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Home Energy Saving TipsDid you know that most realtors recommend to their clients who are purchasing a home that they request a years worth of utility bills?  This will allow home buyers to budget their utility costs for all four seasons.  Realtors do not want their clients to have any surprises once they take possession of a home.  

This November's bitter cold snap likely caught Surrey, South Surrey and White Rock homeowners off guard.  We had many days into late October warm enough for t-shirts.  The sudden change caused a chill that likely cost homeowners as thermostats were cranked, gas fireplaces flicked on and space heaters called into action.   

We know what we are in for now --- many long months of cold, rain, some snow and the odd sunny day mixed in just to keep us sane.  These months can be costly for Surrey and White Rock homeowners.   The reality is energy is wasted in many homes.  This translates to higher utility costs.  If your energy costs are above normal this can translate into problems for potential buyers of your home.  

Here are 10 tips to save you money on your home utilities in cold months:

1.  Turn your thermostat down a notch (2 degrees) and put on a sweater.  Also remember to turn the thermostat down at night. Or if you have a programmable thermostat, set it for lower temperatures at bedtime.

2.  Insulate your hot water tank and turn it down.  The temperature range should be 60 to 65 degrees Celsius.  Also timers can be purchased to turn your water heater off at night and back on again in the morning before you wake.

3.  Clean you furnace filter every one to three months 

4.  Weatherproof your  home caulking cracks, etc.  See Draft Proof Your Home for Winter.

5.  Keep heating vents clear of furniture, drapes and other items that block circulation

6. Replace doors that do not provide proper insulation

7.  Close off the heating vents and close the doors of rooms you do not use

8.  In the winter ceiling fans should be set to clockwise to push warm air down 

9.  Use area rugs to insulate cold floors.  This is also more pleasant to walk on during colder months

10.  Open all the south facing window curtains and blinds on sunny days

Your first benefit of having an energy efficient home during colder months is a lower energy bill.  A second benefit is that it is a great selling feature for your home.  Paying attention to utility usage and being energy efficient can set you apart from other sellers, particularly in the competitive Surrey, South Surrey and White Rock real estate market.

 

Mike Alleyne
604-785-7066
Homelife Benchmark Realty, Surrey

Friends to Lead, Friends in "Deed"

 

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10 Cheap Tricks for Beautifying the Bathroom 

Winter is a great time for Do It Yourselfers (DIY) to take on a project.  This is particularly important for anyone trying to sell their home.

Bathrooms are a key feature that buyers look at when making purchasing decisions.  The number of bathrooms is a standard listing detail for all homes.   Changing the number of bathrooms or their location is a massive undertaking that I don't recommend except in very specific circumstances.   There's usually no need to go to that extent.   However upgrading bathrooms can make a positive effect in showcasing your home.   But ... will you net out more as a seller by upgrading you bathroom?  That's the key. 

Full bathroom renovations can be very expensive, particularly with multiple bathrooms.   However; there are some shortcuts I recommend. 

Here's a list of 10 tips for DIY'ers to upgrade your bathroom cheaply.

  1. Paint the walls
  2. Upgrade the mirror
  3. Change the facets
  4. Redo the grout
  5. Upgrade the window coverings
  6. If floor is dirty or very dated - install lino tiles or maybe a brand new mat.  If you bathroom is fully carpeted  --- this is one of those musts -- remove it.   There is nothing I've seen close a buyers mind more fully than a shag carpeted bathroom.
  7. Change the lighting
  8. New shower curtain.  If the curtain is out of you budget a simple clean liner works well
  9. Patch any sink or tub chips
  10. Do a mini toilet makeover.  If seat is worn, replace the seat.  If the bolts at bottom of toilet are showing, replace the cover caps.   A tasteful decorative item sitting on the back of the toilet (on the tank) draws the buyers eye up from the toilet bowl.

 

Remember that clean and simple is better.   Try to make your bathroom as neutral as possible.  This gives buyers a palette for their own decorating ideas. 

I'll close with the simplest of all tips.  If its not in your budget to make any of the above upgrades, just clean the surfaces of clutter and close the toilet lid, before photos or a potential buyer visits.

 

Mike Alleyne, Real Estate Agent
HomeLife Benchmark
604-785-7066
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