Artificial grass has been used in warmer climates for some time, but it’s also become more popular in Canada as an alternative to a natural lawn. The jury is still out as to which is best, and there are definitely pros and cons on both sides of the fence.
Benefits: There’s nothing like the lush, organic feeling of natural grass under your feet. It’s affordable to install, and with maintenance, it can last a lifetime.
Things to consider:
Maintenance – A lot of time and effort is needed to cut, water and maintain the lawn. It’s difficult to keep it looking good all year round.
Environmental Impact – Tons of water are used every day to get that ”green” look. Harmful pesticides used also wash away into the water system.
Expense – Sod may be cheaper to install ($1-$2/ yard), but the monthly water bill is much higher than artificial turf.
Benefits: Today’s artificial grass is like a carpet for your yard. The turf looks great all year round with virtually no maintenance, no water and no monthly cost.
Things to consider:
Expense: Artificial turf is very expensive to install. Anywhere from $4-$9/ sq. ft, a small 500 sq ft area can cost upwards of $4500.
Environmental impact – Although it doesn’t need the water and pesticides and has a lifespan of 15-25 years, artificial grass is synthetic and does eventually end up in the landfill.
Animal waste – The turf can be watered and liquids pass through, but there are mixed reviews on how well Fido’s business washes away.
Whichever you prefer, you will start noticing artificial grass in more residential and public spaces. Artificial turf is being used in dog runs, playgrounds, on boats, trade show booths and golf courses. Toronto is even installing artificial turf on its medians. It looks like it is here to stay.
Not long ago, in 2008, the mortgage rate in Alberta was 5.39%. This year, we have consistently seen posted rates under 3%. The low rates offer significant opportunities for buyers and sellers alike, but to take advantage of the trend, learn to evaluate your financing options.
Taking advantage of the lowest rates possible allows you to make real strides on interest payments. But if your mortgage is short-term and a variable rate, there is a possibility it could change with the market.
If you are looking to reside in a home for a while or invest in a long-term rental holding property, some lenders offer up to a 10-year fixed rate. Fixed rates are generally higher than variable, but can minimize uncertainty and the risk of higher interest and payments in the future.
Refinancing an existing mortgage to a lower rate might also help you save. However, you are liable to pay penalties and administrative costs for breaking your mortgage.
A mortgage consultant can assess the specific needs of your situation and guide you in choosing the financing plan that will fit you best.
- Homeless for a Night – Friday, June 12th – Saturday, June 13th
- 2015 Edmonton Festival of Quilts – Saturday, June 13th – Sunday, June 14th
- Edmonton River Valley Offroad Triathlon & Duathlon – Saturday, June 20th
- DARK MATTERS – Thursday, June 18th
- Safeway Father’s Day Walk/Run – Sunday, June 21st
- TRi KiDS Triathlon Series – Sunday, June 28th
- Edmonton's 2nd Annual Superhero 5KM Fun Run & Walk – Sunday, June 28th