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This Simple Question Can Save You a Lot of Money

Tuesday Aug 01st, 2017

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Imagine this scenario... You purchase a new home and move in. A few weeks later, you hear a strange rumbling sound. It’s the furnace. It’s only a year old, yet it’s sputtering like it’s twenty. You realize you’ll have to call in an HVAC contractor to get it fixed. You’re thinking, “Ouch! This is going to be expensive.” Well, maybe not. You see, since that furnace is relatively new, it might be covered by its original warranty — even... [read more]

Painting Techniques that Bring a Hallway to Life

Friday Jun 30th, 2017

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Some people don’t give hallways much thought when painting and decorating. Instead, they focus on rooms. The fact is, a great looking hallway can have the same, if not more, impact than the most eye-catching family room or bedroom, especially when you need to go through the hallway to get there! Here are some painting tips that can bring a dull hallway to life: • Paint the hallway the reverse of the rooms around it. If the rooms are dark, use light colours in the hall. If... [read more]

Painting Techniques that Bring a Hallway to Life

Friday Jun 30th, 2017

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Some people don’t give hallways much thought when painting and decorating. Instead, they focus on rooms. The fact is, a great looking hallway can have the same, if not more, impact than the most eye-catching family room or bedroom, especially when you need to go through the hallway to get there! Here are some painting tips that can bring a dull hallway to life: • Paint the hallway the reverse of the rooms around it. If the rooms are dark, use light colours in the hall. If... [read more]

Going “Green” in Your Garden or Flower Be

Monday Jun 12th, 2017

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There has been a lot of emphasis lately on the importance of “going green”. That simply means being environmentally-responsible. You likely already recycle, use energy-efficient lights, and turn down your thermostat when no one is home. Yet, most of us don’t think about the garden or flower bed when we “think green”. We should. Here are a few practical things you can do to tend to outdoor plants — without negatively impacting the environment. •... [read more]

Handling a New Home Problem on Moving Day

Wednesday May 31st, 2017

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Imagine buying a product from a store, taking it home, and then discovering there’s a problem with it. Disappointing, yes, but not a catastrophe. You can simply take it back for repair or exchange. But, what if it’s moving day, and you discover there’s a problem with your new home? Whoa. A house isn’t so easily returned! What are the most common problems encountered on moving day? • A delay in getting the keys. • The seller not having completely... [read more]

Does Your Home Insurance Cover Everything?

Wednesday May 17th, 2017

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When you suffer damage to, (or the loss of), your home or its contents, you expect your insurance company to help you out. And, most do a good job of doing just that.  Still, it’s a good idea to review your policy with your insurance advisor and find out what’s covered and what isn’t. You don’t want to discover that your policy will not cover the cost of repairing the damage caused by a flood in your laundry room. Pay particular attention to coverage in the... [read more]

Buying Your Dream Home in a Hot Market

Monday May 01st, 2017

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Imagine finding the perfect home, only to discover there is serious interest from at least a dozen other buyers. It’s like scrambling for the last piece of cake at a buffet! Fortunately, there are things you can do to help get the home you want, even in a highly competitive market. Here are just a few ideas: • Only view a few ideal properties at a time. If you see too many, and thus spread yourself too thin, you risk homes slipping through your fingers. • Be realistic... [read more]

The Magic of Decorative Moulding

Monday Apr 17th, 2017

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Decorative moulding is one of the most eye-catching ways to upgrade a room. You’re probably accustomed to seeing standard baseboard moulding installed where your floor meets the wall. But, there are many other types. For example: • Crown moulding for ceilings. • Panel moulding for a southern colonial look. • Chair rail moulding, which is very distinctive on walls. • Apron moulding for window sills. • Entablature moulding for above... [read more]

