Katrina McHugh

Why Move When You Can Stay In The Home You Love?

Tuesday Dec 8th, 2020


Age In Place......It's An Option! Today, more families are seeking alternative options to long-term care for their elder loved ones. The opportunity to take charge of personal health and wellness is a shift that modern society is paying close attention too these days. Why are so many people who are faced with making decisions related to aging, choosing to live out their golden years in the comfort of home with a live in family or friend? A thought of moving into a retirement home... [read more]

Do You Know How To Calculate Your Capital Gains?

Sunday Jul 21st, 2019


  How to calculate capital gains on the sale of an income property If you’ve used your home as both a primary residence and a rental property, the calculation is a bit tricky. Here’s what to know. by Theresa MorleyJul 12, 2019           Image by ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay   Q. I plan to sell my property, which was my primary residence from 2007 to 2016. In 2017,... [read more]

Ontario Renovation Grants: 82 Government Grants, Energy Rebates & Tax Credits for Ontario Homeowners

Friday Mar 29th, 2019


Ontario Renovation Grants: 82 Government Grants, Energy Rebates & Tax Credits for Ontario Homeowners If you live in Ontario and need money for home renovations, you're in luck - because there are plenty of Ontario renovation grants in this year and Ontario energy rebates that will help you out. In this comprehensive guide, we cover 82 Ontario home improvement grants, rebates, tax credits, and down payment assistance, including... [read more]

How to Talk to Parents About Senior Care

Tuesday Mar 5th, 2019


  Are you beginning to consider retirement community options for your parents? Having that conversation with them is not always easy, but Pat M. Irwin, President of ElderCareCanada offers advice based on her experience working with families just like yours. Manage expectations Contrary to what you might think, families don’t just make retirement decisions over a cup of tea. It’s normal to have discussions, arguments and every variation of emotion. While... [read more]

Is a Cruise Ship Retirement Cheaper than Assisted Living?

Sunday Mar 3rd, 2019


    It might sound like a lark for Mom and Dad to live out their golden years in a hotel, or on a globetrotting cruise ship — but when you calculate the costs and the practical realities, how does it really compare to assisted living? There’s a rumor that’s been making the rounds for years — have you heard it? If you spend your retirement on a cruise ship, or as a permanent resident of the Holiday Inn, it’ll be cheaper and... [read more]

The Ins and Outs of In-Law Suites

Friday Mar 1st, 2019


Hot housing and rental markets mean people are getting creative with their living situations. We've already talked about the different ways people are buying or renting homes, whether it's pooling resources with friends and family or house hacking. There's also another way: the rise of the in-law suite or “granny flat,” a smaller, often temporary unit that shares the property with the original home, although through a separate entrance. Yes, your... [read more]

Ontario may be headed for a new golden age of housing co-ops

Tuesday Feb 26th, 2019


Co-ops could be one solution to the province’s affordable-housing problem. Diane Peters explains why you may start seeing more of them Share           No other full housing co-operatives have been built in Ontario since the 11-storey 60 Richmond Street Housing Co-operative went up in 2010. (teeplearch.com)   In early 2010, Bird Construction put the final touches on the 85... [read more]


Friday Feb 15th, 2019


MARKET UPDATE FOR THE WEEK ENDING FEBRUARY 15TH, 2019 Real estate disrupters come and go. Many of these new “disrupters”, some coming here from the USA will offer you a quick estimate using an algorithm without doing a market analysis. Are they overlooking the emotional aspect of selling a home and are they just order takers? The market in the last couple of years was booming. You would list a house and it would sell within days. Now in some areas, realtors need to brush... [read more]

Knowing When It's Time To Move - Not An Easy Decision

Wednesday Dec 12th, 2018


People often ask me how they will know when it's time to start thinking about relocation. How do you know when it's time to downsize or consider a retirement home? For some, it's an easy decision and one based on health, lifestyle or even financial issues. For others, it is less clear. To this end, you might want to consider the following sorts of things: 1. Are there stairs in your house and if so, are you having difficulty with them? 2. Do you need help with household... [read more]

Moving Elderly Parents: Convincing Mom & Dad

Monday Dec 10th, 2018


Moving Elderly Parents: Convincing Mom & Dad In 2001, Gail Heimberg had to make one of the most difficult decisions of her life. Her 88-year-old mother--a sharp, independent woman who had lived alone in Brooklyn, New York, for most of the latter part of her life--was quickly growing frail. While she used to walk from her home to the neighborhood bakery with ease, navigating the stairs of her circa-1920 apartment building had become a daily battle. "She couldn't walk... [read more]

Will Growing Cannabis In Your Home Affect Your Property Values?

