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Tuesday, February 28, 2012


If you are thinking of putting your home on the market, please call us. We have young families looking for homes in the Saint-Lazare area. These are some of the requirements: 
  • Saint-Lazare
  • 4 bedrooms & 2 baths
  • open concept
  • forced air heating
  • double garage
  • wood burning fireplace
  • minimum 2,400 sq feet living space
  • fenced in backyard is a plus
  • pool is a plus
  • quiet street
  • not near electrical pilones
  • newer well maintained home (preferably no renos)
  • budget is $400,000

Diane & Paul Laflamme
Royal LePage Village

Monday, February 27, 2012

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Paul & Diane Laflamme
Royal LePage Village

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Women as the breadwinners: Turning the traditional model of gender roles in marriage on its head

When Nicole Winchester has to work late from home, her husband Gary slips a hot meal between her and her laptop. On a typical week, he’ll do the shopping, the dishes and most of the cleaning. The laundry is also his domain, mainly because he likes it done just so.
Ms. Winchester hasn’t the time for (or admittedly, the interest in) the domestic sphere. She’s too busy as the breadwinner in their Toronto household, having brought home significantly more bacon as a television producer during their seven year marriage thus far.
He’s got the more flexible, albeit lower paying, job and therefore has more time for these duties, she said. He’s also relieved she has the education and work experience to be the high earner in their house — something that jarred Ms. Winchester at first.
“I was a little surprised because you always expect men to have that sort of issue, or at least you’re taught to expect that,” the 37-year-old said. “But Gary’s never had an issue with me making more money. He’s been like ‘If you make more money than me, that’s awesome — then we have more.’”
In the last few decades, women have come to gradually outpace men in education, with women making up 60% of university graduates in Canada, and in earnings growth, with the average total income for women in Canada increasing at nearly twice the pace of men’s. And as this outpacing across North America only seems to accelerate, working women are poised to eclipse men as the primary household breadwinners — a cultural shift that is changing the dynamics between husband and wife, turning the traditional model of gender roles in marriage on its head and even shaping the way younger generations view an institution at risk.
What happens in a new order that’s still in transition, when the hard won equality among partners is surpassed as mom rushes off to work while dad takes the kids to the playground, wonders Washington Post reporter Liza Mundy, author of the forthcoming book The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners Is Transforming Sex, Love and Family, due out in March.
“We want to marry somebody with the same degree set we have, we want equality and we want parity,” Ms. Mundy said in an interview this week. “It is sometimes, for some women, unnerving when they find themselves pulling ahead of their partner.”
Provided The cover of The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners Is Transforming Sex, Love and Family, by Liza Mundy.
She cites 2009 United States labour bureau data which shows the percentage of working wives who outearn their husbands has increased from 23.7% in 1987 to 37.7% in 2009 and that has likely increased since then because of the economic downturn, researchers say. In Canada, the proportion of wives who were primary household earners rose from 11% to 19% between 1967 and 1982 and continued to rise until about one in four, or 29% of households, were dual earner in 2003 —in many households, women were the big earners, according to the most recent figures. “The continued rise suggests that women in the role of primary breadwinner is not likely a temporary phenomenon,” Statistics Canada analysts Deborah Sussman and Stephanie Bonnell wrote in 2006.
Based on this incredible rise between 1987 and 2009, Ms. Mundy projects that by 2030, a majority of working wives and single mothers supporting their households will outearn the traditional breadwinning male. While men are still the top earners as a whole, today’s baby-boom executives will be retired in 20 years, she said, paving a clear path for the next generation of educated women.
Many of the women she interviewed for her book said they had harmonious homes — that of course times have changed and the household is run by pragmatics: Whose career is taking off, who has the highest earning potential, who actually likes cooking and cleaning and making the beds? They’d figure it out, and the house would run smoothly from there.
But some tensions were impossible to ignore: Sure, men had their insecurities, but the ones women expressed were most interesting, Ms. Mundy said.
“It can be disconcerting, even if you’re proud of it,” she said. “Some women don’t want to get trapped as the primary breadwinner. They feel they’re going to lose flexibility and choice in their lives — maybe if they want to stay home with the kids it’s going to be less feasible? They are getting their head around the idea that they’re providing.”
One woman told Ms. Mundy she had lost her feelings for her husband after she went to work and he became the caregiver at home, saying she “respected him less as a man.”
“I interviewed this one really progressive feminist who admitted ‘Sometimes, I know it’s wrong, but I just had these spasms of thinking ‘It’s my money, not our money,’” Ms. Mundy said.
Ms. Winchester admits to feeling that way too sometimes. She and her husband have been paying down debt, but when she wants to buy something for herself, she can feel a fleeting wave of resentment that she cannot.
“I know it [seems like a] childish thing, but at the same time I’m thinking ‘I make the money, why can’t I buy an iPad?’ That was my thing — if I make this money, why can’t I go out and buy a computer if I want to?”

