Top 10 Feng Shui Tips For the Bedroom

Feng shui is an ancient and wise approach to the way our environment affects us. The way we feel and the way we act is influenced in large part by our surroundings. Therefore, by learning how to properly organize what surrounds us, we can improve our lives.

Feng Shui which literally means “the way of wind and water” is a way of manipulating the universal life force known as chi, so that it flows unobstructed within our bodies, homes and workplaces.

Use these feng shui tips to arrange a safe haven in your bedroom.

  1. Remove the TV, computer, exercise equipment, and any other work-related materials. The bedroom is a place for sleeping, relaxing, and sexual healing and should not be cluttered with other items that destroy the good feng shui energy in your bedroom.
  2. The bed should be the biggest piece of furniture in the bedroom. It should be easily approachable from both sides to balance the flow of energy. It must have two bedside tables (one on each side), and a solid headboard. Choose the mattress wisely and invest in the one that will promote the best sleep and relaxation.To allow for a balanced feng shui energy flow under the bed, you need to have your bed at a reasonable height above the floor level. Beds that have built-in storage drawers underneath are considered bad feng shui beds because energy needs to circulate around your body when you sleep, which is not possible if the space underneath the bed is blocked.
  3. In addition to a good headboard, you always want to have a solid wall behind your bed. When you sleep under a window, your personal energy tends to get weaker in time, as it has neither proper support, nor protection. You also need to make sure that the bed is not placed in line with the doors.
  4. Make sure there are no heavy or sharp items hanging over your bed. Do not hang a ceiling fan, chandelier or chimes above your head as this considered bad feng shui.
  5. Use soft colours to achieve a good feng shui balance in your bedroom. The best colours for the bedroom are the “skin colours”, pale-white to rich chocolate brown tones. Avoid rich water (blue) colours.
  6. Soft, dim lights are the best for bedrooms. Use a dimmer switch to adjust the level of light in the bedroom. Candles are ideal for feng shui bedroom lighting, but make sure they do not emit toxic fumes or pose a risk of fire.
  7. Keep all the bedroom doors closed at night. This will allow for the best and most nourishing flow of energy to strengthen your health, as well as the health of your relationship.
  8. Do not have mirrors reflecting or behind your bed. Mirrors bring the energy of the feng shui element of water, and a strong feng shui water element in the bedroom attracts the energy of sorrow, and can weaken your energy when you sleep. Try to reposition the mirror or cover it with a nice fabric.
  9. Open the windows often to keep the air fresh and full of oxygen. You cannot have good feng shui in your bedroom if the air you breathe is stale and full of pollutants.
  10. Plants in the bedroom are not good feng shui, unless your bedroom is fairly large and the plants are located far from the bed.

A comfortable bedroom is one that promotes a harmonious flow of nourishing and sensual energy which excites and calms you at the same time. Creating a balanced and comfortable bedroom is one of the most important things you can do in your home.

Professional Standards Resource Now Available In Six Languages

A comprehensive new document entitled Professional Standards and FAQs is now available in six different languages from the Board.

To better serve the diverse population of our membership and the region, this document is available in Punjabi, Farsi, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, French and English.

Produced by the Board’s Professional Standards department, the document addresses the most commonly raised issues and concerns brought to the Board regarding matters of the professional and ethical conduct of members.

It is intended to position the services and obligations of our members to the public in a clear and direct way. It also directs the public to the options available for resolving issues with a REALTOR®. The document details the distinction between the Board and the Real Estate Council of BC (RECBC), and provides examples of the types of complaints received.

It also addresses five of the most frequently asked questions brought to the Professional Standards department, elaborating on each one in detail. The five most frequently asked questions (along with their short answers) are:

Who is your agent and what are their obligations?

Short answer: The real estate brokerage where your REALTOR® is licensed is your agent. All real estate agents are licensed under the Real Estate Services Act.

What is a contract and when is it legally binding?

Short answer: A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties and describes the rights and obligations of the parties to the contract.

