Walking the Walk

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK
The Official Krisztina Blogsite
Walking the Walk

I’ve been talking the last few weeks about nurturing the creative spirit in our youth and that is exactly what I am doing myself. I am so excited to announce that principal photography has begun on my new Web/YouTube Series, Krisztina’s Real Estate 411 (Real Estate Tips for Real People) – a fun, informative series of webisodes. And to show that I’m not just talking the talk, but walking the walk, I have hired 19 year-old Taylor Whittaker to shoot, direct, edit and score the series. I am pairing Taylor with an experienced Feature Film Producer (who has in fact spearheaded Project 411 on my behalf…thank goodness for best friends!!). I can’t wait to i) see the finished product and ii) watch Taylor grow as a film-maker.

Taylor is a 2005 Sprockets Kids Film Festival Finalist who is off to Film School at Confederation College in the Fall. He has directed and edited 7 Short Films, performed in multiple High School Theatre Productions and is an accomplished guitarist who currently teaches. He’s completely keyed up to be involved in Project 411 and I know that we’ll all be thrilled with his youthful, animated and energetic direction.

To start things off, Taylor will be filming all the action at this Saturday’s (May 2) Oak Park Moms & Tots Fundraiser being held at 215 Glenashton Drive in front of The Oak Park Sales Centre. They say charity begins at home and I have been supporting this fantastic local charity for 4 years. In fact, as announced recently, for every home I sell in Oak Park, I am donating $100 to Moms and Tots. As part of my philosophy of nurturing the creativity in youth (and walking the walk!), supporting this organization just makes sense. Moms and Tots runs Circletimes (Rhymes, Songs and Stories) for babies and toddlers. They also run them in Spanish, Japanese and German!! They hold Reading and Tutoring Clubs and have paid programs in ballet, printing, handwriting, music, sign language, art and yoga. What an amazing way to discover the creativity in your little one. If you’re interested in more info on Moms and Tots, visit their website, OakParkMomsAndTots.ca or check them out at the Oak Park Neighbourhood Centre at 2530 Sixth Line, Unit 9. Or better yet, come out this Saturday and have some fun at the fundraiser!! And keep reading my Blog, where I’ll announce the premiere of the first episode of Krisztina’s Real Estate 411 (or, as we call it for short, Project 411!).

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK
The Official Krisztina Blogsite
Suddenly Sick of Susan

Alright, alright, I know I said it. Mesmerized. Inspired. Heartwarming. Well, I still believe in passionately following your dreams and I still believe in a world of no limitations, but I have to say, I’ve had enough of the Susan Boyle story. The worldwide media saturation has taken a good thing (and now there’s even some question as to the authenticity of the judges’ surprise) and made it boring, repetitive, tedious, dull, mind-numbing, uninteresting…okay, I better stop. Wait. Tiresome. Okay, now I’m done! The exposure of this story as the exception, just goes to prove the rule – we are a look-obsessed, media-frenzied world. We, the general audience, have all patted ourselves on the back a little as we watch the Susan Boyle audition. We ‘tut-tut’ the rolling eyes of the audience and the judges even though we would have done the exact same thing had we been sitting there. And now the big dilemma – should Susan Boyle get a makeover? Has she already? Isn’t that a new leather jacket? Has she ever worn pumps before? Aren’t the eyebrows a little less bushy? Couldn’t she do with a hair stylist? We are still a world heavily invested in ‘lookism’ and ‘sexism’ in our celebrities. We want our singers and movie stars to be attractive. The Susan Boyle story is sadly, just a blip, making us feel a little better about ourselves for cheering her on. Don’t get me wrong, I love sharing in her dream come true. I just hate being bombarded with it.