Tuesday Dec 4th, 2018


The official nationwide legalization of recreational cannabis is merely a few hours away, and realty groups continue to vocalize concerns with regards to home cultivation and possible property damage. Under the new laws, Ontario homeowners will be permitted to grow up to four marijuana plants per household. However, there are no limits on plant size, and critics are worried that the humid conditions required to cultivate marijuana plants could cause water damage, mold,... [read more]

How some sellers are cashing out big and then staying in their homes

Wednesday Nov 28th, 2018


How some homeowners are selling their home and renting back   Some Toronto homeowners are cashing out when the market’s hot and then renting their properties back from the new buyers. (Mike Crawley/CBC) What if you could cash out on your home when the market’s hot and then stay in it? That’s what some sellers are doing by renting their properties back from the buyers for less than their previous mortgage payments. For 71-year-old Anne Cottrell the... [read more]


Saturday Nov 24th, 2018


MARKET UPDATE FOR THE WEEK ENDING NOVEMBER 16TH, 2018       Black Friday has surely made its way north of the border and line-ups will be forming outside stores in Toronto. More so this year because of the postal strike and parcels not arriving before Christmas. We have now entered what is known as the “Holiday Season” and the real estate market will reflect the change. There are a few different factors that may affect our market.... [read more]


Friday Dec 8th, 2017


MARKET UPDATE FOR THE WEEK ENDING DECEMBER 1ST, 2017 As the calendar flips for the last time this year and we are three weeks shy of Christmas, it feels like we are all gearing up for the holiday festivities. The offices are a little slower, listings are dropping off and the buyers are taking a break. The November stats were released from The Toronto Real Estate Board and for the City of Toronto the average price was up 2 percent to $802,220 from November 2016. We saw a sizable number of new... [read more]


Friday Nov 10th, 2017


MARKET UPDATE FOR THE WEEK ENDING NOVEMBER 3RD, 2017 In the olden days of yore we used to judge the changing of the seasons by stepping outside and observing the natural environment.  Cooler evenings and the kaleidoscope of colours  would indicate the onset of Fall and a powdering of snow was a sure indicator that winter was upon us.  The weather seems a less reliable indicator these days but not to worry the world of marketing and retail sales will keep us focused on... [read more]


Friday Nov 3rd, 2017


MARKET UPDATE FOR THE WEEK ENDING OCTOBER 27TH, 2017 The Toronto Real Estate Board released the market stats for October and its good news once again! We saw a dramatic increase in sales (7,118) between September and October of almost 12 per cent pointing to stronger fall market conditions. The average selling price for the GTA for October was $780,000 up by 2.3 per cent compared to $762,691 in October 2016. For the City of Toronto the average sale price for October was $818,201... [read more]

The Role Played by the Family Caregiver

Monday Oct 30th, 2017


The family caregiver plays a key role in supporting the very fabric of Canadian society. The most recent Census data tells us that 28% of all Canadians provide unpaid care to a family member or friend. If you are reading this article, chances are you are or know someone close to you who is a family carer. Today there are more seniors over age 65 than children under age 14. Not only are we living longer, but adults over 100 years of age are also the fastest growing age group.... [read more]

Are Sell and Leaseback Programs a Good Option for Boomers?

