Charlie Veaudry

Serving you with passion!

 

Being paperless in my business has always been a high priority for me. It's great for the environment, saves a lot of hassle sorting through piles of paper, and by using paperless technology I am able to stay organized and do my job from more or less anywhere with internet!

 

I came across an interesting article about the bennefits of going paperless in your personal life and I thought I would share the below bennefits and encourage you to read more about how you can go paperless too: 

5 Benefits of Going Paperless from Donnie Lawson:

  1. Reduce Clutter. No more creaky filing cabinets and random piles of paper laying around.
  2. Saves Time. Instead of trying to remember what file folder that important document is in, only to mess up the whole system in the process of looking, I can now pull up any document, at any time, from anywhere, in about 10 seconds. Yes, 10 seconds!
  3. Increases Privacy. Do any of you consistently use key locks on all your filing cabinets? What about the stacks of paper laying around? You wouldn’t believe some of the stuff I’ve seen just casually walking around someone’s house!
  4. Disaster Proof. How much does it take for water, fire, heat, damp, and mold to destroy documents? Or a cup of coffee for that matter? Not much. Now how difficult would it be to destroy documents stored on your hard drive, an external hard drive off site, and two cloud backup systems? That’s my system! I’ll take my chances with that.
  5. Spousal (or Organization) Collaboration. Can you and your spouse look at the same document at the same time from different locations? If Abby is at some appointment and needs a particular document, I can text or email it to her almost instantly. No one person is in control of the documents. They aren’t in my office or hers. Collaboration is seamless.

 

These are some great observations from Donnie, and I have seen the same bennefits with my business. You can read his full article here for some more information on how to go paperless. 

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It's the holidays! Is there a better way to spend time with your friends and family than playing a game and enjoying each other's company? Here is a list of board game suggestions. Do you have a favorite? Share in the comments section below!

 

 

 

Have you heard of Eurogames before? It's a subgenre of board games classified by two major features: their attention to design and theme, and focus on serious strategy. Competitive folks, take note: Put away the Scrabble set and try on one of these board games for size.

 

Besides the great artwork and complex mechanics, another defining feature of Eurogames is that nobody is ever knocked out of the game (looking at you, Monopoly). So everyone can play together, making these great activities for a game night with friends or after a big family gathering.

1. Ticket to Ride

This was the first Eurogame I ever played, and I was instantly hooked. The board is a map (the classic version plays across the U.S., while variations exist for Europe and other parts of the world), and the goal is to build train routes between cities, earning points as you complete each city-to-city circuit. There are limited paths available, though, and if you're not quick to claim the paths you need, you might get blocked by another player.

Players: 2-5

2. Catan (formerly Settlers of Catan)

A fun game where your only job is to manage resources. Players collect wheat, sheep, ore, brick and wood by building settlements onto tiles that each contain a different resource, which in turn allows them to build new roads to new settlements and collect even more.

Players: 3-4

3. Carcassonne

In this game, players draw square tiles with a piece of French landscape on it, with things like parts of cities, roads and other features bleeding off each edge, and take turns placing them into a connected landscape next to other players' tiles. You earn points by placing your one of your tokens–called "meeples," each player has eight of them–onto a tile as it's played, claiming the road or city (or anything else) for yourself. There's a good bit of strategy (and a bit of good old-fashioned stealing) involved in where you place your tiles, and some resource management involved in where and for how long you tie up your meeples.

Players: 2-5

4. Forbidden Island

I've never played this one, but I've been told it's the lighter version of one of my favorite games, Pandemic (more on that below). From Board Game Geek:

"Forbidden Island is a visually stunning 'cooperative' board game. Instead of winning by competing with other players like most games, everyone must work together to win the game. Players take turns moving their pawns around the 'island', which is built by arranging the many beautifully screen-printed tiles before play begins. As the game progresses, more and more island tiles sink, becoming unavailable, and the pace increases. Players use strategies to keep the island from sinking, while trying to collect treasures and items. As the water level rises, it gets more difficult–sacrifices must be made."

Players: 2-4

5. Pandemic

This was my first co-op game, which means that you're not competing against the other players, you're all working together towards a common goal. In this case, it's eradicating the world of four diseases that are spreading quickly across the map. Every player has a role, which offers them unique abilities to travel, treat infected populations and cure disease, but everyone has to use their roles to work together to win this game.

