From My 'Service For Life' News Letter

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Today's Brain Teaser . . .
You may enter, but you can’t come in,
I have space, but no room,
I have keys, but open no lock.
What am I?

  (see answer below)
Avoid The ‘One-Ring’ Scam

When you miss a cell phone call, do you automatically call the number back to see who called? If you don’t recognize the number or it’s “unknown,” it may be a big mistake. If the phone rings once (or sometimes more than once) and you return the call, you may be charged a $19.95 international fee plus $9 a minute for the duration of the call on your next cell phone bill. Here’s how to avoid being a victim:


  • Look at the area code. These calls are primarily coming from Antigua and Barbuda (268), the British Virgin Islands (284), the Dominican Republic (809), Grenada (473), Jamaica (876) and Turks & Caicos Islands (649). If you call back, you’ll be asked to “hold for the operator,” incurring more charges.
  • Search the number online to see if there are scam reports. But when in doubt, don’t call back.
  • If you do return the call, notify your cell phone carrier immediately. Tell them you’ve been a scam victim, give them the details, request a refund, and ask if you can restrict “third-party billing” on your account. Verizon, for example, offers a free service called “Bill Block,” but you need to ask for it. Get it for both your cell phone and landline.
  • Monitor your phone bills. These costs may show up as “premium services.” You should also check your mobile phone carrier’s policy on refunds for fraudulent charges. Some carriers may have a 60-day period for refund requests.
  • Two Government and law enforcement agencies in Canada that you can contact for advice or to make a report. This may help you and prevent others from being ripped off by scam operators.  
     -Canadian Anti–Fraud Centre

     -The Competition Bureau's Information Centre

Think Twice Before Renovating
If you’re planning a home renovation, do it for your own enjoyment. But if you might move in a few years, know that some projects won’t generate the return you hoped for. Here are some do’s and don’ts.

Do consider these upgrades: 

  • Replace your kitchen countertops with stone or granite (check material cost calculators at Paint your cabinets and add new handles.
  • Modernize the bathrooms. A total renovation can cost thousands, but just replacing the vanity in one bathroom with a granite top and dark-wood cabinets will make a huge difference. For example, you can find one at Costco for about $600.
  • Make your home more energy efficient. Buy energy-efficient appliances, insulate your attic, seal air leaks around the house, and install a programmable thermostat. While these upgrades may not be obvious, they will save you money and buyers will appreciate them.
Enjoy these, but you may not get a return on your investment:

  • Installing a pool. A pool is entertaining, but it can be a liability when you sell. Buyers worry about safety and maintenance.
  • Creating a dedicated home office. It’s appropriate if you work at home and use it everyday, but if you just use it to pay bills, make sure the room can also be used as a den or spare bedroom.
  • Over-renovating for your neighborhood. If you spend $25,000+ on a new kitchen, you may price yourself out of the local market when it comes time to sell.
Fun, Facts, and Laughs

Follow These Directions? 
These are actual instructions found on real product labels:
  • On canned peanuts: “Warning, Contains Nuts!” (good thing they told me!)
  •  On packaging for an iron: “Do not iron clothes on body.” (but it would save me time!)…
  • On a bar of soap: “Use like regular soap” (as opposed to irregular soap?)
  • On the bottom of a box of tiramisu dessert: “Do not turn upside down” (too late!)…
Legal Information Websites . . .
There certainly is no shortage of Canadian legal information on the Web. The big problem is wading through the mass of legal information that is available to find reliable sources. Here are some good places to start. Please note that the standard warning applies to all these Canadian law resources - they are for general information purposes only. If you have a specific legal problem, please consult a lawyer.

What’s Popular With Teens Besides Facebook? . . .

Teens aren’t using Facebook as much as they used to (probably because so many adults use it). These free mobile apps (for iPhone and Android devices) are what’s popular now:

• SnapChat – Send “snaps” (photos, videos and captions) that self-destruct a few seconds after they’ve been viewed.

• Vine – Create 6-second videos to share with friends. (Owned by Twitter)

• Instagram – Take a picture or video, add a filter to make it look cool, and post it instantly for others to see. (Owned by Facebook)

Create A Family Health History Online . . .

Your family health history can help your doctor take better care of you. Use the tool at: and share the results with your family members.

Have A Laugh…
Six-year-old Susie complained, “Mother, I’ve got a stomach ache.” “That’s because your stomach is empty,” her mother replied. “You’d feel better if you had something in it.” That afternoon, her father complained that he had a bad headache all day. Susie perked up. “That’s because it’s empty,” she said. “You’d feel better if you had something in it.”

Every month I will be choosing a property to showcase in my newsletter. Let me know if you have a great new picture of your home to showcase here. Contact me for more info on this property at 250-265-8040.

This "New England" style home has a wonderful, open design, that encourages sharing with family & friends, while a self-contained cabin is perfect for guests.  The professionally landscaped gardens and path to the beach creates a restful milieu.

Brain Teaser Answer:
A computer keyboard!
Thanks For Thinking of Me!

Did you know I can help you or any of your friends or family save time and money when buying or selling a home? Thanks for keeping me in mind with your referrals...and spreading the word about my services.
Real Estate Q & A . . .

Q.  What big mistakes should I avoid when selling my home?
A.  There are plenty of mistakes you can make when you sell your home but most can easily be avoided. Here are three important ones:
  • Pricing Your Home Incorrectly. You need to set the right price when you put it on the market. If you start high, you may keep buyers and other real estate agents away. If you lower your price in increments, it may be too late, as the home may already be viewed as “overpriced.”
  • Failing To Stage Your Property. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression! Look at your home from a buyer’s point of view: clean it up, clear the clutter and get it in model-home shape.
  • Selecting The Wrong Agent. You need to hire a REALTOR® who understands your goals and will meet your needs.



Shirley Kosiancic

Shirley Kosiancic

CENTURY 21 Mountainview Realty Ltd.
Contact Me