Sunday, October 10, 2010

This seemed appropriate to share today.

Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary
Because it means you've made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

5 Reasons Why You Still Need a Real Estate Agent

The proliferation of services that help homebuyers and sellers complete their own real estate transactions is relatively recent, and it may have you wondering whether using a real estate agent is becoming a relic of a bygone era. While doing the work yourself can save you the significant commission rates many real estate agents command, for many, flying solo may not be the way to go--and could end up being more costly than a realtor's commission in the long run. Buying or selling a home is a major financial (and emotional) undertaking. Find out why you shouldn't discard the notion of hiring an agent just yet.

1. Better Access/More Convenience

A real estate agent's full-time job is to act as a liaison between buyers and sellers. This means that he or she will have easy access to all other properties listed by other agents. Both the buyer's and seller's agent work full time as real estate agents and they know what needs to be done to get a deal together. For example, if you are looking to buy a home, a real estate agent will track down homes that meet your criteria, get in touch with sellers' agents and make appointments for you to view the homes. If you are buying on your own, you will have to play this telephone tag yourself. This may be especially difficult if you're shopping for homes that are for sale by owner.

Similarly, if you are looking to sell your home yourself, you will have to solicit calls from interested parties, answer questions and make appointments. Keep in mind that potential buyers are likely to move on if you tend to be busy or don't respond quickly enough. Alternatively, you may find yourself making an appointment and rushing home, only to find that no one shows up.

2. Negotiating Is Tricky Business

Many people don't like the idea of doing a real estate deal through an agent and feel that direct negotiation between buyers and sellers is more transparent and allows the parties to better look after their own best interests. This is probably true--assuming that both the buyer and seller in a given transaction are reasonable people who are able to get along. Unfortunately, this isn't always an easy relationship.

What if you, as a buyer, like a home but despise its wood-paneled walls, shag carpet and lurid orange kitchen? If you are working with an agent, you can express your contempt for the current owner's decorating skills and rant about how much it'll cost you to upgrade the home without insulting the owner. For all you know, the owner's late mother may have lovingly chosen the décor. Your real estate agent can convey your concerns to the sellers' agent. Acting as a messenger, the agent may be in a better position to negotiate a discount without ruffling the homeowner's feathers.

A real estate agent can also play the “bad guy” in a transaction, preventing the bad blood between a buyer and seller that can kill a deal. Keep in mind that a seller can reject a potential buyer's offer for any reason--including just because they hate his or her guts. An agent can help by speaking for you in tough transactions and smoothing things over to keep them from getting too personal. This can put you in a better position to get the house you want. The same is true for the seller, who can benefit from a hard-nosed real estate agent who will represent their interests without turning off potential buyers who want to niggle about the price.

3. Contracts Can Be Hard To Handle

If you decide to buy or sell a home, the offer to purchase contract is there to protect you and ensure that you are able to back out of the deal if certain conditions aren't met. For example, if you plan to buy a home with a mortgage but you fail to make financing one of the conditions of the sale--and you aren't approved for the mortgage--you can lose your deposit on the home and could even be sued by the seller for failing to fulfill your end of the contract.

An experienced real estate agent deals with the same contracts and conditions on a regular basis, and is familiar with which conditions should be used, when they can safely be removed and how to use the contract to protect you, whether you're buying or selling your home.

4. Real Estate Agents Can't Lie

Well, OK, actually they can. But because they are licensed professionals there are more repercussions if they do than for a private buyer or seller. If you are working with a licensed real estate agent under an agency agreement, (i.e., a conventional, full-service commission agreement in which the agent agrees to represent you), your agent will be bound by common law (in most states) to a fiduciary relationship. In other words, the agent is bound by license law to act in their clients' best interest (not his or her own).

In addition, most realtors rely on referrals and repeat business to build the kind of clientèle base they'll need to survive in the business. This means that doing what's best for their clients should be as important to them as any individual sale.

