Anshu Arora LLM, MSc, PMP

Cell 604-828-7331 | info@anshuarora.com

Trying to save money? Home maintenance is so much more affordable than emergency repairs. Here are five routine maintenance projects that can help prevent unexpected costs and save you money year round.

1. Clear out gutters

Water from clogged gutters can overflow and leak into your home. Heavy, ice-packed gutters can tear away from your house in the winter. Grab a ladder, gloves and hose and clear them out while the weather is still warm.

2. Re-caulk windows

Drafty windows and doors can suck money right out of your budget from high energy bills. Check the caulk and weatherproofing strips around doors and windows to make sure they're not dried and crumbling. If they are, they're easy (and cheap) to replace.

3. Clean the fireplaces

Have your chimney professionally inspected and potentially cleaned annually to prevent creosote, a flammable byproduct of wood burning, from building up. It can create a fire hazard and elevate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Before each use, make sure your damper closes tightly and clear remaining ashes from the bottom of your fireplace.

4. Check your filters

Clogged furnace and air conditioning filters not only make your HVAC system less efficient, they also can spread unhealthy pollutants and allergies in your home. Dark and mucky filters should be replaced. You don't even need tools.

5. Flush the water heater

Neglected water heaters have a way of getting back at you when you least expect it (and that way is usually soggy and expensive.) Clear out sediment particles that collect over time by regularly flushing out water through the drain valve.

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Keyless/remote entry door locks

Have you ever left the house and worried that you left the front door unlocked? If your home is equipped with a keyless/remote entry door lock — available from multiple manufacturers — you can use an app on your smartphone to lock the door from wherever you are. Some manufacturers make versions that will also send a text or email to your phone when the door opens. Locks that can be programmed with multiple entry codes also allow you to see who comes and goes and when.

Smart lighting

From lighting automation that allows you to control lights remotely and wirelessly, to energy-efficient LED bulbs that can change color to match your mood and decor, lighting has come a long way. Some smart lights work in tandem with home automation systems to allow you to turn them on or off, or even dim them, from an app on a smartphone or tablet. Others require no communication hub and can be controlled directly from your mobile device. You can also put some smart bulbs on timers (using your wireless device), sync them with certain TV shows or movies, and integrate them with security cameras and thermostats.

DIY security systems

Don't want to sign a contract or deal with complex security systems? Install-it-yourself security systems are affordable and offer security features like cameras, sensors, motion detectors and alarms or sirens, without the need for a security service to monitor them.

Smart appliances

The Internet of Things (IoT) — everyday objects that have network connectivity — includes a growing list of smart appliances. Many manufacturers are offering washers, dryers, refrigerators and other home appliances that can communicate with you — and each other — wirelessly. Many can be controlled remotely from your smartphone — so if you leave the house and can't remember if you turned off the stove, you can check in and turn it off using your smartphone app.

While appliances aren't always included in a home sale, they do make for interesting features that keep your home top of mind to buyers.

Smart plugs

One of the easiest, most affordable smart home upgrades you can make is to add smart plugs to your home. These Wi-Fi-enabled plugs fit existing outlets and can be controlled from a smartphone app. Plug anything into a smart plug, like lights or a television, and you can turn it on or off remotely, track energy consumption, or even create an on-off schedule.

Temperature controls

Programmable thermostats were just the beginning; today's home temperature controls are even smarter. Like other smart home features, smart thermostats can be controlled remotely from your mobile device. You can program them to make automatic temperature adjustments and then use your smartphone to override the program like turning up the heat on a particularly cold day. Some smart thermostats learn from household behavior and adjust the temperature to meet your family's needs and save energy, while others adjust based on the number of people in a room. And several can now be operated via voice-controlled virtual assistants.

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Demand for multi-family assets in BC remains near record levels in 2017 as investors continue to acquire properties in communities throughout the province.

 

Multi-family investment activity remained highly elevated in 2016 after recording 73 transactions valued at $734M – second only to the record set in 2015.And 2017 has been phenominal!

 

Years of rising prices and cap rate compression largely stabilized in 2016, albeit at elevated values and lower average cap rates than previously noted in the BC market. This pause has enticed some owners and buyers off the sidelines and given both more confidence to conclude a transaction.


As owners elect to sell multi-family assets – in some cases identifying one or two buildings to sell out of a portfolio of properties in order to capitalize on strong pricing and demand in the market – the sales activity encourages others owners to follow suit.

 

Thinking of Buying and Selling Multifamily Properties in BC - Go With The Best! @yourbcagent

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Ongoing strong demand for industrial space in Richmond and Delta, BC has fuelled increases in pricing and rental rates as a lack of supply, limited industrial land available for development, and tight vacancy have shifted the two markets significantly in favour of landlords and property owners.
 
Pricing in Richmond is anticipated to continue to rise as new supply for lease will be unable to keep up with demand and will subsequently have a negligible impact on vacancy for the foreseeable future. Demand for sale and lease product has sprung from the organic growth of existing companies in the market as well as new businesses looking to relocate. Lease or purchase options in all size ranges remain highly limited.
 
Demand for space is expected to continue to provide additional support for elevated pricing and keep vacancy at near historic lows in Delta. As a result, rental rates are also expected to continue to increase.
 
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