Hunker down

Hunker down

Leading up to the close of the year always feels like the race is coming to an end, the year’s journey is closing and it’s time to hunker down. Get the mittens out of the closets, the winter jackets, the boots; get the snow tires on the car, rake up the last of the leaves around the house, and put away the patio furniture. For those of you living the condo style life almost the same thing right, just not as enduring. The cold, crisp air is chilling to the bone in the first few weeks, but then you somewhat climatize. I know it happens to me, no choice in the matter unless of course, you are on a flight south for five months of the year, a different journey altogether and one I am definitely working towards.

It’s been a crazy year in the market friends with really no effect from our (4) seasons! Typically the spring market is a lot more vibrant leading into the summer and then through a robust fall that usually slows down by late October. I think we live in such an awesome place, despite the slushy roads, long cold winters, messy springs, and yes the taxes. It’s like this wonderful safe haven that many throughout the planet don’t or can’t experience.

One other thing I like about the close of the year, like November, is what I like to call the summation month. I go through all the sold listings throughout the year. I prepare and personally sign all my Christmas cards for my clients. I send out all the desktop calendars; write in my Real-estate diary that I have had for the last 14 years with the same exact pen that came with it along with a little brandy. And reflect how fortunate I am to have encountered so many excellent situations and people which in turn resulted in many high fives, solid hugs, the cheek kisses, and yes the “oh yeah baby!!” So, hunker down friends stay warm and love your Home!

Brick & Mortar My Friends

Sincerely,
Phil Battista

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Creepy Inspection!

Creepy Inspection!

It was dark and creepy; I flicked the light switch and nothing came on, all the window coverings as far as I could see were thick and full of dust with horrible stains on them. The late afternoon sun could hardly penetrate them. The warning sign said “Enter at your own risk and must have proper masks and gloves as indicated by the ministry of health”.

As I walked in with my Inspector, we both looked at each other and raised both our hands in the air whispering through our white masks “10 minutes only”! Why we were whispering is beyond me, it’s obvious there was no one there. The research said the house was stigmatized, meaning something was up, ghosts, suicide, multiple families, cults/ groups who had inhabited the property. It was old, built in the early fifty’s, the baby boom era and most likely at first it was a blue collar family that lived there with a bunch of kids and a stay-at-home mom while dad went out and eked out a living. As we entered, there were reminders of this.

Over the years no one after the original family had not gotten rid of or replaced really anything! The plastered ceilings in the dining room had wonderful swirls in the texture, at one time it was an art to do this type of work, now cracked and chipping and hanging from the middle of the room was what looked like an old original light fixture broken stained glass, red, green and purple, with a cooking pot and a turkey image on it . The kitchen had the same original cabinets and countertop, thick grease stains and yellow spots indicating water damage all over, the washroom was small dingy, with old one inch by one inch tile around the sink and the bathroom walls were the tub was.

I looked in the medicine cabinet, and there was a brown bottle with a skull and an X on it, poison is what the bottle indicated! That’s all I’m going to say about that. We slowly walked through the property as if we were in a dingy cave, hunched over, with wide open eyes and a bead of sweat started to form on my forehead, even though it was damp and musty, somewhat cold in there.

We kept on peering at each other again and again just to be sure we were close, not saying a word. I had my phone light on to enter the basement as did my Inspector who had a miniature flashlight bright enough to see all that was in front of us. We were on the way down to the basement and, oh boy it was musty and smelly…! The reason we needed to go in this property was to inspect the foundation walls were ok to build on or at least a portion thereof. The house was a tear down in a good area…

As we were in the basement, the rooms had been finished, but man it felt EERIE.., there was this old red shag carpet that was still RED! The wood paneling was falling down, and there was this picture of an old painting of a farm house on the wall in the middle of a field! Going into the furnace/utility room, old tools were still around including this huge pipe wrench, what was it used for in this building…? it is questionable, even my inspector looked at me in awe! Just then and there we heard a bang and slam, the basement door had shut! I pulled down my white mask and shouted to my inspector let’s get the hell out of here! We scurried up the stairs pushed open the jammed door and out we went, almost fell flat on my face down the old concrete stairs as we came out of the property!

What a freaked out experience, let me tell you! My recommendation for you friends … may you always stay away from those creepy places!!! Sometimes my job isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be!! HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!!!

Brick & Mortar My Friends

Sincerely,
Phil Battista

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We did it in three days!

We did it in three days!

Crazy, crazy last two weeks Friends! I have been busy selling homes in this market and to no end in sight! Yup, I would have to admit that for sure crazy… So many years in the business Friends, but this one is exceptional! So many people loving their homes, and in turn so many people wanting to love a Home, makes this Greater Toronto Area and the outlying areas like Acton, Guelph, Kitchener, St Catherine’s, Orangeville, Caledon, Bradford, Acton, Cambridge and many other cities very desirable!

This foot print we live on Friends is just remarkable. Another remarkable place is Boston. We drove their last week for a Remax conference /work/ get out of town road-trip and see what the neighbors are up to. After driving through New York State, New Hampshire were their car plates say “Live Free or Die”, which means it is a Tax-Free State…, and then entering Massachusetts and into the city of Boston, I must say beautiful! The drive was excellent even though one-way is approximately 9 hours!

When we were there, we visited Harvard University in Cambridge, Fenway Park; stayed at an AIR B&B that my Boy booked for us in East Cambridge, the new thing these days with regards to accommodation, I was skeptical at first but it worked out just fine. Then we stayed at the Boston Park Plaza in the city, another night and that was Awesome, not the room but the City! I immersed myself in getting to know what the real-estate is like there and if you think Prices are high here in the GTA, wait until you visit the “HUB” other name for Boston! I bet many of you have traveled most places but for me as they say in Boston slang “ WICKED PISSA.”

What also intrigued me was Dunkin Donuts, not quite like Timmy’s but good. “I’ll take a lahge regulah” Then one night we ate at this joint called the Cambridge Brewing Company one of the best burgers I have ever tasted, and I have had a lot of burgers…, well the beer even tastier.

All & all Friends it’s always nice to get out of town for a bit and check out how the others are doing in their foot print ! Coming back and crossing back over the border felt good, kind of tired but worth it, we did it all in three days. Yup Crazy EH! Crazy Canucks we are so!

Have a great week you all!
Brick & Mortar My Friends

Sincerely,
Phil Battista

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All Good!

All Good!

…and a month later, we haven’t got rid of the skunk stink!
Friends, unreal! I sincerely missed you. Today October 5th, 2016 is a good day! Do you know why? Simply because it is… that’s all friends! So I haven’t written a blog for a while now, and I was thinking never too late and always on time, pure timing friends!

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Thumps Up!

Thumps Up!

So I got the big finger the other day for what I think was uncalled for!

But who knows, sometimes driving is an adventure and you never know when someone is out there, including me, with less than a lighter mood. I am sure it’s happened to most of us. You see, I was on my usual day full of encouragement and with a positive attitude to go and view a wonderful condo at Young and Sheppard in Toronto – what a beautiful vibrant area of Toronto I must say!

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