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Welcome to our first newsletter of 2012! Based on some quick sales already this year it looks like we will have a good start to the busy season ahead.
The mortgage rates of 2.99% won’t be around indefinitely so if you would like some good information about where to get competitive rates, regardless of the lender, contact us and we’ll save you a lot of time, energy and, of course, some money.
As always, we strive to make the moving process as stress-free as possible and this year is no exception. In addition to the Handyman and Home Staging services we’ve offered in the past, new in 2012 is a Professional Video/Photography service. Choose one of these options, FREE of charge, to help sell your home faster or, if you’re a buyer, to get your new home ‘operational’ that much sooner. For more details check out our coupon flyer. And feel free to pass it on to any family members or friends who may be in the market for real estate services in the upcoming months.
Finally, before you scroll down and find out how many Timmies there are in Canada, let me reiterate that we appreciate your business and referrals. We know this is a very competitive industry and that you could choose one of many REALTORS® in the area. As always, we continue to provide the best service possible and strive to make your real estate experience as stress-free and profitable as possible.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates on the national and local real estate markets. Be sure to give us the thumbs up if you ‘Like’ what you see and you’ll automatically be entered in our iPad draw!
David Weir BA, CD
HOME BUYERS & SELLERS SEMINAR
This month, David will be hosting his 15th Annual Home Buyers & Sellers Seminar for those contemplating the sale or purchase of a home in 2012. Due to popular demand, he is also bringing back the Home Staging and New Home Construction seminars.
All three seminars will be held at the Military Family Resource Centre located in the Siskin Centre, 50 Rivers Drive East, right behind Timmies on RCAF Road. These are free sessions and open to both military personnel and Quinte West residents. Refreshments and door prizes will be available. Feel free to bring a friend!
Here’s a summary of the seminar dates. Join us for one or for all!
Home Buyers & Sellers Seminar – Tuesday, 21 February 7:00 – 9:00 PM
David will talk about the home buying and selling process. Guest speakers will include a Mortgage Specialist and a local lawyer.
Home Staging Seminar – Tuesday, 28 February 7:00 – 9:00 PM
We’ll outline ways to best prepare your home for sale and give you ideas about what to look for when purchasing a home. We will also discuss the importance of highlighting the ‘look & feel’ of your home prior to sale and how to make it more functional and attractive after a purchase.
New Home Construction Seminar – Tuesday, 06 March 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Features presentations by David and two of the area’s leading residential builders. Discussion topics include: Tarion (Ontario New Home Warranty) and its limitations, basic construction vs potential upgrade costs, pros & cons of building new, and financing issues.
ONTARIO’S DRINKING & DRIVING LAWS HAVE CHANGED!
Any driver aged 21 and under, regardless of licence class, or a novice driver caught with any alcohol in their system will receive an immediate 24-hour roadside driver’s licence suspension and, if convicted, will face a fine of $500 and receive at least a 30-day licence suspension. All drivers who register a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) from 0.05 to 0.08 (known as the ‘warn range’) will lose their licence at roadside for 3 to 30 days. Drivers caught more than once face mandatory alcohol education or treatment programs and ignition interlock.
DO YOU NEED NEW WINDOWS?
Other than the occasional cleaning, windows are not usually something that homeowners pay much attention to. But you should. Windows don’t last forever, and they could be costing you real money. To see if it may be time to replace your windows, take this easy 7-question test:
1. Are some of your windows difficult to open or shut, or don’t quite “fit” when closed?
2. Can you feel drafts coming through your rooms?
3. Is there ever condensation or icing on your windows?
4. Do your windows ever rattle in the wind?
5. Is your house cold in winter and hot in summer?
6. Would you like to reduce your home heating and cooling bill?
7. Do your windows look tired and show signs of deterioration and wear?
The bottom line is, even a few “yes” answers mean that it’s worth looking into replacement windows. New windows will pay for themselves in a variety of ways:
- Reduced energy bills (on average, energy savings pay for 80 percent of any new home window over its lifetime)
- Increased home value (new windows add to your home’s appeal and worth, helping complete the payback)
- More satisfaction (new windows brighten any room, add an exciting new touch, and make you happy)
The best way to start on the road to window replacement is getting in touch with several contractors and obtaining comparative bids.
Compliments of RealEstateabc.com
14 WAYS TO CUT YOUR HYDRO BILL
With just a few small changes in your daily routine, you can easily take advantage of off-peak hydro hours to shave dollars from your bill. Off-peak hours vary with the season and weekends are also considered ‘off-peak’. For complete details check out Hydro One’s Time of Use Prices.
