As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in a story here, I am fortunate to live on a farm property a little north of Alliston, where there is a mix of open land, a stand of mature conifers, smaller trees and bushes. It is a wonderful bird habitat.
In the past couple of months some of those birds have been searching for suitable living quarters. I was fortunate to be able to purchase an Eastern Bluebird Nesting Box from friends of mine who made boxes and donated the proceeds from sales to a local food bank.
I was pleased to have this personal connection to the builders of the potential home, and pleased at the prospect of having a nesting pair of these birds of happiness as neighbours. I have had them in the ‘hood other years and thus was hopeful they may chose to move into a home built with them in mind.
I was very excited one day in April when I spied a pair in nearby trees. And, as you may well imagine, even more so when I saw them checking out the house. The male sat on it and went in, no virtual tour was available online. He seemed to like what he saw and called his mate to check it out. They came back a couple of days in a row. To me, it seemed like an easy sale. Alas, I was mistaken.
The bluebirds moved out of the picture and a pair of Tree Swallows followed pretty much the same procedure. By this time, I was hoping to double my chances with a second nesting box. The Tree Swallow couple went from box to box for about a week. It seemed to me they were testing out flight patterns from the two locations. They were very tolerant of my presence and stayed in place even when I was near. I thought – hey, they like me.
They are splendid aerialist and fun to watch. They also eat such things as mosquitoes on the fly – an impressive and appreciated skill.
After the week, however, they moved down the fence-line to a more established neighbourhood and took up residence there. There is more open field thus more comfortable room for free flying.
I was feeling a little dejected. As is the norm in my way of thinking, it was all because I did something wrong.
After wallowing in self-pity for a couple of days, I was amazed to see a male bluebird back at the box. I was cautious of being hopeful. When he was back the next day with his mate and they checked out both boxes, the stirring of excitement was hard to suppress.
I can now announce with great satisfaction and happiness, the pair chose one of these homes, moved furniture in, and have been very joyful neighbours for nearly two weeks.
It’s so great to look out my office window to see the male sitting on the nearby fence, or in the tree. He is more visible than the more muted coloured female. He is also very protective of the nest.
They are such charming little neighbours. I am delighted by their presence, and it is a privilege to have them so close.
As the weeks go by, I will share some of my experiences of bird visitors with readers. In the meantime, keep your eye to the sky and look for birds that may come by.
A note: Ed and Bryan Osborne sold 120 nesting boxes, and raised $4110.00 for the Tottenham Foodbank. They have another 20 or so to sell.
Rosaleen Egan is a freelance journalist, a storyteller, and a playwright. She blogs on her website rosiewrites.com
Toronto real estate poses bubble risk, while Vancouver homes are overvalued, UBS says – Yahoo Canada Finance
TORONTO — UBS says Toronto is one of seven world cities most at risk of a residential real estate bubble.
Toronto scored 1.96 in the UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index, the third-highest score below Frankfurt and Munich, which scored 2.26 and 2.35, respectively.
The bank’s report scores 25 cities across the world, sorting them into four tiers: bubble risk, overvalued, fair valued, and undervalued with higher scores going to locations with higher risk.
Toronto is in the bubble risk category for the third consecutive year, surpassing Hong Kong, Paris and Amsterdam.
UBS says Vancouver real estate had dropped this year out of bubble risk territory but is still overvalued, with a score of 1.37, down from 1.92 in 2018.
Other overvalued cities in the report were New York, San Francisco and Sydney, Australia with scores less than 1, while Boston, Singapore and Dubai had fair real estate values and Chicago real estate was considered undervalued.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 1, 2020.
The Canadian Press
Beloved treehouse attracts attention of Fredericton real estate agent – CTV News Atlantic
The real estate market is hot, but how often would a treehouse potentially add value for house hunters?
Consider one Frederiction creation, which isn’t your average treehouse.
Linda Kerry says her son’s treehouse is the most cherished part of her current home.
“Sam’s dad, he’s a miner and he was between contracts and he’s a jack-of-all trades,” Kerry says. “Whenever I think you can’t do something, he’ll do it. So I said to him, ‘I really want a treehouse,’ and he built me a treehouse.”
It might not be Harry Potter’s Platform 9 3/4 or a wardrobe to Narnia, but inside it’s pretty magical.
