This and That

Real Estate Matters: News & Issues for the Mature Market

 
Consumer Newsletter – October 2019 www.sres.org
 





Caregiving for Complex Medical Issues 

You want to do everything possible to let your family member age in place for as long as possible, but few understand the challenges of being a caregiver until they’re thrust into the role after a love one’s medical emergency – a fall, a stroke, or cancer, for example. 
Just managing medications, organizing the immense amount of paperwork, and keeping track of doctor’s appointments associated with an illness are difficult. 
Adding complex care for a disease or disability to the mix, makes things even more challenging, especially since few are trained in things like managing incontinence, operating medical equipment, caring for wounds, and giving injections.
 An AARP study, Home Alone Revisited: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Care  (https://bit.ly/2GslhNY), explores just how much family caregivers, many of whom are untrained must do for loved ones. The report says that: 
  • 82 percent manage medications
  • 48 percent prepare special diets
  • 51 percent assist with canes, walkers or other mobility devices
  • 37 percent deal with wound care
  • 30 percent manage incontinence
Fear of making a mistake is prevalent among caregivers, with managing medications topping the list of fears. 
One resource for better handling and managing medical caregiving is a series of videos and resource guides (https://bit.ly/2m42DFJ) by the Home Alone AllianceSM.  They teach people the how-to on a variety of care topics, including preparing special diets, G-tube feeding, diabetic foot care, and making a house safer. 
Another set of videos includes strategies for easing day-to-day challenges and the voices of caregivers telling their individual stories. Some speak to the satisfaction that comes from caring for someone you love and keeping them out of an institutional setting. It’s a reminder that though the caregiving experience is isolating, your feelings of fear, angst, stress are universal.  

Medical, vital paperwork disaster preparation  
In recent years, natural disasters – wildfires, hurricanes, and blizzards -- seemingly are getting more powerful and having a greater long-term impact. 
Just think of the effect that Hurricane Dorian had on the Bahamas in August. 
In September, the United States just wrapped up National Preparedness Month, an event that encourages year-round personal and community preparedness for disasters, disease outbreaks, and human-caused emergencies. 
Though most are familiar with preparations (for a refresher, see https://bit.ly/1lt6KBz) for an evacuation – getting the house ready, knowing evacuation routes, finding shelter, and so forth – perhaps less attention is paid to personal and health readiness and preparing for the long-term effects of a disaster. 
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests giving special attention to two areas – medication and paperwork – in case you’re not able to return home a few days after a disaster. 

Medications
Planning for medications for day-to-day survival should be a priority, for example. 
Here are five tips: 
  1. Medication lists. Keep a list of all your medications and the dosages in your emergency kit, and have the phone numbers for your doctors and pharmacies.
  2. Communicate a plan. Talk to your doctor about what to do if you run out of a medication during an emergency. 
  3. Keep a record. Make copies of current prescriptions and keep them in your emergency kit. Also, scan and email yourself copies of prescriptions or save them in the cloud. If you can’t reach your regular doctor or your usual pharmacy is closed, this written proof makes it easier for another doctor to write a refill. 
  4. Stockpile medication. You may find it difficult to refill prescriptions during and after a disaster. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about creating an emergency supply of prescription medications. But don’t let medications in your emergency stash expire. Check the dates at least twice every year.
  5. Electronic medical records.Be sure you have your username and passwords for access your electronic healthcare records.
See the complete list here: https://bit.ly/2lPKoE1
Managing insulin requires some special care. See: https://bit.ly/2BzhxZP   
  