Finally, if you do find that your agent has gotten away with lying to you, you will have more avenues for recourse, such as through your agent's broker, professional association (such as the National Association Of Realtors) or possibly even in court if you can prove that your agent has failed to uphold his fiduciary duties.

When a buyer and seller work together directly, they can (and should) seek legal counsel, but because each is expected to act in his or her best interest, there isn't much you can do if you find out later that you've been duped about multiple offers or the home's condition. And having a lawyer on retainer any time you want to talk about potentially buying or selling a house could cost far more than an agent's commissions by the time the transaction is complete.

5. Not Everyone Can Save Money

Many people eschew using a real estate agent to save money, but keep in mind that it is unlikely that both the buyer and seller will reap the benefits of not having to pay commissions. For example, if you are selling your home on your own, you will price it based on the sale prices of other comparable properties in your area. Many of these properties will be sold with the help of an agent. This means that the seller gets the keep the percentage of the home's sale price that might otherwise be paid to the real estate agent.

However, buyers who are looking to purchase a home sold by owners may also believe they can save some money on the home by not having an agent involved. They might even expect it and make an offer accordingly. However, unless buyer and seller agree to split the savings, they can't both save the commission.

The Bottom Line

While there are certainly people who are qualified to sell their own homes, taking a quick look at the long list of frequently asked questions on most “for sale by owner” websites suggests the process isn't as simple as many people assume. And when you get into a difficult situation, it can really pay to have a professional on your side.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A poem for all Moms

My youngest daughter Stacey has 2 very young children as I believe I mentioned in an earlier post. Lucas was born January 2008 and Paige was born December 2008 - yes, this is no typo error, you read it perfectly.

Stacey had some concern because her house wasn't as "tidy" as she would have liked it to be. Seriously, how can it possibly always be tidy with 2 little people under 2 years of age playing, eating and requiring a whole lot of care in between and just plain living in the house.

I had remembered reading the poem below somewhere, so did a google search and want to send it out to all the overwhelmed Mom's out there - children always come first!! Post this poem on your fridge and take pride in putting your children ahead of everything else. They will never thank you as a teenager, that I can attest to, but once they get into their twenties or start having babies of their own, they will definitely recognize all you did for them and thanks will come your way!

Some houses try to hide the fact
That children shelter there.
Ours boasts of it quite openly,
The signs are every where.

For smears are on the windows,
Little smudges on the doors;
I should apologize I guess
For toys strewn on the floor.

But I sat down with the children
And we played and laughed and read,
And if the doorbell doesn't shine,
Their eyes will shine instead.

For when at times I'm forced to
Choose the one job or the other,
I want to be a housewife...
But first I'll be a mother.

Being a "Mother" is never anything to be ashamed of! Keep up the good work ladies!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Feeding the deer

I thought I would share this with you because I just found out a couple of veggies that I assume deer do not like.

I have always been crazy wild about animals - every one I can think of I guess. BUT for some reason deer have always held a huge fascination for me. Wherever we are driving, my eyes are scanning the treeline trying to catch site of a deer or two. When I finally get lucky enough to see one, others driving with me would think I have won a small lottery or something. I stop, back up, if I have any food in the car, it's theirs.

Last year, we spotted a deer yard in Rusagonis and every evening I made the trek down with bags full of apples, bread, carrots - whatever I could find. I honestly believe they got to know my car because they didn't leap away from me so quickly as time went on.

This year, I started to put the apples etc. in my back yard for a couple of reasons - standing on the side of the road feeding them was putting them and myself in danger (my yard backs on to a good sized forest therefore making sure they were not crossing the road) and hoping to get a closer, longer look at them while being able to see them feed being the most important one.

I go to Stirlings in Saint John and they actually sell "deer apples" a 20 lb bag for $5.00 I am not sure why they refer to them as "deer apples" but each time I go, they always say to me "you're not going to eat them yourself or cook with them are you"?. I assume they must be apples picked up from the ground after harvest because they have assured me they are safe for the deer to eat.