Sunday Oct 15th, 2017


Rising home prices often mean that real estate forms a top-heavy portion of many seniors’ wealth in retirement. This forces some to tap into their home equity in order to pay the bills and overcome their past failure to save. Until recently, their only choice was a reverse mortgage, a secured loan in which lenders like HomEquity Bank make monthly payments to them, based on the equity that they’ve built up over the years, rather than the other way around. Related... [read more]


Thursday Oct 12th, 2017


Estate planning means not leaving your money to the government. Here, ways to make sure the taxman gets less.   Face it: when you die, the wealth accumulated over a lifetime will be exposed to taxes. Instead of leaving it all to your family, you could be paying a lot to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). And that could deprive your beneficiaries of tens of thousands of dollars.   "Everything is up for grabs," says Jeanette Brox, a Toronto-based certified... [read more]

It's Now A Good Time To Buy A House In Toronto

Wednesday Oct 11th, 2017


  The dream of owning a house in Toronto — let alone a detached one — is still far fetched for many, but it's at least come back from the realm of pure fantasy over the last few months.  Toronto's detached housing inventory is currently experiencing a huge surplus, and some analysts think that prices are set to drop significantly in response.  Between the rental units that are few and far between, new... [read more]

Aging In Place - Senior Living Trends

Thursday Dec 1st, 2016


Senior Living Real Estate Trends When you think about people buying real estate, you might picture the young and upwardly mobile, or the couple ready to start a family. Nearly 80% of seniors own a home though, which makes them an influential demographic in the world of real estate. That will only become more the case in the years to come as the senior population grows at a rapid pace. The choices seniors make about where they want to live are poised to shape a large... [read more]

How Property Tax Reassessments Work in Ontario

Thursday Nov 24th, 2016


How Property Tax Reassessments Work in Ontario Property taxes get really confusing. We walk you through how the MPAC reassessment works.     Photo by Greg’s Southern Ontario from the Torontoist Flickr Pool. If you own residential property in Ontario, then you should have received a letter last month from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC).   If you read the brief explainer on the back, then you’ll... [read more]

Calling All Investors.......

Monday Oct 31st, 2016


Sell ‘n STAY™ is a new program that helps Investors/Developers by providing them with a turn-key investment.   We work with a variety of agents, brokerages, and third parties to create a seamlessly simple, private, secure investment. Why Real Estate as an Investment? Real Estate has long been known as the most power way to accumulate wealth.  More people have utilized the power of RE Investments to become millionaires than through any other means.... [read more]

How to exit the housing market without exiting your house

Wednesday Oct 26th, 2016


How to exit the housing market without exiting your house   Let’s say you’re looking to get out of the housing market and pocket your wealth. What do you do when your parents are living in poverty — in a million-dollar home If your parents are living in a home worth $1-million-plus but living like paupers, it might be time to step in — and tax season offers an ideal time to start the conversation. One option is obviously to sell, but... [read more]

Don't Want To Move? Now You Don't Have To! Just Sell 'n STAY....

Tuesday Oct 25th, 2016


    Living Life On Your Terms A Sell ‘n STAY™ White Paper There were 5,780,900 Canadians 65 and older on July 1, 2015. By 2051 1 in 4 Canadians will be 65 or older. (http: well-being.esdc.gc.ca/mismin-iwob/.3ndic.1T.4r@-eng.jsp?Iid=33.) According to a report by CBC news on our aging population of people 65 and over, it isn’t just large; there numbers are growing fast, representing 15.6 of Canada’s population. The population growth rate for... [read more]

4 Ways to Tap into Your Home For ​an Extra Source of Retirement Income

Friday Oct 14th, 2016


  4 Ways to Tap into Your Home For ​an Extra Source of Retirement Income​ Aug 24, 2016 | Financial Planning, Loans & Mortgages, Retirement Planning |  Research has shown that more than half of Canadians aged 50 and older have collided with unexpected events that have impacted their finances and/or retirement plans. Whether you’re planning on selling your home or staying, here are four ways to tap into your home for added security during... [read more]

Are You Sitting On A Goldmine? If You Live In A House In Downtown Toronto The Answer Is Probably YES!!

Saturday Oct 1st, 2016


Seniors Unlock Equity to Finance Retirement   The family home is the most valuable asset for most families. With home prices skyrocketing in cities across Canada, it can be tempting to tap into the equity in your home. While some people have gold-plated government pension plans, a lot of people don’t. If your major source of income in retirement are government benefits likeCPP, GIS or OAS, and it’s not enough, tapping into the equity in your home is worth... [read more]

Is The Foreign Buyers Tax Coming to Toronto?