Paperwork
What happens if you have to prove ownership of your house or car or the relationship status of your household’s members? Be prepared with the right paperwork. 
FEMA (https://bit.ly/22mmbTy) offers a quick checklist of the documents to protect and have on hand in a crisis. They are:
  • Vital records (birth, marriage, divorce certificate, adoption, child custody papers)
  • Passport, driver’s license
  • Social Security card, military service identification, and other key government documents
  • Housing lease or rental agreement, mortgage, home equity line of credit, and deed
  • Vehicle loan documents, VIN, registration, title
  • Utility bills, credit cards, student loans, alimony, child support, elder care, and automatic payments 
  • Financial  accounts, including checking, savings, debit cards, retirement, and investments
  • Insurance policies, including homeowners, renters, auto, life, flood, and  appraisals, photos, and lists of valuable items
  • Income source like pay stubs, government benefits, alimony, and child support
  • Tax statements, property tax, vehicle tax
  • Estate planning – will, trust, and power of attorney
  • Pet records, including copies of vet records, rabies certificate, vaccinations, prescriptions, and a recent photograph of your pet.
Tip: Consider storing electronic copies of important documents in a password-protected format on a removable flash or external hard drive in your fireproof and waterproof box or safe. Or try using a secure cloud-based service. 
Canadian home renovation activity

In its 2019 Canada Houzz & Home Renovation Trends Study (https://bit.ly/2kZ26oe), Houzz looked at Canadian homeowners’ remodeling activity in recent years. 

Baby boomers (ages 55-74) and Gen Xers (ages 40-54) led the charge. Together, the groups were responsible for nearly 86% of remodeling activity and spent a median of $15,000 each. 

The desire to stay in their current home was the biggest driver for baby boomers’ renovation activity. Kitchens, bathrooms and living/family rooms were the top three interior renovation projects during 2016, 2017, and 2018. 
 
 
 
Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty
110-4460 Chatterton Way
Victoria BC V8X 5J2

KIM KISSINGER
Senior Real Estate Specialist
 

 
 
 
 
     
 

www.sres.org

Why Hire An Agent with SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist) Designation?

How does it benefit me and my family to hire an agent with SRES (Seniors real estate specialist) designation?

1. A SRES designated realtor loves working with senior clients! They will be especially careful when helping you decide what you’re next big move will be. These agents have the experience to consider with you whether it’s best to look at downsizing, living in an adult community, or finding a respectable retirement home. A senior’s specialist has extensive knowledge in the 50+ real estate market, which can ease the process of choosing a home. They are aware of future needs such as cost, location, services nearby, amenities, and activities.

2. A realtor who specializes in working with 50+ clients has experience in helping you and your family stay comfortable and connected throughout the process of moving. Your agent will show extra care and patience while working with a time frame that fits your needs. They also enjoy getting to know you with a visit, where listening and asking the right questions is important to them as much as it is for you!

3. A SRES agent has a large network of businesses that you can rely on for a stress free move. Your agent can direct you to reliable people for Movers, Accountants, Financial advisers, Mortgage specialists, Lawyers and more. Their extensive knowledge of the real estate process will ensure you the BEST experience, where offers and negotiations made on your behalf get the BEST results!

Contact Kim today for your FREE consultation, and FREE Market Analysis.

Low Maintenance Plants For Your Yard

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can still have a beautiful yard if you choose the right plants. Careful choice of what to place in your yard will mean less maintenance. 
 

Plant Native 

When selecting the plants for your yard, do some research on which plants are native to your climate. While exotic plants may look different and interesting in your yard, if they aren’t meant for that area you’ll likely need to spend a lot of time coddling them. 
 

If you live in the desert, it’s best not to choose plants that require a lot of water. Not only will you have to pay close attention to them, but the cost of keeping them watered will be high—or impossible if you face drought restrictions on water. Climates with cold, harsh winters aren’t the best place for plants native to warm, tropical climates. Get to know the plants that grow naturally in your area—odds are good they’ll thrive without much attention. 
 

Plant Hardy Perennials 

The best thing about perennials is that you don’t have to plant every year. When you choose hardy, low-maintenance perennials, they will come back year after year with little effort on your part. 

Many species of perennials, including coneflowers and ferns, can survive in a variety of soils and survive even harsh winters. There are also a lot of ornamental grasses that will provide lovely ground cover with little effort, and will come back year after year to keep your outdoor space green. 
 

Succulents Can Take The Heat 

If watering your plants isn’t high on your to-do list, succulents can solve your problem. While many people picture prickly cacti when they think of succulents, there are plenty of other options that are attractive and can survive a serious lack of water and a lot of hot weather. 

While succulents are best suited to hot, dry climates, many will survive frost if you simply cover them over the colder months. Some of the hardiest choices are Red Yucca and Texas Sotol, both of which can survive weather as cold as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. 
 

