HST 101

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK

The Official Krisztina Blogsite

There has been so much panic about HST and the Real Estate Market these days, so once and for all, I’d like to set the record straight. Previously on a resale home, you paid 5% GST on the 4 major elements in resale: 1. Real Estate Agent Fee 2. Lawyer Fee 3. Home Inspector Fee 4. Land Transfer Tax. Now, with the advent of HST, you will pay 13% on those 4 resale elements. This is an increase on those costs of 8%. You WILL NOT pay HST on the price of your resale home. In translation, the HST means that on a resale home in the $300 – $400,000 range you will pay an extra $2 – $3,000. In the current post-July 1st/HST market, prices have already declined by more than that $2 – $3,000. So, essentially the big picture for buyers has not changed, and could in fact be considered more favourable. The only time HST will be applied to the full purchase price of a home is on New Construction Homes over $400,000.

As for the current market, I also reiterate (to sellers), Don’t Panic and Don’t Compare 2010’s recent market to 2009. 2009 was an anomaly and should essentially be taken out the big picture comparison equation. We had extremely low interest rates meant to offset a possible recession, and many people took advantage. It drove prices up and created an very hot market. As for now, be assured that the market will continue to pick up steadily from the dead zone that was July. I attribute that dead zone to the looming HST (and thus the strong May-June), the typical summer slowdown and the absolutely fabulous weather which sent more people than usual to summer vacations and staycations with Real Estate far from anyone’s mind!! As for me, my business is booming and I am busier than ever. Post HST, I’ve already completed more than 10 deals. Sellers are selling. Buyers are buying. So if you’re thinking about that dream home, go ahead and take the first step – call me!!

Fashion Myths, Mistakes and Musts

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK

The Official Krisztina Blogsite

As a Real Estate Agent, my working hours are all over the map, so the neighbourhood tends to see me dressed at my best most of the time – even while walking my dog, Kata in the parkette. (To be fair, she’s a senior pup, so my high heels can withstand her little strolls!!) I get a tremendous number of comments about my wardrobe – all positive, so I thought we’d have some fun with this week’s Blog and talk fashion. (Sorry guys…although you might pick up some tips and lingo to impress the females in your life!!)

My outfits all begin with great fitting basics, be it suits or dresses. I tend to look for basics with some fantastical yet restrained detail – the right flair, ruffle or trim. For suits I stick to the neutrals and subtle patterns, and for dresses I prefer saturated colours, graphic black & whites and florals. I look for a great cut that suits my shape, and I try not to go trendy. And then it’s all about the shoes, people!! Great shoes MAKE the outfit. They should speak to you personally (so to speak…). A little whimsy here is okay. And if they don’t fit in the store, they won’t fit at home and you’ll never wear them. I like to walk around for a few minutes in the shoes to see if they’re ‘Real Estate’ appropriate – my job means being on my feet after all! I believe shoes can be practical and pretty, but it means a constant shoe hunt – which is half the fun!! And then it’s all about accessories. Great necklaces, earrings, bracelets and watches. And the key to a large collection of accessories – having them on specially made display boards in my wardrobe closet for easy access each day.

My other key to a great wardrobe is always shopping with a friend who is honest, knows your body and your fit, and has a keen eye for fashion finds. She’s my own personal shopper and she keeps me from making mistakes. (I know to return an item to the rack when she rolls her eyes in that certain way!) Having that honest friend is also key in weeding out your wardrobe – the other key is having a bottle of wine while doing it!! Make an appointment with your friend for this task and be prepared to try things on. I create different piles for different friends or acquaintances to whom I can pass on my wardrobe. Knowing it will find a good home with someone who appreciates it makes it easier for me to let go. (And what they do with it beyond that, I don’t need to know!!) If it doesn’t fit, it’s gone. Too ‘young’ for me? Gone. Didn’t wear it this season? Gone. Bad colour on me? Gone. Out of style and never coming back? Gone. Sentimental attachment? Gone. Too trendy? Gone. Low rise? Gone. (The plus side of this arduous exercise is creating more space in my closet…which always means: Time to go shopping!!)

And to bust a few myths, if it’s a warm September, you will see me in my open-toed white platforms after Labour Day. (Although I’ve been told to get rid of any white closed-toed pumps!) And while I’m at it – my shoes and purse won’t always ‘match’ but they’ll ‘work’ well together. I think you can mix bright colours. I will wear chunky jewellery in the day. Extreme shoulder pads are just wrong. If it’s sized 5-7-9 (and not 6-8-10), it’s made for teens – don’t buy it! All solids all the time is boring. A fitted tweed jacket ramps up the jeans look. Grey will be an ‘it’ colour this fall. Statement rings make a great statement. Leggings should never have made a comeback. Jeggings is the worst acronym ever (and I’m not thrilled about the item itself!). I’m getting tired of leopard print. But I do enjoy the snakeskin, croc and giraffe prints. Nobody looks good in beige. Most yellows don’t work with most skin tones. And finally, I do believe black looks good on everyone!! (But then again…these are only my opinions!!) And finally, compliments do make my day, so keep ‘em coming!!