Archives for September 2012

Cowichan Zero Waste Challenge

  Every day, we buy things we don’t need, and throw out stuff that still has a lot of value. There are huge financial and environmental benefits to breaking this pattern. This is what Zero Waste is all about. Zero Waste offers a new way of thinking about garbage. According to Zero Waste principles, there is no such thing as “waste,” there are only wasted resources. Resources are wasted at every step of the “life cycle” of a product when: Products are designed using materials that are hard to reuse/recycle, and/or are designed to wear out quickly Production processes are inefficient and use too much energy, water and other resources, and produce hazardous waste Too much packaging is used to deliver products to market People (businesses and individuals) buy things that they don’t really need, and/or buy disposable or single-use items People throw things away instead of finding new uses for them, or recycling them Achieving Zero Waste in our region is a big … [Read more...]

Checklist: Winterizing your home

Winterize Your Home Tips   Heating – Before the cold hits, make sure your system is in proper working order. If it is a forced air type, get an expert to service the furnace; at the very least, replace the filter and repeat every 3-6 months. Ensure that heating vents/grills are free of obstructions. Check for carbon monoxide leaks by installing an alarm (this is a silent killer). If you have a heat pump, ensure it is free of debris inside and out. Chimney and fireplace – A wood burning fireplace and chimney can be a major source of cold-air leaks. Do your “annual” professional chimney clean and make sure that the damper is operating correctly. Plumbing – If you have exposed water or drain lines in uninsulated areas such as crawlspaces, attics and outside walls, insulate with foam insulation as a minimum. Exterior faucets should have all hoses removed and the water supply turned off, allow the hose bib to drain. Sprinkler systems should have all the water drained … [Read more...]

Is Now the time to Buy ?

Well, you gotta live somewhere right? So, is now the time to buy? So the question posed is “what if I wait for a year to purchase my new house. Prices are falling aren’t they? Won’t it be cheaper if I wait?” Well actually, probably, no. If we are dealing with a non-cash buyer they are going to have to finance their purchase with a mortgage, hence the reason they are talking to us. So if you do a quick comparison of what the monthly payments would be for a purchase today and a proposed purchase a year from now if the anticipated 1% increase in fixed term mortgage rates actually occurs. They are: Purchase today: Purchase price                                    $300,000 5% down payment                              (15,000) Net amount due                                  $285,000 CMHC Fee                                                7,838 Total Mortgage Amount                     $292,838 Payments based upon a 5 year rate of 3.29%, and a 25 year amortization … [Read more...]

First Time Buyers

The basics for first-time home buyers.  You are just stepping into the housing market and you’ve listened to all your friends and family as to what to do. Real knowledge comes from experts who will take the time to guide you through the process. This is where a Realtor can assist in ensuring that the correct steps are taken in the right order. Buying your first home is exciting but can be fraught with many things that can prove to be very stressful. The following are some basics that will support you in every step: Be prepared financially – ·       Do you have a down payment and does it meet lenders requirements ·       Ensure that you are pre-approved before you start viewing properties, take all your income statements, investment portfolio etc. to the bank or a mortgage broker (maximum disappointment for everyone in the process if you fail to get financing)   Choose a Realtor – ·       Choosing a … [Read more...]

Getting ready to List your home?

Getting ready to list your home? Selling your home can be quite stressful, especially in a market like today. Once you have made the decision to sell there are several things on the “must do” list. The greatest obstacle to a quick sale (or even to sell), is your competition. Never assume that you have the best house in your price range; make sure it is.  Prior to listing, the following guide will help you achieve the best possible results.   Attend to all the necessary exterior maintenance issues such as leaking eavestroughs and down spouts, touch-up paint work, clear and rid yourself of any garbage lying around, tend the gardens, mow the lawn. In other words make it appealing that the potential buyer’s interest is piqued enough to want to go into your home. De-clutter you home (have a garage sale if necessary), remove all personal items, fill holes and paint walls, check to see if the grouting and seals are in good shape around baths, … [Read more...]