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Check out page 15 in The Your Local Journal Newspaper. 
Here is the link:

Paul and Diane Laflamme
Royal LePage Village

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mary Kay's hot-pink mansion for sale

The sprawling Dallas home of Mary Kay Ash, founder of the immense Mary Kay cosmetics empire, can now be yours for a mere $3.3 million. Not sure whether a gigantic mansion made of pink is worth that much? Encompassing over 11,800 sq. ft., you'd only be shelling out around $278 for each square foot. That's not so expensive, right? That price point is quite a steal when you consider the mansion went on sale in 2007 for $5.7 million. The mansion comes complete with roughly an acre of land, which should be plenty for anyone with a passion for yard work.
Obviously, the mansion in Dallas, Texas has a lot more going for it than just its size. While the house is technically a single family home, it sports 8 baths, 7 fireplaces, and 6 bedrooms. The master bedroom is over 320 sq. ft. itself, so you should be able to fit most of your bedroom set — or the entire contents of your apartment — in that room without too much trouble. Plenty of landings and sweeping ceilings serve to enhance the mansion's use of space and leave plenty of wall space for hanging pricey artwork.

The home also boasts an incredible pool. The pool area features a cabana, cleaning system, and its own separated hot tub. The luxurious external swimming getaway is filled with columns, gorgeous tile, and even a couple statues to make sure you get that classical feel. Swim a few dozen laps to help stay fit and trim, or just lounge on the side to let your day's stress melt away. You could easily host a party or reception in this space alone, providing both cover from the sun and the chance to enjoy the sky in the same space.

Mary Kay Ash founded the cosmetics company in September 1963 after being passed over for a promotion in favor for a man she'd trained herself. Since then, Mary Kay Inc. has become an immense empire, nationally recognized for its success in cosmetics. The founder considered the Golden Rule (Do unto others as you would have done to yourself) to be a guiding principle of her organization, and was well-known for her charitable efforts. Mary Kay Ash died in November 2001, 38 years after creating her company. Her legendary home carries on her spirit of living life to the fullest.

The home was designed by Dallas Design Group in 1984. Other noteworthy features include gorgeous wood carvings, 40' ceilings, and geothermal heat and air. Mary Kay herself actually moved out of the mansion in her later years. The mansion had an intermediate owner who enjoyed a more classical look, populating the mansion with antiques and oriental rugs, which is why many of the rooms have less pink that you might imagine.

Why pink? That was the trademark color of Mary Kay and her organization. Successful Mary Kay representatives could even win themselves pink cars through great performance. The color surrounds the entire home, which could at least partly explain why realtors have had to drop the price so much through the years. If pink walls weren't enough, the buyer of this home will find even a pink quartz toilet. That's right, the $3.3 million mansion even has a pink commode.
When you're ready to disappear into your own pink mansion, you can maintain your privacy inside the heavily treed lot, tucked away behind an iron fence and automatic gate. Mary Kay's opulent mansion might not suit every taste, but it has a lot to offer for its $3.3 million asking price. Just remember: home is where the pink is!

By Michael Gray, Tecca
February 17, 2012


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- When it comes to dating, home ownership can be the ultimate aphrodisiac.

In a survey of 1,000 single people, more than a third of women and 18% of men said they would much rather date a homeowner than a renter.