What is an Offer to Purchase?

Short answer: When you decide to buy a property, your REALTOR® will prepare what is known as an Offer to Purchase. The standard form used for this is called the Contract of Purchase and Sale. Once accepted by the parties it becomes the contract between the buyer and seller.

Can I cancel a listing contract, a buyer agency or an exclusive agency contract?

Short answer: Contracts can only be cancelled with the mutual consent of the parties.

Can you explain sellers’ and buyers’ contractual obligations?

Short answer: Buyers and sellers with signed contracts that are legally binding have many contractual obligations (with examples).

Professional Standards and FAQs

Fixed, Variable, or Both?

Who can be blamed for thinking mortgage rates will stay in the basement for the foreseeable future? We’re witnessing:

  • Surprisingly low U.S. job growth
  • A contracting Canadian economy
  • A U.S. Fed that’s pledging to remain on hold till 2013, thereby limiting the Bank of Canada’s options.

That’s got many wondering why on earth anyone would take a fixed mortgage rate.

Indeed, noted CIBC economist Benjamin Tal says: “We know the five-year (fixed) rate is attractive, but we also know short-term rates are not raising.”

Despite the economic negatives, however, the rate choice is not clear cut. Prime rate could theoretically remain as-is for a year and a half (i.e., until near the expiry of the Fed’s conditional pledge) and then jump 150+ basis points. In that scenario, a four-year fixed near 3% could cost less than a variable over four years, other things being equal.

In the end, most people’s fixed/variable decision boils down to how much they want to pay (or need to pay) a lender for borrowing cost certainty.

Variable rates are roughly prime – 0.70% on the street at the moment. That’s 69-79 bps cheaper than a good 4-year fixed (arguably the best fixed term at the moment). At the outset, that variable rate would save you $37/month per $100,000 of mortgage.

Your financial breathing room will largely determine if this upfront savings is enough to gamble that rates stay low after 18 months or so. If you don’t want to bet all your chips you can always consider a hybrid (i.e., a mortgage split into fixed-rate and variable-rate portions).

Professor Moshe Milevsky, Canada’s best known mortgage researcher, recently told FP: “I still don’t get why more Canadians don’t split their mortgage.”

Milevsky is a noted proponent of hybrid mortgages, for two reasons: 1) people have no clue where rates will go; and, 2) rate diversification offers the same benefits as investment diversification.

If you’re interested in a hybrid, the most competitive nationally-available hybrids in Canada are currently from Merix Financial, National Bank, RBC, and Scotiabank.

Courtesy of Rob McLister, Canadian Mortgage Trends


Designing Your Home Theatre

Welcome to the Movies . . .

Home Theater isn’t new. It began back in the 1920s and 1930s when Hollywood’s elite built screening rooms in their homes so they could view the films they had just produced, directed, or starred in. Even though they were luxurious, early “home theaters” were complex and intimidating. The moguls who enjoyed them kept technicians on staff to run the noisy and cantankerous projectors of the day.

Technology has come a long way. Today, home theater systems are far more convenient, far more accessible, and far more reliable. And, thanks to the efforts of literally thousands of engineers, designers, and installers, they’re far more capable, too.

A good home theater system will provide hours of enjoyment for you and your family as it literally immerses you in sights and sounds once available only at the very finest first-run movie houses. A home theater system can also help create just the right environment to enjoy your favorite movies by adjusting  lighting, closing drapes, even turning on the popcorn machine! For the music lover, a home theater system will also reproduce your favorite recordings with startling fidelity.

How Do I Get There?

Speaking with the guys over at HiFi Centre on Seymour St is the first step to enjoying  a home theater system. You can download their very informative guide from their website which gives you tons of information on getting started. In it, you’ll find questions to ask yourself before ever going into a store. They will explain those often-obscure acronyms and the technology they represent so you’ll be comfortable when looking for specific answers to your needs.

