Saturday, September 23, 2017

This Simple Question Can Save You a Lot of Money

 Imagine this scenario...

 You purchase a new home and move in. A few weeks later, you hear a strange rumbling sound. It’s  the furnace.

 It’s only a year old, yet it’s sputtering like it’s twenty. You realize you’ll have to call in an HVAC  contractor to get it fixed.
 You’re thinking, “Ouch! This is going to be expensive.

 ” Well, maybe not. You see, since that furnace is relatively new, it might be covered by its original  warranty — even for you, the new owner.

 But a warranty is useless if you don’t know it exists.
 Recent studies suggest that upwards of 50% of  people pay to get items fixed that were actually covered by a warranty. So, when purchasing a new  home, be sure to ask this simple question: “What warranties do you have for items, materials or  workmanship in this house?”

 Warranties are common on new stoves, fridges, washers, dryers and    other big ticket appliances. Some such warranties are transferrable, which means they are still in  force when the items pass from one owner to another.

 Even less expensive items, such as electronic  thermostats and automatic garage door openers, may be covered by a transferrable manufacturer’s  warranty.

 If the home you’re purchasing is relatively new (say, less than 10 years old), the builder’s  warranty may also still be in force. That can be handy if a structural problem arises.

Even recent  renovations, may have come with a labour and/or installation warranty of some kind.

As you can see,  warranties are everywhere! The more you’re aware of them, the more you’ll save when something  needs repair or replacement.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Condo sales drive the Ottawa resale market in July-

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,530 residential properties in July through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,490 in July 2016, an increase of 2.7 per cent. The five-year average for July sales is 1,446. 

“The Ottawa resale market continued its steady pace into mid-summer, with condo sales really bolstering the market this past month,” says Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “We’ve actually been seeing this positive trend since February. The condo market had been in a slump for the past few years because it was overbuilt. Some owners who had difficulty selling their condos rented them instead, thereby decreasing supply. Now as rental leases are coming due, combined with evidence of stronger condo sales, these owners are placing these units back on the market for sale. Meanwhile, residential sales have remained virtually the same in comparison to this time last year.” 
Courtesy of The Ottawa Real Estate Board August 2017

Ready to sell or buy call Ian Ponting 613-222-2662 or email me ian@royallepage.ca


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

How Long Will Your Home Appliances Last?

If you’re paying a lot of money for a new washing machine, wouldn’t it be nice to know how long you should expect it to last? There is, of course, no exact formula for figuring that out. Every brand and unit is different. There are however, some broad estimates.

According to an article in Consumer Reports, a washer and dryer will hum along just fine for about 10 years, with a likelihood of needing a repair during the last two to three. Leading brands offer a parts and labour guarantee for at least a year. So, if something goes wrong during that period, be sure to contact the manufacturer right away.

The National Association of Home Builders released a report a few years ago on the longevity of kitchen appliances. They found that refrigerators can last up to 13 years under normal use. Dishwashers and ovens will start to show their age after nine years. The worst record is for trash compactors, with a life expectancy of only six years before repairs or replacement is required.

Microwave ovens last an average of nine years. However, the door seal should be checked often. Otherwise, the unit will quickly lose efficiency. (You’ll notice this when your food doesn’t heat up as quickly and evenly.)

All experts agree that the best way to keep home appliances functioning properly is to follow manufacturer’s instructions for use and maintenance. If you’ve lost your user’s manual, you can download a new one (which may contain important updates) from the manufacturer’s website.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Important Things to “Fix Up” before Selling

You’ve probably seen signs around the area for Open Houses. You may have even attended a few. These are open invitations for potential buyers to drop by on a certain day and time, to check out the property and get more information.

When you’re listing your home for sale, you might wonder whether you’ll need to have an Open House

To answer that question, you’ll need to consider the pros and cons. Planning and hosting an open house isn’t as easy as it may seem. There’s a lot of preparation involved. In addition, you’ll likely spend hours making your property look its best and you’ll need to be away from your home for a good part of that day.

That being said, an Open House has many advantages.
  •  It helps showcase features of your property that may not come across well in advertisements and listing descriptions. 
  • It attracts potential buyers who, for any number of reasons, might not otherwise call to view the home.
  • It generates a buzz and publicity about your listing.
However, an Open House might not be necessary if there is high demand for properties like yours and you’re likely to get multiple offers.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Knock, Knock. How to Avoid Door-to-Door Scams


It’s early in the evening and there’s a knock on the door. You answer and are greeted by an official-looking man who claims he needs to see your utility bill to confirm you’re getting your energy rebate.

Do you let him in?

 While he may be legitimate, he may also be using deception to sell you something you don’t want. Here are some suggestions for finding out:


  • Ask for a business card. Then, check if it has an address, phone number and website. If the salesperson refuses or just shows you his ID card (which anyone can fake), that’s a red flag.
  • Ask for the name of his employer. Sometimes salespeople will say they “represent the phone company”. That doesn’t mean they actually work for it.
  • Ask if you can call his company to confirm details before buying. If he refuses, or says the office is closed, shut the door
  • Ask if you can consider the offer and call the office the next day to place your order.
  •  If you’re really suspicious, ask him to come back later. Then, call the non-emergency police number. Police are aware of common scams in the area.
Most importantly, use your common sense. Door-to-door salespeople can be pretty persuasive, but if something doesn’t seem right to you, trust your gut. Say, “No thanks.”

Of course, if everything checks out with the salesperson, and the offer is a good one, consider taking advantage of it.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Your Exit Plan in Case of a Fire

In almost every movie featuring a house on fire, the actors seem to be able to move around the house and see just fine, while beating back flames with a shirt or coat. Of course, that’s not what happens in real fires.

When there’s fire in a home, there is typically complete darkness (because the power goes out) and a cloud of spreading thick, black smoke makes it difficult to see and breathe.

That’s why knowing how to get out of your house — fast — is crucial.

Experts recommend rehearsing what to do in case there’s a fire. Make sure everyone in the family has an exit plan. Each should know exactly how to get out, including primary and secondary exits, and where the family will meet once safely outside.

Never attempt to take anything with you. It may seem like you have plenty of time to grab a coat or purse, but the characteristics of a fire can change in seconds.

 As a fail safe, in case you can’t exit through a door, you should determine in advance which window has the safest exit. Make sure that the window opens easily and everyone knows how to remove the screen or any other obstruction.

Finally, don’t call the fire department from inside your house. Get out first, then make the call.


Friday, April 07, 2017

How to Cut Your Electricity Bill in Half

You don’t have to freeze in the winter or start reading by candlelight to reduce your electricity bill. There are many simple ways to use less power with little, if any, impact on your lifestyle.

A good place to start is with your electronics.

 According to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Any gizmo that has a clock, digital timer, remote control or standby mode is sucking energy when it's not being used (it's called 'phantom electricity' — and it's scary how much of it there is).” So keep them unplugged as much as possible. Also, unplug charger cords for phone and computers when not in use. Even when not connected to the device, they still suck power.

Another easy change to make involves your lights. Switching to compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED light bulbs can save you a lot of energy. They’re 75% more efficient.

Finally, the old-fashioned method of insulating doors and windows can work wonders for lowering your electricity bill. In fact, some particularly drafty homes can lose up to 40% of their heat. Check for drafts regularly and repair or replace insulation as needed.

None of these ideas will impact your day-to-day living. Yet, they could potentially save you a bundle.