The first signs of warmer weather and spring are starting to appear. For homeowners, that means bringing out the home maintenance to-do list.
Fear not, we have some tips on what you need to do this season to get your house in the best condition. All these things can help preserve the value of your property and save you money down the line.
1. Go high
Examine the state of your roof to make sure there are no cracks, missing shingles, or leaking spots. While you’re poking around the upper levels of your home, have a look in the attic for leaks, water damage, and pests.
2. Probe wood trims and frames
The winter wetness can wreak havoc on the wooden elements in your home. Make sure any exposed wood is in good condition and not slowly rotting. Don’t forget to check windowsills and door frames.
3. General spring cleaning
Now is the time to declutter your home. Store any winter gear you won’t be using, donate the items you no longer use, and give the whole house a good scrub.
4. Check the AC and furnace
Spring is a good time to make sure your AC is all ready to go before the hot weather hits - check the connection, and filters to make sure it’s working efficiently. While you’re at it, see what state the furnace is in too.
5. Clear out the gutter
Loose or leaky gutters can cause all sorts of problems down the line. Double check that the run-offs aren’t full of debris.
6. Plan ahead for the garden
Start laying down soil to prevent spring flooding and think about what crops you’ll want in the coming months. Start by planting bulbs and keeping them indoors on a windowsill if it’s still a bit frosty at night.
First-time homebuyers have something to look forward to in the new 2019 federal budget: Canada's housing agency is offering to pitch in towards the purchase price.
Exact details of how this "shared equity mortgage” will work still need to be hashed out by the government and are expected to be released in the fall.
In the meantime, this is what we know so far about the new incentive:
The First Time Home Buyer Incentive is a measure to help with housing affordability and lower the amount of money Canadians pay.
Under the program, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) contributes up to 10 per cent of the purchase price of a home. This brings down the mortgage load for borrowers.
In exchange, the CMHC gets a 10 per cent stake in the house — which is why it’s described as a “"shared equity mortgage."
For example, let’s say a homebuyer is purchasing a $400,000 property. Under both the old and the new rules, they need at least a $20,000 down payment — five per cent of the price.
So that means they would usually need to borrow the remaining $380,000 as a mortgage.
Under the new program, the CMHC would contribute 10 per cent and so throw in an additional $40,000 at the time of purchase. That means the buyer only needs to take out a $340,000 mortgage – which leads to savings over month-to-month payments.
Homebuyers pay back the money to the CMHC when they sell the house (or sooner, if they want).
Essentially, it acts as an interest-free loan but what is still not clear is if the buyer pays back the same dollar amount that was originally fronted or if it changes based on the increased value of the home.
Women and girls in developing countries must walk an average of 10,000 steps every day to collect the basics their families need to survive –water, food and firewood. This event helps raise awareness and funds to end the cycle of poverty.
AVENTURA Live Salsa Bachata Series (April 6 – 7)
A Latin dance series playing a mix of Salsa, Bachata and Kizomba music.
Calm Abiding Meditation Retreat (April 13)
Catch your breath at this one-day meditation retreat.
Spring Gallery Walk (April 13 – 14)
More than 30 artists and eight galleries are featured in this springtime tour.
The Celtic Tenors (April 16)
This popular trio from Ireland are taking the globe by a storm.
Kids All In (April 25)
A fundraising event at the casino to support children’s programs.