Toronto’s Real Estate Market – The Sky is Not Falling!

I am sure you are just as tired as I am about hearing how terrible the current state of the real estate market is in Toronto, but is it really that bad?

No, the sky is not falling but there is no doubt that the Toronto real estate market has been affected by the US economic slowdown and because of this consumer confidence has also been affected … and some realtors have had to look for a "real job. "

The economic downturn in the states has no doubt had an impact on our economy. We are seeing fewer transactions occurring, (4,120 resale transactions in Feb '09 compared to 6,015 in Feb '08 according to TREB). Along with a reduction in the number of transactions that have occurred, average prices have also come down in comparison to the same time last year. According to TREB, in central Toronto the average price has gone from $ 404,202 (Jan, 2008) to $ 343,632 (Jan, 2009). Homes are also sitting on the market on average longer than the same time last year but what did we really expect? Did we really think last years wacky market of multiple offers and inflated prices would survive another year?

What does this real estate market mean to a Buyer or Seller in Toronto?

This is great news for buyers! This market is a blessing for first time buyers or those wanting home ownership but just could not afford it in the past. The declining average prices and the unbelievably low interest rates are a great combination! It's a Buyers market, so Buyers take advantage of this opportunity … it's a great time to buy! For sellers this type of market means pricing right and putting in extra effort to make sure your property shows at its potential. In the peak of the market, properties could sell the day they were put up for sale, now properties sit for longer but will still sell if priced right.

As we know, the real estate market is seasonal. As the spring market approaches all ready there is more activity in the city core than in the previous month. Just last week I was apart of two multiple offer situations in North York. Generally speaking the Toronto Real estate market tends to pick up in late spring and then begins its descend in July. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Commission is forecasting that Toronto will see its 6th or 7th best year in history. They are hiring for 75,000 sales in 2009. The next few months will be a great indicator of the state of the Toronto Real estate market. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

A Ride Without Motorcycle Leathers

Have you ever wished you had a good set of motorcycle leathers? I will never forget the winter of 1987. My wife and I were living on the North shore of Chicago. She was working as an elementary school teacher and I was finishing grad school. Money was tight, so a second car was out of the question. The hassle of sharing a vehicle has always been more than I can stand to end, so I began looking for some other form of cheap transportation. In those days I had yet to own a motorcycle, but I had always wanted one. While driving by the local shopping mall near our neighborhood, I noticed a motorcycle sitting near the road with a sign sign hanging off the front forks. It looked pretty small, but as the chrome glinted in the sun I found myself strangely drawn to pull over and check it out.

The bike was a 1972 Honda CB350, and for being 16 years old at the time, it was in great condition. It looked like it had been barely ridden and then tucked away in a garage somewhere. This was about 23 years ago now, so I honestly can not remember what color it was originally. I painted it metallic flake blue within the first year of owning it. To me, this bike was priceless, but I paid only $ 300 for it later that afternoon.

Now that my transportation problem was solved, I began regularly making the 20 mile commute to school. Which if you have ever been in Chicago traffic, you understand that a trip of that distance could take an hour or more. It must have bought the motorcycle in the summer because I remember how much I loved tooling around on it for the first few months. But then the temperature began to drop and the snow began to fly. I quickly learned that there is a good reason for Chicago being known as the windy city. Riding a motorcycle alongside Lake Michigan in the winter is like running naked through a meet packing plant with 100 high speed fans blowing on you. I mean it was cut you to the bone frigid!

Although I did have a full face helmet, I never seemed to have clothing that could keep the icy wind from penetrating down to my soul. I even remember forgetting my gloves one night and having to put my socks on my hands just to survive the ride home. My ankles still hurt when I think about it. Even though we now live in the south eastern United States, and you can ride nearly all year round, just thinking about those frosty mid-western motorcycle rides can send a nasty chill up my spell.

Since that time I've clocked countless miles on everything from Hondas to Harleys, and if there is one thing I have learned, it is that there is no substitute for a set of high quality motorcycle leathers. Whether you ride a crotch rocket or a big old hog, nothing beats a lined leather jacket and a broken in pair of chaps on a long cold ride. When God made cows, he really knew how to insulate them from the cold. If you are currently in the market for some new athletes, take a minute and check out the link listed below.

Job Interview Tips for Pharmaceutical Sales Positions

Job interviews for pharmaceutical sales are unlike other types of job interviews. These interviews are used to assess whether a candidate is suitable in the sales environment in addition to reviewing background histories and skills. Interviewers would often ask tricky questions that test the personalities of candidates in order to determine sales potential.