Anyway, I have been putting the food out for a little over a month, and just keep adding to it, but this morning when I went out, a bit of snow had melted at the very side of the tree (we have large trees out back and one has three or 4 limbs that are widespread at the bottom, making a nice "dish" to set everything in) and very close to the base of the tree sitting there rotting were celery and broccoli - everything else was gone!!!

If you are also into deer feeding, please make sure it is in a safe spot as not to cause undue harm to the deer or people driving past their feeding spot. I make sure there is something fresh there each day for them and unfortunately have not spotted them yet, only their footprints as verification but that's ok. I know sometime in the night, someone is out there having a midnite snack.

Also, don't bother buying the celery and broccoli if it is deer you are trying to attract - spend the money on apples, that seems to be their favourite and we know apples are healthy for them as well.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A newsletter - doing something great for small communities

The neighbors in Rusagonis, Beaverdam, Nasonworth and New Maryland are lucky to have an enthusiactic neighbor like Anne Law.

Anne started a newsletter in November of last year when she realized that any events going on in these small communities were limited in getting the word out. She decided that she would start up a newsletter at home and asked a couple of convenience stores if she could place her newsletters there for people to pick up. In Anne's own words "It's a beginning and I enjoy it, hopefully things will pick up."

I think if is a great initiative for small communities and it takes only 1 person to make a difference and I congratulate Anne for taking on this task. Anne wanted to do this and went out and bought Corel Draw and self-taught herself. WOW! It sounds like Anne was very determined to to help get the word out for events happening in and around her local communities!

Anne will be including New Maryland in newsletter distribution - SO - anyone who has something to annouce should definitely help Anne out by sending her any announcements they want New Maryland, Nasonworth, Beaverdam, Rusagonis and any other surrounding areas residents to be aware of including anniversaries, birthdays, family reunions, special community events, etc.

Anne's email is and she welcomes all the news you want to pass on to her. Do you have a business you would like to advertise? Anne could possibly help you out in that area as well.

Please take the time to send your announcements to Anne and help her increase her newsletter content and circulation. You never know what your community has to offer unless you share the information with others.

Again - congrats to Anne for having the energy to start her own newsletter for her community! Great Job!

List your home with Kathy Pineo Barrett

Selling your home can be a very stressful time for the entire family. I would welcome the opportunity to take a bit of that stress off your hands and work with you to sell your home. I am a full time, award winning Realtor and will work diligently and professionally on your behalf.

It is important to list your home with a full time REALTOR® for a number of reasons which I will cover below.

A REALTOR® is educated on how to market your home properly. Most people do not realize that there are mandatory courses Realtors have to take on an annual basis to enable them to renew their license each year and be up to date on all market requirements and changes. These courses are not only expensive but also very time consuming. We know what questions to ask and what answers to look for on your behalf. We as "REALTORS®" are mandated to follow the "laws" of The Canadian Real Estate Board, The New Brunswick Real Estate Board and the Fredericton Real Estate Board.

If you list with a non-member of a "discounter", they are not responsible to you or the law for anything that may go wrong with your sale or purchase. We are mandated under the law and are responsible for acting on behalf of our clients. We pay for the right to do so - work and negotiate on behalf of our clients. If we do not - we will be taken to task by the Boards that mandate us and/or in legal court. There are a large number of by-laws we have to work within ethically amd morally!

Re/Max is an International Company. Their resources are widespread. Re/Max Group Four Realty Ltd. has offices in Fredericton, Oromocto and Woodstock. Re/Max is widely known as "Canada's # 1 Negotiators". Re/Max Group Four Realty is the major sponsor of "The Re/Max Relay for Life". Personally on every closed sales transaction I give a donation to The IWK Miracle Network and Breast Cancer Research as well as the "Pay It Forward" grocery gift certificate initiative I started in the spring of 2009! It was an honour for me to be invited to join the Re/Max team in 2002 and I did so without hesitation. I have never regretted that decision!

