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No Reputable Company Would Hire Someone Like Brett Kavanaugh At This Point




Despite what it looks like to some of his supporters, Brett Kavanaugh is not currently on trial. The federal judge is actually in the middle of the most intense job interview of his life, for one of the best gigs in the country: lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It’s not going great. Kavanaugh is now facing allegations of sexual misconduct from three women.

The White House has stood by its nominee. But if Kavanaugh were gunning for a position in the private sector, his situation would be vastly different in this Me Too era.

These days, many major companies would avoid hiring someone with sexual misconduct allegations hanging over their head, particularly for a high-profile position, according to hiring, legal and management experts who talked to HuffPost.

Businesses are increasingly concerned with their reputations regarding sexual harassment. And a company wouldn’t want to turn off other job candidates by becoming known as a place that tolerates misconduct, said Brian Kropp, a vice president in human resources at the consulting firm Gartner.

Companies don’t want to upset their employees, either. “Who wants to work at a place that hires a bunch of harassers?” Kropp said.

That doesn’t mean a man with a dodgy background would be out on the streets, by any stretch. At the highest levels of most firms, there are still older men making the hiring decisions, and they likely wouldn’t take issue with the kind of conduct Kavanaugh is accused of.

“I think there are a lot of men particularly in positions of power that absolutely wouldn’t have a problem with these allegations,” said Liz Stapp, a professor at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado. ”Public companies are under a bit more scrutiny now. But at the average company, the person in the hiring position most likely can relate and empathize with someone like Kavanaugh.”

Last week, Christine Blasey Ford said that when she and Kavanaugh were teenagers, he pushed her down, covered her mouth and attempted to rape her at a party ― behavior some men have described as “horseplay.”

Deborah Ramirez came forward last week and said that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her on an occasion when they were both drunk in college.

And a third woman, Julie Swetnick, came forward on Wednesday and said Kavanaugh was “present” at a house party where she was raped sometime in the early 1980s.

Joshua Roberts / Reuters

Stapp said there are plenty of men in powerful positions who think this kind of behavior is basically normal for young guys. She noted that CBS’s board of directors were willing to overlook sexual misconduct allegations against chief executive Les Moonves for months, until they were forced to contend with the situation because of bad publicity.

And of course, in 2016, millions of voters overlooked the various allegations of sexual misconduct hanging over Donald Trump’s head.

“I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff,” 83-year-old producer Arnold Kopelson, who until recently sat on CBS’s board, reportedly told his colleagues about Moonves.

A tainted Kavanaugh-like candidate probably wouldn’t land in something like a CEO role ― but many companies would still bring in someone like that to consult or work behind the scenes, Stapp said.

What’s more, she said, it’s unlikely that any company would even find out about these types of long-ago incidents. Companies don’t dig that deep ― particularly for sexual misconduct allegations.

Still, the Me Too movement has shaken things up.

Even in the male-dominated world of finance, typically a safe haven for men with old-fashioned ideas about women, firms are much more wary of the optics where sexual misconduct is concerned, said John Singer, a New York attorney who represents more than a dozen men in the securities and entertainment industries who have faced accusations of harassment or other misconduct.

Banks and other companies are now more likely to publicly announce a firing over misconduct ― something that just wasn’t done before ― and a lot less likely to take a chance on someone with a tainted past.

The change in attitude happened right after the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke last fall, Singer said.

“Pre-October there would have been little to no impact on a banker or trader’s ability to get hired at a new firm,” he said.

Even conservative-leaning law firms would be wary of hiring someone like Kavanaugh in this climate, Singer said. On the one hand, a longtime Beltway insider like Kavanaugh would be an “extraordinary rainmaker,” and the right side of the aisle likely wouldn’t care much about the sexual misconduct question.

However, even those firms have become increasingly sensitive to these issues. “I’d have a hard time believing he’d get hired,” Singer concluded.

Smaller companies and firms, particularly those without any female employees, would probably be more amenable.

For example, it took less than a year for Brian Cagney, founder and CEO of the startup Social Finance, to land on his feet after leaving the company in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations. Just nine months after he’d quit his former company, venture capital firms had given him millions of dollars to start a new business.