If during a pharmaceutical sales interview and the reviewer asks you a question on whether you prefer to work alone or with others in groups, you have to be careful here. If you say a solo environment is definitely better, they may not see you as a team player. If you say that you prefer working in groups, they might think that you would not be effective in sales since most of the time, pharmaceutical reps are out in the field on their own.

Therefore, the safest route to take here is to say that you like both environments and can be effective in both. When you are alone, you can be effective as an independent worker. Then when you are working with others in group projects or at meetings, you can also work effectively in teams.

You must convey the impression during a job interview that your skills enable you to excel in both scenarios. Do not get fooled by the interviewer's trick question. Here's an effective response;

"I like both. I realize that most of the time, reps work alone and I certainly can be effective in this mode. good working mix in my mind. "

Asking you about your strengths during an interview is an opportunity for you to sell yourself. Asking you about weaknesses is another matter and is another example of a tricky question. You must be careful here not to expose any specific weak skills that may hurt you during an interview. Whenever I interviewed questions about my weaknesses during my interviews, I counted with something like this;

"In all honesty, the only weakness I think I have is a lack of industry specific experience since pharmaceutical sales will be new for me. However, I am strong on my communications and sales related skills. am certain that industry specific training that your company could provide will help me make up for this lack of industry experience.

Notice that I bring up the trainability fact in the above statement. It is extremely important that you convey the fact that you are an effective learner of new skills and environments. I use this attribute to effectively wipe out any weaknesses.

Be prepared to answer trick questions during interviews for pharmaceutical sales positions. They are designed to see if you really have what it takes to be in sales. Learn all you can about the pharmaceutical sales job and focus on selling your skills as well as personal attributes.

Electricity – Ground Fault or Arc Fault

If you were asked, "Who discovered electricity?" What would be your answer? I'm almost positive (a little electric humor) that Benjamin Franklin and his kite flying tale comes to your mind. It was not electricity that Ben discovered in 1752. It was the lightning rod. In 1800, Alessandro Volta manufactured the first battery capable to deliver a constant electric current. It was Volta, not Franklin, to discover electricity.

Many of the ways we use and deliver electricity today are still the same as in the days of Franklin and Volta. Differences in electrical potential between materials cause current to flow between them. Charges can be produced by rubbing fur or cloth over a non metallic surface. Metal wires are used to transmit electrons over long distances; but one property stands out the most. Electricity can kill!

Today, we have developed many ways to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of exposure to electric current. We use circuit breakers, surge protectors, arch fault, ground fault, and equipment grounding to safely control the flow of electrons from one place to another. Two of these safely systems generate a lot of questions. What is the difference between ground fault and arc fault?

Ground fault circuit interrupt (GFCI) protection has been around for a few decades. It is most commonly seen in areas where water is present. For instance, in modern homes, you will find GFCI protection in the kitchen near the sink, in the bathroom near the water sources, in garages, and any receptacles outside of your home. This type of protection guards against injury by monitoring how much current is flowing through it. If the GFCI detects a difference between the amounts of current leaving as opposed to returning, it shuts off. The missing current has to be going somewhere other than its intended destination. It's going to ground. A horrible place if you happened to be in the middle of the current as it's headed to ground.

Arc fault circuit interrupt (AFCI) protection has only been available to consumers for a few years. Like its parent GFCI, AFCI is designed to detect when electricity is not traveling to its intended destination. Unlike GFCI, AFCI is not protecting against the loss of current to ground. It is guarding against a broken conductor. These broken conductors are the primary cause of home fires in America today.

Primarily, AFCI is required in bedrooms. Bedrooms are notorious for having corded appliances, such as computers, alarm clocks, and desk or floor lamps in them. Many times the cords of these appliances are routed under beds, dressers, or carpets. This is not as safe as it looks. Cords are often cut by the items placed on them. Once severed, the broken conductor will arc. This arcing will continue until the metal is burned through or a circuit breaker trips. Often, the time between the initial cutting of the conductor and the tripping of the breaker is not quick enough and a fire breaks out. AFCI was designed to detect the initial arc caused by the severed conductor and immediately turn the power off.

In conclusion, electricity is the flow of electrons between items with differenting potential. If not properly controlled, this difference can have horrible repercussions, when people or property is in the way. Modern industry has taken great measures to protect us while using one of the most fundamental properties of nature – electricity.