April 2014

Found 5 blog entries for April 2014.

While people have virtually always landscaped their yards, hardscaping has started to gain popularity as we've begun to put more focus on extending our living spaces to the outdoors.  Here's what you need to know first.

WHAT IS IT?

Hardscaping includes all the non-organic design elements on your property - that means retaining walls, paved walkways, decks, fences, pergolas and sculptures.

DIY VS. HIRE A PRO

Simple cosmetic projects like stone patios and fire-pits can be handled on your own if you're feeling handy, but defer to professionals when it comes to big projects that could affect slope or drainage.  Contractors who specialize in hardscaping will help you achieve your vision for the space and do the work

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If they're doing their job properly, you shouldn't notice the windows in your house.  But if you're in the market for an upgrade, there are tons of options that can add value to your home and make a stylish statement.

HIGH VS. LOW

When buying windows, look for:  

HIGH R-Value - determines how well the window prevents heat loss.  

LOW Emissivity - reflects the heat to the warm side of the glass.

INSTALLATION OPTIONS

You have two choices for installation: retrofitting (inserting new windows into the existing casing) or brick-to-brick (stripping out the windows and frames and starting fresh).  Retrofitting is less expensive, but brick-to-brick is the more energy efficient option.  And remember, if

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If you live in a condo or an older house, you know that closet space is at a premium.  Adding a closet or expanding an existing one will help to increase the functionality and value of your home.  Or, if it's a low cost, flexible solution you're after, stand alone wardrobes are always an option.

You'd be surprised where you can squeeze in closet space.  Consider, for instance, the often overlooked area underneath your staircase.  With a little ingenuity, you can really gain some valuable extra storage.  If it's your bedroom closet that's lacking, you may be able to get away with widening or deepening it or even building a new one by expanding into an adjacent room.  Just be sure that other space is large enough to give up that square footage

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Looking to expand your real-estate portfolio? Perhaps you have a primary residence on which you’re slowly but surely paying down the mortgage, and suddenly, you’ve found yourself with more savings than you anticipated. Purchasing a multi-unit dwelling to stuff with tenants could theoretically pad your pockets on a monthly basis for as long as you decide to hold onto it. Right now, interest rates are relatively low and rents are high, so investors are acquiring  income properties like never before. The process is not as easy as finding an okay house and cramming it with naïve university students, though. Here are a few (very important) financial and administrative points to consider:

   

The down payment: First and foremost, you must

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BCREA – Need to Know:

BC Budget - PTT exemption threshold for First-time Buyers 

Increases on February 19th, 2014

The BC Government released Budget 2014/2015 today. The most direct and immediate announcement for REALTORS® is:

Property Transfer Tax Effective for registrations on and after February 19, 2014 — tomorrow — the Property Transfer Tax exemption threshold under the First Time Home Buyers’ Program is increased to $475,000 from $425,000, with the partial exemption/phase out applying between $475,000 and $500,000. 

Government information online has already been updated:

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=BBD16E2D7C1841A7BBD420E3AC5380F1

The government estimates that approximately

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