Only 2% of women said they preferred to date a man who rents, while only 3% of men said they would choose a woman who rents over one that owns her home, according to the survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive for real estate site Trulia. Both sexes also clearly prefer it when there's no roommate in the picture; 62% of survey respondents, men and women, prefer to date singles who live alone.

I'm home! Adult children move back in with parents

And there was bad news for the growing number of boomerang kids -- the young adults who went off to college, graduated and then wound up back in their old bedrooms. It's going to be hard to find love, except (perhaps) from your parents. Less than 5% of all singles surveyed said they would date someone living in their childhood homes.
"That's a real deal-breaker," said Michael Corbett, a spokesman for Trulia. "If you're still living with your folks, you're dead-on-arrival for dating."

The home they could love
Trulia also asked which home features are the biggest turn-ons. Number one turned out to be a master bath. Men (64%) love that private sanctum almost as much as women (75%) do.

Cool and unusual homes for sale

Walk-in closets were cited by 55% of men and 72% of women and gourmet kitchens got 51% of the male vote and 62% of the female. Hardwood floors, outdoor decks and home theaters also came in high on the list.

Interestingly enough, hot tubs got a lot less love from respondents. Only 26% of men and 22% of women cited the old standby in the science of seduction as an amenity they would truly want.

@CNNMoney February 14, 2012: 5:30 AM ET

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


There is a soft landing in sight for the Canadian housing market, according to BMO economics.

Compared to the recent rash of concerns raised by various groups about an overvalued Canadian housing market coast-to-coast, BMO is bucking the trend, suggesting that such reports either miss the market in their simplicity, or are not entirely true.

 “Like any issue that is as broad and complex as housing, an analysis of both the pros and cons can provide valuable perspective. In our view, the housing boom will more likely cool than correct, even in condo-driven Toronto—the target of many scary headlines.”

They do believe that the housing market will experience a slowdown; contrary to many of the alarmist news, BMO feels that, “With the exception of a few regions, valuations remain only moderately high across the country, especially when low interest rates, demographics, construction costs, land-use regulations and foreign capital inflows are considered.”

Unlike interest rates drop further, they don’t expect the boom to continue- but neither do they expect the floor to fall out from under the market either. With the continuation of low interest rates, levels of affordability continue as well.

The whole concept of the housing bubble bursting centres in the relationship between somewhat stagnant incomes in this country, juxtaposed with levels of household debt ramping up, as well as property values escalating at a fairly quick place.

The only region that they do concede is in a dangerous position is Vancouver, where property values continue to skyrocket, as Asian investors continue to grab up properties.
BMO responds to concerns about an oversupply in the condo market in centres like Toronto, but suggest that these concerns are not totally founded in fact either, mostly because of a low vacancy rate coupled with a rising demand for rental accommodation for an influx of immigrants to the centre.

“Although the cost of owning a new Toronto condo exceeds the rental income derived from the unit, expected steadier price growth ahead should allow rents to eventually catch up, reducing concerns that investors will dump their units. In Toronto, the condo market has effectively supplanted the rental market due to a lack of new apartment buildings and low rental vacancy rates.”

Furthermore, thanks to low interest rates, home ownership remains within reach for the bulk of Canadians, in most centres- and is expected to continue to stay that way as well. BMO is not without its warnings though, suggesting that there could be a material shock in the wings, especially in the event of an interest rate hike.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Beautiful Video of Alberta, Canada

Here is a beautiful video done by Alberta, Canada.  The quality of this video is amazing. You’ll probably watch it several times.
This is fast paced but the hi def scenery is awesome in what is as close to 3D without wearing special glasses. Enjoy!

Team Laflamme - Connected To Your Community

Testimonial from Client Shelley Lamonde

Diane and Paul Laflamme are excellent realtors.Their honest personality and professionalism, hard work and attention to detail will bring success to you whether you are selling or buying a home.  I found that their extra personal touch facilitated the sale of my home. They are a pleasure to know.
Shelley Lamonde
Saint-Lazare, Quebec
February 18, 2012

We are never too busy for your referrals.......