Follow the link here to download the HOME THEATRE DESIGN GUIDE at

Canada Keeps Key Rate 1%, Sees Diminished Need for Increase

Sept. 7 (Bloomberg) — The Bank of Canada kept its main interest rate unchanged for an eighth meeting and said there is a “diminished” need for an increase as Europe’s fiscal crisis and a slow U.S. rebound hobble the global recovery.

The Ottawa-based central bank left the target for overnight loans between commercial banks at 1 percent, where it has been since last September, as forecast by all 27 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

The world’s 10th largest economy shrank in the second quarter as a strong dollar and weak U.S. demand weighed on Canada, which depends on exports for one-third of its output. Companies such as aircraft and train maker Bombardier Inc. of Montreal have said they are cautious about major new spending projects because of signs of global weakness.

“In light of slowing global economic momentum and heightened financial uncertainty, the need to withdraw monetary policy stimulus has diminished,” policy makers led by Governor Mark Carney, 46, said in a statement today.

The Bank of Canada reiterated today it expects economic growth to resume in the second half of this year, led by business investment and consumer spending. Output shrank at a an annualized 0.4 percent rate in the second quarter, which the bank said was “largely due to temporary factors.”

Future ‘Pushed off’

“Given its outlook that Canada’s economy will pick up somewhat in the second half of the year, it believes it doesn’t need to inject further stimulus,” said Sal Guatieri, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto. “There is still a sense that rates will need to go up in the future, but that future is pushed off.”

The Canadian dollar gained 0.1 percent to 98.92 cents per U.S. dollar at 9:34 a.m. in Toronto, from 99.05 cents yesterday. It touched 99.66 cents yesterday, the weakest since Aug. 11.

The bank’s previous announcement in July said “some of the considerable monetary policy stimulus currently in place will be withdrawn” as the economy recovers. Today, policy makers gave a list of challenges facing the economy, including the country’s strong dollar and the need for “significant initiatives by European authorities” to boost investor confidence.

The European Central Bank and the Bank of England have interest-rate decisions tomorrow, and economists predict the U.K. rate will remain 0.5 percent and the ECB’s at 1.5 percent. In the U.S., the Federal Reserve pledged Aug. 9 to keep its benchmark rate at a record low at least through mid-2013 to revive a recovery that’s “considerably slower” than

Drag on Exports

Slower global growth will be a drag on Canada’s exports and moderate inflation, the Bank of Canada said today. “Net exports are now expected to remain a major source of weakness, reflecting more modest global demand and ongoing competitiveness challenges, in particular the persistent strength of the Canadian dollar,” the bank said.

“We’ve been very careful in how we’ve been planning our capital expenditures,” Guy Hachey, Bombardier’s chief operating officer for aerospace, said on an Aug. 31 earnings call.

The Bank of Canada’s mandate is to set policy aiming inflation at a 2 percent annual pace. Consumer prices rose 2.7 percent in July from a year earlier, the eighth month it was above target.

Some investors resumed betting that the Bank of Canada will cut interest rates after Statistics Canada reported Aug. 31 that the economy shrank, Brazil unexpectedly cut rates last week and Switzerland yesterday offered unlimited funds to cap a rise in the franc. In the U.S., which buys three-quarters of Canada’s exports, a report last week showed job creation
stalled in August.

Rate Declines

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said yesterday the Bank of Canada will cut its rate to 0.5 percent by the end of the year, New York-based economist Andrew Tilton wrote in a note to investors.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said last week that Canada has more flexibility than the U.S. central bank. “With respect to the limited tools available given the rate presently in place by the Fed in the U.S., we have more room to move in Canada than there is to move in the United States,” Flaherty said Aug. 31 in Toronto.

Flaherty also said that the economy is “sound and sustainable.”

“I’m not so sure,” a rate cut is needed, Suncor Energy Inc. Chief Executive Officer Rick George said in an interview yesterday at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York. “Rates are pretty low right now. We in the west, particularly in Alberta and Saskatchewan, are facing inflation.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Quinn in Ottawa at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at David Scanlan at