Getting Friends to Spread the Word about Your Listing

Monday Apr 03rd, 2017

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When you list your home for sale, you want as many buyers as possible to find out about it. So consider how many friends, neighbours and work colleagues you have. Then think about how many people they know. The number is likely in the hundreds. One of those people could be looking for a property just like yours. That’s why getting your friends to spread the word about your listing is so effective. How do you do that? One strategy is to have a moving party. This gives you an... [read more]

Important Things to “Fix Up” before Selling

Friday Mar 03rd, 2017

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 When you’re preparing your home for sale, it’s not unusual to need to fix up a few things around the property. After all, you want your home to look its best to buyers, so that you get good offers, quickly. What do you need to fix? Here are three categories that will help you create and prioritize your list. 1. Anything that squeaks or creaks. Is there something in your home that makes a noise it shouldn’t be making? Perhaps it’s a rattling closet door or a... [read more]

How Long Will Your Home Appliances Last?

Friday Mar 03rd, 2017

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If you’re paying a lot of money for a new washing machine, wouldn’t it be nice to know how long you should expect it to last? There is, of course, no exact formula for figuring that out. Every brand and unit is different. There are however, some broad estimates. According to an article in Consumer Reports, a washer and dryer will hum along just fine for about 10 years, with a likelihood of needing a repair during the last two to three. Leading brands offer a parts and labour... [read more]

What Does a Property Surveyor Do?

Monday Feb 13th, 2017

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Property Surveyors, sometimes referred to as land Surveyors, play a vital role in the real estate world. They are the professionals who determine or confirm the exact boundaries of a property. Will you need to deal with a Property Surveyor when selling your home? You might. Sometimes the mortgage lender will ask for a land survey, especially if your property is older and hasn’t changed hands in many years. You might also be asked for one by the buyer if there is any confusion... [read more]

How to Watch Out for Poisons in Your Home

Monday Feb 13th, 2017

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 90% of exposures to poisons occur inside the home. Almost all are preventable, if you follow some simple guidelines  • Look for the poison label on products you buy. Visually, it’s a skull and cross bones, often (but not always) with the word POISON above it. • Don’t make assumptions. Sometimes a seemingly innocuous product, like a shampoo, can contain poison or other ingredients which are... [read more]

Will an Open House Help Sell your Home?

Monday Feb 13th, 2017

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You’ve probably seen signs around the area for Open Houses. You may have even attended a few. These are open invitations for potential buyers to drop by on a certain day and time, to check out the property and get more information. When you’re listing your home for sale, you might wonder whether you’ll need to have an Open House. To answer that question, you’ll need to consider the pros and cons. Planning and hosting an open house isn’t as easy as it may seem.... [read more]

Your Exit Plan in Case of a Fire

Monday Feb 13th, 2017

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In almost every movie featuring a house on fire, the actors seem to be able to move around the house and see just fine, while beating back flames with a shirt or coat. Of course, that’s not what happens in real fires. When there’s fire in a home, there is typically complete darkness (because the power goes out) and a cloud of spreading thick, black smoke makes it difficult to see and breathe. That’s why knowing how to get out of your house — fast — is... [read more]

Making an Offer in a Competitive Market

Monday Feb 13th, 2017

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Imagine finding a home you love, making an offer, and then finding out there are other competing offers on the table. Ouch. If you’re looking for a property in a competitive market, it is likely that there will be multiple offers. Even just one can create the risk that you’ll lose the home. So how do you make sure your offer is enticing enough to win over the buyer? Here are some ideas: • Don’t make a low-ball offer. If you do, it might be dismissed and you probably... [read more]

How to Cut Your Electricity Bill in Half

Monday Feb 13th, 2017

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You don’t have to freeze in the winter or start reading by candlelight to reduce your electricity bill. There are many simple ways to use less power with little, if any, impact on your lifestyle. A good place to start is with your electronics. According to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Any gizmo that has a clock, digital timer, remote control or standby mode is sucking energy when it's not being used (it's called 'phantom electricity' — and it's scary... [read more]

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