Saturday Sep 24th, 2016


Ontario real estate associations oppose taxing foreign buyers in Toronto Groups warn that the tax could cause house prices to soar in regions surrounding Toronto, thus pushing prices in the city even higher. Share on Facebook Tweet   JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GETTY IMAGES) Laborers works at a high rise apartment building construction site in downtown Toronto, Ontario, on March 14, 2011. The Toronto Real Estate Board and the... [read more]

Tougher Mortgage Rules Expected - Is It A Case Of Too Little Too Late??

Saturday Sep 17th, 2016


Home buyers should expect tougher mortgage rules to kick in as early as November 1 of this year.  In an announcement released today by the nation’s financial regulator, banks and lenders that offer mortgage financing will face stricter regulations and this will translate into tougher lending rules for home buyers. Hot markets prompt tougher rules for banks “These changes aim to reinforce the need for banks to exercise prudent underwriting and proper due... [read more]

Is This What You Have Been Looking For?

Friday Sep 9th, 2016


How co-housing designs community into developments   For a lot of city dwellers, knowing their neighbors names is a rarity, let alone knocking on their door to ask to borrow an egg or a cup of sugar. Co-housing could cure this household isolation by planning neighborhoods around community involvement long before they are even built. Co-housing is a type of development where the residents plan to build a community in which neighbors know and engage with each other on a... [read more]


Wednesday Sep 7th, 2016


  A Place for Mom expert and geriatrician Leslie Kernisan, MD, provides some guidance on how to spot common health problems and identify which underlying conditions might be causing issues. LIFE TASKS Life tasks are fundamental self-care activities that need to be done, whether we do them for ourselves or have someone do them for us. Life tasks include two areas: 1. ACTIVITIES OF DAILY LIVING (ADLS) Walking and getting around Dressing... [read more]

Are You Paying To Store Things You Haven't Used In Years?

Monday Sep 5th, 2016


$50,000 to store gloves for 20 years? (Don’t get caught in the storage trap.) Mon, 23 Nov 2015 One of the biggest challenges when downsizing to a smaller residence is what to do with the things that won’t fit into your new home. People often think they will just store items while they think about what to do with a couch that won’t fit, boxes filled with things they haven’t had time to go through, or a dining room set and china they want to save for the... [read more]

Senior Cohousing Come On Canada Get With It!!

Tuesday Aug 30th, 2016


Senior Cohousing: A New Trend in Senior Living One of the biggest benefits that comes from the growth in the senior population is that when you have more people facing the same set of challenges, you have more minds actively searching for solutions and putting in the work to make them happen. Seniors today are therefore some of the luckiest that have ever existed, with an ever wider array of senior living options available to them. One option that’s growing in availability... [read more]

Is HST Applicable On Ontario Assignment Sales?

Thursday Aug 25th, 2016


Is HST Applicable On Ontario Assignment Sales? This is a Great Article When purchasing or Flipping an Assigment....     Inevitably, an offer to purchase an assignment property (often on an OREA form 140 or 141) by a buyer's sales representative will state that, if applicable, HST is included in the purchase price (as we typically see in any offer to buy resale residential properties). The sales representative who represents a seller of an assignment (and who... [read more]

Born And Raised In Toronto, I Had No Idea About Some Of These Wonderful Things!

Thursday Aug 18th, 2016


HIDDEN TORONTO: 50 OF THE CITY'S BEST-KEPT SECRETS From Alan Crossley’s flying saucer to Noel Harding’s Elevated Wetlands, Toronto is home to some mind-bending public spaces, some made by humans, others carved by nature. BY JONATHAN GOLDSBIE, TANJA-TIZIANA, RICHARD LONGLEY, MICHELLE DA SILVA, ELDON GARNET, ENZO DIMATTEO, KATE ROBERTSON AUGUST 17, 2016   11:00... [read more]


Monday Aug 8th, 2016


WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE WHEN SOMEONE DIES? I had three calls this week from colleagues asking me to guide them through the process of what has to happen when a loved one dies.  Unfortunately in each case there was no preplanning nor had the families had any conversations about what type of funeral the deceased wanted.  Imagine their total bewilderment and shock at having to make important once in a life time decisions – all while they are in a state of total emotional... [read more]

Toronto Real Estate Prices - July 2016

Sunday Aug 7th, 2016


Toronto Real Estate Prices July 2016 (Composite), TREB Finds ‘Troubling Trend’  Toronto real estate board claims “troubling trend” as Toronto real estate prices continued to soar in July 2016. AUGUST 4, 2016 0 COMMENTS  Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) released their July 2016 Market Watch today, and (surprise!) prices continued to soar to new levels. The report focused on strong price growth, Toronto’s “pent up... [read more]

Looking For A New Java Joint?

