Ringing Cedars

March 29th, 2010

Dr. Seuss’ character, The Lorax , was shortish. And oldish. And brownish. And mossy. And he spoke with a voice that was sharpish and bossy. "Mister!" he said with a sawdusty sneeze, "I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.”

Not everyone would agree with the Lorax... The “Ringing Cedars” are trees of Siberian pine (Pinus sibirica), which, are said to make noise. Supposedly, after 500 years of life, these cedars have accumulated so much energy that they start to emit a ringing sound or crackling noise somewhat similar to the sounds made by high-voltage power transmission lines.. According to some folks, the wood of such trees has powerful healing properties and capable of curing a disease of the flesh.

The Russian name Sibirsky Kedr is often mis-translated in English as "Siberian Cedar"; references to "cedar" in texts translated from Russian usually refer to this tree or related pines, not to cedars.

Certainly, trees are great natural receptors, accumulators and transmitters of wave energy, including solar power. The needle of a conifer and the broadleaf parts of trees are prototypes for today’s man-made antennas which are really an imitation of the branch structure of trees. & the basic device we use for storing electricity is known as a condenser or capacitor and it’s composed of alternating layers of poor and good electrical conductors- a living tree is also composed of similar layers. Tree sap is an excellent conductor of electricity (this is what attracts lightning to strike a tree)- while wood is actually a poor conductor. Static electricity was first artificially generated through fossil resin from conifer trees (amber).

Siberian cedar can live over 800 years and grow to over 100’ tall. It is famous for its nutritious nuts (called pine nuts). It is a tree of spiritual importance as it has been a totemic tree of indigenous Siberian cultures for ages. Praised for having exceptional fragrance, moth-repelling qualities, durability, dense grain and rot-resistance, Siberian cedar is excellent for woodcarving, furniture-making and flooring, among other things.

The ringing phenomenon is relatively rare. It is said that after 550 years of its life the Ringing Cedar starts making a pleasant humming sound which is a sign for people to use its gathered energy. The healing energies of the trees is commonly acknowledged. To employ the healing properties of the Siberian cedar, one must sit or stand with their back against the trunk of a living tree. In Siberia, twigs from these trees are used the same way as the Chinese use needles, for acupuncture. The twig is applied with the end that was connected to the tree. The twig is then said to suck away excess or negative energy and if energy is required, the twig is applied in reverse.

It is the nutlets that are considered the true treasure among the gifts of a cedar forest. These delicious cedar nuts (or pine nuts) are praised throughout the world as a nutritious healthy snack. They contain a high concentration of amino acids (with the prevalence of arginine), easily digestible proteins, a whole complex of vitamins, including B & E. The oil is very rich in vitamin P: it contains three times as much vitamin P as the product called "Vitamin P" made using fish oil. Vitamin P is made up of vital fatty acids, which is believed to help to reduce the level of cholesterol in your bloodstream and prevent the formation of plaques on the walls of blood vessels. The nuts may also be used to create vodka.

If you plan to collect pine nuts, they should come from windfallen cones- from the ground, not taken from the tree... you see, they must be fully ripened seeds as they are the ones with the highest nutrient and oil content. The nuts should not be removed from the cones until you are ready to press the oil. Apparently, nuts can stay inside the cones and their vitality may be retained for 10 years or more. Nuts should be shelled manually with a wooden mallet and the kernels should not come into contact with any metal. Metal will oxidize the oil and reduce its healing properties). Oil should be produced at room temperature, without any chemicals and with the appropriate attitude. The residue may be dried and ground to produce ‘flour’.

Throughout the centuries both the material and spiritual culture of the Urals and Siberia inhabitants were strongly associated with a Cedar tree. The Kazaks who inhabited the Urals used to call a Cedar tree a “Siberian Giant”. The peasants from Tobolsk region named Cedar as a “Sacred Tree”. Nowadays Cedar is still considered as the “Tsar” of Siberia, a wonder tree, a patriarch of Northern forests. The Siberian Cedar has become a national pride of Russia.

According to ancient books, God created Cedar to accumulate cosmic energy. It is believed that a small piece of a Cedar tree possesses much more energy than all power equipments on earth that have ever been made by people. All cedar trees that grow on earth are meant to perform a special task of accumulating the energy of Cosmos.

