Improve your home and save money

It's common knowledge that buying real estate yields dividends, but did you know you could invest money in it to make you richer down the road?

Improve your home and save money

Why you should care

  • Owning your own home doesn't come cheaply. In 2007, the average price of a resale home in Canada was $307,000, and that's not the end of your expenditures.
  • Factor in property taxes, mortgage insurance, and homeowners insurance.
  • Then add what the average homeowner spends in a year to maintain (or even improve) his or her property, which can tack on several thousand dollars to your already hefty housing bill.
  • This is why it's so important to prevent problems now, rather than wait until they blossom into full-blown catastrophes later and then get around to fixing them.

Take control

  • Can you remember the last time you wrote a repairman a big, fat check for something that you learned you could have fixed yourself?
  • It probably felt like the guy was stealing from you, didn't it? But how were you to know that you could replace the gasket on your dishwasher yourself in 10 minutes? You'll know now!
  • Taking charge of your home's health and putting benign neglect behind you is tremendously satisfying.
  • You'll have a healthier bank account, a more fortified home, and, perhaps most important, you'll remember that you — not the plumber or the landscaper — are in control and in charge of your own life and home.

Look again

So, your home has many rooms and even more nooks and crannies. How can you stay on top of potential problems? What does a "potential problem" even look like?

  • You've probably spent thousands of hours in your home, all told, and know your surroundings well enough to be able to find your way around in the dark.
  • But how often do you really "see" your surroundings? The truth is, the best weapons your home has against deterioration are your own senses: It's your eagle eyes, sharp ears and even your keen sense of smell that will help you recognize the itty-bitty problems early and fix them quickly.
  • Maybe you notice a small hole or chip in your kitchen's plaster wall or detect a musty odour coming from your bathroom.
  • Don't ignore what your senses are telling you. One of the best things you can do for your house is to "visit" it regularly and know it inside out.

Tips from interior designers

  • Walk the perimeter of each room of their houses every so often. Go ahead, try it: feel the walls.
  • Stand in the far corner of the room and look at the ceilings and floors from points of view that you don't usually have.
  • Stand inside closets and look out into your rooms. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and smell your living area.
  • You'll get a good feel for what your house's "normal" state is; now you'll notice if something isn't right down the road.
  • We also guarantee you that you'll start noticing things, good and bad, that you didn't notice before.
  • You'll likely develop a new appreciation for your living space and find yourself cleaning, lubricating, painting, and making other such minor adjustments. You're proud of where you live, and you want that to show.
  • Dedicate the same kind of thoughtfulness that you had "seeing" your home to repairing it.
  • Once you've decided to make some fixes or do some maintenance, plan it out thoroughly. Gather all the tools and materials you need. Proceed slowly and follow instructions carefully.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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