[Will in Taiwan]

[Seasonal Image]

Good Will Report

Will Chen's Monthly Newsletter
Issue 15 | December 2007
1.425.301.9652 | will@willchen.ca
Print Version | Archive | Bookclub

Being Grateful

[Christmas with the Carters]Merry Christmas everyone!!

We are nearing the end of 2007, and I am in Kelowna watching the snow fall as I write this newsletter. I came to Kelowna to visit friends and their families, and am having a great time being a part of the Christmas tradition, complete with turkey and ham.

Being together with family and friends, the holiday season is a great time to be grateful for everything that is in our lives. Maybe you are together with someone you haven't seen for years, or someone with whom you spend everyday life, it's a great time to reflect on the part they play in your life, and to be thankful for everything they have done.

I'd like to dedicate this very special issue of Good Will Report to my friend Aaron and his mom Diane, who graciously allowed me to stay at her home in Kelowna, and to my parents, Aaron and May, who have supported me especially through a very tough year in 2007.

Thoughts from My Trip to Taiwan

[Will and Dad at Taipei 101]My parents and I moved from Taipei, Taiwan to Vancouver, BC in 1996. Since then I have visited and lived in many different cities in North America and Europe, but I have not gone back to Asia. I had a couple of weeks off this November and deicded to make a trip out of visiting my roots where I grew up.

After being in an environment that is predominantly English for 11 years, I was surprised how well I was able to speak Mandarin again, and how easily and comfortably I fit into the culture once again. My dad spent a lot of time taking me around the city to visit places I barely remember, the beef noodle place we used to go to when I was a kid, the park in which I played. Then we went to places I hadn't been to -- night markets, the metro rail transit (MRT) which was completed about 10 years ago, after we left for Canada. I had a chance to visit the high school I attended, and basically spent the two weeks revisiting the city in which I grew up.

Strangely enough, even after 11 years, Taipei still has a familiarity that I have not felt all the time being here in North America, although some things have changed and the city looks drastically different than it did so long ago. I suppose it is home after all! I am very grateful for what this small big city (2.6 million people in 271.80 km2 of land) has brought into my life and has been a part of who I am. I really miss it now -- I hope I will have a chance to visit again soon!

Clay Soil in Regina

[A basement in Regina with steel bracing reinforcement]Now for something completely different.

I talked about real estate investing in Regina in last month's Good Will Report, and mentioned the very unique kind of soil in Regina called clay soil, or affectionately named "Regina gumbo."

In short, the soil in Regina city expands drastically when mixed with water. In spring and rainy season, the soil expands; in fall and winter, the soil dries out and shrinks. All this movement creates a lot of pressure on a building's foundation, and causes cracks in the driveway and walls. You can find a great illustration at the City of Regina web site (http://www.regina.ca/content/info_services/water_sewer/floodp/clay.shtml).

The best way to prevent damage to the foundation of a house is to maintain proper grading away from the house so that water drains away. When shopping for a house in Regina, it is crucial to check that the foundation is intact, or that it has been reinforced by steel bracings.

If you wish to find out more, I would suggest talking to building inspectors Ryan Spriggs and Dave Novak of Amerispec of Regina. They have been a great resource in this area. Having bad foundation could be detrimental to your real estate investment!

Seasons Greetings from DJ Wei!

[DJ Wei is back!]I had a chance to put together a mix and put it on the Internet for everyone to enjoy. Whenever you have a chance please check out my "Winter Love Mix" at http://www.musicv2.com/listen.php?m=41742, give it 5 stars!

Once again, happy holidays! I wish you and your family all the best.

2397 readers since 2 April 2007.