People have been aware of the healing properties of Siberian Cedar Nut Oil for a long time. In 1792 academician P. S. Pallas wrote about the nuts of the Siberian cedar that rejuvenates “a man’s strength” and gives him youth and produces amazing results in increasing the resistance to any diseases. Russian Siberian Cedar nuts were exported to England and other countries as early as the reign of Ivan the Terrible.

The first documented mention of cultivated Siberian cedars in the European part of Russia dates back to the second half of the XVI century, when the Tolgskaya cedar grove was laid out near Yaroslavl, 8 km from the city. This grove was located on the left bank of the Volga, 300 m from the shore, on the territory of the former Tolgskaya Monastery, which was constructed in 1314.

From a 2006 article in the Saint Peterburg English Newspaper

“The lifetime of a Siberian Cedar tree (which is of the pine nut family) is about 550 years. Day and night it catches and accumulates all spectrum of light energy through all of its needle like leaves. During the Cedar’s lifetime, all kinds of objects are passing over it, reflecting this energy. Cedars are said to receive the emanation of man’s energy, reflected through the Cosmos. It preserves and gives the light energy back to the Cosmos when the Cosmos’s level goes down, as a result of such light energy going down in man.

It happens, though very seldom, that a cedar tree just accumulates light energy but does not give back this accumulated energy to the Cosmos. When such energy accumulated cedars are about five hundred years old they start to ring, thus they are trying to communicate. They give a welcome sign, inviting man to use their energy on Earth for good purposes. Such a cedar produces a ringing sound for three years if it does not come into contact with people. After these three years, if it fails to give its accumulated light energy directly to man, it loses the energy by burning it within itself. The torturous process of burning-dying lasts for about 27 years.

Thus when indigenous people find such a ringing cedar they endeavour to ‘fell’ it and use it for good purposes within mankind. One such purpose is making ringing cedar pendants.”

I understand that if you plan to wear a pendant made of Siberian Cedar, it is important to be aware of the direction of the wood fibres. The fibres should be parallel to the wearer’s body so that it will resonate with that person’s electromagnetic field. Handmade items are substantially more powerful than commercially made items.

Siberian cedars may be used to produce a cedar milk that some believe could replace much of the present day dependence on both cow’s milk and/or soya milk.

Trees provide a natural outdoor instrument. As branches and leaves shake, they cause vibrations in the surrounding air. the faster the object moves, the higher will be the pitch that is heard. The sound of wind rustling in the leaves is called “psithurism"... which is kind of interesting if you figure that Parrots are known as psittacines and psittacopes is an extinct genus of parrots and Psithyrus is a subgenus in the bumblebee genus Bombus.

Tree sounds are unique
to those who stop and listen.
The willow has been likened to a flute,
the pine to a violin.

New Canadian Mortgage Rules

February 16th, 2010

New Canadian mortgage rules take effect April 19. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has announced tighter lending standards for mortgages a move he said was needed to “help prevent negative trends from developing.”

Recently, the Vanier institute announced that in 2009, household debt in Canada rose to record levels, with almost two-thirds of families reporting that they would be in financial trouble if their pay cheques were just one week late. Vanier found that the number of mortgage payments more than 90 days in arrears jumped 50% last year. Many economists argue that this figure has been seriously skewed by the Alberta housing boom.

It’s all about the people, not the houses. The Bank of Canada says, "In the Bank of Canada's view, it is premature to talk about a bubble in Canadian housing markets. Recent house price increases do not appear to be out of line with the underlying supply/demand fundamentals.”

The Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals says, “The bottom line from the simulations is that even though mortgage payments will probably rise for most borrowers, the increases in incomes will more than offset the increased mortgage payments."

Scotia Capital tells us, “"We expect housing demand will remain strong through the key spring sales season as buyers attempt to pre-empt the inevitable rise in interest rates, and improving labour markets bolster confidence”

“There are no definitive signs of a housing bubble,” Mr. Flaherty said. “We think we're being proactive in the three steps we're taking today.”
In fact, many lenders have already been practicing the measures that have been outlined by Flaherty and it isn’t that much of a surprise. The three basic changes are as follows:

• Borrowers will need to meet qualifying standards for a five-year fixed rate mortgage (even if they opt for a lower rate and shorter term.) This is in order to prepared buyers for the inevitable interest hikes.

