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 Look At Different Buyers and Their Wants and Needs:
Generation Xers are born between 1965 and 1979, Generation Xers are currently between the ages of 40 and 54
A.Tech-savvy upsizing: Gen Xers are ready to upsize and they are using the internet to research and communicate with others to do so. Though not as tech-savvy as their Millennial counterparts, they spend about 2hours per day on social media looking for the latest news and keeping in touch with friends. Plus, they are more likely to use mobile than a PC/laptop when searching for a product to buy online (59% mobile vs 54% PC/laptop)
·According to an article from MediaPost.com, “Email is the primary means of messaging but they also like direct mail still…They like Facebook and YouTube, accounting for more than 1.5 billion YouTube views per day."
B.Upsizing preferences: Gen Xers are looking to sell their first home and upsize to accommodate their growing family. Their main focus in 2019 will be to find affordable housing in a family neighbourhood where there are high paying job opportunities so they can grow their families, have education opportunities for their children and save money for the future.
Whatever your age is The Graff Girls understand and respect your needs and wants.
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.
The Graff Girls like to remain positive and suggest what to do to your home when preparing to go to the market.
However, it is also important to be mindful of what you should NOT do.
1) DO NOT OVER IMPROVE YOUR HOME
Call us in if you are not sure what this means. You are not wasting our time, but you might be wasting your money with over improvements!
2) DON'T CUSTOMIZE YOUR HOME TOO MUCH
It's up there with over improving your home. Your goal is to attract as many buyers as possible not a customized group. We also remind you here to de-personalize your home. Remove all family photos and/or degrees and awards that may be out or hanging on walls. Again, we are happy to come by to discuss and veto your visions if need be.
You are okay with us being honest and forthright to sell your home for the highest price the market will bear, right?
3) MINIMALISM IS KEY.
It also means you need to minimize your time in the home. We understand this can be challenging with a family and your pets or when you are at that stage of life of not being able to leave the home as much but if and when you can it is best not to be home. The buyers and their agent have a relationship and you want them to feel at ease to express all thoughts and feelings. We then can retrieve more precise feedback from their agent and if need be help address any concerns. You also want them to envision themselves living here and since you do not come with the home... If you must stay in the home during a showing, we recommend you stay in one room the whole time. Do not move from room to room as they go around the house; it causes too much chaos and does not allow the potential buyers to feel at ease and connect with the feeling of your home.
4) DO NOT TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY.
This is a lot easier said than done. Whether someone wants to admit it or not, buying a residential home to live in alone, as a couple or a family is emotional. Selling is even more emotional. Many buyers have an idea of their dream home and not always the budget, so they may low ball your home to start and you never know how much they might stretch themselves to achieve their dreams. During that same stretch, they may say some negative things about the home just to justify their budget and to make themselves feel better if they are not able to purchase your home.
What is the newest trend in kitchen design and Should I jump on board?
Today's kitchens are the heart and soul of the home. It is the family meeting place. It's the place where the spouses catch up. It's the place where the kids (actually) talk to you. Guests hover around the kitchen island. The kitchen is central to everyday living. Of all the places in the home, the kitchen consumes most of our waking moments.
Kitchen design is so popular that large industries cater to all parts of the kitchen from cabinets, to countertops, from lighting to appliances and smart home technology. Homeowners justify the expense as an investment in the re-sale value while also enjoying its daily use. There are so many types of kitchen design from old world to modern, from city chic to country cozy. What about cabinet material? Too many. Is there only one finish to the counters? Heck No. Smooth, seamless, straight edges. Hardware or no hardware? How much colour can one put in the kitchen? These are a few of the trends appearing in 2019.
The choices you make stem from your personality. Just like every family has a feel, so too do kitchens. If your home is a city, then the kitchen is city hall. It needs you to define its personality. This is the one room that requires your thoughts and attention. Good kitchen design is worth the investment. It's what sells homes and makes your home yours.
If you are looking for advice on your kitchen, then call The Graff Girls who have years of experience and observed complete kitchen makeovers. Cheryl and Samantha would be happy to share their expertise with you.
What does “sibling rivalry” have to do with the sale of a family home?
As it turns out, quite a bit.
In fact, in our experience, this has proven to be a key part of our work with families who hire us to sell their elderly parents’ home.
In the last 10 years, we have experienced a significant rise in the number of adult children who have consulted and then retained us to list, stage, sell and close on their parents’ home, either after they have moved into a senior’s residence or, G-d forbid, passed away.
The sort of work that we have done with families is highly specialized. Often times, there are many different emotions at play which can influence and sometimes hinder the sale process. Luckily, as a mother/daughter team, we have decades of experience helping adult children and their elderly parents manage the sale of their home - successfully, speedily and with the least amount of stress.
We have faced the presence of sibling rivalry play out in our work, which has caused us to become sensitive, skilled and capable in managing the family dynamics.
As we know, siblings generally spend more time together during their childhood than they do as adults. The sibling bond is often complicated and is influenced by factors such as birth order, gender, personality and the relationship that each child had with the parents. We have witnessed particularly intense family dynamics surrounding the sale of the family home. At times, this is influenced by financial issues such as inheritances. At other times, the intense emotions stem from unresolved past issues, the loss of the family home or, even worse, the unexpected loss of the parents.
Whatever the underlying issues may be, an experienced realtor who is skilled in family dynamics, diplomacy and estate sales is critical to ensuring that all members of the family are treated equally, fairly and respectfully, whatever the outcome of the home sale is.
If you are facing the prospect of selling your parents’ family home and/or moving them to a smaller residence such as a condominium, The Graff Girls would be pleased to assist you in transitioning your parents to their new home.