In the end, of course, Kavanaugh likely needn’t worry about any of this. He hasn’t been charged with a crime, and the worst outcome he now seems to face is the possibility of losing out on a cool job.

And if that happens, he shouldn’t have a problem going back to his current position ― a lifetime seat on the D.C. Circuit.


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11-Step Guide to Buying A House




Purchasing a home is likely going to be one of the largest purchases you will make in your lifetime, which is why it is so important to follow the right steps when starting on your home-buying journey to ensure that the entire process goes smoothly from start to finish!

We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to buying a home, to help you get off on the right foot when it comes to buying a home. Click the download button below to download these steps in PDF form.

1. Decide to buy a home

Make sure you are ready both financially and emotionally!

2. Get Pre-Approved

Work with a mortgage broker or your bank. They will work with you on what you require to submit an application. Once approved, this will determine how much you can afford to spend on a home.

3. REALTOR® Consultation

Work with a RE/MAX agent to help guide you through the process. The right agent will discuss your price range, ideal locations, current market conditions and much more!

4. Start Your Search

Your REALTOR® will get you information on new homes that meet your criteria as soon as they’re listed. They’ll work with you and for you to ensure you find your dream home.

5. Current Market Conditions

Your experienced RE/MAX agent is a valuable resource as you consider different properties. They will be there when you have questions regarding the homes you’re interested in – they can tell you what is a good deal, and when to walk away.

6. Make an Offer

Your REALTOR® will help create your offer tailored to your needs including the right subject clauses down to the closing date that works best for you.

7. Negotiate

You may receive a counter offer but don’t be worried! RE/MAX agents will negotiate for you to ensure you get the best possible price for the house you love!

8. Accepted Offer

It’s crunch time! The next few weeks are busy as you need to schedule and remove every one of your subject clauses by the specified date. You’ll likely need to schedule an inspection, appraisal, financing approval, and several others. You will also need to provide a deposit to put down on the home. The deposit will be a pre-determined amount given in-trust to your REALTOR® to show the sellers you are committed to this home. Don’t worry, that money goes towards the purchase of said home if all goes well! This is a busy time but be sure to reach out to your RE/MAX agent if you have any questions or are unsure about next steps.

9. Subject Removal

Once you have completed all your subject clauses, and everything went smooth, it is time for you to sign on the dotted line and consider your new home to be yours (almost!).

10. Official Documents

You will need to provide your RE/MAX agent with your preferred lawyer or notary to have the official title transferred into your name. You will meet with the lawyer or notary in person to sign all the legal documents before you move in. This typically happens a few days before you take possession of your new home.

11. Move In!

Congratulations, you are officially a homeowner! The date pre-determined by you is your move-in day! You can now move into your new home. Your RE/MAX agent will be there ready and waiting to hand you the keys. Enjoy!

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Know When to Rent ‘Em, Know When to Buy ‘Em




We’re told it’s always better to buy than rent. Everyone—from our parents to the banks to the government—encourages us to buy, buy, buy our homes.

But times have changed, and I dare say that these authority figures might be slightly out of touch. The jaw-droppingly high cost of real estate in big cities is encouraging millennials to rent instead of own, causing homeownership rates to drop. At 30 years old, 50.2% of millennials own homes versus 55% of baby boomers at the same age. As a millennial homeowner, I can’t help but wonder if I’m generationally displaced.

There’s an old misconception out there about renting that needs to be addressed. You’re not “throwing away your money” if you’re renting. While that familiar axiom might be true sometimes, there are plenty of circumstances in which it does actually make more sense to rent than buy.

You Might Choose to Rent If…

…You Invest What You Save

Renting tends to come with lower carrying costs than owning. Typically, all you’ll have to worry about paying as a renter is, well, the rent (clearly) and perhaps a share of utilities. This leaves you with extra monthly cash to invest, which can ultimately put you on even financial footing or better with a homeowner.

As always, there’s a familiar caveat here: You need to be financially disciplined for this strategy to pay off. One mistake I see a lot is that those who rent tend to fall prey to something called ‘lifestyle inflation.’ Rather than investing what they save as renters, they just rent nicer apartments, eat at fancier restaurants, and put more money into their wardrobe than their RRSP. But this money vacuum can be easily avoided by:

1. Budgeting to find out how much you have left over to invest each month after factoring out all your expenses, then;

2. Funneling that leftover money directly into your investments. Some robo-advisors, like Wealthsimple, allow you to do this automatically via pre-authorized contributions, which set recurring transfers from your chequing account into your investment portfolio, at whatever amount and interval you choose.