Similarly, you can make several small but easy changes to keep your hydro bill as low as possible. Jennifer Stewart provides some hard money facts in her Moneyville.ca article but here it is in a nutshell:
1. Unplug electronics and appliances when not in use to reduce the use of ‘phantom power’. Using a programmable power bar to charge electonics during off-peak hours can cut those costs in half.
2. Change your lights to ENERGY STAR qualified CFL bulbs.
3. Use a programmable thermostat … for heat and air conditioning purposes!
4. Use fans or ceiling fans instead of air conditioning.
5. Run your dishwasher during off-peak hours and only when it’s full. Use the air-dry setting as well.
6. Natural gas stoves or BBQs use less energy than electric stoves.
7. Use your clothes dryer during off-peak hours and make sure the lint trap is clean.
8. Forego the dryer and use clothes lines in the summer or a drying rack during the winter.
9. Your refrigerator can be one of the biggest energy users in your home. If you’re in the market for a new fridge, look for the energy star symbol which means it’s at least 15% more energy efficient than the minimum federal standard.
10. Set your freezer at -18°C. A full freezer operates more efficiently than a near-empty one. Keep 5 cm of space around your freezer so heat can circulate away.
11. Having a shower in the morning is about half the cost of having a bath.
12. Microwaves use up to 50 per cent less electricity than an electric stove.
13. Window treatments can reduce heat loss in the winter and keep out the heat of the summer.
14. Weather-strip your home around doors, fireplace dampers, attic hatches and air conditioners.
MULCHING WITH FALLEN LEAVES
The annual ritual of raking up tree leaves and bagging them for recycling takes place in our neighborhoods every fall. But have you considered gathering as many leaves as you can from the lawn, driveway and front walk and raking them into your gardens? Autumn leaves are one of the best soil conditioners and mulches available—and they’re free.
Tree leaves contain up to 50 percent of the nutrients that the tree absorbed during the growing season and, as they break down, the nutrients are re-released back into the soil. In addition, leaves help to insulate the soil in winter and add important organic matter.
All tree leaves (except black walnut) can be used: leaves from small trees, such as honeylocust and birch, can be raked directly onto beds, while larger leaves like maple and catalpa should be raked onto the lawn and run over several times with the lawnmower to shred them before using them as mulch.
Don’t be too concerned about covering up your shade-loving plants with autumn leaves: they expect it. In spring, any areas that are heavily covered can be raked to fluff up the leaves, but as long as the leaf mulch is less than five centimetres thick, the plants will push right through.
HOW TO WINTERIZE YOUR ABOVE-GROUND POOL
The main purpose in winterizing your above ground swimming pool is to protect it from damage due to freezing water. Closing your swim pool properly can save you a lot of work when it comes time to open your pool again next summer.
|Make sure the water chemistry is balanced.|
|Don’t use floaters or pucks (chlorine or bromine) as they may stain or damage your pool liner.|
|Lower the water level to below the mouth of the skimmer. Another option is to put an Aquador over the mouth of the skimmer. This is a plastic dam which holds out the water from the skimmer, allowing you to leave the water level up for the winter.|
|Drain all the water from your filter equipment and hoses
• start by putting a plug in your return fitting
• disconnect your hoses from the return and skimmer or at the filter system and drain them
• the filter should have a plug at the bottom that will allow it to drain
• put the multiport valve in the closed or “winterize” position and remove the pressure gauge
• drain the pump by removing the drain plug(s)
• after draining the pump, turn it on for a brief second to get the water out of the impeller veins
|Ensure the chemicals (chlorine/bromine tablets) have run out of your chemical feeder & drain it.|
|Do not put plugs back on the equipment in case water gets into it. Store what you can inside.|
|Cover your above ground swim pool with a solid cover to keep out debris and sunlight. This will keep the pool totally clean and prevent most algae growth. Use air pillows to hold the cover up like a dome so that water and debris fall off instead of puddling on the top.|
Compliments of About.com
DID YOU KNOW?
- Of the 3,169 Canadian Tim Horton’s locations, 1,942 feature a drive-thru window. And right now, there’s probably a long line of cars at every one of them!
- If you say “good night, sleep tight” you are referring to a time when people slept on a bed supported by ropes. Each night before they retired, they had to make sure the ropes were pulled tight before climbing into bed.
- Barnacles can stick to boats because they secrete a cement-like formula that ‘glues’ them to the side of watercraft. This natural glue does not dissolve in water.
- Since the Aztec empire, chocolate has been considered an aphrodisiac used in the pursuit of love.
- Although today’s Egyptian pyramids have a brown colour, they were originally built with white stones. They remained that way until Arabs invaded Egypt in approximately 500 AD. They took the white stones and used them to build mosques and palaces in Cairo.