If you list your home with Re/Max and myself, your home will be shown on numerous websites including Re/Max Group Fours local site, Re/, Homes Across Canada,, With my present clients, I have also agreed to put their homes on Kijiji Fredericton. The "for sale" sign installed on your property will hold a rider that states "Miracle Home" and "Breast Cancer Awareness". Plus you will become part of my "Pay It Forward" initiative. My main goal is whatever works best for my clients.

Why is a full time Realtor so important?
The best example I can give you is one I have experienced myself. I had a military family in town for their maximum 6 day house tour. While we were out viewing, we spotted a new listing that had not been on the system when we made our decisions of which homes to view. I tried to reach the Listing Sales Associate, receiving no responses to my numerous calls. Early that evening, after my clients had made their decision and put an offer in on a home we had been able to view - I received a reply from the Listing Sales Associate - her response to me was that she works full time and is a part time Sales Associate and unable to answer her phone at work, so returns all calls received during the day after 4:30 PM. This may have lost a sale for the owners of the home we wanted to view. Do you want to risk that?

Why shouldn't you try to sell your home on your own?
The number one reason is because there are buyers who are not willing to do the negotiations on their own. They are unsure of how to do that to make sure they are fully protected. This is where a Sales Associates education comes into play - we are trained negotiators. PLUS you will never get the exposure I can offer you on websites, newspapers, open houses AND a search engine for buyers exclusive to the Realtors. Our Filogix website gives us access to a search engine that has the ability to email buyers on our behalf, the minute your house listing comes on our system (homes that are within that buyers personal criteria) - 24 hours before it goes to the MLS system. It just can't get much better than that! There are over 200 Real Estate Sales Associates in Fredericton and surrounding areas - if just half of them use our Filogix contacts email search engine as it was set up to be used, then the possibility of 20-50 emails being sent out to prospective buyers will definitely have an impact on the exposure of your home

As Real Estate Sales Associates, we know what is required on an agreement of purchase and sale. i.e.
-in rural areas a water test is required by a bank or mortgage company
-in rural areas we would request that the septic be cleaned prior to closing
-we have the owners complete a property disclosure statement answering questions that may be a concern to a buyer
-we put a limited time frame for financing to ensure the sale of your home is not held up without proper financing in place
-we put specific "terms and conditions" in the contract to protect both the seller and the buyer
-what inclusions stay with the house
-has anyone arranged a pre-closing inspection to make sure everything agreed to is in place
-did you remember to put on the agreement that the buyer and seller each require their own personal lawyer to search the title, transfer the monies, etc.
A Real Estate Sales Associate is educated and trained to make sure there are no mistakes made prior to closing.

Should I ask a Real Estate Sales Associate or work with a Real Estate Sales Associate who is willing to reduce their commission?
As an employed, salaried person, would you be willing to allow your supervisor or Company to reduce your salary without good cause. If you were told at work your salary was being reduced it could only be for a couple of reasons:
- your hours were being reduced to part time and your salary was being reduced to facilitate the change in hours
-your were not working to your full potential so your salary was being reduced to comply with your abilities

If a Real Estate Sales Associate is willing to give you 110 percent of their professional knowledge, no cutback on the hours they will work marketing your home with viewing available on numerous websites, providing signage, holding open houses, being available when someone wants to view your home, advertising your home, capable of returning phone calls in a mannerly fashion to procure showings for your home - is a Full Time Realtor, they deserve their salary.

Someone agreeing to reduce their salary knows they are not working to their highest potential in my opinion.

Real Estate Sales Associates work days, evening, weekends and some very long hours especially during the busy seasons. The big question you have to ask yourself is "if a Real Estate Sales Associate is willing to lower their commission - are they also willing to lower the services you have the right to expect and deserve?".

Real Estate Sales Associates have very high expences, we not only pay for our own gas, vehicles,signage and advertising we also have to pay our fees to our local francise office, the international office, NBREA, CREA, to renew our license each year, the mandatory courses we are required to take, etc. Our commission enables us to do the best possible job for you on a fulltime, professional basis.

