1 - 42 of 42

Monday, September 17, 2018 - Fire safety tips to protect your home

In Calgary, a recent string of house fires has people thinking about fire safety in the home. Carol Henke, public information officer with the Calgary Fire Department, says kitchen fires are the most common residential call for the fire department, ?and often it?s because people leave their cooking unattended.? She says someone will put oil in a pan to heat up, and once the oil reaches its ignition temperature, it bursts into flames. People often make things worse by trying to carry the pan out ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Mon, 17 Sep 2018 10:11:51 -0600

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - 5 tips to remember when you are buying or renting together

1. When renting, everyone will have to sign the lease. A careful landlord will make sure that there is one lease, signed by all of the tenants. This means that each tenant will be responsible for the entire monthly rent. It is thus important that you are satisfied with your fellow tenants because if one just disappears, the others will have to make up the shortfall and figure out how to find the new tenant to share expenses. 2. How do you protect yourself when buying a property together? The ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Wed, 01 Aug 2018 16:38:34 -0600

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - patio season!

How to create a great backyard getaway for patio season Patio season is underway, so it?s time to get your garden ready. With a little planning, you can make your own cozy corner for sitting and entertaining a reality this weekend. ShelterNew neighbourhoods lack trees and high-rise decks are exposed to the elements. Both mean you need to think windbreak and sunbreak first, planting second. Shade cloth, outdoor curtains or overhead shade sails are an instant source of comfort for patios where ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Tue, 17 Jul 2018 16:10:57 -0600

Thursday, June 21, 2018 - Hidden Rooms!

The broad appeal of secret-room renovations If you love those scenes from old movies where a wall opens to reveal a secret room, you can now put yourself squarely in the picture. Hidden rooms in houses ? usually custom-built homes, rather than existing structures ? are growing in popularity, and for good reason. ?The demand for these rooms is huge right now, partly because thieves aren?t taking televisions or stereos anymore ? they?re going after your identity,? said Sandy Scheiris, CEO of ...
posted in home tips at Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:03:02 -0600

Sunday, June 17, 2018 - understanding your budget

How much home can you afford? Shopping for the home of your dreams requires knowing how much you can afford to spend, which for most buyers ties directly into a mortgage. Financial institutions in Canada look at a buyer?s Gross Debt Service (GDS) and Total Debt Service (TDS) ratios to help determine how much mortgage to approve, and therefore, how much home a person can afford. GDS includes expenses related to the home, such as mortgage principal and interest, property taxes, heating costs and ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Sun, 17 Jun 2018 11:06:01 -0600

Friday, June 15, 2018 - Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Spring has sprung!! While it is time to welcome flowers, leaves and warmth, it?s also time to do some home maintenance and get your house cleaned up after the long winter. Gutters and downspouts: Pull leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. Re-attach gutters that have pulled away from the house. Run a hose on the roof and check for proper drainage. If any leaks exist, dry the area and use caulking or epoxy to seal the leak.Siding: Clean siding with a pressure washer. Check all wood ...
posted in home tips at Fri, 15 Jun 2018 14:31:40 -0600

Thursday, June 14, 2018 - demystifying condo fees

Demystifying condo fees We?ve probably all heard someone say they?d love to buy a condominium, but they don?t like the idea of paying condo fees. ?We see that $500 condo fee and ask, ?what do I get?? ? said Bernice Winter, CEO of Condo Check, a Calgary company that provides condominium services, including document reviews. Winter says when people buy into a condominium, they buy into a share of responsibility for expenses related to operating, maintaining and repairing areas of the building ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Thu, 14 Jun 2018 11:01:22 -0600

Friday, May 4, 2018 - allergy free home

Allergies are often associated with the arrival of spring, but indoor allergy sufferers will often find themselves sniffing and sneezing year-round. The culprit? Indoor allergens such as dust, dust mites and pet hair and dander. So how do you make sure your home is a respite from both seasonal and interior allergens and create a healthy environment for you and your family? According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, there are several best practices you can adopt to manage ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Fri, 04 May 2018 15:17:15 -0600

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - Timber frame and log homes

Classic timber-frame and log homes are the perfect fit for many Alberta acreage properties Attractive acreage properties lend themselves beautifully to some classic building methods: timber-frame construction and natural log homes. Each has its own appeal, and while the homes come at a premium cost, Alberta specialty builders say the results are worth the money. Lloyd Beckedorf, president of Moose Mountain Log Homes Inc. in Cochrane, says the look of a log home is timeless. ?You can look at log ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Wed, 18 Apr 2018 08:00:10 -0600