Wednesday Aug 3rd, 2016


BEST COFFEE PLACES IN THE WEST END!   The best cafes in Toronto on the west side are stalwarts on the caffeine scene. There's some stiff competition out there these days, what with the abundance of indie coffee shops opening up over the past few years. Yet many of these spots have managed to expand and improve their offerings over the last few years, and java-happy patrons are duly rewarded with some excellent joe. Here are the best cafes in Toronto west of Yonge... [read more]

15% Tax For Foreign Buyers In Vancouver Starts Today!! Let's See What Happens In Toronto

Tuesday Aug 2nd, 2016


Foreign buyers to pay 15 per cent tax on residential properties in BC starting August 2nd   Photo: Kyla Duhamel/Flickr Under legislation introduced July 25th, foreign nationals and corporations will have to pay a 15 per cent property transfer tax when buying residential properties in Metro Vancouver. The tax will come into effect on August 2nd, and according to BC Finance Minister Michael de Jong, is aimed at managing foreign demand. “The data... [read more]

Questions About The Current Real Estate Market ??

Friday Jul 29th, 2016


5 questions you have about the housing market   No one has a crystal ball, but we can cut through the rhetoric and gain some perspective    (Getty Images / Dimitri Otis) Markets are frothy. Emotions are high. Yet, all you really want is to know whether or not the single largest investment you made will avoid a price crash and continue to add substantial value to your net worth statement. To help, here are five answers to questions... [read more]

Looking For Furnished Rentals In Toronto??

Monday Jul 25th, 2016


The top 10 furnished apartments in Toronto       Furnished apartments in Toronto offer homes away from home (or between homes) that go beyond the bare necessities. Before you resort to renting a room full of Ikea stuff a la Tyler Durden or trying your luck with various unverified furnished rentals on Craigslist, Kijiji, or Padmapper (then cross referencing them with bedbugregistry.com, naturally) you might want to take a look at these options instead. Here... [read more]

Real Estate Math

Thursday Jul 21st, 2016


The real estate math mistake we all make     Selling a paid-off home is pure profit, but our brains just don’t see it that way   (Tetra Images/Getty Images) Most financial choices boil down to simple math. Add up the gains, subtract the costs, and you should get a number that helps you draw a conclusion. Those numbers are particularly useful when trying to make a major life decision, such as whether or not to sell the family... [read more]

To Probate or Not To Probate

Tuesday Jul 19th, 2016


To probate or not to probate Getty Images Twitter   Google+  LinkedIn  Email  Typo?  More Whether you are just beginning your own estate planning or you have been named executor for someone else’s estate, at some point you will want to consider the role of probate. (This concept is less common in the province of Quebec, as notarial Wills do not require probate.) Before making any decisions regarding... [read more]

Busting GTA Housing Market Myths

Friday Jul 15th, 2016


June 1, 2016TREB Wire, Young Professionals NetworkHousing, Jason Mercer, Market, Market Analysis, Media, Myths, Real Estate By Toronto Real Estate Board This past fall, TREB’s Young Professionals Network committee hosted a session on busting some commonly held myths about the GTA Housing Market. TREB’s Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels, Jason Mercer, led the session and we caught up with him to see whether... [read more]

Tiny Homes For Seniors

Friday Jul 15th, 2016


  Whatever Happened To the Golden Years? In today’s world, options seem limitless. That is…until you price out the costs for seniors services, essentials such as quality healthcare and comfortable housing. Consider also that the average monthly rate for seniors in independent living facilities in Canada averages between $3000 – $5000/month and higher depending on the area. The average monthly rate for assisted living is even higher at $4500 – $6000/month... [read more]

How To Convert The Equity In Your Home To Pay For Senior Care

Tuesday Jul 12th, 2016


  How to Convert the Equity in Your Home to Pay for Senior Care  Senior care is expensive. You can work to be financially responsible your whole life and still find the cost of care in your later years to be overwhelming. Many families face tough choices when it comes to trying to figure out how to pay for assisted living or a nursing home. One of the most valuable assets many seniors have that can help soften the blow of assisted living expenses for their family... [read more]

Mortgage renewal: What’s best a variable or fixed rate?

