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Why live on the coast?

Wed, 18 Feb by joshuaprowse

Did you know Victoria is the sunniest coastal city in Canada?

Valentine’s Day Special – Love is in the air.

Sat, 14 Feb by joshuaprowse

Chocolates, teddy bears and flowers. Skimpy teddies and tickle trunks.

There are lots of ways to show your partner you love them on Valentine’s day, but what about falling deeper in love, or falling in love again? How can you coax someone to fall just a little deeper in love with you? If there’s a love potion this may just be it!

Psychologist Dr. Arthur Aron’s study geared at creating a closeness and intimacy between two people offers up 36 questions designed to tear down the walls and let the emotions flow.

Valentines-Day-2015-HD-Wallpapers-1Whether you’re out on your first Valentine’s date with “the one” or the kids have finally left for university and you’re trying to remember who you danced in the rain with 25 years ago I recommend some candles, a bottle of wine, a nice dinner and these 36 questions. Answer honestly, go back and forth, and when you’re done, spend 2-4 minutes silently staring into each other’s eyes (I know, this part sounds a bit over the top but it’s from the study).

What’s the worst that can happen? You’ll talk about something other than work and the weather???

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30 year old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
17. What is your most treasured memory?
18. What is your most terrible memory?
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you
change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
20. What does friendship mean to you?
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “
26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “
27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

My own opinion, and not necessarily that of the study, is that answers shouldn’t be prepared in advance. Print these off, and bring them to the dinner table. That’s my plan for tonight. I’d love to hear how it goes for you.


Good luck and great love!!!


Is there a Bubble?

Sun, 08 Feb by joshuaprowse

Something I’ve noticed over the years is there are two sides to every coin and as such there are two arguments being made regarding the supposed housing bubble here in Canada.

I’ve read reports from economists and banks indicating there is no bubble here. The conditions that created the economic collapse in the US simply don’t exist here. We had a VERY small (less than 5% if I remember correctly) subprime mortgage market in Canada, thanks to Paul Martin. The banks approached him, and asked for a loosening of the lending restrictions so they could compete with the American banks in the subprime market, and they were turned down. As such we haven’t ended up with the junk debt the banks down south got saddled with, or the huge numbers of people owing more than the house is worth, therefore willing to walk away.

We also haven’t seen the excessive runaway growth like we saw in the states due to the subprime market. These are optimal bubble conditions. Some people have been claiming Canada is in a housing bubble primed to burst since 2008 when things went sideways. 6 years of naysayers predicting a future that has yet to come.

Generally when I want to see what’s coming I look behind me. I’ve attached a graph I have put together showing the average sale price of a house in Victoria every year since 1978 (to 2013). I’ve attached it for your reference. In the early 80’s when interest rates hit 20%, the values fell by about 25% in Victoria, but from the peak before the fall, to prices being back where they were before the fall took about 3 years. If you look at the graph, it has a pattern, and rhythm. And too me it looks like we’re at the top of the last aggressive climb, after the pull back (soft landing) and in for a protracted period (5-8 years)of relatively stable (2% +/-) real estate pricing.

Victoria has some factors that have, and will continue to influence values here. If you look at a basic supply and demand model of business, we have a limited supply with water on 3 sides, and the malahat on the 4th, and an ever increasing demand caused largely by an ageing population of baby-boomers, starting their retirement cycle, who have sold their souls in places like Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto etc, and are moving out to the most temperate climate in Canada. Victoria is consistently rated the best climate in Canada to live in, it has the most annual sunny hours of any coastal city in Canada, with great outdoors activities, it is, essentially, del Mar north.

For these reasons I don’t see a bubble or a dramatic decline in pricing in Victoria. We have seen a shift here from a buyer’s market to a balanced market (although only just) which will stabilize prices. As a rule prices hold in a balanced market, recede in a buyer’s market, and climb in a seller’s market.

Having said all that I don’t have a crystal ball. If I did I’d be buying lottery tickets. I don’t see any aggressive movement in either direction for years to come but time will tell.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Victoria Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.