Should a Real Estate Sales Associate answer their phone during their appointment with you?
This is a huge debate among Sales Associates. I for one do not answer my phone during showings or listing presentations. I return all phone calls as soon as possible when I am finished my appointment. I personally feel that my clients are entitled to my undivided attention during our appointment. We receive a large number of phone calls coming in on a regular basis - being interrupted while with my clients is not acceptable to me. My full focus at that time is with my present client. Not to be disrespectful to anyone trying to reach me but to be respectful to the person I am presently with. As I mentioned, I will definitely return all calls as soon as possible.

Working with a Realtor
It is important that you work WITH your Real Estate Sales Associate to sell your home. The Sales Associate will meet with you, possibly give you some pointers on what to do to highlight certain areas in your home and mention a few things that may need to be tidied up or removed prior to listing your home to ensure the home will be shown at its very best.

How do I determine the best price possible for my home?
This is another important area where a Real Estate Sales Associate will be most helpful to you. We have at our disposal all homes in your neighborhood that are available for sale presently, have sold in the past or have expired on the market. We will put together a "Comparative Market Analysis" to help your determine the most suitable price for your home. This is something we would do together, the most important factor. An overpriced home is a mistake a large number of homeowners make when selling their homes. Once the house sits on the market a bit too long - buyers start asking what is wrong with that house, why isn't it selling?" Market value pricing is priority when listing your home.

I personally call any Real Estate Sales Associates that have shown my listings for feedback. If the feedback tells us that the house is priced too high - then it is decision making time. You may have the time to wait for a while, or you may want to move quickly. The decision is one you will have to make for your own personal needs.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me on my mobile phone at 506-470-9888 or email me at I look forward to working with you in the very near future.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

First Time Home Buyers

Thinking of buying your first home but not sure of the process. I can give you a few important details. If you have any questions please call me at 506-470-9888 or email

1) Go to your Bank or a Mortgage Broker for a preapproval on your mortgage amount. This first step will give you the amount in dollar figures that you are allowed to spend on your new home. The very worst scenario for a new home buyer is to be searching in a price range they cannot afford. You may find a home that is just what you have always dreamed of - BUT - if you cannot get financing in that price range, you are so disheartened - once you have suffered that disappointment, every house we view after will not compare and you will have a very difficult time in finding a home that can be your "dream home. If we search within your personal approved mortgage amount, you will not be disappointed! I have worked with an excellent Mortgage Broker in the past Carolann Young of Homes Loans Canada - my clients were all very pleased with Carolann's service and she is a delight to work with. Her email is or phone 506-470-1098. If you have any mortgage questions, please give her a call.

2) Decide where you would prefer to live - it can be various areas, but a few preferred areas will be more beneficial when doing your search.

3) Do you want a "mortgage helper". A "mortgage helper" is a home that has an apartment located in the home (once in a while a separate smaller home on the same property). A large number of single people and young couples do prefer to have an added income to help them out for the first few years. When your family grows, most 2units or "mortgage helpers" can always be opened up to become part of the existing portion you are living in. Another important point is that when you do purchase a "mortgage helper" your bank or mortgage broker will include 80% of the income being received from the apartment as a portion of "your income). This can increase the amount you have been preapproved for because preapproval is done on the amount of annual income you earn.

4) Did you know that I have access to an automatic search engine (for Realtors only) that will email you listings of homes that are in your personal, preferred, specific criteria. It is one of the best tools I have ever used as a Realtor. I enter your email address and your personal criteria into the search engine - the search engine will do the search and email you all listings that are presently for sale AND as each new listing comes on our system if that listing matches your criteria, it will be emailed to you 24 hours before it is sent to the MLS system. This will definitely give you quick heads for listings coming on within your criteria.

