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All Blog Entries by Rachel R. Vanderveen

There are currently 183 blog entries published by Rachel R. Vanderveen.

Well the answer is pretty broad, because it depends on which building/land, and what type of condo we’re talking about. More basic condos, usually have at the very least, insurance fees, management fees, and reserve fund contributions.  

Insurance Fees: usually cover the land and buildings which are jointly owned by the owners. You should check the insurance certificate, but usually it covers catastrophic losses and other damages to jointly-owned property. In many cases, this insurance means that condo owners only have to buy a very reduced-fee condo insurance since most of your exterior insurance is covered. This, however, differs from condo to condo.

Management Fees: somebody has to answer the phone when there is a problem with the common property.

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In short, very little, except that you’re going to be paying higher taxes as many of them have gone up this year. However, the number on your Assessment is almost never correct, in terms of what your home could actually sell for in current market conditions. I’ve never seen one correct even within a range of $10,000.

The assessment is not correct because it almost never accounts for market conditions. In today’s market, we’re seeing bidding wars, prince increases, and conditions favouring the sellers. However how much or how little these conditions have affected prices varies from community to community and indeed from property to property.

I always shake my head when I see agents write that a certain home is priced $20,000 below the city assessment.

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It seems lately that a vast majority of people I meet out there equate getting a good deal in real estate, with writing a low ball offer. As if the beginning of a good deal always starts with a low ball offer. In some cases this can be true, but in most cases, it’s not. Let’s spend some time today talking about the real estate low-ball.

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The first thing that you have to realize is that real estate has a value, just like any other product on the shelf. Most competent sellers (99.9% of sellers) want fair market value, and there are some sellers who want more. So the first thing we look at when we are buying is what the true value of the property is. When we look at that property we could discover  a seller pricing his or her home at $500,000 and when

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It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the blog. It has felt amazing to have some much needed time off after the birth of our most recent sweet baby, Grace Vivian Vanderveen. I have never had a maternity leave for the births of any of my children. That’s the nature of self employment. I prepare for it every time. I know it’s coming, and it’s OK. This time we did manage to clear the lion’s share of our clients just before Gracie was born, and I had the supreme luxury of having my phone on silent for the delivery and for two weeks after she was born. It was wonderful.

It was the best delivery and the best recovery I have ever had, ever. So good, in fact, that 10 days after she was born, I really felt mostly back to normal. Today I love stretching my

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I’ve had a few people ask me about my recipes for batch cooking lately because I mentioned that I like to do it on Facebook, so for ease of response, I’ll post some of my favourites on here. We’ll start with good old reliable shepherd’s pie.


Shepherds Pie for an armyEnough Shepherd’s Pie to Feed a Small Army (Or Just the Vanderveens)

(Makes about 10 full meals for our family of 7.5)

Massive3- 4 gallon Cooking pot

2 Flats of Costco Ground beef

1 package of Costco frozen Mixed Veggies

1 Package Costco Peaches and Cream Corn

6-10 Cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup

¾ of a Sack of Costco Potatoes

2 Bricks of Cream cheese

1/2 Stick of Butter

One quarter to one Half a Costco jug of mayo

Costco sea salt

Pepper

Epicure French Onion Dip mix

Extra Old

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The summer is drawing to close and so is my pregnancy with Vanderveen number 6. We have had a long and full summer, and one of the highlights was going on the longest vacation we have ever taken. Since we’ve been married, I haven’t vacationed well. After about 5 days, I really just want my bed back and my home back and all of my familiar things back. I get anxious and eager to go home, much to the vexation of Clint, who has always vacationed exceptionally well. This year, we made it in Sandpoint for 18 days---a record for both of us. Neither of us has ever had a vacation this long in our entire lives, and it was just lovely.  

This summer has been marked by an outstanding sense of peace and quiet for both of us, which is why you’ve noticed the hole in

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I cannot express to you enough how much having a home garden has been wonderful for the Vanderveens. Not only do we enjoy the fresh food right out of our yard, but the kids enjoy helping the plants grow: feeding them, fertilizing, and weeding our little garden. Best of all, there is literally an abundance of spiritual metaphors to pull out of gardening which Clint and I love to share with our children. I cannot recommend this enough to all of my readers. If you’re thinking about starting a garden but not sure how to begin, we’ll be happy to help. Our garden isn’t perfect, but it has sure served it purpose well!

Today I want to share with you how amazing it was to harvest a huge amount of basil and oregano and how we’re storing it for winter months. It’s

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