Thursday, November 22, 2018 / by Gary Semeniuk
Just imagine it! Waking up to the sound of sea and surf pounding the sand right outside your very own home. You don’t have to call ahead for reservations, you don’t need to ask anyone for a key or have a check-out time. It’s all yours to do with as you will, and you’re going take advantage of it constantly because now you own your very own vacation home.
Not to burst any vacation home-shaped bubbles, but before you get too lost in the fantasy, you need to consider some of the many pros and cons of owning a home away from home.
Vacation Homes Aren’t For Everybody
As the real estate market begins to respond to financial pressures from higher interest rates that are only set to increase further, as well as trade wars and tariffs with some of the country’s best trading partners, more people are just waiting for their favorite vacation spot to experience a market correction. If you’re one of them, don’t jump into the vacation home market wi ...
Thursday, November 15, 2018 / by Gary Semeniuk
It’s been a busy year. It almost feels like we completely skipped over spring, summer and fall and found ourselves barreling head first into winter like a kid on an out of control snow sled. With those cold days just around the corner, now is the time to make sure all your heating equipment is safe to operate and ready to go when you need it. After all, you don’t want to learn that your furnace needs to be repaired by spending a freezing night regretting not having found out sooner.
Keeping the Home Fires Burning
There’s nothing like a toasty fire roaring in the fireplace, except maybe for forced air heating that distributes heat evenly throughout the house. Hey, old fashioned fireplaces are romantic, but they’re not the most efficient heat sources out there — that’s why forced air heating was invented and is subsequently the best thing imaginable when there’s snow on the ground.
Most of the time, the furnace and blower are the kin ...
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 / by Gary Semeniuk
Land can be a good investment, whether you intend to build a house or business on a particular lot or simply want a place where you can stretch your legs and breathe a bit more deeply. After all, they’re not making any more of it (ok, technically this isn’t true, but you’d need to be volcano adjacent to get dibs on brand new land).
Buying land can be tricky, though, even after you secure a mortgage for it. There are several important real estate concepts you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with.
Lessons in Land Buying
Unlike purchasing a house in an established neighborhood, where everything is pretty obvious and cut and dry, land can throw a lot of weird wrenches into the works. Let’s take a look at the most important aspects to keep in mind before and during your land acquisition.
Before you even set foot on a piece of property you’re interested in purchasing, ask about title restrictions. These are condition ...
Tuesday, October 30, 2018 / by Gary Semeniuk
Every morning, it’s the same thing. You get out of bed, take a shower, burn the toast and then curse the smoke detector. Although its singing the song of its people can be incredibly loud and awful to hear, the truth is that smoke detectors save lives. So, while your smoke detector may sing way off tune, it’s trying very hard to protect you and your family from smoke- and fire-related hazards, like your morning toast.
It’s time to check your smoke detector batteries yet again — and to learn more about those white pucks that hang out on the ceiling.
Meet Your Friendly Neighborhood Smoke Detector
Every single day, your smoke alarms hang around next to the ceiling, just waiting for something to go wrong. They don’t ask for much, which is why most people tend to forget they even exist. But the job they do is vital to the safety and security of not only you and your family, but the families that neighbor you.
You’ve heard it a hundred times: check you ...
Sunday, October 28, 2018 / by Gary Semeniuk
In the Internet Age, it seems like almost anything is possible. There are cars that can drive themselves, microwaves that you can talk to and, of course, smart thermostats. For the average homeowner, that last one might not sound all that special, but there’s really a lot of “neat” coming out of that weird little thing that hangs on your wall and controls the complicated HVAC system in your home.
But have smart thermostats lived up to the hype? Or are they really just vanity gadgets that you can use to one-up your buddies when they come over to visit?
What Can a Smart Thermostat Really Do?
There are two things every thermostat has to be exceptionally good at or it’s just not worth the effort: first, it must be able to tell what the temperature is where it’s located. Secondly, it needs to be able to turn the HVAC system on and off. Considering these two basic functions, nearly any thermostat is a pretty good one by some standards.
Your b ...