By: Betty Durocher

Rebates and Discounts: Investigate Before You Renovate

Tags: renovate,rebates,discounts,home improvement

When planning home improvement projects, it is wise to investigate your eligibility for rebates, discounts and other incentives that might help you reduce your overall costs.  Among the most common programs available to homeowners are those promoted by various levels of government in support of conserving energy and the environment.  While installing a modern energy-efficient lighting or...Read More

By: Betty Durocher

New Products For In-Home and Out-of-Home

Tags: smart technology, apps, smart phone, camera

Smart Mattress: Warms your feet, adjusts its firmness to your body weight and pressure points, and lets you tilt your partner's side of the mattress upwards to alleviate snoring. 360 Degree Camera: Can be used as a sentry for all around security or for recording all around family fun. Waterproof E-Reader: Perfect for soaker tub or swimming pool loungers. Bluetooth Bathroom Mirror: Make or r...Read More

By: Betty Durocher

Your Property's Potential

Tags: mortgage, cash flow, upsizing, downsizing, condo

Assuming that at each renewal, a home owner's mortgage would be less than it was in the previous term, homeowners can look forward to eventually improving their monthly cash flow. In addition to a smaller mortgage, some may also enjoy the benefit of additional home equity if the property's market value has increased since it was first purchased. If these factors are working in your favour,...Read More

By: Betty Durocher

New Changes Coming to Mortgage Rules

Tags: uninsured mortgage, down payment, lender, guideline B-20

Last month the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) confirmed the implementation of a new minimum qualifying stress test for uninsured mortgages. Guideline B-20 now requires borrowers who have a down payment of 20% or more to qualify for a mortgage at a higher rate. Borrowers will have to be approved at either the five-year mortgage rate published by the Bank of Canada (cu...Read More

By: Betty Durocher

Be Mindful of Changes In Home Insurance

Tags: home insurance,extreme weather,storms,liability,coverage

There's no doubt an overall increase in the number of extreme weather events has caused the insurance industry to undergo significant changes. While no one can predict the frequency or location of major storms, there is an industry consensus that the intensity of storms is becoming more severe and that insurance companies need to protect themselves against the associated risks. This new realit...Read More

By: Betty Durocher

Kitchen Cutting Boards Can Accumulate Bacteria

Tags: cutting boards,food contamination,sanitize,

Butcher block, countertop and portable cutting boards are popular kitchen work areas but these utilitarian surfaces can be the source of harmful bacteria. To ensure your prep surfaces do not contaminate your food, be sure not to cut fruit and vegetables on the same surface as raw meats, poultry or fish, unless the surface has been sanitized between tasks. Any cutting area, plastic or wooden, will ...Read More

By: Betty Durocher

Check Your Air Conditioner's Exterior Unit For Optimum Performance

Tags: summer, air conditioning,cooling,

Before the height of summer arrives, check your central air conditioning's exterior unit to ensure it is ready to provide you with maximum cooling while using the least possible amount of energy. First, confirm the power is off. Then, check that the box sits level, and remove any objects or plants that may restrict its expulsion of interior heat. Remove the outside screen(s) and clean the fan,...Read More

By: Betty Durocher

New Windows Are a True Home Improvement

Tags: windows,energy efficiency,quote,longevity,guarantee

  It's easy to think of your home's windows as being visual enablers that merely allow daylight to come in and you to look out. However, in addition to that function, windows need to perform, almost as well as walls do, in their role as barriers that protect you from the outside environment. As a homeowner, if you neglect this factor, you may be compromising the comfort and energy ef...Read More

By: Betty Durocher

At Home With Security, Even When You're Not

Tags: security,technology,affordable,smartphone,alarm

If the hallmarks of advanced technology are portability, flexibility and economy, then home security systems may provide the best examples of progress in recent times. For example, in addition to cameras and alarm systems that can be managed and monitored from your smartphone, you can now install a surprisingly affordable system that alerts your phone to motion in specific areas within your proper...Read More

By: Betty Durocher

Make Small, Darker Rooms Look Brighter

Tags: infuse light, reflective colours,glass,shiny materials,sidelights

As daylight becomes noticeably reduced late in the year, it may become more difficult to enjoy the natural ambience of smaller, darker rooms.  However, a few decor decisions can utilize both daylight and artificial light to make such rooms like larger and brighter. Infuse lighter, more reflective colours wherever possible, from highly polished floors and light coloured floor coverings to gl...Read More