Use these 10 tips to cut maintenance costs on your home today.
1. Using Traditional Light bulbs
If you still have incandescent light bulbs in your home, you could be throwing a lot of money away every month. Over its life span, an incandescent bulb can use $180 worth of electricity. A CFL will only use $41 worth of electricity over the same time period. Even better is the LED bulb, which only uses $30 per bulb. Think what replacing every light bulb in your home could do to your home's bottom line.
2. Ignoring a Leaky Faucet
A leaky faucet that drips one drop per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year, which is enough water to take more than 180 showers. Fix or replace your leaky faucet and save a ton on your water bill.
3. Using the Wrong Air Filter Size
We all sometimes forget to change out the air filters for our HVAC systems or accidentally buy the wrong size. But using the wrong filter or a dirty filter can increase your power bill and cause expensive problems for your furnace down the road. Use the correct filters for your system, and set a reminder to change them after the recommended amount of time. You won't regret it.
4. Not Customizing Temperature
Invest in a customizable thermostat. Heating or cooling an empty home wastes a lot of money in energy costs.
5. Not Adjusting Air Vents Properly
Is one room in your home hot, while the others are cold? Oftentimes homeowners will crank up the air conditioning in the whole house to combat hot temperatures in one area. Instead, adjust air vents to direct the flow of air more evenly throughout your entire home. Professionals will come regulate this to ensure that your entire home is receiving the same amount of air conditioning or heating.
6. Over Watering Lawn
Many homeowners have their sprinkler systems programmed to come on in the early morning hours for optimum lawn health. This can become a problem, however, if you're never around to see what you're actually watering. A broken sprinkler head could be causing a fountain, or the trajectory of your sprinkler may be directed at a fence instead of your lawn. Periodically run your sprinklers during the day so you can see how they are performing when you're not around.
7. Water Heater Temperature Set Too High
Unless you have a tankless water heater, your water heater is keeping the water in its tank hot 24/7. If you don't keep an eye on the temperature as each season changes, you may be paying too much to heat your water. Decrease the temperature in the summer, and bump it back up when winter comes.
8. Leaky Windows and Doors
Leaky windows and doors are great places for cold, winter winds to enter your home. Many homeowners simply ignore them and crank up their heaters. Caulk leaky windows and put rubber seal around doors to keep winter winds out and warmth in.
9. Paying a Handyman
Don't pay a handyman for a job that is simple enough to do yourself. If you're unsure of how to do something, look up video tutorials online. Doing simple tasks yourself can save you a lot of money.
10. Ignoring Curled Shingles
It may be easy to ignore problems on your roof, but it will only lead to bigger problems later. If you see any possible issues with your roof, repair them as soon as possible, as this will save you significant costs later.
The Graff Girls Say Definitely worth it! We had a pre-home inspection on a home we just sold. The buyer read the report but decided to have their own inspection done.
Their agent called to say thank you for having a pre-home inspection as there were no surprises and her clients firmed up the deal without any hesitation!
SO, SAY YES TO HOME INSPECTION! The home inspection familiarizes the buyer with the mechanics of the home and what to be aware of in future years. For a seller, a pre-home inspection informs them of anything that may need to be fixed prior to putting the house on the market to avoid a buyer asking for rebates after negotiating a deal!
The Graff Girls work with all buyers and recognize what they are about.
Connecting with Millennials does not always come easy to other generations, and it doesn’t help that there are a lot of contradictory opinions and generalizations popping up daily. Millennials are described as both fickle and brand loyal, having short attention spans and laser focus. We’re told in one article that their buying decisions are most influenced by social media and in the next, that they base their buying decisions on peer advice. We’re also told that Millennials aren’t financially stable enough to purchase homes and yet every stat proves otherwise.
In addition to the seemingly contrary information, Millennials have grown accustomed to distancing themselves from traditional processes and channels, and instead, attempt to go it alone.
The Graff Girls have found when working with Millennials we establish a relationship of trust and guidance that makes for a strong bond and a successful turn of events.