5) Another important fact that most people are unaware of - as a member of The Fredericton Real Estate Board, I can show you any home listed on the market, regardless of what Company has it listed. If you are sent 4 or 5 that peak your interest and you would like to view all of them - just give me a call and I will make the appointments to acquire access to every home you are interested in for viewings. We can view in an evening or afternoon, whatever works best for you.

6) If you find a home that you feel is the one for you - I would always recommend a second showing. Bring family members with you if you need a second opinion. There may be 2 or 3 you want to "second view" and that is not a problem whatsoever.

Purchasing a home is one of the major decisions you will ever make in your life time. It is of the utmost importance that you are ready to purchase and confident with your purchase.

I have worked with a large number of first time home buyers and thoroughly enjoy working with everyone. I have an abundance of patience and would never encourage or push you to purchase a home before I know that you are firmly in your personal comfort zone.

I welcome any questions from people looking to purchase or sell their home. I have 10 years experience in the real estate world and have had great success with past clients. I assure you, I will always go that extra mile for everyone I work with whether they are purchasing or selling. (there are a few testimonials on my blog you may want to view)

I look forward to having the opportunity to work with many of you in the near future!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dividing a loved one's belongings.

This is always something very hard to do. It is also hard for me to share this but the few times I have, people have always been surprised and couldn't believe everything was done without any animosity whatsoever!

As I have mentioned before, I have 2 sisters and a brother. We lost our parents within 2 years of each other, both to cancer unfortunately.

The time came for decisions to be made on my parents home and since we all had homes of our own there was no choice but to put the house on the market. I sold it to one of my daughter's best friends, who had spent many nights sleeping over at my parents home with my daughter Amy. The new owners were delighted and so were we that we knew the people moving in loved our parents as much as we did.

Time to clean out the house - a very hard thing to do. My siblings and I decided we were taking a long weekend and the 4 of us staying at my parents home to do what we needed to do - just us, no kids, spouses, etc. We all knew exactly what our parents "left" to us in the will but there were so many other things in the home we needed to distribute.

I am not really sure whose initial idea it was - but, my Mom loved playing cards. SCAT, poker, 45's, crib, you name it she played it. She was not a big gambler, we played for .25 a hand or nickel and dime, but we had fun. On our annual vacation together in St. Martin's, we taught all the grandchildren to play - it was tradition to play cards at the old house (my great grandparents homestead).

SO....when the time came to clean out the house and distribute our parents belonging - we played poker! We cleaned all day, threw out things we knew would be of no use to anyone and in the evening, we played poker. We put items on the table or if they were too large, we stated what was being played for this hand and whoever won added their treasures to their piles. A couple of things were exchanged in a very civil but fun manner and great negotiation skills required. Some piles were higher than others, but it didn't really matter. All of the Christmas decorations we divided between our children as keepsakes of their grandparents. My sisters and I have grown children out on their own so what we couldn't use ourselves we passed on to them.

My siblings and I took an extremely difficult time, went thru things, cried, laughed and enjoyed many precious memories - just the 4 of us. It was one of the hardest weekend I have ever lived thru but also it holds some very special moments because my siblings and I were able to share the pain, laughter and memories. This is what I would like to "pay forward" to others.

I have heard of so many families having major disputes over their parents belongings after the parents have passed on and the disputes lasting for years - which is so, so sad. This is a time you need to be strong as a family.

If you find yourself in a similar position and not sure how to handle the distribution of a lost loved ones belongings, grab a deck of cards and call your family!

I know for certain - our parents, especially my Mom was exceptionally proud of us that weekend!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Back to Real Estate - A few Testimonials

I think it is important that you get to know me as a Realtor as well which is why I decided to share a few of my clients comments with you.

