14 Jun 2012

How self storage could help hoarders

While the psychological condition known as hoarding has been around for some time, there's no doubt shows like A&E's "Hoarders" and TLC's "Hoarding: Buried Alive" have shed a new light on this problematic issue. Those who have seen the show know the people featured often treat their homes like self storage units, simply piling all of their items into rooms like the kitchen, living room or bedroom.The stories shown on these programs border on heartbreaking – often, hoarding is triggered by something like losing a loved one. It's not uncommon for hoarders to hold onto everything even remotely related to their deceased loved one in order to hang on to their memory.Other stories are quite quirky. An upcoming episode in the new season of the TLC series, for example, will reportedly center around an Elvis impersonator who has covered every inch of his home in Presley memorabilia.The good thing about these shows is that the people are given professional help…

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13 Jun 2012

Real estate prices in major Canadian cities such as Toronto and Vancouver have been high for some time, but they may begin a gradual descent soon, says TD Bank.According to Moneyville.ca, TD Bank's latest report shows real estate prices for Toronto and Vancouver declining 15 percent, but it may be some time before that comes to fruition. TD Bank says the decline in prices will be very gradual and may take two to three years to complete. This is in stark contrast to real estate prices in many parts of the U.S., which recently saw a sudden 30 percent drop.The bank's report shows the housing market for both cities is overpriced. However, low interest rates and a stable economy are…

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13 Jun 2012

Buying something that later turns out to be not nearly as useful as originally thought happens to even the most frugal of shoppers. Moneyville.ca recently offered some tips for consumers to use in order to avoid buying things they don't need.For example, sometimes an item may only be needed for a small period of time – such as a tool. Rather than use it once and then put it away, it might be smarter to look at free ways to get that object. Borrowing from a neighbor is one way to do it, and with online sites like Freecylce or Kijiji, it's easier than ever to find someone willing to loan out their stuff for a few days.As for entertainment…

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12 Jun 2012

Falls can be a treacherous hazard for many seniors, as the reduced mobility that comes with old age can make elderly people more susceptible to falls. Fortunately, the Mayo Clinic offers some advice for seniors and caregivers to consider to reduce the chance of a fall.Renting at a self storage facility may be very beneficial for those looking to avoid falls. According to the news source, removing clutter is a major way to help reduce falls. Clearing seldom-used items out of a home or apartment and putting them in an affordable self storage unit can help keep walking areas clear. Items that are used frequently by the senior should be stored in easily-accessible areas within the home.Lighting is another important…

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11 Jun 2012

Writing a will is an important step for those planning their estate, according to Moneyville.ca. Those who do not write out a will with their wishes could potentially lose some of their property according to the rules of their province. In addition, capital gains taxes and probate fees can also take nearly half of the estate if a will is not in place.Thus, Canadians should be sure to take the steps of estate planning seriously to ensure all items and holdings end up with the right people. One of the steps in drafting a will is choosing an executor. This is the person who will be responsible for carrying out the wishes of the deceased once they have passed on.…

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8 Jun 2012

There are major milestones in life that just about everyone experiences, though they can sometimes take a toll on the finances. Having a baby, getting married or making a down payment on a house are all major financial decisions. Moneysense.ca recently offered some tips for these "firsts," including how much Canadians should expect to spend on each.A typical cost for a condo in a major city is $280,000, according to the news source. A 20 percent down payment is recommended, which works out to $56,000. Obviously, that will take some saving – more than $400 per paycheck for five years. From there, Canadians can take $25,000 from their retirement savings tax-free, as long as they pay it back within 15…

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7 Jun 2012

With a boom in Toronto condo units, many in the city are turning to car rental services in order to get from point A to point B. According to Moneyville.ca, the car rental services in the city are expanding and taking off because of it.The most popular is Zipcar, which will soon add full-size cargo vans and a monthly membership option for those who use the company's vehicles. Car2Go is another popular service, allowing drivers to rent vehicles for a one-way trip on an hourly basis – a bit like a taxi that people can drive themselves."Somebody over the weekend said, 'How is business going?' I talked about traffic, the price of gas, the number of condos going up. All…

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6 Jun 2012

The Canadian housing market is booming right now, but that means prices are high for many pieces of real estate. Those considering purchasing a property in Canada may be wondering where they can go to get the best deal. MoneySense recently put together a list of the cities that offer residents low prices coupled with an exciting atmosphere.Many different locations in Canada made the list, including Edmonton, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay and Fredericton. The main reason behind these cities being highlighted is their low real estate prices compared to the major cities like Toronto or Vancouver.However, the top of the list was Regina, in Saskatchewan. The news source reasons the city has extremely low unemployment, a strong economy, and housing prices…

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5 Jun 2012

Sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) continue to be high after a red-hot streak in 2012, but recent trends have shown many buyers headed to the suburban parts of the city rather than the downtown areas, according to Moneyville.ca.Referred to as "905" properties due to the area code, sales of homes in suburban Toronto were strong in the month of May, thanks mainly to an increase in resale listings. In previous months, most were hanging onto their homes rather than selling, which was making the market very tough for buyers. The lack of listings meant demand was far outstripping supply, in turn driving up prices.According to the news source, 10,850 homes in Toronto were resold in May, with 6,720…

