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Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - Can't get a mortgage?

There are many reasons why your favourite bank or lender may reject you when you apply for a mortgage. Here are some of them. Not enough credit history: If you are new to the country or you recently finished at college/university or you don?t own any credit cards, lenders likely will not give you a mortgage because of the lack of credit history. Lenders want to know your paying habits. Low or bad credit score: If your Equifax credit score is bad or too low, banks and lenders may not lend you ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:44:30 -0600

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - Home insurance

What is home insurance?It protects policyholders and their families from exposure to the costs of unexpected incidents like fire, water damage and theft?not to mention identity theft, an evacuation, or if a person is injured on your property. But it?s not a maintenance plan; it doesn?t cover wear and tear or neglect. We?ll make every effort to cover the damage if a storm puts a hole in your roof and rain leaks in, but we don?t pay to fix damage caused by poor maintenance. How do deductibles ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Tue, 10 Oct 2017 16:53:32 -0600

Monday, October 9, 2017 - Water heaters 101

A typical hot water heater accounts for about one fifth of the energy used in most Canadian homes. Choosing the right hot water heater can have a huge impact both financially and environmentally ? especially as energy prices and carbon levies continue to rise. Many of us still choose conventional, gas-fired hot water tanks, because they?re cheapest ? or are they? Over its lifespan, the initial price of your hot water heater can represent as little as 12 per cent of its overall cost. The other ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Mon, 09 Oct 2017 11:11:56 -0600

Friday, October 6, 2017 - Selling a second property?

Owning an investment property can provide useful income, while having a recreational property can provide a great place to spend time with family and friends. But if you are thinking it?s time to sell, some careful research is in order. ?There?s a lot to consider when selling your investment property or a vacation home,? said Laura Parsons, the Calgary-area manager for mortgage specialists with BMO Financial Group. ?Do your homework.? A major factor when selling a property that is not your ...
posted in home tips at Fri, 06 Oct 2017 09:45:53 -0600

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - To buy or not to buy

It?s an age-old question that still gets hotly debated, particularly by young adults who are determining where they are going to live: should I rent or should I buy? It?s not an easy question to answer, and there are no clear right or wrong answers. ?One of the big things to contemplate is your time focus, because when you do buy a home, it is a long-term commitment. It does involve a five-year mortgage that?s amortized over 25 years,? said Tim Gensey, a market analyst with Canada Mortgage and ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Wed, 04 Oct 2017 15:25:55 -0600

Saturday, September 16, 2017 - Best Returns on renovations

With the prime spring selling season gearing up, your clients may be wondering which parts of their home can give them the best return on investment if they choose to renovate. Here are the 5 key renovation strategies that are time-tested, require minimal effort, and provide options for every budget.  They are designed get sellers the best bang for their buck and top dollar for your listing: 1) FLOORING Every single person in a household will touch the floor every day in varying degrees, ...
posted in home tips at Sat, 16 Sep 2017 15:40:15 -0600

Monday, September 4, 2017 - Renovation Returns

Will a home makeover make you money? There are many motivations for renovating a home: expanding the space, upgrading the look or even making the neighbours jealous. While they?re all valid, the hope to enrich a house?s value along with its appearance is one reason that?s often cited. And though there?s nothing wrong with that on the surface, it?s important to dig deeper to see if a higher home value is really in the cards before taking the renovation plunge. ?It really depends on the type and ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Mon, 04 Sep 2017 14:24:35 -0600

Saturday, September 2, 2017 - Top 10 renovations in 2016

These were the top 10 renovation projects among Albertans in 2016: (Trusted Pros Crebnow Jul 2017) Bathroom renovations$12,500 ? $20,000-plus TrustedPros says anyone budgeting less than $11,000 for their bathroom renovation is ?really cutting it close to an under-budget nightmare.? The extent and nature of a powder-room renovation impacts its actual cost, as it?s a very broad category. A bathroom renovation can mean a facelift with new lighting, a new toilet and a fresh coat of paint, all the ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Sat, 02 Sep 2017 14:00:27 -0600

Friday, June 12, 2015 - Cleaning tips

For this project, you?ll need three or four medium-sized decorative buckets.  Because the buckets will be on display, choose ones that either complement the style of your home or pick up on an accent colour that you?ve used throughout. 1. Label your buckets by room, i.e. kitchen, bathroom, laundry, etc.  2. Once the labels are in place, fill each bucket with the cleaning supplies that are needed for the room indicated on the label.  How genius is that?  So, the next time you need to clean the ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Fri, 12 Jun 2015 14:32:22 -0600