• The maximum Canadians can withdraw in refinancing mortgages will now be 90 per cent of the value of their property (currently 95 per cent).

• A minimum down payment of 20 per cent will be required for government-backed insurance on properties purchased on speculations (the owners do not intend to occupy the home).

We haven’t seen much speculative buying in a while, anyway... and there has been recent news that The Bank of Canada's pledge to keep interest rates at the current level will end by June 30th.

Overall, Canada's real estate market remains healthy and strong and the Canadian Real Estate Association predicts that the average price for a home will rise to $337,550 CAN this year, a 5.4% increase from 2009.

Captain Phil Harris

February 12th, 2010

Fabian and I were sad to learn that Phil Harris, 53, from the Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" has passed away after complications from a stroke he suffered in January- while the crew were offloading crab in Alaska.

Captain of the Cornelia Marie for 18 years, Harris' boat (The Cornelia Marie) is one of a few boats that have been rigged with cameras since 2005 treating fans to a taste of the brutal perils of opilio crab fishing on the Bering Sea.

Since the earliest days of the show, Phil Harris has caught our attention. Big, burly, rusty-voiced and down to earth, Harris could be salty, wrangling the sea with a vigilant eye on the safety of his crew which has included his two sons, Josh and Jake. As Captain Phil said recently on a Larry King episode, "There's a lot goes on out there besides crab fishin'"

One season, his boat was plagued with propeller problems and there was an issue in one main engine, not to mention that Captain Phil faced ongoing medical problems- culminating in a serious crisis from a 2008 hurricane that launched him from his bed, breaking bones and causing a serious blood clot. He has to leave his boat. It was awful!

Through the seasons, we've watched Captain Phil Harris with fascination. Balancing business acumen with a straight shooting attitude, fierce passion and working without sleep, with broken ribs in some of the most dangerous conditions. His love of the sea, devotion to family and loyalty to friends and colleagues was obvious. He was always up for a good practical joke, too. In one interview, Phil said "The pranks – they’re all good, it just depends on who you’re doing them to! The one we did with Sig was funny because he’s Norwegian and I was trying to think of something rare. We’ve put toilets in pots, we’ve dressed a mannequin in rain gear and put him in the pots. It just goes on and on – it’s just endless that we do back and forth. That was probably one of the funniest ones though."

One can only imagine how much you need to have a good laugh to break the serious climate of the frigid sea life. Captain Phil confessed to being scared 3 times in his 33 years on the sea, "I’ve been scared on the water about 3 times in my career, and every one is a bit different but equally scary. We were at the Pribilofs and it was blowing in the area of 150-175 knots, maybe 100 foot seas. We came off a comber and there wasn’t any water on the other side and the boat just free fell about 100 feet. The boat weighs around 700 tons, so it just blasted all of us. It just ripped things off the walls inside the boat — the microwave and stereo went flying, dishes all over the place. We blew off one of our rudders too, and all the alarms were going off. We didn’t know if we’d punctured a hole in the boat or what. We were sideways at this point in 100 foot seas, We got it spun around and I knew I’d done something to the boat because it wouldn’t steer properly. It took a few minutes to get all the alarms shut off. Guys were checking the engines in the engine room to find out if there was structural damage. At that point we were going the same direction as the seas and the waves were so big that I was just terrified. A friend called to see how it looked and for 4 hours, I didn’t even turn around to look. I knew if I did, it would probably give me a heart attack. It was just too big."

He's also said, “You’ve got to be a little twisted to do this job and you have to like to live on the edge.”

Uh huh. Still, we've watched each season and always look forward to seeing Phil Harris. We've rooted for him during illness, disaster, weather and quotas. We've watched him in interviews, exhibiting a frank sense of humility, love for his friends and family, and a warm sense of comaraderie. Captain Phil was someone you wished you knew, personally. He was so real.

I would like to share a couple more quotes from the captain...

At the end of a Discovery Channel 2008 online live chat:

"I want to thank every single person that was on here tonight that supports me, takes time out from what they’re doing to even care. I guess that’s one of the best perks of this whole job is having people like you guys to sit down and talk with. Sometimes there’s some really interesting stuff. Especially thanks to the people that sent gifts and cards. It doesn’t get better than that. I’m a fortunate guy to have people do that. It’s a very neat feeling and something that I’ll always hold dear to me, if after this is all said and done, the show goes away and we’re just back doing our thing this is something I can reflect on that was pretty damned cool. I want to thank everybody, that means more to me than anything.

