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.
With Colder weather upon us if air is not circulating well in your home or condominium condensation will occur.
WHAT IS CONDENSATION?
The air contains moisture. The temperature of the air determines how much moisture it can hold, and warm air contains more moisture than cold air.
When warm, moist air comes into contact with either a surface or air that is colder than it is, the warm air is unable to retain the same amount of moisture as it did and the water is released either into the cold air or onto the colder surface, causing condensation to form, quickly followed by mould.
Here are some methods to prevent condensation inside your home:
1) Turn your bathroom fan on when showering and leave on for a few minutes when done
2) Turn on your exhaust fan when cooking
3) Open a balcony door or window slightly to provide fresh air into the home
4) Circulate air using a fan
5) Move plants away from windows as Plants release moisture
6) Run a dehumidifier
The Graff Girls don not just help people BUY and SELL homes they help them keep them living in comfort and health!
Is there an advantage to buying a new condo from the builder versus using my own realtor?
Purchasing a new condo is different from buying a resale condo. Realtors with expertise in condos make a huge difference in protecting buyers, maximizing their purchase and minimizing their cost.
As one of Toronto's top realtor teams since 1995, clients regularly have Cheryl and Samantha Graff represent them from the early stages of investigating all of the different condo options, to viewing the different sites and floor plans, to studying the historical reputation of the builder and their ability to complete construction on time and to the level of satisfaction of buyers, and then track the progress until closing and occupancy permit. Their expertise is so widely known that they have strong working relationships with the GTA’s builder's agents.
It's a good idea to have your own real estate agent accompany you on your first visit to the new condo sales office. There’s no cost to you. Why? Because the builder (aka the seller) will be responsible for paying the commission. This commission is built into the sale price and the buyer does not save when there is no realtor.
As experts in condos, Cheryl and Samantha will help you as follows:
Negotiating extras: Want upgraded counter-tops or appliances in that new condo? Need a wall removed or added? What about preferred paint colours?
Recommending financing: Cheryl and Samantha can assist you with a wider roster of mortgage lenders than from the builder.
Overseeing a home inspection: Tempted to forgo ahome inspection in a new construction? Don't do it! The number and severity of new-home defects often rival resale home problems.
Cheryl and Samantha are available to assist you and protect your interests when buying a new condo. They are knowledgeable about the neighbourhood, construction quality, industry standards, prices and available amenities. Allow Cheryl and Samantha to give you peace of mind and be in your corner.
Many people struggle with the decision of whether to buy a condo. The stage of your life has a lot to do with the answer to this question. For those in their 20’s and 30’s, the only property that they can afford to own is a condominium. For empty-nesters, it makes most sense to sell the family home and move to a condo. There are many lifestyle considerations that guide this decision.
The following is a list of the advantages and disadvantages of buying a condo.
Amenities: Condos come with underground parking, concierge service, mail service, pools, exercise rooms, party rooms, libraries, computer rooms, business centres, etc. How nice would it be to have a pool for your friends, kids or grandkids to swim in? How about walking into a warm car in the middle of the winter?
Community: In condo living, you get to know your neighbours. Many condos hold social events, classes, card games and shows where you get to meet your neighbours.
No more maintenance: The days of mowing the lawn, shovelling the driveway or fixing the shingles on your roof are over. This is especially ideal if you travel for business or pleasure. You just lock your door and leave all your worries regarding your property to the condo managers.
Location: Although condos are available everywhere, many people are motivated to purchase condos to move into the city and enjoy city life. Very few people can afford to live at the most prestigious locations such as Avenue Road and St. Clair, Yonge and Bloor, King and Bathurst, or Yorkville. There are fabulous condos throughout the city and new ones under development.
Security: Entry into condos is very secure. Guests need to be authorized to enter. Anyone else is unable to enter without the approval of a condo owner. Almost all condos employ lobby security guards.
Comfort: Young or old, healthy or compromised, condo living is for everybody. Parking is underground. Access to all floors is by elevator. The entire space is on one floor. No more stairs, floors or basements.
Affordability: Condos are available in all sizes, neighbourhoods and levels. There are high-rises and low-rises. There are adults-only condos and family-friendly condos. There are condos that permit pets and those that don’t. There are condos on the subway and condos outside of the city. Maintenance fees vary from building to building depending on the number of units and the amenities offered. Condos usually cost considerably less than a home. Choosing the right condo requires careful investigation and research. That is why most people find the right match by using realtors who are most familiar with the condo, the condo manager and the original condo builder. Realtors like The Graff Girls are extremely knowledgable and familiar with condos in Toronto so that your particular lifestyle and economic needs are met by the right condo.
Condo Fees: All condos levy a monthly charge on its owners for services such as maintenance, services, security, garbage removal and landscaping. Condos with lots of amenities have high condo costs. There can also be special assessment for unforeseen expenses. Condos with many units spread the expenses amongst many owners and can be lower. It is critical to seek advice on the quality and quantity of the particular condo’s services when considering options.
Parking: Parking is generally limited. Normally each owner is granted 1 or 2 parking spots. Although there is guest parking, some condos charge for guest parking and prohibit overnight parking.
Elevator: In some condos, the wait for the elevator can be long and frustrating. Moving furniture or large items can be challenging. The elevator always needs to be reserved in advance.
Less Privacy: In condos, walls, ceilings and floors are all shared with your neighbours. Although most condos are constructed with noise prevention, there are cases where the noise from the neighbour is heard. For some, this could be distracting and frustrating.
Rules & Bylaws: Condos have lots of rules. Condos have rules for guest parking, barbecues, door hangings, balcony use, etc. Most of the rules are created in order to ensure a consistent and uniform appearance, as well as the safety and security of the occupants. But for some, the rules could be annoying.
In conclusion, condo living can be amazing, exciting and comfortable. However, in a city like Toronto, with so many options for condo living, it is critical to be guided and advised by a realtor who has the experience, familiarity and expertise in condominiums. The Graff Girls have represented buyers and sellers of condos for the last 25 years and are able to ensure that you make the right choice, to buy the right condo, in the right place, from the right builder, at the right time.