Re/Max Group Four Realty received this note from my client, Joan Gaunce:
"I would like to mention we had a very pleasant experience working with Kathy even though at times it was 1000 miles over the air waves. We met Kathy on the Saturday morning and purchased the home in Charter's Settlement. She virtually tied up most of her long weekend with us once we drove down from Toronto to view the property. We found her to be a very special person. Highly motivated, honest, punctual, very people orientated and non-aggressive. You are very fortunate to have Kathy on your Team. Regards, Joan"

I received this note in a Thank You card from Sonya, Jeremy and Miles Burrill:
"We are slowly getting settled and falling in love with our new home. We never would have found it without you. We deeply appreciate your daily proactiveness, finding us houses we wouldn't have noticed on our own. Through failed inspections, disaster negotiations and pre-closing disappointments, we always felt supported and encouraged but never pressured. And yes, believe it or not, the roof has been fixed all because you picked up the phone for us yet again. We have been telling everyone who will listen how wonderful you were to us. Even our parents are passing your name along. We won't soon forget the outstanding work you did for us, no matter that we were looking for a starter home. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Sincerely, Sonya, Jeremy & Miles"

I have received a couple of emails from Dina. I sold their home in Burton and referred them to a Re/Max Realtor in Toronto for their new home purchase:

"Hi Kathy sorry we missed you last week, it's been a little crazy, just wanted to say thanks for all your help, Joan was wonderful on the other end and had the patience of a saint. we love the new home and can't wait to move into it."

"Thanks for staying in touch it was good hearing from you. Things are going well with us, we are pretty much settled in here and we love the area. The kids are doing great, the summer months and the first month of school was a little rough as they did not know anyone, but with joining cadets they now have friends and are adjusting well. Thanks again for keeping in touch and if we ever head back that way we will definitely be contacting you... How is your new grandbaby doing?
Wishing you and your family a wonderful New Year...Cheers Dina"

"Thank you so much for all your help in finding me my new home. Please drop by anytime you are in the area. Best Wishes, Mary DeLavalette"

"You've been so kind and helpful to us from day 1 - we're so glad you were our Realtor! Thank you for making our first home buying experience such a positive event! Thanks again so much! Cindy & Doug Farrell"

"Because of All You've Done for Us , We simply can't thank you enough. Rob, Sabrina & Girls, Thank you!"

As I mentioned, I think it is important that any potential client also know me as a Realtor. I have always gone the extra mile for my clients and will continue to do so. The client's needs are always a top priority. If a problem arises, I will do my utmost to find a solution. I will always be up front and honest and give you full disclosure on my thoughts and or recommendations on any property. I will find every answer to every question you have. I have never had a problem saying "I'm not sure" or "I don't know" BUT I will do all I can to find that answer. If it's out there - I will find it.

Finally, a testimonial from my eldest sister Elaine, when I was working on her behalf:
"Only you, my dear sister, only you!! You are like a dog with a bone. I still say you need to get your investigators license. you would be an ace at it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks , for all you have done. Love you. Elaine

Christmas Santa Claus Hat Ornaments

I am originally from Saint John, New Brunswick. We are a very tight family, I have 2 sisters and 1 brother. When we all lived in Saint John, we spent every Christmas Eve with my parents and each other. Santa Claus delivered 1 gift to all the small children at my parents on Christmas Eve. The get together started with just immediate family and exploded to neighbors and relatives, each bringing a gift for their child for "Santa" to drop off under the outside tree my Mom always put up. It was wonderful for the adults and exciting for the children.

In 1993, my brother and I both moved from Saint John. My brother moved to Miramichi and my daughters and I moved to Fredericton. My little family grew to include my husband and his 2 sons. Our children were 5,7, 9 and 15 when Michael and I blended our families. Because of the distant, snow storms, etc., my brother and I unfortunately were unable to travel to Saint John for our annual Christmas Eve get together.

My youngest sister really missed our being there and in 1999 she sent everyone in the family a small box that was not to be opened until 10:00 pm Christmas Eve. In the box were Santa hats made out of wood and painted red and white of course, and our name was on each one. With the Santa hats was a very sappy letter explaining to us that we were dearly missed and to enable us to have a tradition we could share on Christmas Eve, we were to put the hats on the tree each year at 10:00 pm. Needless to say - it brought tears to everyone's eyes and the tradition was started.