The key to a low-maintenance yard is to take some time to research which plants thrive best in your climate with little care. Your local garden shop can help you determine what to plant to avoid a lot of hours of work in your yard and add hours of enjoyment.

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Things To Consider When Downsizing To A Smaller Home

 

Whether your kids have moved out or you simply want a lower mortgage payment, downsizing your home has a lot of benefits. You’ll save on utilities, have less to clean, and less to maintain as well. Before you get ready to move to a smaller home, consider these important points that will make the transition smooth. 


 

Is Storage An Issue? 

When you have been living in a larger home, you may not realize just how much stuff you really have. Moving to a smaller place can make it clear in a hurry, because it simply won’t all fit. 

While you can give away some things or hold a garage sale, there are always things you simply can’t part with. They may be of sentimental value or things you really need for the future. Consider what sort of storage the new place has. If you can’t fit everything, you might need to look into renting an off-site storage unit for the things you don’t need frequently. 
 

Will The Furniture Fit? 

Large furniture does well in large spaces, but may make a smaller room appear cramped and tight. Before you move, a change to smaller furniture might be in order. 

Take a measuring tape and get measurements of both the furniture you currently have as well as the rooms in your new home. If things won’t fit well, it might be a good idea to consider going for smaller furniture pieces that will make the new home appear more spacious than it is, and make things less cluttered as well. 
 

Small Space Solutions 

Smaller homes require different ways of using the space you have. If you don’t have room for a full guest room anymore, combine a guest room and an office by using a futon or fold-out sofa rather than a bed. If you don’t have an extra room at all, pick up a high-end air bed that can be tucked in a closet when not in use and brought out when you have guests. 
 

Organization is key in smaller homes as well. There are a wide variety of storage options that will allow you to fit more into that smaller home and still stay organized. Look for closet and cupboard shelves and organizers to maximize your storage space. 

A smaller home can save you money and cleaning time, but does require some adjustments. Prepare for downsizing ahead of time and the move will be smooth and simple.

If you'd like to know more, contact Kim Kissinger Coast Capital Realty @ 250-880-2546.  


 

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Victoria real estate market still adjusting to federal government changes
 
A total of 640 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, 7 per cent fewer than the 688 properties sold in March 2018 but a 52 per cent increase from February 2019. Sales of condominiums were down 7.1 per cent from March 2018 with 196 units sold but were up from February 2019 by 51.9 per cent. Sales of single family homes were down 4.5 per cent from March 2018 with 322 sold.
 
"We continue to see a somewhat static local real estate market through March," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Cheryl Woolley. "Like in February, REALTORS® have been busy showing properties and discussing strategy with buyers and sellers, while the sales numbers themselves continue to be relatively flat when compared with last year. These market conditions are not a surprise. Consumers continue to adjust to the B20 mortgage qualification rules and the long-term, low inventory of homes. The good news is we have seen a month-over-month increase of active listings on the market - though we remain well under the ten-year average of 3,403."
 
There were 2,435 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of March 2019, an increase of 14.3 per cent compared to the month of February and a 37.9 per cent increase from the 1,766 active listings for sale at the end of March 2018.  
 
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in March 2018 was $867,900. The benchmark value for the same home in March 2019 decreased by 2.8 per cent to $843,600, lower than February's value of $845,900. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in March 2018 was $501,500, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in March 2019 increased by 1.0 per cent to $506,500, slightly higher than February's value of $502,800.
 
"The mortgage stress test continues to put further pressure on lower-priced properties by reducing the borrowing power of many prospective buyers and pushing a lot of buyers into an already compressed price bracket with limited inventory," adds President Woolley. "This means that even though sales are slower than the peak in 2016, many buyers can expect to encounter multiple offer situations as competition increases at lower price points. The federal government recently announced a CMHC shared-equity mortgage program, which aims to reduce first time home buyer payments. However, this program applies only to properties $480,000 or less, and will put even more pressure on lower priced homes and condominiums. These current market dynamics make it increasingly important for our region to continue to find ways to create more affordable housing options to avoid price pressure on the lower-priced properties."

