Buying or selling your home is probably one of the largest transactions most of us will be involved in. The process itself is exciting, stressful, confusing, and time consuming. It is no wonder most people going through this process assemble a team of professionals that may include a real estate agent, a mortgage broker, a stager, a handyman, and a real estate lawyer to help them navigate the transaction successfully.

Of all the individuals in your supporting cast, your real estate lawyer is the person many people are uncomfortable with and do not utilize fully. I’m not sure if this is the case because people relate needing a lawyer with negative situations or if it comes down to saving a few dollars.

Quite often a lawyer is contacted once a firm agreement is reached and the buyer and seller are looking to have the sale of the property registered and the title transferred on the closing date. However, an attorney can do a lot more for both the buyer and the seller than just register the property. A lawyer is there to protect their client’s interest in a real estate transaction and can help relieve some of the pressure and anxiety from their client.

If you are selling your home a lawyer can draft the agreement of sale, ensuring the proper description of the home is noted accurately and that everything you are looking to keep from the property is documented as not included in the sale. The lawyer will also review all offers, and describe any conditions included in offers. They will also ensure the deed to your home is prepared and close the transaction on your behalf once all monetary conditions have been realized.

When buying a home, a lawyer will review the purchase agreement and can note any items you wish to be kept in the home as part of the agreement. Appliances are a good example of this, as they are not considered fixtures in a home, but rather chattels as they can be removed. Your lawyer will investigate to ensure there are no claims or leans against the property and that the taxes are up to date. They can even assist with the mortgage documents, and help with coordinating your home insurance. Your lawyer will also exchange the legal documents with the seller’s attorney and obtain the key to the home on your behalf.

Having a real estate lawyer on your team is you are buying or selling a home in Ontario is imperative. They will do far more for you than just register your property. When searching for an attorney to assist with your transaction, make sure you look for a reputable law firm that is not only experienced in real estate law, but that will provide you with a personal, tailored experience.

Every home requires upkeep and maintenance over time, and as a homeowner, you may even opt into an upgrade or redesign here and there. Some items in your home require regular maintenance or adjustments, and others can go 20+ years without you even thinking about them. Window replacement falls into the latter category, as most windows have a minimum life expectancy of 15-20 years, you may have never had to deal with this process before. There is more to updating your windows than just getting the look and functionality you want. You need to depend on and trust the contractor that is installing your windows, even the highest quality windows can yield poor results due to sub-par installation. 

Being informed is one of the most important steps to choosing the right replacement windows, so we put together a list of several questions you should ask your window consultant prior to committing: 


Tell me about your company?

Knowing about and being comfortable with the company that will be providing and installing your windows is a necessary step in putting your trust in them. The sales consultant should be passionate when relaying the company’s history including how long they have been in business, what services they provide, do they use their own installation team or do they subcontract, if they manufacture their own windows or who their preferred suppliers are should all be covered when asking about the company. After all, they will need access to both the interior and exterior of your home when they are working, trusting the team is not optional.


Can you explain the key features and operation of the windows?

All windows are not made equally or function in the same fashion. It is important that your consultant elaborates on the type of windows you are investing in. Efficiency, security, maintenance, and function should all be covered by your consultant.  Things such as double-pane VS triple pane windows, low-e or Energy Star qualified, and how the window opens can all affect the price. You want to make sure that your investment gets you the windows that meet your needs and wants and that you are not just getting a quote you are happy with.  


What type of warranty is there?

Understanding the warranty on both the manufacturing of the windows and the workmanship is important. If there is an issue down the road, you want the reassurance that your contractor will be there to support you. Many contractors provide a 1-2 year warranty on the workmanship, and usually, any problems with the installation or the manufacturing of the window will show up quickly, allowing you to utilize the warranty. Make sure the warranty details are provided in writing prior to signing an agreement. 


How much time will my project take?

Many times, replacing your windows is just a piece of a greater home renovation project. In these cases, you have multiple contractors working around each other and possibly waiting for each other to finish. So, understand the time frame between ordering the windows until the installation beginning and how long it will take to install all the windows is key for planning other projects. Even if you don’t have other renovation projects on the go, it is still good to have an idea of when the replacement windows will be installed and how long the process will take. 


What’s included in the quote?

Fully understanding the quote will reduce the potential for any hidden surprises down the road. Look for an itemized quote that outlines the cost of materials and labor separately. Is cleanup and disposal of your old windows part of the package? Are any additional materials covered, such as replacing any rotted wood? Is the interior and exterior window finishing included or do you need to pay extra or possibly find someone else to complete the task? Understanding everything that is included in the quote will help you plan for any additional work or any surprises that are exposed once the windows are removed. 