“I don’t know how he did it,” Kerry said. “He is also a lover of trees and did it in the sense that there’s no nails in the tree itself. So he cantilevered the treehouse in itself within the limbs of the tree.”
When the home itself was listed for sale, it was the treehouse that got real estate agent Jeremy Deering most excited.
“In the winter it might be cold, it could use some insulation, as far as like an inspection would go it’s pretty well up to code,” Deering said. “It really was designed well and designed with the tree in mind. I don’t think you could get some backwoods carpenter to do this. I think someone with real skill had to do this.”
While Linda and her son Sam might not be ready to put down new roots just yet they’re happy for the memories this one gave them.
Halifax Real Estate: A Top Canadian Market to Watch – RE/MAX News
Before the coronavirus public health crisis devastated the Canadian economy, analysts and investors were keeping a keen eye upon trends emerging within key Canadian real estate markets, including the Halifax real estate market. For years, parts of the Maritimes suffered from economic stagnation due to high unemployment, capital outflows and a declining population. But in the months leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, many homebuyers started homing in on the East Coast.
Halifax has been a fascinating city to watch, particularly after the approval of the Centre Plan. In 2017, the municipal government gave the go-ahead to an initiative that would improve the development of Halifax’s urban core. The campaign would lead to expanded public transit, new commercial and residential buildings, new and buried utility lines, and pedestrian-friendly walkways. The efforts are expected to attract businesses and workers from across the country and around the world.
With it, of course, would come a booming real estate market. In line with the Plan’s projections, Halifax is witnessing an economic resurgence, and this could only be the beginning.
Halifax Real Estate: A Top Canadian Market to Watch
In August, the Halifax-Dartmouth housing market experienced a 20.3-per-cent year-over-year increase in residential sales, with 769 transactions reported by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The residential average price also surged 18.2 per cent to $372,982 in August.
Year-to-date sales activity in the region was down 1.1 per cent in August, with 4,693 homes trading hands. However, Halifax home prices have still climbed 11.6 per cent to an average of $356,687.
This is a continuation from what has been occurring in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, with homebuyers scooping up properties at a rapid rate.
Housing experts anticipate these bullish trends will persist heading into the fall. According to the RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report, the inventory shortage and increased demand will boost average housing prices in Halifax by 10 per cent during the remainder of 2020.
In Halifax and across Nova Scotia, as demand continues to blossom, industry observers are warning that supply will continue to fall, which has sparked concern among federal officials. Andy Fillmore, the Member of Parliament for Halifax and a former city planner, says that the housing shortage could soon price too many Halifax homebuyers out of the market.
“If we want to have a city that reflects the full diversity of everyone who lives in our city … we have to put in place mechanisms so that we can have the diversity of income earners … especially when it comes to folks who traditionally lived in those areas and find themselves being priced out,” said Fillmore in an interview with CBC News, adding that all three levels of government and the private sector need to devise a plan to address this problem.
With interest rates being as low as they are, developers might take advantage of the ultra-low borrowing costs and invest in new housing developments. Fillmore did also say that municipal governments can modify zoning regulations, something that could stimulate new supply. Until then, the Halifax housing market could be tighter for the next 12 months, which would translate to higher valuations.
During this time, experts say it is also important to keep an eye on mortgage deferrals, says Kean Birch, an associate professor at York University.
“I find it worrying that housing prices are continuing to rise. The reason being that we don’t know what’s going to happen once the mortgage payment deferral ends, and the consequences actually could be dramatic across the board. And it could be highly inequitable as well,” said Birch in an interview with Halifax Today.
Is Atlantic Canada the Next Real Estate Hotspot?
Is Atlantic Canada finally catching a break? For a long time, the Maritimes had endured economic stagnation, capital flight, and a sliding population. This could be changing now, based on the latest real estate data. Housing prices are soaring, the jobs are coming back, and economic development is accelerating. In these respects, the good times are returning to Halifax, St. John’s, Charlottetown and Fredericton.
But the momentum of this upswing will hinge on what happens over the next few months. Although the consensus is that Halifax and the rest of Atlantic Canada will still record strong housing numbers, fears over the second wave of the coronavirus and general uncertainty could weigh on the real estate market as we head into the last quarter of 2020.
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