Despite the advances in feminism, we have escalating levels of sexism and violence in our society. It can be a ‘girl-poisoning’ environment. One that stifles creative spirits and natural impulses, ultimately destroying fragile young self-esteems. When young girls are trading oral sex for just about anything and playing down their smarts in school, something is wrong. When primary school girls are so worried about their body image that they are becoming anorexic, something is wrong. I applaud Dove for their focus on real women as well as their girls’ self-esteem workshops. But they are not the norm. Our tabloid society still wants to judge Jessica Simpson for being a little too heavy, and Lindsay Lohan for being a little too skinny. A number of years ago, I attempted to start up a company aimed at nurturing creativity in teenage girls – the premise being that all girls are creative, they just need the opportunity to explore what they’re good at. This was way before Dove, and a little ahead of its time at the time, but my feelings on the subject haven’t changed. It is refreshing to see Ellen DeGeneres declaring, tongue-in-cheek (sort of!!) for the Oil of Olay campaign that “Inner beauty is important. But not nearly as important as outer beauty.” Funny? Yes. True? Sadly, probably yes. So in deference to Susan Boyle, once again my call to action is this: stoke the flames of someone’s dream. And if you can nurture the creativity of a young girl, even better!!

Susan Boyle – Dreams Can Come True!

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK
The Official Krisztina Blogsite
Dreams Can Come True!

I’ve been mesmerized by Britain’s Got Talent contestant, Susan Boyle. (Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know who she is…and if you have been living under a rock, search her on YouTube – but make sure to view the actual show performance feed. The reactions from the judges – Simon Cowell especially – as well as the audience and the backstage crew is priceless!)

The shortstrokes for Susan – she’s 47, the youngest of 9, from a small village in Scotland, never been kissed, learning difficulties as a child, bullied in school – well, you get the picture. So 40 years later, battling depression and anxiety after the death of her mother, she fulfilled her mother’s dream, conquered her fears and walked proudly out on stage to deliver a mind-blowing rendition of Les Miserable’s ‘I Dreamed a Dream’. It was a transcendent moment in TV history, as witnessed by the 35+ million hits her video has already received. (And I admit, I’m in for multiple numbers – I watch it every day!!)

It is a great reminder for us all to passionately pursue our dreams and a great homage to the phrase ‘Never judge a book by its cover’. I think, at times, we’re all guilty of settling and I know, at times, we’ve all prejudged something or someone. We all look for inspiration in the world around us, and I’m happy to say, Susan Boyle from a small village in Scotland has provided it for me!

It’s been said that in Real Estate, we sell dreams one home at a time, and I do believe we’re in the business of selling dreams – with a few pesky limitations like budgets! Some of my dreams that I’ve realized: Becoming a World Champion Kayaker, Going on Safari in Africa, Moving to Canada, Learning to Speak English, Becoming one of Toronto’s top Extras Casting Directors and Learning to Play Tennis…Some of my dreams I have yet to realize: Learning to Speak Spanish, Learning to Play Tennis – Better, Going on Safari in Africa – Again, Owning a Vacation Property somewhere Exotic, Selling Million Dollar Homes, Owning Million Dollar Homes!! Oh, I could go on! Bottom line – I BELIEVE IN A WORLD OF NO LIMITATIONS!!!

Here’s my call to action for all of you: be a cheerleader for someone in your life. Information is good. Critique is good. Balanced feedback is good too. But there’s nothing like unbridled support and encouragement!! So pull out your pom poms and help make someone’s dream come true!!

 

 

About Krisztina:

Krisztina Neglia is a RE/MAX Oakville real estate agent specializing in properties across the Oakville and Mississauga region. Contact her today if you need to buy or sell your home: 247 Roxton Road, Oakville, ON L6H 7K3 T: 905-272-3434 C: 416-570-2221 E: krisztina@krisztinaneglia.com

Is A Down Market a True Buying Opportunity to Move Up in Oakville?

You’ve probably heard real estate agents say that the current market is a buying opportunity. You’ve also probably thought, they only say that because they always think it’s the time to buy. Is it true? You worry that home prices will decline even further and you don’t want to overpay for a home.

