Showing posts from March, 2015

Get the skinny on household workouts

Image (NC) If your resolution to get fit this year is not yet on the road to success, real hope is on the horizon. Don't worry, for example, if your year-to-date gym attendance has more holes in it than a slice of Swiss cheese. The vigorous workouts you're going to get from spring cleaning will more than make up for it. Did you know that cleaning can expend the same amount of calories as doing lunges or light calisthenics? I bet that will get you to rethink cleaning! The cleaning experts at Hoover are making this kind of workout much easier––and more fun––by introducing light weight and maneuverable vacuums like the Hoover Air Cordless. Excited to get started? Here's a list of common household cleaning tasks and the calories they burn: • Mopping: 15 minutes will burn 43 calories, and one hour use up 170 calories. • Sweeping Floors: 15 minutes will burn 39 calories, and one hour will burn 156. • Vacuuming: 15 minutes will burn 43 calories, and one hour wil…

Scotiabank - Property Brothers - Tips for First-Time Homebuyers


12 Step Guide to Buying Your Home | Pankaj Patel, HomeLife/Miracle Realty Ltd., Brokerage*


Illegal Building and You


How to revitalize your home with quick, high-impact results

(NC) Spring is the time of year when we breathe a collective sigh of relief that winter has finally released its icy grip. That is, until we realize it's time to tackle a full season (or two) of collective grime. While some of us might consider crocuses and red-bellied robins to be a sure sign of spring, unofficially, it can just as well be heralded in by the run on cleaning supplies and the steady hum of a vacuum cleaner. So, when everything in a home looks like it's ready for a refresh, where does one start? If you want to make the greatest dent, tackle these high-impact areas first: Dusting: Dust settles everywhere, and cleaning every surface and object can get really tedious. So why not save some time and energy? Your secret weapon—your vacuum and its trusty soft dusting tool––will help you to tackle just about any surface and get the job done in half the time. Baseboards & Door Frames: If you've been pretty good about upkeep, your baseboar…

Top spring maintenance tips for every home

Image (NC) No home comes maintenance free. Even a brand new house requires regular upkeep to ensure its internal environment stays healthy. If you live in a house that is less than seven years old, home maintenance is also essential for preserving your warranty rights. Almost all new homes in Ontario come with a warranty that lasts seven years from the date of the first possession, and it is guaranteed by Tarion Warranty Corporation. The warranty protects homeowners from certain defects, violations of the Ontario Building Code, and major structural damage, among other problems. But to make sure your home stays covered, you are advised to perform regular seasonal maintenance. Here are some tips to ensure it remains in good shape: • Clear eaves troughs of debris regularly and extend downspouts so that water is directed away from your home. Water that flows around the foundation could eventually find its way into the basement. • Have your roof inspected regularly to …

Tips from the pros on growing the greenest lawn

(NC) Whether you're the defending champion of the greenest lawn or looking to step up your game this season, making your neighbors green with envy couldn't be easier. Michelle Sordi from Husqvarna, a world leader in outdoor power products advises, “With the right practices, tools and materials, anyone can achieve a great looking lawn. It just takes a little time and effort to really see it flourish.” Check out the following tips from the pros that will set you up for nothing but success: ∙ Stay hydrated: From when the lawn is first planted until the shoots start to show, keep the top half inch of the soil moist. ∙ Don't be blunt: Make sure your lawn mower blades are sharp so you get a clean cut every time. You can stop by your local dealer to ensure your blades are ready for cutting. ∙ Keep some length: Remember not to cut the grass too short. With a grass level from 5 to 9 cm you will have a fine, sustainable lawn. ∙ Less is more: Don't remove m…

Install advanced and worry-free alarms in your home

Photo caption: Changing alarm batteries can be a thing of the past now because Kidde's "worry-free" models have sealed lithium batteries that last 10 years from activation.

(NC) Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms don't take rocket science to operate but homeowners do say they want simplicity. Most of us just want to install the alarms and then rely on them to protect our families. The problem is: these life-saving devices do require a minimum of attention to function at peak performance so that the alarm sounds anytime danger presents itself. One Canadian company says it has used research to make it easier for families to stay safe with its new line of aptly called “worry-free” smoke and CO alarms. New models from Kidde Canada include CO alarms, smoke alarms and combination smoke/CO alarms in battery powered, plug-in and hardwired configurations. “Looking at fire investigation statistics it was clear that many homeowners still have issues with two things: false alarms …

Sell your home sooner with these effortless landscaping tips

Image (NC) Curb appeal is essential when selling a house. A well maintained lawn, for example, proves you care about all the details of your property and provides onlookers confidence that the house is well preserved. “A big percentage of home buyers decide whether or not to look inside a house based on what it looks like from the outside,” says Michelle Sordi at Husqvarna, a world leader in outdoor power products. “Proper maintenance and investing in the right tools will make sure your house and lawn looks great at first glance and demonstrates to potential buyers how much you care for your home.” Sordi supplies some additional tips from the pros: ∙ Great yards begin in the spring, not the summer: Start the spring-cleaning when the snow has melted and the soil has dried up a bit. Remove layers of leaves that can lead to the grass molding or decaying by using a leaf blower or a rake. However, don't rake the lawn until it has started to grow. ∙ Would you buy it? …