 

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO SEE FULL VICTORIA MARKET STATS

First-time buyers plan: 8 steps to buying smart

Navigating the world of Canadian home buying

Step 1: Figure out how much you can afford.

Falling in love with a house you can’t afford can be heartbreaking. Avoid disappointment by figuring out your budget before you start looking.
 
  • First, decide how much you can afford for your down payment. The Home Buyers Plan lets you withdraw up to $25K per person (or up to $50K per couple) from your RRSPs – tax-free – to be repaid over 15 years. More on that here . The bigger your down payment, the less principal you will owe, and the less interest you will pay.
  • Don’t forget about closing costs, like insurance, legal fees, home inspection costs, land registration and land transfer fees. Add those to your moving expenses and service hookup fees, and they can add up surprisingly fast.
  • Your monthly housing expenses (mortgage, taxes, heat, etc.) shouldn’t use up more than 32% of your income. (If your combined monthly income is $5000, for example, 32% of that is $1600.) If you have car payments or credit card debt, the rule of thumb is that debt repayment shouldn’t be more than 40% of your income.
  • Get pre-approved for your mortgage. It’s a good way of finding out how much you can borrow – and it speeds up the process once you’ve found the home you want to buy.

Step 2: Figure out what type of home is right for you.

Sit down and make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. Be realistic, but be clear about the features you can’t live without. How many bedrooms do you need? Bathrooms? Do you want a home office? A garage? How about a big backyard? Hardwood floors? Eat-in kitchen? Consider your lifestyle and your stage of life. If you’re planning kids in a year or two, the studio loft might not be your best bet.

Step 3: Decide where you want to live.

Living in an area you like is as important as buying a home you love. Do you want a busy urban lifestyle, a house in the ‘burbs, or a quiet place in the country? Do you want to walk to work or are you okay with a longer commute? Do you need to be close to good schools? Rec facilities? Shopping?

Step 4: Start looking.

Go to open houses. Visit mls.ca. Check the classifieds. Drive around neighbourhoods you like looking for For Sale signs. Talk to your REALTOR® about your needs and start looking at properties.

Step 5: Build a team.

Put together the right group of experts to help you buy. Start with a REALTOR® you trust, then look for a reputable lender or mortgage broker, a lawyer (or a notary in Quebec), a home inspector and an insurance broker. Your REALTOR® works closely with all of these professionals, and will be happy to recommend people you can depend on.

Step 6: Make an offer.

You’ve found the perfect place – now it’s time to make an offer. An offer to purchase includes the purchase price you’re offering, chattels to be included in the purchase (like appliances or light fixtures), the amount of the deposit, the closing date and any other conditions.

Your REALTOR® will help you prepare your offer, and will present it to the vendor, who will either accept it or make a counter offer (which asks for a higher price or different terms). You can accept or reject the counter offer. If everyone agrees, the home is yours. If not, you can make another offer, or you may have to keep looking.

Step 7: Get a mortgage.

Once you’re approved, you’ll need to decide what type of mortgage works best for your needs. Will you go with a fixed or variable interest rate? Will your mortgage be closed or open? What will your amortization period be? Will you make payments monthly, biweekly or weekly? Your mortgage broker or lender can help you find a mortgage that suits your needs – and saves you the most money in the long term.

Step 8: Move in and enjoy!

Trademarks owned or controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association. Used under licence.


 

FIVE QUICK TIPS TO GET YOUR HOME READY FOR FALL/WINTER

Roof repairs: If you can safely get onto your roof to inspect for missing shingles or other factors that may lead to a leaky roof, now’s the time to do it! If not, call in a Victoria professional organization and have them take care of the rooftop work for you.

Seal it off: Inspect doors and windows to ensure that the weather-stripping is in good condition. This will keep your house warmer and cozier in the winter months.

Hot stuff: Make sure that your heater and ventilation systems are in good working order! Clean out accessible ducts and replace filters where necessary.

Chimney sweep: Creosote, a black substance that builds up in the chimney when wood is burned, can cause chimney fires. Inspect your chimney for creosote and call a Victoria chimney sweep to keep your fireplace safe and functional.