If you own a home that last year was worth $350,000, and prices have declined 10% then your home value will have declined $35,000. The home that you want to purchase would have been valued at $500,000 last year but a 10% decline puts it at $450,000. If you had bought and sold in 2008 your new home would have cost $150,000 more. Today your new home will cost you $135,000 more.

2008 Value 2009 Value

New Home 500,000 450,000
Your Home 350,000 315,000

Difference 150,000 135,000

What does that mean for you?

Are we at the bottom of the market? It depends on the area. Prices in North Oakville have remained relatively stable. They suffered a minor dip late in 2008 but have recovered quickly. So, if you live in the North Oakville, River Oaks area, you are in the unique situation of having a home whose value has not been affected as strongly as in all other areas. This does create a unique buying opportunity for you to move up.

Is it Time to Buy?

As the market rebounds, it is inevitable that prices will start to increase again. Even with a 5% increase you can see how that affects your purchase.

2009 Value 2010 Value

New Home 450,000 472,500
Your Home 315,000 330,750

Difference
135,000 141,750

Sounds all nice and logical, right? What happens in reality is somewhat different. The various segments of the market increase and depreciate at different rates. When you hear on the news that home prices have dropped by 10% they are talking about AVERAGE prices. Homes for the first time buyer don’t tend to drop in value as much as larger homes do. The flip side is that when prices increase, the smaller homes don’t increase as much as the larger homes do.

Also, there are still homes for sale on the market, with Sellers who HAVE to sell for many reasons. They may have purchased a home from a builder months ago and now been caught up in the downturn. These “fire sale” homes are decreasing as time goes on. This means that “The Deals” are disappearing….but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy now. It is the most advantageous time to move up…right now.

Let’s look at a real life case: ( They were my sellers in Oak Park an buyers in Wedgewood Creek)

2008 Value 2009 Value

OAK PARK (Detached) 405,000 415,000
WEDGEWOOD CREEK 660,000 740,000
Difference 255,000 325,000

They saved 70,000 CAD by buying this year, last year they could not afford this move. And do not forget that they mortgage rate now much lower than last year as well.

 

 

About Krisztina:

Krisztina Neglia is a RE/MAX Oakville real estate agent specializing in properties across the Oakville and Mississauga region. Contact her today if you need to buy or sell your home: 247 Roxton Road, Oakville, ON L6H 7K3 T: 905-272-3434 C: 416-570-2221 E: krisztina@krisztinaneglia.com

Oak Park Mom’n Tots fundraising

They are many wonderful things about living in North Oakville and Oak Park in particular, but I want to mention one community service that shines. It is the Oak Park Moms ‘n Tots organization. We all wonder how we as individuals can make a difference and this is a great example of the power of community (remembering of course, that a community is a group of individuals). In 1999 six Moms got together in Oak Park and started meeting at each other’s homes, on a regular basis, as a support group for each other. From such simple beginnings, the group has grown to where it stands today. A full blown Centre, helping all of North Oakville (north of Upper Middle) to support young families in a variety of ways. It is still community run with 90% of all work hours coming from volunteers, offering drop in programs 5 days a week. It also has expanded to now offer some paid programs such as dance classes.

The Centre is funded by Trillium, the United Way and Oakville Community Foundation but that covers only half of their operating costs. The remainder must come from fundraising. One of their main efforts is the Garage Sale that they hold every May. Local residents can buy a table for $20 to sell their items or if you’re decluttering you can drop off donations to them. The event will be held on May 2nd this year from 9 am to 1 pm. It will be located at the sales centre in Oak Park (corner of Glenashton and Sawgrass). And don’t forget to enjoy one of the horse and wagon rides with your kids. I am sponsoring this event again for the fourth consecutive year and hope that it help raise lots of money for the Oak Park Moms ‘n Tots organization. Because I so strongly believe in the services they provide and the benefit to all of us a community, I have also committed to a $100.00 donation from each home that I sell in 2009 in the Oak Park area.

Please come out on Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 and show your support, have some fun and be a part of the North Oakville Community.