There’s a couple people I would like to thank that have been great and without them, this whole thing wouldn’t have been possible for me, Bonnie Rasmussen and Skip, and my manager Russ, and my partner on the crab boat. Everybody else, I could start naming names but we’d be here all night. Bonnie is exceptionally dear to me, just the sweetest thing in the world. Laura and the people who take care of my T-shirts and Roger from Kicker have been nice to me and helped me through tough times when I was sick. I want to thank them. Especially Bonnie, she’s a sweet lately and she does great work for me."

and in another interview, when asked about what lesson he hoped he'd given his boys, Phil Harris said, "I don’t know if there’s one lesson, but in general, if I died tonight and was gone, I hope they’d have the integrity to do what they say, be honest, and do honest work for an honest wage and not short change themselves or anyone else. To be honest about how they live and work. Don’t sidestep things or try to cut corners. Do an honest hard job, and do it to the best of their ability."

Dec. 21, 1956- Feb. 10, 2010
Bon Voyage Captain Phil
Rest in Peace

Holmes Inspection

February 2nd, 2010

Originally broadcast January 8, 2010 on CBC-TV "Grow Up Coverup" with Erica Johnson and Mike Holmes, of Holmes on Homes, who in 2006 was recognized in Canada’s House of Commons for his promotion of skilled trades and for his advocacy for improved building standards.

Mike Holmes lives by a very simple motto: "Make It Right". He believes in that slogan so strongly that he has it tattooed on his right arm.

I've had a crush on Mike Holmes for an awfully long time... way way way before he received that marriage proposal from Ellen DeGeneres.

I've been a fan since I first saw the man that a 2006 Calgary Herald writer described as, "... big and he wears overalls with a sleeveless undershirt, a gold chain, bracelets and an earring. He has tattoos and a spiky brush cut."

Back, also in 2006, Mike Holmes wrote an article for the Toronto Globe and Mail: "Inspections need closer scrutiny" in which he said:

When buying an existing home, it's a good idea to also buy some peace of mind by first having it looked over by an independent professional, to make sure it's as good as it looks. The first person buyers often look for is a certified home inspector, and often your real estate agent will recommend one.

But keep these points in mind: Your real estate agent wants to make a sale. The amount of your real estate agent's commission is also based on the final price. Your home inspection report can be used to renegotiate or lower the final price. It's not impossible to imagine some home inspectors turning a blind eye to certain problems, in order to keep the selling price up and a good relationship with the realtors who give them referrals. You might start to see why it's best to have a separation between these two parties, the realtor and the home inspector. There could be a conflict of interest and you need to have independent, unbiased advice.

and

If you want to know if the house you are thinking about buying is safe and sound, spend time looking for your own certified home inspector, or hire licensed contractors. Not only can they tell you that the house “looks right,” but they can verify with a higher level of certainty that it “is right.” Whether it's electrical, plumbing, HVAC, roofing or even mould evaluation, a licensed contractor is qualified to make sure it meets proper building code and safety guidelines.

A licensed contractor can offer two valuable bits of information: Does the system meet minimum building code standards? If the answer is “no,” what will it cost to bring the home up to safe standards? This is real information you can use for renegotiating the final price — the right price — of the home. Hiring a licensed contractor maximizes your chances of getting a fair and unbiased evaluation, not just a surface inspection.

As a real estate professional, if my clients ask me to recommend an inspector, I give them a handful of choices. I want them to hear the truth. In fact, I try to get my seller's to have one done, so they can get their home up to snuff before listing. I haven't had one do it, yet. Still, I try.

I can only hope that home inspectors don't fudge any information on my account. I am an honest person and I expect honest, professional service.

Back in 2007, Holmes was interviewed on MarketPlace by Wendy Mesley in "How Not to Get Nailed" about unsavory "contractors" and their shoddy, if not criminal and crooked renovations.

I watch all of his shows. I believe in Mike Holmes.

I have often wondered about "home inspections" and "home inspectors". The trend began as a consumer service in the early 1970's. The Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors (CAHPI) was formed in 1982 and OAHI (The Ontario chapter) in 1984. Their website www.oahi.com is interesting.

The CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.) website says:

Home inspectors and related industry and consumer groups consider a home inspection to be a worthwhile part of the resale process for the following key reasons:

•It provides the buyer with a list of repairs including time frames and other recommendations.
•It discloses conditions not readily apparent or understood by a non-technical buyer, or that may have been misrepresented.
•It reduces the liability of the realtor and meets the realtor’s need to disclose material facts and act in their client’s best interests.

Mike Holmes has a home inspection service. He is also back with a home inspection television program and if you have:

- Purchased a home in the past 18 months in the Toronto area.

- Used a Home Inspection Service before purchase

- A written Home Inspection Report

- Found issues with their home that were not accounted for in the inspection report.

visit http://makeitright.ca/Mike_Holmes_Online/Home_Inspection_Stories.php

They may want your story!

"NB Career Surf" has published an interview with Mike Holmes. His answer to the question: What do you love most about your job? was "I love being in construction and I have had many rewarding experiences. Helping families improve their homes is one of the most rewarding parts of my job."

Helping families with their homes is a very rewarding part of my job, too.

A MarketPlace Blog, after the recent airing of the piece on home inspectors that featured Mike Holmes, offers this advice:

Since hiring a home inspector is not equivalent to a warranty, and inspector liability is usually limited to the fee you paid or a similar amount, you could be stuck with repair costs above that. The financial stakes could be high if you rely on an inspection that turns out to be incomplete, so here are some questions to help you inspect your home inspector beforehand:

What kind of experience do they have? If the inspector doesn't have much of an answer, that's a big red flag. Experience and the right kind of training is key, since even if someone is an engineer, it doesn't mean they are qualified to inspect a home.

Can they provide references? A large, satisfied client base is always a good sign. Get as many as possible from the inspector and call them all.

Are they independent? A home inspector is there to offer an unbiased assessment, and shouldn't be part of any construction or homebuilder group or offer repair services themselves.

What kind of equipment do they use? A pen and paper are simply not enough. Do they bring binoculars, a ladder, or an infrared camera? A thorough inspection includes hard-to-reach places like the roof and chimney.

Can you follow them around during the inspection? A good inspector will encourage you to take part and will clearly communicate any serious problems, and not bury them in a checklist.

Ontario’s Rural Real Estate Market:

January 5th, 2010

Some things to think about:

Ontario's rural population has risen by about 450,000 people (33 per cent) since 1971… and it continues to rise.

Rural areas account for over 95% of land in Ontario.

Ontario has the smallest proportion of rural populations of all Canadian provinces and territories, but the second largest in numbers (1.5 M). Still, it was one of only three provinces to experience rural population growth between 1996 and 2001.

Rural and small town residents have a more polarized age structure (and therefore a higher dependency ratio) with slightly higher proportions of the population falling within the lowest (children) and highest (seniors) age categories.

Residents in these areas have concerns and perspectives that are particular to living in the rural area of the province. These include: agriculture, transportation, policy issues, rural business, service-delivery, line fences, animal husbandry, the use of ATV's, snowmobiles, firearms and communication.

Rural is home to fewer newer Canadians and its residents generally tend to have lower incomes than those living in urban areas.

Rural has a rich and diverse heritage and an abundance of natural resources. It is a significant driver of the economy and the well being of all citizens. Our rural communities are significant to the health and vitality of the province.

While agriculture has been the traditional economic driver in rural Ontario, the rural economy has evolved into a diverse economic system. The population base has also changed to include a greater number of non-farm rural residents who either work in their community or commute to larger urban centres. Statistics show that while non-farmers make up 85 per cent of the province's rural population- there are 57,000 farms in Ontario and they account for about ¼ of the countries agricultural revenues.

Also, Ontario contains 17% of the countries forests (about 2% of the world’s forests)… and over 250,000 lakes and numerous rivers and streams- which accounts for a significant amount of the world’s fresh water resources.

The ability of rural residents to integrate and seek greater economic ties to non-traditional industries has risen with the expansion of the information economy and the development of telecommunications technology.

Many rural residents have made the conscious choice to live rurally and most of them know all about the advantages of living in a country setting- they've known them for a long time.

There are over one million people living in eastern Ontario. Over three quarters of which live in Ottawa along the Ottawa River to the north. The rural part of eastern Ontario has over 600 small towns, villages, hamlets, and settlements. In the rural part of Ottawa, about 5% live on farms, 53% in country lot subdivisions and scattered lots, and 42% live in one of the 26 villages.