Prepare your home for spring

Image (NC) Winter weather can wreak havoc on homes and gardens across Canada. Complete this home maintenance checklist from The Home Depot Canada before the warm weather breaks to ensure your outdoor space is ready for spring enjoyment.
1. If your home experienced any leaking or flooding, you must first dry out the area. Use towels, a mop and bucket or a wet/dry vacuum to remove the water that entered your home. Ensure you replace any affected drywall and clean carpets or upholstery thoroughly to prevent mould growth. 2. Your roof takes quite a beating through the winter months. Once the warmer weather hits, take a look for any shingles that blew away or were damaged. Replace them to ensure your roof is waterproof ahead of spring showers. 3. Remove debris from your gutters using your hand or a leaf blower and run water from a garden hose down the eaves troughs. This will keep drainage running smoothly away from your home as rainfall increases in the spring. 4. In early…

5 tips for buying a new condo

Image (NC) It's no secret that there's an ongoing condos boom in Ontario – just look around you. Our cities are going up vertically, and that means more and more people are enjoying high rise living. So if you are joining the crowd and thinking of buying a condo, here are some tips to make your purchase a smooth one: 1. Delays happen. It could be two or three years between the date you sign your purchase agreement and the date you take occupancy of your unit. If construction runs over schedule, it could be even longer. Read the statement of critical dates, outlined in the Addendum attached to the Agreement of Purchase and Sale to get a sense of how long it may take for your condo to be ready for occupancy. 2. Know your rights when it comes to delayed closings. Builders are entitled to extend the occupancy date specified in a purchase agreement as long as they provide proper notice. (When proper notice is not given, buyers are eligible for delayed occupancy c…

Add CO alarm safety to your home by April 15 deadline

(NC) Carbon monoxide has gained a significant profile in the past few years as accidental fatalities and near misses make headlines. Now, as the April 15 compliance period arrives for Ontario's new law that says homes with any potential sources of the deadly gas must have a working carbon monoxide alarm installed outside all sleeping areas, here is a refresher on the 'silent killer.'
CO alarms monitor airborne concentration levels of carbon monoxide in parts per million (ppm). They are designed to sense low concentrations over a long period of time as well as high concentrations over a short period of time. Per CSA requirements, all CO alarms will sound when concentrations of 70 ppm are detected. Some alarm models feature a digital display which helps you see if lower levels are present so corrective action can be taken. Carbon monoxide is a by-product of “incomplete combustion” of fossil fuels burned for energy or heat, such as natural gas, propa…

Home ownership builds strong communities: Toronto Real Estate Board

HOMES TREB: Home ownership builds strong communities 0
 BY PAUL ETHERINGTON FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, MARCH 06, 2015 02:54 PM EST | UPDATED: FRIDAY, MARCH 06, 2015 03:06 PM EST — Paul Etherington is President of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 40,000 REALTORS® in the Greater Toronto Area. If like thousands of people throughout the Greater Toronto Area you have worked with a REALTOR® in recent years, you probably have an appreciation of the many variables that can occur in a transaction.  While working in the real estate profession demands a considerable knowledge base, throughout my 30 years as a REALTOR® I have found that one of the most important aspects of the job has remained the same: the simple act of bringing people together. It is immensely gratifying to see the enthusiasm in buyers’ eyes as they envision their new lifestyle and the sense of achievement that sellers experience when an agreement is reached.  It has been said that when people com…

A fire in your dryer is more common than you think

(NC) Did you know that laundry room clothes dryers are the cause of around 15,000 house fires across North America every year? It is essential, therefore, to put this hard-working appliance on your springtime to-do list. “The reality is that dryer fires are fairly preventable with proper maintenance and safety precautions,” says Ryan Michel, senior vice president and chief risk officer at Allstate Canada. Most people know you should clean the lint trap after every dryer use and shouldn't overload your machine. However, here are six other tips you can follow to ensure it is operating safely: 1. Don't leave your dryer running if you're not a home. 2. Make sure there's proper ventilation for dryers located in closets or enclosed rooms. 3. Never operate your dryer with a damaged or missing lint filter. 4. Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible items. 5. Never dry fabrics that have been saturated by oils, gasoline or chemic…

Reduce Your Home Ownership Expenses With These Tips

Image Reduce Your Home Ownership Expenses With These Tips(By Anne Miller,

Homes cost money. Not just the mortgageand the taxes, or even the down payment, but all the myriad things—from the heating to the gutters—that sap your savings. Aside from careful money management, how can you reduce your daily home expenses? Think BigYour biggest regular expense is likely your mortgage. You may be able to shrink it, with and without the bank’s help. Refinance to take advantage of low interest ratesCut the time left on your mortgage. Consider taking on a 15-year option. You’ll save on interest over the long term.Pay half of your monthly mortgage every two weeks. Doing so will also help you save on interest.Reduce your private mortgage insurance. If you made only a small down payment, you may be able to drop some (or all) of the insurance after you pay down your mortgage to about 80%  of the principal, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.S…