March #'s are in The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has released the housing figures for March, and with 7,187 sales reported across the region, volume was unchanged from the same time last year. The average sales price of all transactions rose to $788,335, representing a year-over-year gain of 0.5%. The average days on market for sold properties was 21. While March sales and pricing remained flat, the number of new listings fell 5.1% to 13,996. Active listings were also down 2.5%, leaving the current supply at approximately 2.2 months of inventory. Such low inventory would typically suggest seller’s market conditions, however, the OSFI stress test continues to impact buyers’ ability to qualify for a mortgage, which has largely kept prices and sales volume in check. As buyers look for more affordable housing options, it’s interesting to note the jump in March’s townhouse sales. Last month, 1,253 townhouses sold in the GTA, representing a 12.1% annual increase. In the 416, where housing is priced at a premium, the increase is even more pronounced, rising 15.2%. We expect to see increasing interest in similar property types until a point where pricing becomes less attractive. At an average price of $741,881, townhomes in the 416 were more than $500,000 less than the average single detached home, and only $140,000 above the average condominium, which went over the $600,000 mark. While at an average sales price of $603,969, the price of condominium apartments continues to appreciate, sales volume was down notably, as a result. In the 416, the 1,349 condo sales represent a 14.1% drop in sales from last year. As the price gap between condo apartments and high density low-rise continues to narrow in the 416, expect to see increasing demand for multi-unit low- and mid-rise housing or increased sales activity in the 905.
According to CTV news, the average price of houses was dropped by 2.1% in 2018. In 2017, the average price was $509,835 where as in 2018 it was $499,100. In the Country’s largest market, that is Greater Toronto Area, the decline was about 4% falling from $822,961 in 2017 to $787,000 in 2018.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) expects the normal Canadian housing prices in 2019 to be under $525,000. Be that as it may, the regional sales and price forecasts contrast significantly. Urban housing markets in Ontario are relied upon to recoup from the "dampened activity in 2018" due to anticipation of strong job growth and immigration.
For potential home buyers especially young families, who are new in the market. Even after this fall in prices they still are not able to afford houses worth more than a million dollars. So, what is the option for them? They have two options, one is to move outside of GTA, or the second option is to live in a Condo Townhouse. Townhouses are the next best thing for the people who are unable to afford million-dollar homes. It is like a house but condominium ownership.
Few things to notice in 2019 are rising mortgage rates, more stringent lending requirements, and of course continued high home prices.
The Graff Girls will keep you informed of the market outlook each month.
Your real estate transaction depends upon good faith between you, the Buyer, and Seller.
Unfortunately, Sellers could make changes or damage the property prior to closing.
To protect our Buyers, we take the following proactive steps:
1) We Insert a protection clause in the offer: This would include clauses that refer to the state of the home and its contents on the completion date. If there are substantial changes or damage to the home or its contents, the clauses would reflect the Seller to either restore the property to its original condition or compensate you, the Buyer, for any necessary repairs or replacement.
The offer would also include a clause that allows you, the Buyer, to have a pre-closing visit close to or the day before closing that will enable you, the Buyer, to confirm that the home is in the same condition as when you made your offer. Also, this is to ensure the Seller has completed any repairs that were agreed upon.
2) Take pictures and document serial numbers and model of appliances and other chattels and fixtures that are included in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. This will protect you, the Buyer, in the event the Seller attempts to replace these items with different models.
3) With assistance from a lawyer, negotiate a hold back: Your lawyer (Buyer’s lawyer) may be able to negotiate a hold back of a reasonable amount to be re- leased to the Seller after closing, once you, the Buyer is satisfied the property is in good condition.
Taking these steps to protect our clients The Graff Girls demonstrate professionalism and complete client satisfaction.
The second week of September produced an upward spike in home prices on new properties in desired areas in Toronto.
Just this weekend...
In less than 5 days on the market, a detached home in Avenue Road and Lawrence area SOLD for more than $300K over asking.
In less than 3 days on the market, a semi in Wychwood Park SOLD for more than $150K over asking.
Now you ask, what about the home that sat on the market for months...the home that switched agents...the home that reduced the price...the home that SOLD way below what the owners ever anticipated?
If you hire realtors who are honest, have integrity and are experienced in all markets, they will guide you responsibly. Some realtors will tell you what you want to hear just to get your business. So choose wisely.
If you have any questions about home sales in your area, call THE GRAFF GIRLS for advice you can trust.