McCullough Marketing has moved to RE/MAX of Nanaimo

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Oct
22
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Did you know? The history of a pumpkin (often called a jack-o-lantern when carved during the Halloween season), dates back all the way to early Greece. In fact, the word "pumpkin" got its name from the Greek word "pepon" meaning large melon! The early pumpkins were not round and resembled a large turnip in shape. In fact, pumpkins and other squash types were often grown along riverbanks with beans and sunflowers long before corn was cultivated. A pumpkin is not considered a vegetable, but a fruit because of its seeds, although when it is cooked, it is often referred to as a vegetable! Pumpkins have a colorful history in North America and often were not just simply orange as we recognize today, but grew in many colors such as yellow, white or a reddish color. The First Nations used to roast strips of pumpkin for food during the long winter months and would also eat the pumpkin seeds or use them for medicine or ground them into a flour. One rumor that still exists today is that Christopher Columbus actually took pumpkin seeds with him back to Europe, although they simply used them as feed for the pigs. Early pilgrim settlers also quickly fell in love with the pumpkin and would cut the top off a pumpkin and hollow the inside out, and then fill it with cream, honey, eggs and spices and cook it in the ashes of a cooking fire. The pilgrims actually made a pumpkin beer which contained hops, maple sugar, pumpkin and persimmons. Today, pumpkin ale, pumpkin latte, pumpkin muffins and scones seem to be flooding the stores as soon as Fall approaches. The jack-o-lantern is believed to have originated in Ireland as they used to carve faces in turnips, potatoes and other root vegetables as part of a Gaelic festival. There are over 50 different types of pumpkins in the world, and some can grow several hundreds of pounds in size. With so many immigrants from Europe, carved turnips and potatoes quickly lost their popularity and were replaced by the easily grown and carved pumpkin.
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Oct
16
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As Halloween fast approaches in two weeks, I thought that it might be interesting to take a look at some of the spookiest properties in North America. I have heard creepy stories from clients who have lived in haunted homes. Their tales of having bed linens ripped from their bed while sleeping, to hearing laughter and voices have been enough to convince me that it would cause me a sleepless night or two if I had lived there. As a young man, I remember a friend of mine who owned a property on the outskirts of town in Dawson Creek. He had heard strange complaints from previous tenants about headless ghosts and blood appearing on walls, but he chalked it up to crazy tenants wanting to break a lease. He had a buddy who had multiple tattoos, rode a Harley, liked to fight, and was just an all-round "tough guy" who was looking for a place to stay. The tough guy picked up the keys and headed his new home to begin the next chapter of his life. LESS THAN 24 HOURS LATER, (it was actually 2AM), this hulking career criminal packed up his belongings and checked himself into a hotel for the night. The next day, he dropped the house keys off to his friend. He had been so terrorized by whatever he had witnessed in the house, that he said he had felt safer in prison. I always wonder what happened to that house and how many tenants have moved in-only to move out a short time later!
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Oct
08
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I read an interesting blog this week that looked at what special rooms are becoming popular again. Much like the real estate market itself, interior design and home styles are cyclical in nature. One such trend that is apparent to many home buyers in Nanaimo is the surge of new homes offering legal suites. For many, this allows buyers to afford a bigger or more executive-style home as the rental income offsets the cost of the mortgage. However, suites have been popular throughout the decades for other reasons as well. Years ago, the wealthier families would hire an "au pair" or nanny for the children and if you look at old real estate ads, you might have seen the wording that a home had an "au pair suite" which was a smaller apartment-like area that the nanny lived in usually with a bathroom and small kitchen area. For many cultures, the notion of an "in-law" suite was made popular as a means of caring for relatives as they aged. Today, many families are cohabitating to reduce living expenses and address the need for in-home childcare as both parents often work outside the home. According to Kermit Baker, chief economist for the American Institute of Architects, "many households want to ensure that their homes can support the needs of aging parents who may be staying for an extended period of time and other visitors with accessibility needs."
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