Our family grew over the years and a number of people did not have hats - husband, wives, children that has joined our family after 1999 so in 2008 my husband and I counted them up and we did 15 more hats, 13 for new members and a couple extra just in case.

I would like to pass this on to all families that are separated at Christmas time. It is a wonderful tradition and the hats are very easy to make. The best thing of all - when we are hanging our Santa hat ornaments on the tree - we are thinking of each other and for a few minutes we are together in our heads and our hearts if not physically.

I included the pictures above, please feel free to copy them!

Just had to share this photo and pay forward something this special.

These animals were photographed in Wentworth Nova Scotia.

Once in awhile there is an opportunity to take in a piece of nature that you may never see. In these days of unrest and turmoil it is great to see that nature still produces some wondrous beauty.

The odds of seeing an albino moose are astronomical and to see this near Truro is even greater than astronomical. To see two of them together is nearly impossible.

I wanted to share these photos with as many people as possible because you will probably never have a chance to see this rare sight again.

This is a really special treat, so enjoy the shots of a lifetime.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Have you ever seen an iceberg from top to bottom.

I felt this scene was one I had to "Pay Forward"!
This is awesome! This came from a Rig Manager for Global Marine Drilling in St. Johns, Newfoundland. They actually have to divert the path of these things away from the rig by towing them with ships! In this particular case the water was calm, &the sun was almost directly overhead so that the diver was able to get into the water and click this pic. Clear water huh? They estimated the weight at 300,000,000 tons. And now we know why they say one picture is worth 1000 words... . And now we also know why the Titanic sank!
One of God's Great Wonders !!!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pay forward those already used books

As I mentioned in my profile - I love to read. As do my daughters and we pass them amongst each other. They normally make there way back to me whether I have purchased them or my daughters purchased them. I belong to the Owl's Nest in Fredericton where you can exchange books and I do so on a fairly regular basis. BUT if they are overstocked what do we do with all the books once your bookshelf is full? While I was employed with Revenue Canada, I started an inhouse library with those extra books (not that I am encouraging anyone to read at work). I decided to do the same thing at Re/Max Group Four at our office in Fredericton. In the past couple of months I have delivered 4 full bags of books to our office - and requested that we do the same, start an inhouse library. Recycling the books is keeping them out of the landfill and giving other people some enjoyment. Everyone spends money on reading material at some point and it is a wonderful past time but sharing those books using the inhouse library may cut down a bit on everyone's reading budget and allow them to have some quality time with a good book.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Paying It Forward - Realtor Kathy Pineo Barrett

Hi there. I am a Sales Associate with Re/Max Group Four Realty in Fredericton, New Brunswick and initiated a "Pay It Forward" program last spring. In lieu of closing gifts for my clients that purchase homes, I now give a grocery gift certificate to all buyer and seller clients that work with me as their Sales Associate.

On closing, I give my clients a grocery gift certificate for their personal use OR they can "Pay It Forward" to the local food banks, SPCA's or their favourite charity. I also provide them with the mailings addresses for these organizations! One of my clients used the gift certificate and donated it to her daughters school (they were putting on a supper for their parents) so the options of usage are endless.

2011 - I am changing my "Pay It Forward" program a bit. I was not aware that some charities cannot give income tax receipts for grocery gifts certificate and I wanted this to be a win/win for everyone. At the end of each month, I will be making the donation by cheque myself in accordance of how many sales I have. I have broken down areas to support both the Fredericton Food Bank and SPCA - and the Oromocto Food Bank and SPCA. I will alternate donations to each charity. Presently for March closings I am glad to say all 4 of the above will be receiving a cheque. And I am well on the way to have cheques to write for the end of April as well. Thanks so much to all of my clients for making my "Pay It Forward" program work!!!

I would like to start a "Pay It Forward" referral circuit for Realtors nationally and internationally to start their own "Pay It Forward" initiative in their cities.