Asking the right questions will help you make an informed decision on your windows replacement project and ensure you get the best quality and value for your investment.

Home improvement projects can be costly and time-consuming. So, it’s easy to put off window replacement until it’s completely necessary. But, how do you know when it’s time to replace your windows? You don’t have to wait until your windows to be drafty or notice an increase in energy costs to consider a window replacement. However, it’s important to have an idea of what signs you need to look out for.

Here are 5 signs that it’s time to replace your windows:

1. Drafts

Do you feel a draft even when your windows are closed? Can you hear the wind whistling through your windows? A drafty window can change the overall temperature of your home, which causes your HVAC system to work twice as hard to keep up with the fluctuating temperature.

2. High Energy Bills

You’ll notice the increase on your energy bill when your HVAC system is working twice as hard to keep up with the fluctuation temperature. When you notice your energy consumption increasing, replace your old and drafty windows with energy-efficient windows to help you reduce your energy costs.

3. Poor Window Operation

Do you have difficulty in opening, closing, and locking windows? Operating your window shouldn’t be part of your daily workout routine. If your windows aren’t operating and functioning properly, you may not be able to lock them so it can impact the safety of your home.

4. Condensation

Do you notice any build-up between glass layers? If your windows are frosting between the layers or glass, this means that your seals have failed, which is allowing moisture between the glass panes.

5. Visible Damage

Do you notice any visible damages to your windows? Your windows are constantly exposed to rain, snow, harsh winds, harmful UV rays, and freezing temperatures. Inspect your windows for warping, water damage, and cracks in the glass.

How often should you replace your windows in your house?

Windows should typically last between 15 and 20 years before you start to think about window replacement. After 15 years you can expect to repair your windows regularly, so eventually, you’ll need to replace the window. Contact your local windows and doors company when you’re ready to replace the windows in your home.

Water damage is one of the most common and costly disasters that most homeowners are desperate to avoid. Water damage weakens your home’s foundation and major structural elements such as beams and joins. If you’re dealing with water damage, you should contact a water restoration company immediately.

Preventing water damage to your home is a whole lot cheaper than paying for repairs. Keeping your house safe from flood and water damage is relatively easy. Here are 10 tips on how to prevent flood and water damage to your home:

1. Gutter and Downspouts

Your gutters might be filled with leaves and other debris causing it to clog. Clean your gutters routinely to prevent them from clogging. You should also check your downspouts to see if water is flowing through properly. They should be directed at least 5 to 10 feet away from the house.

2. Roof

Inspect your roof to see none of your tiles or shingles are loose, damaged, or missing. They are your first line of defense so it’s important to properly maintain your roof to prevent water leaking into your home.

3. Water Heater

Older water heaters can develop faulty water outlets and drain valves. Check your water heater and keep an eye out for rust, slow leaks, corrosion, or water pooling. If you spot any issues, have your water heater serviced.

4. Windows and Doors

Water seepage inside faulty windows and doors can damage your window frames and surrounding drywall. Make sure your windows and doors are properly sealed to keep water out as well as increase the energy efficiency of your home.

5. Sump Pump

Sump pumps are one of the most effective ways to protect your home from water damage. Test your sump pump to make sure that it’s working. You should have it tested at least once a year. In addition, having a backup sump pump in case the first one fails doesn’t hurt either.

Finding the right physiotherapist to fit your needs can feel like an overwhelming task. There are so many physiotherapy clinics available to choose from. It’s important that you make a good choice because attending a physiotherapy clinic requires an investment of your time and money. You need to know how to focus your time and energy effectively, so you can ensure that you will get the best results possible. Here are 5 tips on how to find a good physiotherapy clinic:

1. Reviews

Check for reviews, but be cautious. How long has the physiotherapist clinic been open for? For example, if they’ve been around for a long time and don’t have many good reviews it can be a cause for concern. In addition, try to spot positive and negative things that people consistently mention. See how the physiotherapist clinic responds to positive and negative feedback. Do they respond to their reviews? Do they clearly take pride in their reputation?

2. Customer Service

How is their customer service? You don’t want to manage unnecessary hassles when you’re focused on getting better. Is the physiotherapy clinic willing to take extra steps to ensure your time and money are well spent? Is there a lot of options for appointment times? Does the clinic offer direct billing to your insurance company?

