Dedication. Drive. Determination.

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK

The Official Krisztina Blogsite

Our nation is basking in Olympic gold on home turf thanks to athletes such as Mogul Skier Alexandre Bilodeau, Ski Cross Ashleigh McIvor and most recently Ice Dancers Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue. I applaud all the Olympic athletes for their achievements. As many of you know, I missed my chance to compete at the 1984 L.A. Olympics in Kayaking when Hungary joined Russia and other Eastern-bloc countries in boycotting the games. It’s an unrealized milestone that I’ll always feel some regret about. However, I’ll never regret how my competitive sport background continues to shape and influence my life. Sport (for me, gymnastics and then kayaking) taught me the 3 D’s – Dedication, Drive and Determination. There were some other D’s…Discipline, Decisiveness, Devotion and Doggedness. And of course, 2 special D’s – Dazzle and Dream!! I believe all the things that I learned and that made me a successful athlete at an international level have made me successful as an independent Real Estate Agent. As I look at my “D-List”, I can absolutely say I apply them all to my current career, as well as any new undertaking. Selling Real Estate involves operating your own small business, setting your own goals, structuring your own workday, creating and serving your client base and most importantly, continuing to educate yourself and keeping your learning curve fresh and sharp. I love achievement. I always have. That’s why it’s important to keep looking at the Real Estate business with fresh eyes and to continue to be innovative when it comes to my business. I believe my marketing materials, my multiple websites and my YouTube videos reflect this thinking outside the box.

It is interesting to look at the evolution of sport. Materials like graphite and carbon and Kevlar are now commonplace in equipment. Skis have gotten shorter, tennis racquets and golf clubs larger, swimsuits are sleeker, running shoes have air pockets and skates are molded to bare feet. Who knew 20 years ago that the Olympics would host events like Moguls or Snowboard Cross? And who knew 20 years ago that I could send a virtual tour of a newly listed property to your phone?!! Cutting edge in sport means embracing technology as a component of your training. Cutting edge in Real Estate means the same thing. It is another tool that we must embrace to make our business successful and relevant in 2010. But regardless of the tools that have become available to us, it’s essential to have the ability and desire to apply those 3 D’s – Dedication, Drive and Determination (and the rest of the “D-List”!!) to your business and often, to your every day life!! I, for one, thrive in a fast-paced energetic environment and know my clients recognize my continued use of my “D-List”!!

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Accidents Do Happen!

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK

The Official Krisztina Blogsite

Monday is Family Day here in Ontario and the day off will be marked by families out skating and skiing and possibly even biking!! Families are the essence of Oakville’s growth which brings me to the unfortunate building of the massive 900 Mega-watt natural gas plant by the Ford plant approved last September. I lend my voice to the near unanimous group of Oakville residents who believe the plant should be located in a less densely populated area, and specifically away from an area of the GTA already suffering poor air quality. It’s 380 yards from a school. It’s beside a railroad track where we worry about train derailments. It’s close to a hospital. The Power Authority expects the plant to run 40% of the time – when electricity demand is high, and to be operational by the end of 2013. The die has been cast and I believe this plant will be built despite ongoing legal gestures. It’s a bit disheartening in light of the February 7 Connecticut Power Plant explosion that killed 5 workers and injured dozens more. Employer negligence may have been involved in the blast of the 620 Mega-watt Kleen Energy Power Plant under construction in Middletown Connecticut. The force of the blast blew out windows and shattered the foundations of nearby houses. The plant, designed to burn natural gas, is one of the largest to be built in New England in recent years and was nearing completion, set to go online as early as June of this year. Workers had been complaining about grueling hours – 12 to 13 hour work days, 7 days a week – in a push to get the project finished. The accident happened during the procedure of using natural gas to purge the system’s pipes to remove air. (Workers had expressed concerns of a gas smell an hour before the explosion and were told to open the doors for ventilation!!) This procedure has been blamed for at least 7 major explosions in the United States since 1997 according to federal documents. In an odd twist, just 3 days before the fatal blast, the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) issued an urgent recommendation for tougher safety codes governing the practice. It criticized current codes for strongly recommending, but not requiring, that gas lines being purged be vented outside. Nor do they explicitly require the evacuation of all non-essential personnel during the process or the use of gas detectors.

My hope is that Ontario has tougher codes in place, and that Oakville, in return for the $1 million in taxes it will receive annually, will do its part to ensure on behalf of all Oakville residents, that such codes are being stringently met. After all, we know that accidents can happen, and there can be horrible repercussions. That’s why kids have to wear bike helmets, and ski helmets, and hockey helmets. That’s why we have house insurance and car insurance and seat belt laws. So, in closing, to all Oakville families – have a great Family Day, but most importantly, stay safe in all your Family Day activities!!

The Ugly Duckling May Win The ROI Game

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK

The Official Krisztina Blogsite

AKA: The house with your best Return on Investment (ROI) may not be the sexiest! They say in a wardrobe, build with the basics…you can never go wrong with the classics…flashy accessories and trends will come and go. When writing a script, structure is king. A great photograph demands great composition. And in the case of a great house, smart buyers in today’s market know what to look for. It’s important to look past the ‘pretty picture’. Go beyond the décor and buy based on location. Make sure the house has good ‘bones’. And especially in this market, ACT QUICKLY!!

I realize you’re buying a dream, but your dream lays in structure and layout, not the previous owner’s furniture and decorating skill. Visualizing is often the toughest part for potential homebuyers. Only about 10% of buyers can picture themselves living in the home when handed a Builder’s layout. That’s why they invented Builder’s Models. If a home lays empty while on the market, chances are it won’t sell for what it’s worth. That’s why we have Stagers. And here’s a thought: If you can’t visualize, but think you may have a gem, ask for a second showing ASAP and bring an Interior Decorator. He or she can sketch it out and bring it to life as ‘your’ home. Another thing I find is that Clients often ‘say’ they want a fixer-upper, but really they want something closer to picture perfect, so be honest with yourself before you begin the process of home shopping.

Remember, if you’re buying brand new, character will be missing – but that’s just window dressing. Any potential homeowner should buy based on the 3 L’s: Layout, Lot and Location. All the other stuff is easy to change. It’s the unsexy features that may just be your purchase decision tipping point – windows, roof, furnace and the like. So the bottom line: To get the best ROI on your home purchase, the Ugly Duckling may win in the end!

And now a quick word about the current market. Can I say “IT’S ON FIRE”? Or should I just say it’s hot hot hot. Either way, if you’re thinking about buying or selling, make your move NOW! Demand is high, supply is short – and that may just change in the second half of the year when we expect to see interest rates rise. Want a consult? I’m available. Need to know what you can get for your house? Just ask. If it’s in the right area (North Oakville), I will be coming to the table with a list of potential buyers looking to move in. (And for my buyers – I will knock on doors to find you the right home!!)