Thursday, February 22, 2018 - Renovations on a budget

Renovations on a $5,000 budget At first glance, doing meaningful home renovations for $5,000 is akin to those travel guides for ?Europe on $10 a day?: easier said than done. Yet, like the backpacker who squeezes every penny from their budget to travel the globe, affordable renovations are not out of reach if you spend your nickels and dimes wisely. According to Bob Weir, vice-president of operations with Calgary?s Reborn Renovations, making improvements with $5,000 certainly narrows your ...
posted in home tips at Thu, 22 Feb 2018 11:38:15 -0700

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - Going "green"

10 energy-efficiency tips for the home Conduct a home energy assessmentTo save energy in your home, it helps to understand how you?re currently consuming ? and possibly wasting ? heat and electricity. A professional home energy assessment will provide comprehensive data on your home energy use and help provide a road map for improvements. The investment ? $500-750, depending on the size of your home ? will pay off in the long run. Some municipalities offer rebates to help cover the cost. You ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Tue, 13 Feb 2018 09:53:33 -0700

Sunday, February 11, 2018 - February in the garden

Ordering seed for the horticultural season ahead ?I?ll start ordering seeds soon,? I think to myself, as I browse the catalogues that are filling my mailbox and inbox. As a gardener, I don?t have to wait for catalogues to arrive to get in on seed mania and neither do you. If you have a balcony or a patio, you can dream of growing Tiny Tim or Siderno Tomatoes, Delize strawberries, Mascotte green beans or flower dragon muskmelons in pots later this spring. And if you have a big backyard, you have ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Sun, 11 Feb 2018 12:14:29 -0700

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - Net zero homes

Have you ever dreamed of living in a net-zero home? Peter Darlington says that dream may be closer than you think. In fact, you might already be living in your future net-zero home. Darlington runs Solar Homes Inc., a Calgary company specializing in renovating existing homes to net zero ? a home that produces as much energy as it consumes. Net zero might seem like a remote, ambitious target, but Darlington insists it?s more attainable than you might think. His first green reno project was on ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Wed, 22 Nov 2017 06:21:40 -0700

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - November in the garden

Gathering in the beauty of the season Weather changes in Calgary quicker than a fashion model on a runway. Clear and sunny becomes snow, and then rain and wind follow ? sometimes all in one day. But don?t fret: Calgary holds the record as the sunniest city in Canada. This means we still have sunny days ahead this month. Take advantage of the light and boost your natural vitamin D levels while finishing up some last-minute garden jobs. Gardening builds health and happiness while you create a ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Tue, 21 Nov 2017 07:52:27 -0700

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - Energy bill reduction

Here are some notes from Ron Kube and how he saved! Lighting ? saved 82%  He points to his dining room as a typical culprit. In one fixture, the couple had eight 100-watt incandescent bulbs, for a staggering total of 800 watts. By switching those eight bulbs to LEDs, Ron was able to slash the total to 112 watts without sacrificing a single lumen. By the time Kube switched the rest of the bulbs, his home?s ?biggest monster? had become a veritable pussycat. ?In fact, we went from 340 kilowatt ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Wed, 01 Nov 2017 15:30:24 -0600

Monday, October 30, 2017 - Living Architecture

Green roofs add a touch of nature to the concrete jungle Great thinkers have always known that nature is essential to the human spirit. Perhaps that is why more and more architects, designers and builders are choosing to create green retreats in their designs, including rooftops that allow the eye to drink in nature?s beauty. ?There are just so many benefits to green roofs,? said Kerry Ross, one of Canada?s leading green roof experts and the first accredited green roof professional in the ...
posted in home tips at Mon, 30 Oct 2017 11:18:07 -0600

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - RRSP Home buyers plan

 I often receive inquiries about the eligibility requirements for the RRSP Home Buyer?s Plan (HBP). For regular RRSPs, the basic rule is simple: If you make a withdrawal from your RRSP, those funds are included in your income for the year that the withdrawal is made. The plan administrator will deduct the income tax from the funds being advanced and will remit the tax to Canada Revenue Agency on your behalf. However, the RRSP HBP is a key exception to the basic rule on how RRSPs are treated. ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Wed, 25 Oct 2017 15:37:09 -0600

Sunday, October 22, 2017 - Solar 101

Harnessing the sun for all your energy needs St. Albert?s Ron and Carole Kube had never known anyone with a solar-powered home. Then, in 2014, Ron Kube read a story in the newspaper about a household that installed a solar array. He was surprised to learn they were his former neighbours. ?In fact, the guy was Craig Dickie ? he used to live across the street from us,? said Kube. ?And I was so excited that I called up Craig and I said, ?can I come over to the house and see the solar system?? And ... Full Article...
posted in home tips at Sun, 22 Oct 2017 15:35:26 -0600

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

1 - 42 of 42



News (6)