Players: 2-4

6. Dominion

Dominion always gets a huge recommendation as a gateway game to the strategy-based Eurogame genre, but it's another one I've never played. (For a genre that takes pride in its artwork, the box for Dominion is hard to pick up.) From IGN:

"The quintessential deck building game that will, among other things, teach you what “deck building” even means. A deck builder is a game where every player starts with a small deck of very basic cards, with a new hand drawn every turn. You then play your cards, which often provide gold to spend in a public marketplace, where you buy better cards to add to your deck."

Players: 2-4

7. Suburbia

I've never seen this one included in a "beginner games" list, and probably because learning the rules and game mechanics is pretty tough the first time around. But I'm usually able to sell people on it by calling it "the board game version of SimCity." You own a borough, and it's your job to manage the business, residences and utilities that move in. The goal is to make money and grow your population, but you're competing against the owners of the other boroughs who are doing the same thing and trying to bring yours down.

Players: 1-4

 

Original article found here.

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There were calls for a Canadian housing market correction last year, but in 2015 they reached a fever pitch.

That was among the major stories — others included foreign investment, Bank of Canada interest rate adjustments, and the dominance of the Vancouver and Toronto markets — that shaped real estate conversation in Canada over the past 12 months.

 

Scroll through the interactive timeline to see the defining moments of 2015 for Canadian real estate.

 

If you are more interested in what has happened in the Vernon and area market over the last year, you can find all of these reports on my website. Click here for the most recent update, or as always, if you want to chat about your home or the market, please don't hesitate to contact me!

 

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The below article from The Morning Star posted back on December 8 is an interesting addition to a previous blog post I shared about the tech industry in the Okanagan. As more and more investment into the tech industry takes place, the impact will be felt in a positive way in Kelowna, Vernon and interior. People utilize the opportunity to work remote as the cost of living in the interior is much lower than the lower mainland, and then hopefully more investment in infrastructure and on-site jobs. It's great to see more jobs available in the Okanagan so more people can live here and enjoy the valley!

 

$100 million tech fund for B.C. 'Dragon's Den'

 

Mobify CEO Igor Faletsky gives B.C. technology minister Amrik Virk a tour of his mobile marketing company
Mobify CEO Igor Faletsky gives B.C. technology minister Amrik Virk a tour of his mobile marketing company's Vancouver office.
— Image Credit: B.C. Government
 
The B.C. government is putting up $100 million for a real-life version of the TV show Dragon's Den, providing seed money to entrepreneurs who convince experts their new technology ideas will grow.
 

Premier Christy Clark announced the new fund Tuesday at the Vancouver offices of Mobify, a marketing company for retailers to advertise on mobile devices. The next step in a the government's technology strategy is to invite proposals for a venture capital company to administer the fund.

 

"We don't want to be influencing that, except that we want them to be in British Columbia, and we want the fund manager to have a managing partner based in B.C.," she said.

 

Clark said high technology is performing better than other parts of the economy, and now directly employs 86,000 people who make higher wages than the industrial average. The taxpayer investment is to give startups the recognition they need to attract private venture capital.

 

Clark said banks look to invest in "guaranteed bets," but technology companies are higher risk with higher rewards for those that succeed.

 

NDP technology critic George Heyman said the industry has been lobbying the province for this kind of assistance, and he supports it if the money is delivered in a transparent way and results are tracked.

 

A previous effort aimed at immigrant investors, the B.C. Renaissance Capital Fund, was criticized for a lack of both. In one case it provided money to a San Francisco company that opened an office in Calgary but not B.C.

 

"The taxpayer subsidizes all sorts of things that relate to job creation," Heyman said. "In the case of the tech sector, these are the jobs of the 21st Century. B.C. has a sector that's performing well but could perform a lot better, and it needs investment to do that."

 

B.C. also offers $33 million in tax credits to "angel investors" who put up money to develop a business that has attracted seed money.

 

 

 

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I love living in Vernon, BC year round, but there is something to be said for heading south to enjoy the warmth and sun in the winter months. Many people buy real estate in the Okanagan because it has one of the best climates in Cananda. But just in case you are craving a little extra sun, and plan to leave your home during the holidays, here are some things to remember to do before you leave. Follow these tips to keep your home safe and save a few bucks on bills while you’re gone.