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - Tips and tricks for Spring

With Spring just around the corner, our showhome designers are gearing up for what is looking to be a season full of light colours, fresh accents, and statement pieces.  The deep dark hues of fall and winter are making way for beautiful blush tones, and of course florals!  If you?re having a Miranda Priestly moment (see The Devil Wears Prada) and thinking that there?s nothing groundbreaking about florals for Spring, or are not interested in having your home resemble that of your grandmothers, ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Wed, 18 Mar 2015 10:20:27 -0600

Thursday, September 4, 2014 - Air quality

Follow these tips for better air quality in your  home Enforce a smoking ban Keeping your home smoke-free is among the best things you can do for your health, says Connie Choy, Air Quality Coordinator, Ontario Lung Association, a provincial office of the Canadian Lung Association. Second-hand smoke is one of the most harmful indoor air pollutants, says Choy. Plus, contaminants linger in what she calls "third-hand smoke," the built-up residue of tobacco and other particles on floors, walls, ...
posted in home tips at Thu, 04 Sep 2014 12:03:00 -0600

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - Tips on moving

Courtesy of AMA - Let?s be honest: nobody looks forward to packing everything he or she owns into boxes. Start early to ensure it goes smoothly, packing up lesser-used items (like books and pictures) until you?re closer to the move date. As you go, number each box and keep a written inventory of the items that go into it. Clearly note, on all four sides, which room it should be delivered to. For fragile items, fill any hollow spots (the inside of a teacup, for instance) with a wad of packing ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:02:28 -0600

Friday, July 25, 2014 - Home buyer protection Act

New Home Buyer Protection Act in Effect: February 1, 2014 What You Need to Know  Warranties will be required for all new homes in Alberta, starting on February 1st.An easy to follow visual outline of the Act and its requirements is here.This new legislation will apply to: New homes (building permits after Feb. 1/14 including modular and manufactured homes.)Major reconstruction of homes (only in cases where construction results in four times the square footage prior to rebuild.) Home Warranty ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:13:18 -0600

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 10 things you should know about mould

Ten Things You Should Know About Mould Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mould exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.There is no practical way to eliminate all moulds and mould spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mould growth is to control moisture.If mould is a problem, then it must be cleaned-up and sources of moisture eliminated.Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mould growth.Maintain ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Tue, 24 Jun 2014 12:56:31 -0600

Friday, June 6, 2014 - Managing the risks of Mould

Toxic mould has become a preeminent concern for property owners. However, mould contamination can be prevented through measures that control moisture, and respond efficiently to a water leak or discovery of an emerging mould condition.The term ?mould? or ?mold? describes more than a million species of microscopic fungi that grow on wet organic matter. Its many varieties can be found naturally outdoors as well as in indoor environments. As a rule, ?healthy? buildings contain levels of mould ...
posted in home tips at Fri, 06 Jun 2014 12:28:45 -0600

Thursday, June 5, 2014 - Home equity line of credit

If you have a home equity line of credit or are thinking of applying for one, pay close attention to its flexible terms and features. These can help you use credit wisely and plan a repayment strategy that works for you.

Use it as you need it. A home equity line of credit makes it easy to finance renovations, pay for large purchases or consolidate other debts at a more affordable interest rate. Since you pay interest only on the amount you actually use, it leaves you the flexibility of having a ready source of financing when you need it, whatever you need it for, subject to the terms of the Line of Credit Agreement.

Credit-wise tip: Borrow only what you really need right now. Avoid over-spending just because you have ongoing access to credit up to your available credit limit.

Pay at your own pace. Your home equity line of credit gives you the flexibility to pay as little as interest only, if that’s necessary for you. How and when you choose to repay your balance is up to you. As you pay off your outstanding balance, your available credit increases. It’s always important, though, to increase your payments when you can to ensure that you are paying down your balance responsibly.

Credit-wise tip: Pay more than just your minimum payment – any extra payment will go towards your outstanding principal balance. Whether it’s a one-time payment or increased monthly payments, you will save on interest costs.

Reduce your exposure to possible interest rate increases. With the TD Canada Trust Home Equity Line of Credit you can use the Fixed Rate Advantage Option to convert part of your balance to a fixed interest rate, if you are concerned about potentially rising variable interest rates.