3. Responsiveness

A well-run physiotherapy clinic will have an appropriate amount of time for everyone. One way you can check the responsiveness of a clinic is by sending them and email or checking their reviews. Is the response taking too long? Are there reviews of unhappy customers regarding this?

4. Environment

Go into the physiotherapy clinic and see how the environment is like. Evaluate the space and the staff who work there. Seeing the clinic in person may influence your decisions to get treatment there. Are there private treatment rooms? Is there a gym space available with therapeutic exercise equipment?

5. Fit

Find the best fit since physiotherapy is personal. A physiotherapy clinic might have all the qualifications and say the right things, but it may not necessarily be the perfect match.

Boiler service is an essential service that many homeowners neglect. Having your boiler serviced regularly is important to ensure that it’s operating safely and efficiently, as well as to prolong its lifespan and prevent costly repairs. Therefore, it’s important to organize an annual boiler service. 

What happens during a boiler service?

You’re probably wondering “what should I expect from a boiler service?” Well, here are 5 things that happen during a boiler service:

1. Protecting Your Home

A qualified and insured engineer will come to your home and lay down floor coverings and other protective measures to ensure your home remains clean throughout the boiler service.

2. Visual Inspection 

The engineer will perform a visual inspection on your boiler. This includes checking that the boiler, pipework, and flue are all positioned correctly, as well as look for any leaks or corrosion. 

3. Boiler Inspection

The engineer will check to see if your boiler is working safely by taking off the boiler casing to see how it’s working internally. The engineer will be looking for electrical connections, that seals are intact, correct gas pressure and flow, correct flue and combustion operation, and fans and other components are working correctly. 

4. Safety Checks 

The engineer will carry out safety checks in order to ensure that your boiler still meets correct standards and safe to use in your home. 

5. Recommendations

The engineer will report what they have found. If it’s working as intended or it needs to be repaired. 


Why boiler service is important?

Here are 3 reasons why you should get your boiler serviced: 

1. Prevent Breakdowns

You might be tempted to put off getting your boiler serviced. However, a boiler service will help to keep heating bills low and spot a potential fault. 

2. Keep Heating Bills Low

Your boiler can become less efficient as it gets older. This means it needs to use more fuel to heat your home which will cost you a lot more. An annual boiler service will help to ensure that all of the components are operating safely and efficiently. 

3. Safety

An annual boiler service will help to identify safety issues such as carbon monoxide leak. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas because it’s odourless and colourless. You might be unaware of a carbon monoxide leak and it could result in nausea, vomiting, headache, unconsciousness, or even worse death. 

There are times in our lives that saving money is a goal that individuals strive to achieve. Whether it is for cost-cutting purposes or you are trying to save for a big purchase, saving money requires a plan and follow through.

Considering that a lot of individuals have different lifestyles and circumstances, our list will try to focus on more universal suggestions that anyone can apply. Here are 5 ways to save money:

Make a List of Expenses and Cut off the Fat

Our first tip is to go through your monthly expenses to get a good snapshot of how much money you spend and where it goes. There are certain necessities that you won’t be able to cut off such as housing (rent, mortgage) but you might be surprised on extra expenditures like going out to eat or retail purchases that fall more into the category of “wants” vs “needs”. Short-term sacrifices will pay off in achieving your money-saving goal, so make the necessary cuts to your monthly “wants”.

Find the Best Deals

There are many apps and websites that give tips and hints on where to find coupons and deals. Moreover, there are specific grocery and big-box stores that will price match competitor pricing. The website, Clip and Save, wrote a similar article, 5 Simple Ways to Save Money, where they brought up a point about stockpiling on items that are on sale. This tactic is a good way to cut expenses long-term.

Leverage Competitive Switching

What do we mean by this? There are certain monthly expenses that are necessities like your cell phone, internet or insurance as examples. A lot of these services have a wide range of service providers that want your business. Doing some due diligence research may uncover either lower rates or even sign up incentives that can help with your money-saving goals.

Change Habits

By simply analyzing your day-to-day routines may uncover different money-saving ideas. For example, brewing your own coffee at home vs buying at a cafe can save quite a bit over a month. Reducing laundry loads or being mindful of light usage can save on utility bills. Are you a smoker? Quit!! Or at the very least, reduce the number of times you have a cigarette which in turn will reduce the number of times you buy cigarettes.

Open a Savings Account

It is crucial to set aside all of this money you are saving and to not mix it up with your regular pool of money. Not only will this give you a clear visual on where you are to achieving your money-saving goal, but it will also give you an opportunity to earn interest and grow your savings!