Connected to your community

Paul and Diane Laflamme
Courtiers immobilier
Royal LePage Village

Friday, February 17, 2012

Searching for a New Style? Look Back to the Future
Retro, short for retrospective, is the trend for 2011. It’s a decorating style that evokes the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and even 80’s.   So if you’re trying to find the next big thing in interior design, look no further than the past!
Retro furniture is all about good wood, such as teak or rosewood, and great design.  Look for simple shapes, such as chairs with smooth, tapering legs, or long, low sideboards with minimal decoration.  It can be found anywhere from chic furniture stores to local thrift stores and yard sales. 
Fabric with geometric shapes and patterns can be used as drapes, table cloths, and cushion covers and they complement the simple furniture designs nicely. For the floor, shag carpeting has made a comeback, but scale it down to area rug size to maintain a balance in design.
Shine a light on your retro motif with throwback lamps.  Lamps with long, narrow, and articulated necks are popular again, as are lamps with multiple bulbs that can be pointed in different directions.  The 60’s lava lamps have made a re-appearance, as well as pendant lights, which come in all shapes, finishes and colours. 
As for accessories, retro is colourful and definitely eye-catching.  For the kitchen, look for melamine dishes, vintage Pyrex in vivid yellow, green or turquoise and ceramic containers with wooden tops.  Consider a sunburst clock in the living room if you have a plain wall begging for attention.
If your style is contemporary, retro is particularly effective.  Pronounce a single wall of your room with a 1950’s or 60’s graphic-print wallpaper, pick a colour from the pattern and co-ordinate fabrics and paint for a contemporary fusion.   Wall graphics or giant stickers, are an alternative to wallpaper – simply chose your pattern, peel them off and be creative! 
Retro is a fun style and is especially effective with just one or two pieces.  As well as creating interest, you’re adding a slice of history to your home.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Housing cools as sellers hold back.

Housing cools as sellers hold back. Too many people who are listing are expecting prices well above the market. The hot housing market that powered the country's post-recession recovery is slowing to a crawl.

The Canadian Real Estate Association said sales dropped and prices moderated in January, with the weakness spread among more than half of the country's cities. Sales in Vancouver and Toronto slowed to a crawl, with few houses available to would-be buyers.

The low number of listings means there could be a rush of sellers trying to capitalize on the spring market, keeping a lid on the bidding wars that have driven prices sharply higher in some of the country's largest markets.

“There is really a lack of product,” said Phil Soper, president of Brookfield Residential Real Estate Services, which operates Royal LePage. “We expect that to pick up considerably, and by the end of March Break you'll really be able to gauge the Canadian market's health. Or lack of health.”

Canada's sizzling property market has made headlines around the world, and so far defied some predictions that it's a debt-fuelled bubble bound to pop. Forecasts for home prices for the next several years vary wildly – with economists and analysts predicting everything from a 25 per cent drop to modest gains.

The latest figures suggest a levelling off. Home sales across the country were down 4.5 per cent in January from December, the sharpest monthly decline since July, 2010.

Average prices were 2 per cent higher than a year ago at $348,178, the smallest year-over-year increase in the past year.It's not the first sign that the much-talked-about slowdown may have arrived.The Teranet-National Bank index, an alternative measure of price gains that lags CREA by several months, showed prices dipped 0.2 per cent in November, marking the first drop since the fall of 2010.

In Toronto, the bidding wars have largely given way to a market where houses sit longer and sell for closer to their asking price, said Richard Silver, president of the Toronto Real Estate Board. But hot neighbourhoods continue to fetch top dollar, especially considering the lack of listings.
Matthew Slutsky, chief executive officer of real estate site, has been trying to buy a house in one downtown neighbourhood for months. Along with his wife Carlie Brand, he's been popping letters in mailboxes imploring their owners to consider a sale.

“I really hope it's the calm before the storm and more listings pop up,” he said. “Right now it feels like we are auditioning for a house, and I don't know if I want to wait and see what happens in the spring.”

There's been a sense of unease surrounding Canada's housing market for more than a year. The federal government tightened its mortgage qualification requirements to try to prevent buyers from taking on too much debt in a low-interest-rate environment, and the Bank of Canada has issued a steady stream of warnings about high levels of household debt.

