9 Mar

Selling Your Home In The Spring!

Mortgage Tips

Posted by: Tyler Cowle

Are you looking to sell your home? We have a few tips to help you make the most of the spring season!

  1. Hire an Experienced Realtor: Before preparing your home for the Spring market, you will want to hire an experienced realtor! A good realtor will serve as your guide through the entire sales process, helping you get your home ready for listing, showing potential buyers and finalizing the eventual sale. This is even more important given the changing landscape in relation to additional safety protocols with viewings and even virtual viewing options. Now, more than ever, the expertise of a realtor will help you navigate the sales process.
  2. Prioritize Repairs and Improvements: Before listing your home, it is important to go through room-by-room and address any issues such as chipped paint, small holes in the wall, broken fixtures, old appliances, etc. Correcting these minor issues will help your home truly shine when buyers walk through.
  3. Clean and Stage Your Home: Now that you have made the necessary minor repairs, you can start staging your home! Start with the exterior of your home and ensure you tidy up the yard, remove any junk and wash your windows! When it comes to the interior of your home, you will want to declutter and do a deep clean (a professional cleaning service can come in handy for this!). Once your home is decluttered and clean, your real estate agent can help you stage it so that it appears spacious and inviting.
  4. Consider a Pre-Listing Inspection: Once you are ready to list your home, it can be a good idea to consider a pre-listing inspection. The inspector would conduct a complete visual inspection of all interior and exterior elements (including HVAC systems, wiring, ceiling, chimneys, gutters, etc.), which would help put prospective buyers at ease.
  5. Organize The Paperwork: There is a lot of paperwork when it comes to selling your home. Having all of these documents organized and together for potential buyers will help to speed up the process and allow them to address any questions before the deal is finalized. Permits, renovation or repair receipts, warranties, rental agreements and copies of your utility bills are all good records for potential buyers.

Whether you are looking to buy or sell, it is important to work with a trusted real estate and Dominion Lending Centres mortgage expert to ensure the best outcome for you and your family!

Published by the DLC Marketing Team

4 Feb

10 Ways to Lower Your Heating Bill!

Homeowner Tips

Posted by: Tyler Cowle

Heating bills are substantial – and can be a surprise for new homeowners who haven’t paid for utilities before.  There’s no getting around this expense, but there are ways to reduce it.  Here are just 10 ways you can lower your heating bill!

1) Improve Your Insulation

You can hire a professional to blow cellulose into wall cavities, but with protective goggle and clothing, a novice can lay bats of fibreglass in exposed ceiling joists, crawl spaces and attics.

2) Service Your Equipment

A well-running machine is an efficient machine, so extended warranties and annual check-up plans are a good investment for furnaces, boilers and hot water tanks.

Replace furnace filters every few months (more if you own pets or have done extensive renovations).  Examine your ductwork for gaps: 20-40% of heating energy can be lost through holes here.

If an equipment upgrade is in your future, Natural Resources Canada has a searchable list of Energy Star certified heating appliances that will help reduce heating costs.

3) Deal with Doors and Windows

Grab a caulking gun and go around windows from the inside and outside filling gaps.  Add storm windows on the outside, as well as cellophane window film inside.

External wood doors have no insulating value.  Fibreglass versions are energy efficient, but a less expensive option is to apply weather stripping and a ‘door sweep’: self-adhesive or screw-in pieces that, when placed along the bottom of the door, prevent drafts.

4) Check the Chimney

If the flue and damper aren’t working, that’s a huge hole bringing cold air into the house and stealing cash out of your pocket.

5) Manage Your Water

If you stave off winter chill with a long steam or soak, it’ll cost you.  Heating water can account for more than 10% of the utility bills so make sure your tank is hyper-efficient.

If you’re in the market for a new one, a ‘water on-demand’ version costs more upfront, but won’t heat stored water, which means lower heating bills.

For standing tanks, buy a tank blanket (available at most hardware stores).  It takes minutes to apply and could save 4-9% on heating costs.

Many water pipes in the basement are exposed – wrap them in pre-cut foam insulation strips to trap heat.

6) Install a Programmable Thermostat

They allow you to set different temperatures for different times.  Keeping it lower while your at the office or out of the house will help reduce your heating bill.

7) Add Vents to Radiators

Vents allow you to control the heat coming out of each radiator so you can keep some spaces cooler than others.

8) Seal Access Points

Ductwork, plumbing for garden hoses and hole for cable wires all let cold air into your home.  Find them and fill them with spray foam.

Electrical outlets on outside walls let cold air in too.  Wallplate insulators are cheap, widely available and easy to install.  (Remove the wallplate, insert the pre-cut foam insulator backer, and replace the wallplate.  Done)

9) Rearrange Your Furniture

Watch out for vents and radiators when placing bookcases, sofas and chairs.  That might seem obvious, but you need clearance around these heat sources to maximize their efficiency.  Don’t butt furniture up close to them.

10) Choose Window Coverings Carefully

Hang thick ones – many off-the-shelf panels come with an insulating layer – and keep them closed after dusk.

Extra Tip – Use Ceiling Fans

They’re not just for summer.  Most come with a reverse setting that pushes hot air down, warming up the room!

Published by Sagen