1. Put mail on hold

An overstuffed mailbox or a pile of newspapers at the bottom of your driveway can be an invitation to thieves. Not only is it a sign that no one’s home, identity thieves can find all sorts of goodies while sorting through unattended mail. Go to canadapost.ca to have the Postal Service hold your mail, and also check on your options for holding newspaper delivery.

2. Put lights on a timer
It makes it appear that someone is home. If you can, switch your exterior lights to the “motion-activated” setting.

3. Check batteries
Make sure the batteries are fresh in your smoke alarms and that they function.

4. Remove valuables
Hiding your jewelry is always an option, but when you’re gone for several days, thieves have more time to hunt through the house. If you can, place jewelry and important documents in a safety deposit box or home safe.

5. Grab your spare key
Bring inside any keys that are hidden outside. You can give one to a neighbor along with your contact information where you'll be, just in case there's an emergency.

6. Unplug
Your electronics will still suck energy while you’re gone. Unplug the biggies, like your TV and computer.

7. Don't advertise your trip online
At least until you return, when it’s safe to make your Facebook friends jealous with photos from your holiday beach vacation. Don’t post the dates when you’re leaving your house vacant.

8. Switch your water heater to “vacation” mode
It won’t turn off completely, but it will still save energy.

9. Lower your thermostat
Keep it warm enough to prevent the pipes – and the goldfish – from freezing. Your energy company can recommend a temperature that’s appropriate for your climate.

10. Deodorize the sink
To avoid returning to a kitchen disposal that belches up the stench of your pre-vacation dinner, run it with a half-cup of vinegar, or lemon peels and ice cubes, before you leave. To keep things smelling fresh, it’s also a good idea to throw out any food that will go bad while you’re gone and make sure to take out any trash.

11.  Bleach the bowl
Dump half a cup of chlorine bleach into your toilet bowl to prevent mineral stains from developing. 

12. Think about hiring a house sitter. Sometimes you can convince out-of-town friends to trade homes or to borrow your house while you are gone (many people would love to spend a few weeks close to Silver Star Mountain!). And there are also people who will pay a small fee to live in your home while you are away. If it's for more than a few weeks, it's not a bad idea to have someone in your house.  Regardless, remember to have fun & happy holidays! 
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Books About Moving to Read to Your Kids

Moving to a new home, a new neighborhood and a new school can be tough for kids. Luckily, a variety of children’s books are out there to help parents explain things, add some fun and hopefully alleviate fears. Do you know any families who are moving? With the consistency of Real Estate in Vernon and the Okanagan, chances are good!

 

Perhaps a good Christmas gift for a kid you know! Here are a few classics – and you can post your favorite children's book titles about moving in the comments section below:


1. “Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move” by Judith Viorst
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1995
Poor Alexander. First, the kid had a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Now, his family is moving! Just like your kids, Alexander has to say goodbye to some special places and people, but with the help of his parents he learns to make the most of the situation.


2. “The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day” by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Random House Books for Young Readers, 1981
Little Brother Bear’s pretty worried about moving, and more than a little scared. Kids can relate to his apprehension, and hopefully his positive change of view as moving day gets closer.


3. “A House for Hermit Crab” by Eric Carle
Aladdin Paperbacks, 1987
A little hermit crab has outgrown his shell and needs to find a bigger one – and new friends to help decorate it. This book will reassure kids that it will be easy to make new friends in their new town.


4. “Tigger’s Moving Day” by Kathleen W. Zoehfeld
Disney, 1999
Tigger needs a place with more bouncing room! His friends aren’t as close to his new house, but they still come and visit. A story to help kids understand they’ll still be able to hold on to old connections.


5. “Goodbye House” by Frank Asch
Moonbear Books, 1989
This book is a terrific way to talk about moving with preschoolers. After the moving van is packed, a little bear returns to say farewell to his old house, saying goodbye to everything, except, of course, the memories.

 

Other favorites include: “Big Dan’s Moving Van,” by Leslie McGuire, “Neville,” by Norton Juster, “The Moving House” by Mark Siegel, “I’m Not Moving, Mama” by Nancy White Carlstrom, and “The Leaving Morning,” by Angela Johnston.

 

Original article here

 
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How to get involved in Vernon & Area this Holiday Season

This time of year inspires many of us to think about our neighbours and community. 

 

I recently participated in the Realtor's Food Drive for the Salvation Army Food Bank and we are getting ready to give our annual contribution to the Vernon Family Resource Centre. These opportunities are always enjoyable for me, and it made me wonder what other initiatives are taking place in our community this season. What I found filled me with great cheer!