The fear is that rates will rise as the economy improves, and many people who could afford their house when interest rates were low may find those same houses unaffordable as rates rise. Financial turmoil in Europe also has many market watchers concerned, with any default in Greece expected to have ripple effects around the world.

Lenders such as Gerry Soloway, CEO of Home Capital Corp., have cautiously tightened their lending standards in recent months as the economy wobbled. But he doesn't see prices crashing any time soon, even if things slow down considerably. “I just don't see the catalyst for a big price drop,” he said.It's a theory echoed by Ross McCredie, CEO of Sotheby's International Realty Canada, who recently had 16 buyers check out a $2.5-million home in Toronto.

“We are finding if the home is priced right and a quality home, it is moving fairly quick,” he said. “Too many people who are listing are expecting prices well above the market. We are spending a lot of time with our agents to ensure we are only taking on listings at the right price.”

Steve Ladurantaye
Globe and Mail

Monday, February 13, 2012

Back in Canada - in need of a home....Proof of income, credit worthiness needed for a mortgage

If you have spent some, or perhaps all, of your working life away from Canada, coming back to this country and buying a home can pose challenges.
As with any customer, a lender will want proof of income and credit worthiness before approving a mortgage. "They are required to prove they have already secured employment," says Ayaz Bhanji, a mortgage broker with Mortgage Intelligence in TO.

If you worked in Canada prior to moving overseas, or used a Canadian credit card, you will likely have a credit rating in this country, Mr. Bhanji says.
"In the absence of that, banks would be willing to look at credit references from the country where they were working indicating they had been dealing with them for several years and their credit ratings were satisfactory," he says.
David Kuo, district vice-president for Toronto at HSBC Canada says using an international bank can facilitate credit checking, as well as ease international money transfers.
"Sometimes they see a house they like in Canada and they might need to put a deposit down right away," Mr. Kuo says. If they have already left their previous country of residence, it can be difficult for them to verify a money transfer.
Strict money anti-laundering rules mean Canadian banks must know exactly where the money for your deposit has come from.
"For a large amount of funds being transferred into a Canadian account, the bank will need verification as to what the source of those funds were," Mr. Bhanji explains. "Some kind of paperwork that shows, say, they had property in Europe and they've sold it and these are the proceeds. A wire transfer from the originating bank helps as well."
Mr. Bhanji says if a buyer has more than 20% to put down and does not need an insured mortgage, some lenders will allow a degree of flexibility as the returning Canadian gets re-established in the country.
"When we have a returning Canadian in a professional field who expects to be employed soon and has a minimum 20% down payment, because the mortgage does not need to be insured, the lender is able to exercise their own judgement," Mr. Bhanji says. "If they have good credit history, 20% to 25% down - so more liquidity - the risk for the lender is much smaller than for a high-ratio mortgage. They may request you deposit six months' mortgage payments in an account and they will register a small lien within the bank. Those [funds] are a back-up security for the lender."
Mr. Kuo says many customers do not bring all their money back to Canada at one time. Such clients can benefit from having part of their mortgage closed at a low fixed rate and another portion at a higher rate, but open for early repayment.
"For example, the mortgage is $200,000 and I might have $50,000 slowly coming in from selling a property overseas," Mr. Kuo says. "I would lock in $150,000 [to a low fixed rate] and leave the $50,000 as an open mortgage or line of credit."

Sunday, February 12, 2012


 La valeur de réalisation réelle de votre propriété est comme tout autre type d'investissement. Il est nécessaire de la controler. Tous les propriétaires devraient faire évaluer cet avoir propre une fois l'an. Le moment idéal ne serait-il pas maintenant?

The equity in your home is like any other investment. It needs to be monitored. All homeowners should have their equity evaluated once a year. Now may be the perfect time.

Thinking of selling? Call us for a free market evaluation. 