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4 Jun 2012

The 89-floor Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago is the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere, making the luxury high-rise condo on the top floor the tallest home in America. The massive apartment recently went on the market, and the owner is reportedly seeking at least $32 million for the property, reports Forbes."There really is nothing comparable to this property in Chicago or the United States. It is one of the largest condominiums all on one floor, which makes it very desirable," real estate agent Chezi Rafaeli told the news source.Then again, there are a few spots that compare. For example, a yet-to-be-built top-floor penthouse in New York City's new One57 building recently sold for $90 million, making…

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1 Jun 2012

The federal government has raised the spending limits for Canadians taking trips to America, allowing those coming back home a bigger budget for shopping south of the border.Previously, the spending limit for those visiting America for a trip of between one and two days was $50 worth of duty-free goods, according to Moneyville.ca. That limit has now increased to $200. Spending limits were also upped for longer excursions to America, with trips lasting more than two days eligible for $800 worth of duty-free shopping.There are still no duty or tax exemptions for purchases made during trips under 24 hours. The government does not want shoppers to simply pop over to America for reduced prices while avoiding Canadian taxes. The spending…

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31 May 2012

With many seniors in need of round-the-clock care, caregivers are quitting their jobs in order to take care of mom and dad at alarming rates, according to Reuters.Recent research by Metlife indicates people lose more than $300,000 in potential earnings and retirement savings by quitting their jobs to care for an aging relative. The company estimates $3 trillion is lost annually by people who give up their careers in order to provide better care.Often, those who make such a decision struggle financially. In fact, geriatric care expert Susan Fleischer tells the news source decisions are often "reactive" and people don't fully consider the financial impact.Rather than quit your job, it might be a good idea to move your elderly loved…

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31 May 2012

Canon Canada, a maker of copiers, printers and other equipment, recently moved nearly 40 employees from its office in Burlington, Ontario, to nearby Hamilton, according to The Hamilton Spectator.Hamilton, located just south of Toronto, has been making an effort to attract businesses, but in this case the move wasn't planned by the city. Canon didn't notify anybody they were moving until the switch was nearly completed."We knew nothing about it," Glen Norton, chief of Hamilton's downtown development, told the development. "They didn’t come to us for any incentives or advice or anything. This was a quiet move. They made the decision that Hamilton was where they wanted to go and then gave a broker the mandate to find them the…

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31 May 2012

A recent report indicates wages in Ontario are not keeping up with the rate of inflation, leaving residents with less money to spend.The Canadian Press reports wages in Ontario were up just 0.1 percent in March, according to the latest report by Statistics Canada. Meanwhile, the inflation rate was 1.9 percent across the country, meaning Ontarian salaries are not matching the increased cost of living.Other provinces didn't have this problem, and saw wage gains that actually outpaced the rate of inflation considerably. Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Alberta wages rose by 5.9 percent, 4.7 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively.Ontarians with less money to spend may be considering moving into a smaller apartment in order to save on rent. One way to do…

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30 May 2012

With a potential rise in interest rates on the horizon, many Canadians are looking to pay down their mortgages quicker than originally planned, according to Moneyville.ca.A recent survey by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) indicates 23 percent of homeowners are increasing their monthly payments, with an additional 19 percent making lump sum payments to get out of debt quickly. Approximately 10 percent are doing both in an effort to really pay down their mortgage and avoid higher interest rates. Overall, CAAMP believes homeowners will be able to weather an increase in interest rates, as 83 percent of Canadians have at least 25 percent equity in their homes.Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and other top economists say Canadian household…

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29 May 2012

The Toronto real estate market has been booming as of late, and many of those moving to the region have been using self storage facilities in order to hold onto their items before they get moved in. However, a recent report indicates the popularity of the city may be causing real estate prices to rise.A new report by RBC Economics shows the city's "affordability index" declined in the first quarter of 2012, and early projections show prices will either continue to increase or hold steady through the end of the year. The cost of the average detached home in the city was equal to 53.4 percent of pre-tax income for the quarter."The seller remains king in the Toronto-area housing market…

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29 May 2012

In this economy, saving money is a priority for just about every consumer, which is why finding a self storage facility in Toronto with affordable rates is so important. While many consumers realize the benefits of storing their items off-site at a cheap self storage unit, there are many other ways to save money as well.Moneyville.ca recently came up with some tips to help those on a budget keep their expenses low. For example, one thing consumers can do to save money is to simply ask for a discount. This may surprise some shoppers, as they assume the answer will almost always be "no." Yet consumers might be surprised by how often a hotel will lower their rate or a…

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29 May 2012

The real estate market in Canada is red-hot, and many Canadians are taking the opportunity to move to other parts of the country. When moving across Canada, it's important that individuals have a place to keep their items securely until they're all moved in, which is why many Toronto self storage facilities have been busy as of late.Signing up for self storage is one task every Canadian on the move should undertake, but changing their address is another. The Canada Post offers a Change of Address form that allows residents to have their mail forwarded from their old address to their new one. Filling out the form has given the Canada Post useful data on why so many Canadians are…

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25 May 2012

For those living in the suburbs outside a major city, getting around can be an issue. While public transportation options like buses and subways exist, it's often much faster to drive. However, owning a car is typically pricey and parking can be a headache, leading many suburbanites and city dwellers to ditch their wheels.The car-sharing company Autoshare seeks to be a compromise for those who don't want to be stuck with public transportation but can't justify the costs of a full-time car. The company offers affordable rates for drivers to have access to a car when they need it, but the vehicles are shared with other members around the city.Autoshare is already very popular in Toronto, and now the company…

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