You can opt to lock in all or a portion of your outstanding balance to a fixed interest rate, subject to a minimum amount of $10,000. You may choose a term of 1 to 5 years, amortized over any period of up to 25 years, and the applicable mortgage interest rate will apply. Once you’ve set up the Fixed Rate Advantage Option, you simply make regular payments of principal and interest and you may be given the option to renew it when the term ends.

Credit-wise tip: This option is great if you are working towards paying off your balance in a specific timeframe or simply trying to manage your budget!

posted in home tips at Thu, 05 Jun 2014 10:56:20 -0600

Monday, May 26, 2014 - Green for the garden!

Whether you have a backyard garden oasis or simply perch a flowerpot on a windowsill, organic gardening is about putting nature first, according to experts from Canadian Organic Growers. Here are a few tips from this Ottawa-based national charitable organization. Go local Choosing hardy native plants could make a garden easier to maintain, since plants have adapted to local conditions. This approach can apply to the most urban of settings ? for example, one of TD's recent initiatives was to ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Mon, 26 May 2014 08:58:50 -0600

Monday, February 10, 2014 - A couples guide to decor

Best time to combine ?The time when people are moving in together as a couple is usually a really good, positive time, when both people may be really open to try to compromise or find a middle ground when it comes to decorating choices,? says Stein. We asked her to recap a few of her most common suggestions that could apply equally to fresh newlyweds and established couples who share their living space. Bridge your décor divides. ?This isn?t a contest to see who wins the style battle. Even if ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Mon, 10 Feb 2014 16:39:29 -0700

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - what are your closets telling potential buyers?

1) This home is too small for these people.? 2) There?s no place in this home for storage. ? So see below: 6 ways to get your closets organized 1) Edit any unused or seasonal clothing.  Since you are going to be moving anyway start the packing process.  Edit any items you don?t need or no longer want or wear.  There are plenty of charities that would gladly accept your donation. Pack away any seasonal clothing you won?t need for the next few months. 2) Separate clothing by style for an ...
posted in home tips at Tue, 21 Jan 2014 14:35:30 -0700

Monday, January 13, 2014 - energy saving tips

Year-round tips: Turn off lights, TVs and other appliances when they are not needed.Wash laundry in cold water. This does just as good a job, keeps your colours bright, and saves lots of energy.Take short showers instead of baths. A five-minute shower uses about half as much water as a bath.Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescents, which are four times more efficient and last about eight times as long.You can also control the intensity of your incandescent bulbs ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Mon, 13 Jan 2014 13:20:33 -0700

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - Energy saving tips

Winter tips: -Since up to 25 per cent of heat loss is through windows, plastic window covers can help reduce drafts. They can be purchased at most hardware stores.-Keep window curtains open during the day to allow solar energy into your home.-Put removable, temporary caulking on the inside of your windows that you can peel off in the spring.-Reduce the temperature on your thermostat when you?re not at home and overnight. Many new thermostats can be programmed to change the temperature ...
posted in home tips at Tue, 07 Jan 2014 11:17:48 -0700

Monday, January 6, 2014 - a "greener" garden

(Taken from TD bank newsletter) Whether you have a backyard garden oasis or simply perch a flowerpot on a windowsill, organic gardening is about putting nature first, according to experts from Canadian Organic Growers. Here are a few tips from this Ottawa-based national charitable organization. Go local Choosing hardy native plants could make a garden easier to maintain, since plants have adapted to local conditions. This approach can apply to the most urban of settings ? for example, one of ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Mon, 06 Jan 2014 10:35:10 -0700

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - severe storms and home insurance

Severe storms are unpredictable and can occur during any season. Storms of this nature can develop quickly and often include hail, lightning, strong winds, and heavy rainfall. Canada?s increasingly severe weather means that basement flooding and water damage are becoming more common.Damage from sewer backups is costly for homeowners, municipalities, and insurance companies. Based on recent estimates, the Canadian insurance industry pays $1.7 billion each year in claims due to water damage.Water ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Wed, 01 Jan 2014 13:21:29 -0700

Monday, December 30, 2013 - 12 ways to save money in your home

If you?ve ever gathered loose change from around the house, you know how those loonies and toonies can quickly add up! Take the same approach when trimming household expenses, and you could find a pocketful of ongoing savings you can use to pay down your mortgage faster. Consider these ideas ? large and small ? that can help save money in your home. We've compiled a dozen tips from a variety of sources including Natural Resources Canada and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. 1. Seal ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Mon, 30 Dec 2013 09:46:00 -0700

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