 

 

About Krisztina:

Krisztina Neglia is a RE/MAX Oakville real estate agent specializing in properties across the Oakville and Mississauga region. Contact her today if you need to buy or sell your home: 247 Roxton Road, Oakville, ON L6H 7K3 T: 905-272-3434 C: 416-570-2221 E: krisztina@krisztinaneglia.com

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK

Danube

Danube

The Official Krisztina Blogsite
Old World….New World

Monday’s devastating earthquake in L’Aquila, Italy sent me straight to the internet. The lovely medieval town which is the capital of the Abruzzo Region reminds me of many of the medieval towns in my native Hungary. It also reminds me of just how ‘new’ my adopted country truly is. It seems so strange in retrospect that someone who grew up in Budapest and spent some of her childhood in Germany and Egypt should end up living in the Oak Park area of Oakville, shopping at Winners and the Superstore! How life has changed for me. Where once we bought fresh groceries on a daily basis, I now stock up at CostCo. Cooking was once a family affair. And now, don’t get me wrong, I can still cook a mean Chicken Paprikash and don’t even get me started on my Hungarian Bean Soup, but takeout Chinese, Thai and Pizza is on my menu as often as not. Walking is still the main mode of transportation for my sister who still lives in Budapest. I walk my dog. (Alright, my husband walks the dog and sometimes, I go with them.) I may walk for exercise. (Alright – rarely.) But driving is my main mode of transportation! (Definite 10 on the truth scale here!) At least one of our more common treats available everywhere in Budapest has made its way to Canada – I’m talking of course about walk-in manicures and pedicures. I love the ‘no appointment necessary’ way of thinking and I love that, just like in my native country, they have become so much more affordable. I’ve always said, mani’s and pedi’s should not be a luxury – they are a necessity! In Hungary, many of our old therapeutic spas are also walk-in. You can take the waters (Hot, Hotter and Cold – just like the days of the Caesar’s Roman Baths) or have a massage. (Again, they are priced affordably so that all Hungarians may partake.) It is always interesting traveling home with my husband or a friend. Even with the WW2 bombings and reconstruction, their cameras are quick to find ancient, interesting views of my city. To those of you who have been past clients, I have shared some of those photos in a calendar I had specially designed and printed. Some of those photos hang on the walls in my home, particularly a beautiful shot of the Danube River taken from The Var. The Hungarian Parliament Buildings are in the background, as well as the area where I grew up! I’d love to share that photo with all of you now (see below). In closing however, history aside, I must say I love being Canadian, and I love living and working in Oak Park!!

 

 

About Krisztina:

Krisztina Neglia is a RE/MAX Oakville real estate agent specializing in properties across the Oakville and Mississauga region. Contact her today if you need to buy or sell your home: 247 Roxton Road, Oakville, ON L6H 7K3 T: 905-272-3434 C: 416-570-2221 E: krisztina@krisztinaneglia.com

Oakville Parks Re-opened After Poison Scare

It’s safe to go back to the parks!  Police closed off the parks in the area of River Oaks Recreation Centre, Taylor Woods Park and Milbank Park yesterday while they conducted an investigation.  They were responding to a report from an Oakville woman whose dog got sick after consuming some white powder found along the Nipigon Trail near River Oaks east of 6th Line. It turns out the white powder was harmless baking powder used by a running group to help mark their trail.  No news on why exactly the dog got sick.  except for the poor dog, all is good, all is safe, and frankly I’m impressed with the police response.  They are doing a great job keeping us all safe!

More info available here:

http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20090331/dog_poisoning_090331/20090331/?hub=TorontoNewHome

 

 

About Krisztina:

Krisztina Neglia is a RE/MAX Oakville real estate agent specializing in properties across the Oakville and Mississauga region. Contact her today if you need to buy or sell your home: 247 Roxton Road, Oakville, ON L6H 7K3 T: 905-272-3434 C: 416-570-2221 E: krisztina@krisztinaneglia.com