Paul & Diane Laflamme
Courtiers immobilier
Royal LePage Village

Friday, February 10, 2012


 Royal LePage Quebec Awards Gala
February 3, 2012

Follow me on Twitter.!/DianeLaflamme/

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Paul and Diane Laflamme
Courtiers immobilier
Royal LePage Village

The annual Royal LePage Awards Gala was held at The Chateau Royale, Laval on Friday, February 3rd. It was a successful evening as Royal LePage went all out to celebrate the performance of the top Brokers in Quebec.
Paul and I would like to personally thank Royal LePage Village for treating us to a first class event.  We are thrilled to be working under the umbrella of Royal LePage Village and would like to acknowledge the fact that we very much enjoy working with our collegues in Hudson, L'Ile-Perrot and West Island. It was an honour to attend this fabulous evening!

The majority of our business originates from repeat clients and referrals. We would like to sincerely thank our friends and clients - and clients who have become friends, for choosing us to buy or sell their homes. It is our pleasure to help you.

Paul and Diane Laflamme
Branchés sur votre communauté
Connected to your community

Friday, February 3, 2012

Grandma's Coming To Live With Us

Grandma’s Coming to Live with Us
When different generations live together under the same roof it can be a very rewarding experience for all members of the family. Sitting down together to have a meal, talk, or watch a movie is a great way to keep a family close.  However, everyone likes to have their own space now and then, so if you’re planning a home renovation to accommodate grandparents, here are some tips to ensure that the new space is comfortable and senior-safe.
Kitchen. If your renovations include a small kitchen, keep it simple with a counter top range, microwave, toaster and electric kettle.  Heavy items should be stored in lower cupboards, and a non-slip footstool should be handy for easy access to upper shelves.
Bathroom. When possible, it would be ideal for grandma to have her own bathroom.  Walk-in showers are easier than tubs for elderly people to get in and out of. For added safety install some slip grips on the floor and put in a shower bench and hand held showerhead.  A toilet riser base, plus a grab bar on the wall, will make life easier and safer for grandma too.
Fall Prevention. Falls are one of the biggest worries for seniors, and the major tripping hazards are pets, wires and rugs. For this reason, thick cushioned carpeting is preferable to slippery rugs or hardwood flooring.  To reduce the risk of accidents keep rooms and high-traffic areas clutter-free.
Furniture Safety. Secure bookcases and heavy furniture to the walls and try to avoid furniture with sharp corners; choose round or oval tables if possible.  Grandma will likely want to keep some familiar pieces, but depending on the size of her new place in your home, it may be wise to share excess furniture with other family members, put it in storage, or even sell it.
If a grandparent is relocating to an entirely new area to move in with you, try to make the transition as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Consider looking into senior programs in your community. A good starting point may be your local Recreation Centre. Everyone likes company in their own age group from time to time, and if grandma is happy, you’ll be happy too!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Canadian Job Market Weakest Ever - CIBC Says

The latest data show that the employment market in Canada is the weakest it’s ever been.
According to a CIBC index more and more Canadians are working for themselves.  Many fewer are able to secure full-time employment, the rate of which has slowed down considerably. The loss of jobs is made worse by the lessening of the quality of the few jobs that are available.
The employment quality index has fallen over one whole point from 2011. Year-over-year, the greatest drops were seen in Ontario, and the greatest growth in employment was seen in Alberta.

CIBC says that the “quality and quantity of jobs are falling in tandem.”  The surge of self-employment does much to mask the health of the overall economy, as these jobs are often less stable, and produce less revenue.

The report says, “From a quality perspective, the surge in self-employment reduces the overall quality of employment—largely due to the fact that, on average, a self-employed person earns 10%-15% less than a regular employee.”

CIBC warns too that, while the Real Estate market is not expected to crash, they fully expect it to slow down, the impact of which will be substantial on the overall economy.

“While a housing market crash is not in the cards, it’s likely that real estate activity will level off soon. But even if house prices land softly, the impact on the economy in general, and construction jobs in particular, will be far from gentle. Real estate has been an important engine of economic activity, with the number of high quality construction jobs rising by 3.5% in 2011.

That is more than double the pace of employment gains seen in the economy as a whole. That momentum will be lost when the housing market levels off,” the report says.
With the economy expected to soften as well, CIBC feels that prospects for a robust employment picture in the short term are few.