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The fastest way to lower your energy bill

green utility

Did you know that, next to heating and air conditioning, your lights consume

most of the energy in your home? In fact, you can lower your electricity bill

quickly – and substantially – simply by being smarter about lighting.

First, consider replacing your conventional light bulbs with the energysaving

variety. You’ve probably seen these at your local home improvement

centre. Compact florescent light bulbs, for example, use up to 75% less


Second, lower the wattage in some outlets. Is it necessary to have a 100

watt bulb in the furnace room? Try a 60 watt bulb.

Finally, think before you turn on the lights. Do you really need them on?

Perhaps there’s an alternative, such as opening a window blind to let in

more sunlight.

SOLD 12 Parnell Crescent, Whitby $399,900

14515_exterior__side_34_20130313221932_1800x1200Surrounded By Whitby’s Best Schools Is The Perfect 4 Bedroom Family Home On A Quiet Crescent. Approximately 2300 Sq Ft. Modern Eat In Kitchen With Stainless Steel Appliances, Backsplash & Walkout To Backyard Which Features Professional Landscape, Interlocking & An On Ground 4 Year New Pool! Cozy Family Room Features A Gas Fireplace, Hardwood Floors & Overlooks The Yard. Main Floor Office, Main Floor Laundry & Garage Access! Finished Basement With Games Room, Rec Room, 5th Bedroom & 3 Piece Bath.

Recognizing potential major expenses in a new home

magnified house

When you see a new home you like on the market, it’s easy to get distracted

by all the features you love – the wrap-around backyard deck or the

spacious rec room with plenty of space for entertaining. You just need to

make sure that in all that excitement you don’t overlook any expensive

maintenance issues that could be just around the corner.

Nothing lasts forever. The major components of every home – from the

furnace to the roof shingles – need to be replaced eventually. Knowing

when such maintenance issues are likely to arise can help you make a

smarter decision about the home you’re considering.

How do you do that?

When viewing a property, ask for the age of the major components of the

home, such as the roof shingles, furnace, air conditioner, water heater, and

appliances. Roof shingles may look merely weathered in spots – and you

might think they have years of service left – when, in fact, they’re due to be

replaced in a year.

Also pay close attention to the backyard deck, fencing, flooring, and

windows. Do any of those components look aged, worn, and in need of

repair or replacement sometime soon?

Finally, don’t forget to check the kitchen and bathrooms. Sinks, faucets,

bathtubs, showers, and cabinetry have a life-span of about 10-15 years.

Of course, there are things you can’t see, such as wiring, plumbing, venting,

and other components of a property that may require maintenance soon.

That’s why it’s so important to make any offer to purchase a home

conditional on passing an inspection by a qualified home inspector.

Want more ideas on buying the right home for you? Call today.


Saving Money On House Insurance

Like heat, water and air conditioning, insurance is a home expense you have some degree of control over. In fact, there are ways to reduce your insurance costs by as much as 20%.
The thing to keep in mind is that insurance companies will often reward you – in the form of lower rates – when you do something to reduce the risk of damage to your property. That’s why you can often get a discount when you install smoke detectors on all floors. Other discounts may be available if you get better door locks, an alarm system, upgraded wiring, and so forth.
Contact your insurance company and ask how you can lower your
insurance costs. Sometimes just a few minor changes can save you a

Should You Buy the “Less Than Perfect” Home?

When you’re shopping for a new home, you want to find a property that has

all the features and characteristics you want. A large deck surrounded by

picturesque landscaping … a beautiful kitchen with gleaming marble

countertops… a cozy finished basement with fireplace….

You should look for the ideal home. You deserve it! But some home buyers

make the mistake of becoming fixated on finding the “perfect” property, and

passing too quickly on those homes that don’t quite measure up.

Why is that a mistake? Because some of those less-than-perfect properties

have the potential of becoming your next dream home.

First of all, a home that is lacking some desirable features, such as a

finished basement, will probably cost less. Those savings may be more than

enough to cover any needed upgrade or renovation.

Secondly, if you look at a home in terms of its potential, rather than the

features it happens to have now, there will be more properties available on

the market for you to consider.

If you’re determined to have a large wrap-around deck for entertaining, for

example, don’t cross homes that don’t have this feature off your list. At least

not yet. Instead, view these properties with an eye on potential. Is the

backyard big enough to accommodate a large deck? How would a deck like

that look if added to this particular property? How much would such a

renovation cost?

There’s no doubt about it. You want to find a home that has all the features

and characteristics you want. If you work with a good REALTOR®, there is

a good chance you’ll find a property that has most of them.

But keep an open mind. Sometimes a “diamond in the rough” can – with an

upgrade or renovation – become a home you’ll treasure for years.