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!
We are in the “make it happen” business. That’s what clients hire us to do.
When clients need to sell their home quickly, and for the best price, we make it happen.
When clients need to find and buy their next dream home, we make it happen.
When a client wants the entire process to go smoothly and successfully, we make it happen.
How do we make it happen? When we begin working with a client, we ask a lot of questions. It’s important for us to clearly understand what a client really wants. Then, we use our professional skills, training, knowledge, and experience to make it happen!
So, if you’re looking for a “make it happen” REALTOR®, give The Graff Girls a call.
“Can our home be listed for sale with onlyone spouse’s signature?”
The Graff Girls answer: In Ontario, each spouse who is married has a right to ownership and occupation of the matrimonial home and neither spouse can sell or refinance it without the other spouse’s signature.
In some cases, where one spouse refuses to sell the home, their lawyers must get involved and attend court to obtain a court order for sale of the home. Although this may be an expensive ordeal, it often works and results in a court-ordered sale of the home so that the proceeds may be divided and each spouse may buy a new home and begin their new life post-separation.
Cheryl and Samantha are regularly called upon to help divorce lawyers manage the spouses and get the home sold. From signing the listing agreement, to valuing the home, to staging it for sale, to maximizing its sale price, to moving day, to buying a new home or homes, The Graff Girls do it all for divorcing couples. Mostly, they do it with integrity, transparency and respect.
If you have any other questions, or if you would like any more information on how to handle divorce sales, The Graff Girls are happy to speak to you in confidence.
What is the difference between a regular realtor and a divorce realtor
First, it's important to realize you have a legal process underway at the same time as the sale of a home. In regular real estate, the courts are not involved in the sale of a property.
In regular real estate, one realtor is representing the sellers together, whether it’s a husband and a wife or any two owners. They usually both have the same goals. This is not the case in divorce real estate. Owners who are going through divorce often have opposing views.The divorce realtor has special expertise in mediating these conflicts while still maintaining a fiduciary position to both.
In both regular real estate and divorce real estate, emotions run high. But in divorce real estate, the stakes are even higher. Anger, distrust and fear are emotions that impact the sale of a home.
The Graff Girls have decades of experience dealing with divorce sales and emotionally charged owners and have successfully assisted couples with the sale of their home.
Recently, Samantha and Cheryl helped a husband and wife during their divorce. The wife arranged for the house to sell. The husband didn’t want to sell. The paperwork had been completed, the photographer sent in, the sign ordered and the stagers booked. But the husband was not willing to cooperate. The Graff Girls held meetings with the husband, discussed his worries, his wishes and his views. The house was sold and the husband, with the help of Samantha and Cheryl, bought a new home for him and the children.
This is the thank you note from the husband:
“Samantha and Cheryl
I do not know how you both do it but you were so professional.
You never lost your patience or class.
You made a very challenging situation smoother than I could have imagined.
Thank you for making this transition of life as easy as possible for myself and my children.
We have enough going on and you both made it that much less stressful.”
If you are considering divorce, contact Samantha and Cheryl for advice.
Should I sell my home now or wait till Spring 2019?
This is the #1 question that clients have been asking The Graff Girls over the last few weeks.
There is risk on both sides. Yes, the market has softened, but it also rose exponentially in the last 10 years. It may stay steady or drop. Some of our clients do not like risk and, since they were thinking of selling in the next few years anyhow, they are selling now. That is the least risky choice to make.
With over 50 years of combined real estate experience in the GTA, we have seen market highs and lows. We also have a positive, but realistic, outlook as we believe Toronto is a highly desirable city to live and invest in. Are there obstacles to a stronger upward market? Absolutely!
Want to know what they are and how that affects your home and your neighbourhood?
Together we will educate you to maximize your sale price and reduce risk.
Book a meeting with us to discuss the sale of your home in the present real estate market versus the spring market.
For Sale By (Divorcing) Owner: Hiring the right realtor will make a huge difference
Once upon a time, when a couple separated, one spouse kept the home and the other one was bought out. However, in Toronto, rising real estate values have made this practice an impossibility. With the average price of homes in Toronto exceeding $1 million, and with the stringent lending rules in place for mortgage approval, it has become extremely difficult for one spouse to buy the other one out at the time of divorce. As a result, divorce usually triggers the sale of the matrimonial home. This then results in the need to select a realtor to represent both spouses through the sale process.
Just like no two lawyers are the same, likewise, no two realtors are the same. This is especially the case when it comes to divorce. For spouses going through divorce, matters of trust, honesty and cooperation are more challenging then before.
Realtors who assist separating couples with the sale of the matrimonial home must have unique skills to be able to handle the circumstances of sale.
The Graff Girls are an award winning mother/daughter team who have been serving divorcing couples with their real estate needs since 1995. Cheryl and Samantha have established close relationships with some of Toronto's top divorce lawyers, financial planners, therapists and coaches.
Cheryl and Samantha know that the matrimonial home is the family's largest asset and, because of divorce, the spouses are extremely concerned with maximizing their sale price and net profit. More importantly, the spouses require ongoing communications and complete transparency with respect to the sale process. In fact, Samantha and Cheryl have been so successful in establishing their integrity and trustworthiness that their clients have chosen to subsequently retain them to purchase new homes.
The Graff Girls have developed a plan of action for the sale of matrimonial homes during divorce that ensures a speedy sale, maximum sale price, preferred closing dates, least inconvenience to the spouses and the children and, most importantly, the removal of any communications between the spouses with respect to the sale. Cheryl and Samantha regularly report to the spouses’ lawyers, mediator and therapists on the status of the sale, as part of the group of professionals assisting the spouses.
Cheryl and Samantha have impressed hundreds of clients with their expertise, experience and skills. Their reputation has preceded their names. A recent divorcing spouse admitted: "The only thing I think we agreed on was to call you ladies in!"
If you are divorcing, or a professional helping a couple with their divorce, contact THE GRAFF GIRLS for a consultation.