Gutter check: With fall brings leaves and debris down so now may be the time to clean out those rain gutters again! If you want to do it yourself, make sure that you can safely access the gutters and then scoop out any debris, blast the drains clean with a high-powered hose, and repair any leaks you may find along the way.  




 


Budget Christmas Gifts For Teachers.... they'll love

Everyone wants to show appreciation to their kids’ teachers come Christmas, but buying gifts can add up fast, especially if you have more than one child or more than one teacher. Put together a simple holiday gift every teacher will appreciate without hurting your Christmas budget with one of these great ideas.

Plant The Seeds Of Thanks

A great way to show appreciation is with flowers, but it means even more if you grow them yourself. Pick up a packet of flower seeds and some basic pots. Let your kids decorate the pot with markers, paint, stickers, glitter, and any other décor you can think of.

Fill each pot with a little potting soil and plant a seed. Be sure to do this ahead of time so it will have time to sprout before you give it to the teacher. This gift that continues to grow can stay in the pot, or the teacher can move it to their garden when spring comes around.

Bake Up Some Love

There’s nothing quite like homemade cookies, and they are extra meaningfulwhen you let your kids do the decorating. Bake up a batch of basic sugar cookies, and give your kids frosting and sprinkles to create their own special cookies for their teachers.

Place the cookies on a paper plate and wrap the whole thing in decorative cellophane, which you can find at your local dollar store. Tie it with a ribbon and you have a pretty and tasty treat that will be enjoyed not just for the flavor but also for the thought that was put into it.

A Cup Of Warmth

Put together a sweet and warming treat for a teacher with a mug and a packet of hot chocolate mix. Visit a local discount store to find holiday mugs at a great price, and pick up a box of hot chocolate mix packets. Place one packet in each mug, and wrap with colorful cellophane. Tie it off with a ribbon.

Any of these gifts will warm a teacher’s heart, and you can finish them off byhaving your child make a personal holiday card with construction paper and some markers and stickers. Let them draw a picture and sign the card themselves for the perfect holiday greeting to go along with that sweet homemade gift.

Say thank you and wish a teacher a wonderful holiday season, even on a budget, with any of these fabulous gift ideas.

 

click here for yummy Christmas cookies Recipes

Detoxify your home with plants

 

 
 

Looking to add some fresh air indoors this winter? Visit your local gardening centre to add one of these detoxification powerhouses to your home.

Lady Palm  Naturally resistant to insects and durable, this plant can grow 14 feet if given room. Highly adaptable to most indoor environments, this plant is a good choice for a beginner.

   
 

Bamboo Palm  Scoring high in its ability to remove formaldehyde and benzene, two commonly found toxins in the home, bamboo palms are a perfect choice for a room that is bright and sunny.

Areca Palm  This plant can grow over 10 feet tall and emits water vapour, a bonus for dry homes.

Rubber Plant  If a room in your house gets a little cold, this may be the best plant for you. Tolerating temperatures as low as 5 degrees, rubber plants can also be placed in areas with low sunlight. Be sure to wear gloves when you are pruning, as the sap can irritate your skin.



CREATE A SPOOKY YARD FOR HALLOWEEN

Halloween fun links

Halloween can be one of the most child-like and fun holidays of the year. From the adorable and excited children in their costumes to costume parties for adults, Halloween is really a time to let out the kid in all of us and have a good time. Whether just entertaining the Trick-or-Treaters or having a party, creating a spooky looking yard and exterior for your home can really add to the atmosphere of the event. Here are a few great ideas to make your home and yard look “spooktacular”!

Pumpkins And Jack-O’-Lanterns

Autumn is a great time of year to find lots of decorations that come from nature. Naturally when we think of Halloween we think of Jack-o’-Lanterns, and having plenty of these on your front step and in your yard will give it a great eerie effect. Also, rather than just cutting out the traditional faces try tracing out other images such as witches and cats. Painting pumpkins is also a great idea, and be sure to include many of different sizes. Remember to use battery operated tea lights or flashlights rather than candles in order to prevent accidents.