 

The Vernon Morning Star website currently has many articles that offer ideas on different organizations in Vernon and surrounding areas that cover all areas and communities. If you are looking for ways to give this holiday, (or any time of the year!) why not check out some of these local initiatives:

 

1. Armstrong Spallumcheen Refugee Project

This project is here to help with the current needs of refugees arriving from Syria.


2. Venture Training

Venture Training is an organization that provides services and programs for people with developmental disabilities.

 

3. The Teen Junction

One of the more established organizations in our community, the Teen Junction supports at risk youth.


4. Any of the organizations of the JCI Alternative Gift Fair

This whole fair is an excellent idea! Give a "gift certificate" to a charity of your choice.


5. Fulton School Food Drive

This is something you can act on right away! They are collecting donations tomorrow afternoon.


6. Christmas Miracle at Anderson Village

If you don't have a chance to bring food donations to Fulton, the business on Anderson Way are collecting for the same cause.

 

7. Upper Room Mission

The Upper Room Mission is a corner stone in our community and is always a great place to offer your support.


All of these projects are worthy causes where even a little can go a long way. Also, giving a donation in the name of someone else is a great way to include others in these amazing community initiatives. 


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As predicted, November sales of single family residential homes rose sharply by 33.3% (up 19 single family residential units to 76) compared to November last year (57 units) and up 8 units from last month’s 68 units. The North Okanagan real estate market had a healthy rebound after the federal election although year to date sales in the North Okanagan continue to trend down 7.9% from 973 last year to 896 this year.

 

Sales - The total sales for the 12 months ending November 2015 was at 944, down 7.9% from the 1025 for the 12 months ending November 2014. However, the recovering market we were seeing earlier this year may be making a come back as signaled by the rise in November sales. This is still the 2nd highest volume of sales in the last 8 years since 2007. Now that last month’s federal election is behind us, sales should continue to show increases with the support of good economic news in BC.

 

Inventory - The average monthly inventory of single family homes dropped by only 1% to 550 for the last 12 months ending in November 2015, the lowest average inventory we have seen in the last 8 years. Inventory has not been this low since 2007, before the start of the recession triggered by the US banking crisis. With more Buyers out there looking for reasonably priced homes Sellers can finally make that move that they have been thinking about for the last few years.

 

Prices - Prices continue to edge up and we are seeing continued upward pressure on average median prices. At $352,881, average median prices for the last 12 months ending in November 2015 rose 3% from 12 months ending in November 2014 and up 6.2% from 2012 when we reached the lowest average median price of the last 9 years. If more Buyers enter the market and the inventory continues to tighten, we will see more upward pressure on prices.

 

Absorption Rate - The rate at which our inventory is being absorbed by sales rose a healthy 27% compared to last month seriously bucking the normal downward seasonal trend. The average absorption rate of 13.94% over the 12 month period ending November 2015 dropped below last year’s figure for the third time this year. At the end of November 2015, the inventory dropped to where there are only 6 months of available homes on the market, down two from last month. This is still considered a balanced market but is moving steadily towards a Sellers market.

 

As predicted, the real estate market slowed down during the period leading up to the federal election then did a serious rebound right after the election. This also happened during Alberta’s provincial election in May 2015 when Edmonton real estate experienced the lowest sales in 20 years followed the next month by a rebound in sales and even rising prices. It seems clear that consumer confidence hangs in the balance during any election period. 

 

At this point we now expect that the market over the next 6 to 18 months will be characterized by increasing sales and lower inventory moving more strongly towards a market that favours Sellers with more competition from Buyers and rising prices. Prices will rise as consumer confidence gains momentum and brings with it more Buyers putting downward pressure on available inventory.

 

If you have any questions about the market, please feel free to contact me at any time. You can go to my stats page here to view the graphs and full detailed data.

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Office Location:

5603 27th Street Vernon BC V1T 8Z5 CA

Charlie Veaudry

I make myself available at all times. My web site is here to help you 24 hours a day. You can search listings at your own convenience, browse reports, and read up on real estate info on your own terms. When you are ready to see a listing in person, or just have a simple question, please dont hesitate to contact me!

 

When you make the important decision to buy or sell a home, I am committed to going the extra mile to ensure that all of your needs are successfully met in a professional and honest manner.

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