to change them so be careful.

“We have three types of dyes for you to work with: tanine, vat dyes and dyes with mordent. We also have lots of non-run, non-NSM inks and different colored threads of various diameters to choose from so there you go…

“Any questions?”

“I have one,” says a pensive Nell. “Where do Worry Dolls take our fears after we tell them what’s going on?”

More worry doll stories—

Take a few minutes to pre-read the Foreword from Quantum Entity: http://www.eqjournal.org/?p=2932

Performance artist Nell takes physicist Damien Bell and friends to her second home on Ambergris Caye to celebrate Damien’s 23rd birthday. On Day 2, they find themselves at Marco Gonzalez, the site of Mayan ruins on the south end of the island. 

Towards the end of the afternoon, they’re all gathered about the craft hut for an announcement. The girls have covered up (they all went topless except for Dakota and her friends) for the second time today—they didn’t play Ultimate semi-nude and won’t be doing some type of craft that way either.

Gillian says: “We wanted everyone to take something away from today that will help you remember this day, this beautiful nation and these wonderful people for a long time to come. So Miss Nell and our team have brought baskets of Worry Dolls, enough for everyone to create one or two of their own.

“Anyone know what a worry doll is?”

No one did or at least no one wanted to put her or his knowledge of the subject up against a local like Gillian Boys.

“Worry People are tiny folk art dolls mostly found in Guatemala Highland Maya culture. If you confess your troubles to your Worry Doll before you go to sleep each night, they’ll steal them away and you’ll sleep peacefully and completely.

“Our dolls come from San Juan del Obispo. They’re hand-made using all natural cotton fibres and textiles made in Guatemala. Your job is to find a coupla dolls that speak to you and to draw a face on each of them and give them a name. But once you have given them a name, it’s like ships, it’s bad luck to change them so be careful.

-read more at http://www.eqjournal.org/?p=2939

(Please note: MATURE Themes)

Now you need to know that you don’t pick out your Doll; she picks you out. Next, you need to name her but, like ships, you have to be careful about this because, once you have named her, you can’t change it because it’s bad luck.

-read more at http://www.eqjournal.org/?p=2911

Worry Doll: Miss Buril
Meet “Miss Buril” Guatemalan Worry-No-More Doll, Bruce M Firestone belongs to Miss Buril 

@ quantum_entity

@ profbruce

Get your worry doll from The Hunger Site by visiting: https://www.thehungersite.com/store/ths/item/33968/guatemalan-worry-no-more-doll?source=10–1475810807-5