Scary Signs And Window Decorations

Creating scary signs or gravestones is a really inexpensive and creative way to make your front yard look scary. Use old pieces of wood to create signs that welcome your guests to your house of horrors or to design old-lookinggrave markers. Also don’t forget to decorate your front windows to matchthe look. Hang dark colored drapes, suspend fake cobwebs, and add a few fake spiders to complete the look. Lights can also add a nice spooky effect, but avoid candles for safety reasons.

Don’t Forget Your Trees!

A great place to add scary Halloween décor to your front yard is in your trees. Hang fake bats or a ghost, string some lights, or set a witch on one of the branches.

These are just a few of the fun, scary, and inexpensive ways in which you can make your property the spookiest on the block. But most importantly,don’t forget to get yourself into the spirit of the day and find a great costumethat matches your newly created house of horrors!

 

Click link for 60 spooktacular Halloween events happening in Victoria.

Pros And Cons of For Sale By Owner


We’re all looking for ways to save money in today’s economy. For some, that may mean considering selling their homes themselves in an effort to save the commission paid to a professional REALTOR®. Although some people do sell their homes without a real estate agent, those who are successful are the exception rather than the rule, and are typically either very experienced in selling homes or are completing less complex transactions such as transferring ownership to a child or tenant. For most homeowners, selling a home without professional assistance is simply too time-consuming and too risky. As a result, four out of five homes sold in the Canada are sold by a real estate professional. As with any financial decision, it is important to consider the pros and cons before making a final decision.

Selling your home yourself may work for you if: 1) the current real estate market favours sellers, 2) you aren’t in a hurry to sell your home, 3) you have the time and motivation to take on a part-time job, including the time and effort required to learn the process, respond to phone calls and other inquiries, show your home, and negotiate with potential buyers, 4) you can emotionally detach yourself from your home and conduct a market analysis to establish an appropriate selling price, and 5) you have a good real estate advisor or attorney who can protect your interests in the legal aspects of advertising and selling your home.

Acting as your own real estate agent is probably a bad idea for you if you: 1) are in a hurry to sell your home, 2) have difficulty dealing with tension, negotiations, or rejection, 3) are concerned about the security risks involved in showing your home, 4) do not have the budget or skills for effective advertising and marketing campaigns, 5) do not have the resources to establish an appropriate selling price, 6) don’t know how to ascertain whether or not prospective buyers are qualified, and 7) are not well-versed in disclosure requirements and the other legal aspects of selling a home or do not have a real estate advisor or attorney.

If you decide that selling your home alone is not the best choice for you or would like additional information on the benefits of using a professional REALTOR®, please call me at 250.880.2546. I would be happy to schedule a no- obligation meeting to share information about Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty and the services we provide.


 


KK Realestate

Decorating For Thanksgiving Using The Bounty Of The Season

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season, a time spent with family and friends. It is also the time of year when we can spend a lot of money, and in these tough times finding ways to save during the holidays is always welcome. Using the natural bounty available at this time of year is a great, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly option for decorating for the holidays. Here are a few creative ideas for your Thanksgiving decorating!

Harvest Vegetables

The vegetables that are available during the harvest season are not only great to eat, but are also a beautiful and inexpensive way to decorate your home and table. Arrange some pumpkins or large squash on your front steps or by the door. Also use smaller squash as part of a table centerpiece or as candleholders. Corn is another great vegetable that can be used as a decoration during Thanksgiving. A bunch of corn hung on the door or arranged in a vase can create a stunning look at virtually no cost.

Colorful Leaves

The colors of the autumn season are some of the most beautiful of the year, and collecting leaves to use both in crafts and as part of seasonal decorations is a great and inexpensive idea. Leaves can be a beautiful addition to flower arrangements or can make great arrangements all on their own. They can also be used for festive wreaths for the front door or to make Thanksgiving themed garlands.

Nuts, Berries, And Branches

As the autumn season turns to winter, natural decorative items such as nuts, berries, and pine branches can be great choices not only for the Thanksgiving season but can easily transition into the Christmas season. Adding some walnuts to your Thanksgiving table or some berries to a wreath can add a nice touch that will last you through the season.

Getting creative with the natural bounty at this time of year is a great way to give your home a beautiful and traditional holiday look without breaking the bank.