According to the Ontario Ministry of Finance, the population of eastern Ontario is expected to grow to 1,526,790 by 2031, based on 1999 post-censal population estimates. The proportion of seniors in eastern Ontario is expected to grow at a greater rate than other areas of Ontario due to the wealth of health care amenities in the area and a preference to settle in bedroom communities . In Ontario, the population age 65 and over more than doubled from 1.6 million or 12.8 per cent of the population in 2005 and will climb to 3.6 million or 22 per cent in 2031.

The country or rural lifestyle remains a popular choice for Ontarians… and as for real estate prices, in most rural areas they remain far more stable than those in urban centers.

According to a recent poll by Nanos Research, Canadians are four times more likely to expect the economy to improve in the next six months, with 49% saying so compared with only 12% who expect it to worsen.

"A key driver for the optimistic mood relates to perceptions of real estate," Nanos said in a release accompanying its survey.

"Canadians are six times more likely to say the value of real estate in their neighbourhoods will increase (46%) in the next six months compared to those who say it will decrease (7.6%)."

Canadians are confident housing prices won't drop even though they remain nervous about economic stability. "Canadians clearly believe that the worst of the recession is behind them and that the real estate market is on the path to sustainable recovery," says Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage.

Certainly, Canada's leading economic indicators show positive growth for the first time in two years.

However, the miraculous rebound in Canada's real estate markets continues to fuel speculation about whether a bubble is forming and a small, but growing minority of experts is now warning of a more severe real estate bust in Canada.

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney says excessive household debts pose the biggest threat to the recovery… people are taking on too much credit.

Carney says Canadians have been taking advantage of low interest rates and borrowing at a high rate. He warned banks and homeowners about the consequences they could face in the event of an interest rate increase.

"The combination of sustained growth of household debt relative to income and a rising interest rate environment could increase the vulnerability of households to an adverse shock," Carney told a business audience in Toronto.

There is already some indication that Canadians are mismanaging their debt, he said.

CIBC World Markets says that less than 4 percent of households are vulnerable to a rate shock, not the 5.9 percent predicted by the central bank.

Economist Sheryl King of Bank of America Securities-Merrill Lynch said there's no bubble yet but, citing variable-rate mortgages, acknowledged the seeds are there.

In a note titled “It's beginning to look a lot like a bubble,” Douglas Porter of BMO Nesbitt Burns said recently: “Before officially declaring this a Bubble with a capital B, we would again painstakingly point out that the reported price change is skewed by the surge in Vancouver and Toronto sales, two of the priciest markets.”

Porter also says, “We are on the bubble of a bubble. We could see a bit of a buying frenzy this spring followed by a pop in 2011. This will be but the first in a string of China style gains for Canadian home sales and prices,” Porter, of course, comparing the situation to that in China where the government is taking measures to cool the country's real estate market.

In a recent Globe and Mail column, economist David Rosenberg, chief strategist at Toronto-based Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc., raised the spectre of a Canadian housing bubble that is on the verge of collapse. He figures prices are 15 to 35 per cent overvalued, based on relative rental rates and incomes.

“Canadians should pay attention”, says Mr. Rosenberg, a former Merrill Lynch economist, who was among the first on Wall Street to warn of a housing-led recession in the United States. He knows what a housing correction looks like.

Relative to income, homes are now less affordable in Canada than they've even been. So while Canada's banks may be financially sound, it appears that homeowners are not following suit. Many appear to be blindly following a path of excessive debt, enticed by low rates.

The ratio of mortgage debt to household incomes in Canada are reported to have recently hit a record 70 per cent, up from 65 per cent a year ago and 40 per cent of homebuyers have opted for short-term, variable-rate mortgages…

Rates will eventually ratchet up… and this may leave some owners facing financial trouble…

Personally, I remember the mid 90s all to clearly… it wasn’t fun having to tell financially strapped cottage owners that they would have to list for 40% of what they had recently paid for their properties- fortunately THAT downslide didn’t last for very long and those who were able to hang on soon gained back their equity.

My advice… do your homework… engage the services of a good Realtor ® don’t get caught overpaying for your cottage or country property and don’t rely on the currently low interest rates to help you carry the costs. Be practical- afterall, that’s what country life is all about!