Saturday Jul 9th, 2016


Mortgage renewal: What’s best a variable or fixed rate?   A reader wants to help his parents and be debt-free sooner. Can he succeed with both goals?        Q: We have a mortgage on our home that’s up for renewal this month. There are 23 years left on the amortization and $288,000 left on the mortgage. Should we stick with a fixed rate at 2.35% to 2.45%, or go with a variable at 2.15%. I can’t... [read more]


Thursday Jul 7th, 2016


Basement Apartments: Untangling the Web    April 2, 2013 Basement apartment, granny flat, accessory unit; no matter what it is called, there are many different reasons for having a second suite. Whether it’s for extra income, providing a place for a family member, increasing the value of the house or having a tenant for company, a second suite can be beneficial. But is it a ‘legal’ apartment? If not, how can it be made ‘legal’?... [read more]

Boomers, don’t sit around on your plans to downsize your home

Wednesday Jun 29th, 2016


  Boomers, your biggest regret five years from now may well be your complacency about housing in 2016. There’s been a noticeable uptick lately in the number of voices raising concerns about the surge in house prices in some cities, most notably Toronto and Vancouver. We’ve seen this happen a few times in the past several years, only to have house prices keep rising and housing skeptics retreat into silence. The variety of voices we’ve heard from lately about... [read more]

Pros and Cons Of A Reverse Mortgage

Tuesday Jun 28th, 2016


  What is a Reverse Mortgage Reverse mortgages are a financial tool that has been pushed aggressively over the past decade or so, leading to difficulties for many people – especially seniors – who utilized the tool without understanding the risks. Like any loan, a reverse mortgage can be extremely useful, allowing homeowners to take advantage of the equity in their home to cover other expenses. However, there are risks to choosing a reverse mortgage that you should... [read more]

Average age of this graduating class is 93 years young

Thursday Jun 16th, 2016


  June is graduation month at schools all over Nova Scotia, but in Pictou County, there's a graduating class with a difference. The average age of the 18 graduates from the Valley View Villa's school program is 93. The seniors' home in Riverton, N.S., offers a yearlong program that teaches everything from geography to nutrition.  Wednesday's graduation ceremony was proof you're never too old to learn. One by one, these graduates walked or wheeled their way... [read more]

Mirvish Village: Updated Plan Praised, Criticized at Consultation

Wednesday Jun 15th, 2016


  By 6:30 PM, the crowd at the Bickford Centre was spilling out into the courtyard. Inside, the presentations weren't due to start for another hour, and the place was already packed. The hallway past the auditorium was lined with displays showing the evolved—and evolving—vision for Toronto's Mirvish Village. Still home to Honest Ed's, the 1.8-hectare site has become the subject of one of the city's most publicized and transformative development proposals... [read more]

When Will Toronto Catch On To Tiny House Fever??

Tuesday Jun 7th, 2016


  Shipping containers travel the world on freighters so it may be hard to imagine them as homes, but that is something a new Edmonton company is trying to do. Honomobo is a company taking shipping containers and recycling them into suites, ranging from studio suites to three-bedroom apartments. It launched this past spring, and this weekend, the company held an open house in Churchill Square to showcase its suites. In 2015, the City of Edmonton changed its bylaw to allow... [read more]

Finding Out Your Power of Attorney Is Powerless

Tuesday Jun 7th, 2016


You think you’ve done everything right: Your parents or other relatives have signed a durable power of attorney. Among other things, it allows you to handle their finances — taxes, bills, bank accounts, real estate sales — if they become incapacitated. Everyone sleeps better. Months or years later, suddenly or gradually, the time comes when older family members can no longer manage transactions on their own. You take the witnessed and notarized document to a... [read more]

The one-stop electrical safety resource for you and your clients

Monday Jun 6th, 2016


May 30, 2016 Guest column from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) We know how important it is for you to help ensure the best protection possible for your clients, especially when they’re making one of the most important and often largest investments in their lives. These four tips from the Electrical Safety Authority will help ensure you’ve done your due diligence on your client’s behalf for their home’s electrical system: Do a records search. Before... [read more]


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