…You Have Rent Control, aka the Urban Holy Grail

Depending on where you live, you might be lucky enough to benefit from the urban miracle known as rent control. That means your landlord can only increase your rent by the rate of inflation, which in turn keeps your cost of living way down and leaves you with more money to invest. In Canada, rent control is now implemented in most big cities like Toronto and Vancouver (although not in Montreal).

…You Have a Mobile Lifestyle

Renting makes it easier to move; if you’d like to relocate it’s usually as simple as giving your landlord 60 days written notice. But when you own a home you’re more tied down, and the obligation to be near your property may prevent you from chasing new adventures in faraway lands. I once turned down a fantastic job opportunity in Dallas, Texas for this very reason.

…You’re on a Tight Budget

Renting tends to be more affordable than buying in big cities like Toronto and Vancouver. I know, I know, renting is still unreasonably pricey in certain neighborhoods. But buying in those same areas can be arm-and-a-leg expensive.

When you rent, all you have to come up with is the first and last month’s rent; no need to scrimp and save to pull together a massive down payment on a house, which, incidentally, will take you two to four times longer to save than it did your parents.

And homeownership leads to a lot of other costs aside from mortgage payments. When you buy real estate, you’ll need to pay closing costs, which typically add up to between 1.5%–4% of the property’s purchase price and can include a home inspection fee, real estate lawyer fee, land transfer taxes, and homeowners insurance (sometimes you’ll have to fork over an entire year’s worth of home insurance as one lump sum).

There’s also the elephant in the room that nobody likes to speak about: repairs and maintenance. Homeowners are responsible for paying the big bucks for costly home repairs, such as a new roof and furnace, and are advised to set aside 3–5% of a home’s value toward home repairs and maintenance each year. Renters, on the other hand, can just call their landlord whenever they need repairs (provided the landlord actually picks up). Still, it’s important that tenants know their rights when renting to be aware of which fees do and don’t fall under their responsibility.

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A Montreal Real Estate Broker Answered 5 Qs About Buying A Property To Rent Out




You’ve probably heard that Montreal’s real estate market is on fire. But how can you get in on the action? According to Alex Marshall, a local real estate broker, buying a property as an investment for the purpose of renting it out is a great way to go about it.

Marshall, who’s part of the Keller Williams Prestige team, sat down with us to explain why and how to purchase an investment property. These types of properties are also known as revenue properties.

Why do you recommend buying a revenue property?

Marshall used personal experience to highlight the advantages of owning a revenue property. He’s currently renting out the Saint-Henri loft he bought in 2010.

“Not only is my tenant paying off my mortgage, but I’m making a couple 100 bucks a month as well,” Marshall said.

Marshall was also able to take out a line of credit on the property, he said, and use the equity to buy an additional property.

“You actually don’t need to live in the property that you buy. I’m seeing clients who are in apartments with low rent [who] don’t want to move but have got the money right now … and are looking for smart ways to invest,” he said.

What are some tips to help people save up for a revenue property?

When Marshall was saving up to buy his first property, he said he worked a second job. 

“There’s a lot of value to having that side hustle … even if it’s at Subway or it’s at a landscaping company on Saturdays. It will add up significantly in the long run,” he said.

He gave the example of adding $5,000 to your annual income.

Marshall said you can qualify to borrow roughly four times your annual salary for a mortgage so $5,000 could actually provide you with an extra $20,000 of buying power.

“That might get you a second bedroom, that might get you a parking spot, that might get you a larger space,” he said.

The pandemic, Marshall said, has also helped some of his clients save extra funds.

“You can’t travel, you can’t go to the restaurant, you can’t go to the theatre, you can’t go to the bar. So a lot of people right now are finding themselves with almost a disposable income,” he said.

Marshall also recommends looking into Canada’s Home Buyers’ Plan program, which allows you to withdraw up to $35,000 — — tax-free — from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) to put toward buying or building a qualifying home. 

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